Sightings for June 2010
As the month wore out, there was again little to be seen - a Grey Wagtail on Wick being perhaps the best for the day; while Fisherman's Bank saw 2 Whimbrel, around 12 Curlew with one west over Wick, 19 Redshank and 26 Lapwing. During these quiet days, it seems a good time to give an early summary of the breeding warblers on Wick Fields, where there are reckoned to be the following pairs: 3-4 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 21 Whitethroat, 4 Cetti's Warbler and 8-9 Chiffchaff, with Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler still to be fully determined.
Additional news: a Greenshank was in Stanpit Creek at lunchtime.
After some overnight rain, the only reports for the day concern a first-summer Grey Plover at Stanpit and a group of 4 Little Tern feeding off Mudeford Quay this morning.
On another scorching day, the slight wader interest at Stanpit continued, where singles of Whimbrel and Little Ringed Plover were present this morning. Also, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 settled Curlew plus 4 west, 12 Redshank and 42 Lapwing. On the other side of the harbour, a Hobby went over Whitepits and, for once, it was possible to prove that Pheasant does breed in the area, as 4 chicks and a hen were by the Wooden Bridge. An early returning Kingfisher was also about Stanpit, while 200+ Sand Martin feeding overhead were considered to be not all of local origin.
'Getting better,' was the quote from Wick, where a Nuthatch was by the village pond, what looked like the second calendar-year Mediterranean Gull featured yesterday was logged and a Peregrine whizzed towards Stanpit and hunted over Central Marsh. Also on the fields, a total of 5 Green Woodpecker and a steady presence of 12 Lapwing in the relatively strange location of the Bobolink Field, more formally known as the Schools Paddock. Earlier, at Stanpit, a Hobby departed to the north. With respect to the main event of the day, the pain seemed mercifully short and considerably less stressful than other tournament exits - if one can get over the bottom-line details of the result, which will live in the records forever, that is. It also feels as if the Munich result of 2001 and the Russian linesman of 1966 were almost both avenged in one match!
Once again, the bird-rich New Forest proved a temptation this morning, so it's all down to a rather casual seawatch undertaken while enjoying a scorching afternoon on the beach at Hengistbury. Offshore, 5 Little Tern and 10 Common Tern headed west; and, overhead, a couple of Hobby were trying their luck with the Sand Martin. Let's hope we know the outcome of tomorrow before 5:00 - anything more is just going to be too much to bear!
The undoubted highlight was an adult Spotted Redshank, sporting plumage normally reserved for the Arctic tundra, in Stanpit Creek this morning - potentially one of the smartest individuals ever seen in the harbour, with not a hint of white on the underparts, and definitely a different bird to that recorded a couple of days ago. Also from Fisherman's Bank, an early returning Common Sandpiper this afternoon and counts of 39 Redshank, 68 Lapwing and 3 Curlew. Please check back to yesterday for some crepuscular news from Hengistbury.
There was some more wader interest this afternoon, when a Greenshank was at Stanpit. Also on the unexpected side for the date, were 3 Little Tern inside the harbour, but presumably that means they have failed to breed elsewhere on the south coast, something the species can ill afford. From the top of Hengistbury this morning, a Mistle Thrush was seen to fly over the Long Field and pitch into the Nursery; and a Mute Swan count came to 305, but birds were also on the sea off Mudeford Quay so the total may be a little on the low side. Also from the head, 10 Common Tern west, while Fisherman's Bank produced in excess of 10 Redshank, 10 Curlew and 30 Lapwing. Finally, a pod of 15-20 Bottle-nosed Dolphin were between Double Dykes and the Long Groyne around 7:15 this morning, their presence betrayed by a large aerial gull flock.
A Nightjar churred for around 5-minutes by the Ironstone Quarry around 9:40 tonight.
A Nuthatch by the Civic Offices, the first and perhaps only of the year, brightened up the day; which otherwise produced just a Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Curlew, 33 Redshank, a marked increase of these, and 57 Lapwing about Stanpit, with a Common Tern feeding in The Run at the end of a tense, but relatively successful afternoon.
Stop press: late in the day, a Spotted Redshank was in Stanpit Creek, off Fisherman's Bank, before leaving eastward at 5:10. Also, reports received of a sizeable pod of Dolphin, as many as thirty animals, off Double Dykes earlier on.
It's tough to muster the enthusiasm to sit down and actually write something, but here goes. Fisherman's Bank was the only spot visited and came up with 8 Curlew, 7 Redshank and 29 Lapwing. For the first time this season, there is a hint of the green weed that could take over the mud in Stanpit Bight, something that over the years seems to be increasing in frequency. There is reasonable evidence to suggest that this vegetation, once established, greatly reduces the attractiveness of the harbour for waders.
By Midsummer's Day, a party of 5 Sanderling really should be north of the Arctic Circle, rather than feeding on the sandspit this afternoon - however, they will hopefully get to their destination in time. There is little other news save from Argyle Road, where 34 Lapwing, 3 Curlew and 3 Redshank were logged.
All the news comes from Stanpit, where a Common Gull is an excellent summer record for the area. Also about the marsh, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Curlew and up to 20 Lapwing; while overhead, there were many recently fledged Sand Martin calling excitedly as they practised their feeding techniques.
This morning, a Hobby was over Wick Fields, along with a pair of Mediterranean Gull, while a further two birds came into the harbour over Mudeford Quay. From Fisherman's Bank, the Black-tailed Godwit was still present, as well as 5 Curlew and 13 Lapwing.
Unfortunately, there are no reports for the day.
A drake Tufted Duck on the river along Grimmery Bank this morning was the best for the day, while Fisherman's Bank came up with the Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew, 8 Lapwing and a pair of Canada Goose.
This is the month of fame for the near resident wader species that don't usually get a mention - namely 3 Curlew, 14 Lapwing and a Redshank from Fisherman's Bank today; while a summering Black-tailed Godwit is perhaps of slightly more interest. Once again, Hengistbury was given a visit, but provided the post with just half a dozen Common Tern feeding offshore. Of mammalian interest, late last night, a couple of Otter were on The Stour just outside the recording area.
A party of four, rather belated Sanderling, all in breeding plumage, feeding in The Run at low tide this morning were a worthy record for the date, while 2 Black-tailed Godwit inside the harbour added another morsel of interest. After a few weeks absence, Mediterranean Gull are starting to reappear: today saw single adults over Hengistbury and Wick, and a party of four birds, 2 adults and 2 first-summers at Stanpit. Also, a Peregrine seen over the head, where the continuing northerly blow is thwarting hopes of petrels and shearwaters in what is peak time of the year, given a favourable wind direction that is. Nevertheless, some time was spent at Double Dykes and produced 2 Fulmar, 2 Common Tern west, 23 Sandwich Tern milling and 11 Gannet east. There were a further 10 or so Sandwich Tern around Stanpit Bight, plus 4 Redshank; meanwhile, 40 Lapwing were spread across the marsh and fledgling Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting are now conspicuous, particularly around Parky Meade Rail.
Fisherman's Bank produced some midsummer wader interest this morning, with singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit present, while 17 Lapwing and 9 Redshank were slightly more expected. Hengistbury and Wick were also both visited, but failed to produce, so the only other news concerns 1-2 Common Tern hanging around Mudeford Quay at lunchtime, when a single Swallow was seen coming in-off.
There were no reports of birds received for the day, but two Adder were in a traditional spot on Wick Fields, as was a very young, small Grass Snake. It seems Fox have not fared well this season, with just one cub still around and nearly all the adults appearing to be suffering from mange.
A very quiet day, both in terms of birds and birders; but a singing Turtle Dove in Wick Ditch early this morning was something of a bonus.
The only reports for the day involve: 18 Lapwing, 3 Redshank and 6 Sandwich Tern, all from Argyle Road.
A stiff north-easterly breeze brought on a reasonable passage of Swift, all coasting into the wind. From Stanpit, between 7:30 and 10:00, a total of 507 were logged; then in 20-minutes from 12:50, a further 117 were counted from Mudeford Quay, some moving almost at sea level. From the timings, it seems possible the movement may have been going on all morning and some way into the afternoon. Almost inevitably, these attracted the attentions of a Hobby and a hopeful male Peregrine, while a pair of Shoveler was also seen airborne.
With only two-days to go before the birding tedium gives way to wall-to-wall footy, there was a brief moment of excitement late this morning when a Red Kite passed west over Two Riversmeet.
Additional news: a couple of Nightjar put on a good aerial and vocal show around the Ironstone Quarry at 21:50.
Fisherman's Bank saw 4 Redshank, a Lapwing, 19 Shelduck, but still no ducklings, and 117 Mute Swan.
Smithy's Field hosted a Garden Warbler this morning, which must have been a late spring arrivee, while a couple of first-summer Mediterranean Gull moved over Stanpit. Also airborne during the finer weather early in day were 4 Buzzard above The Priory, viewed from Hengistbury. From Fisherman's Bank, the wader presence comprised: 2 Curlew, a Redshank and a peak of 35 Lapwing.
There was again little coverage, but a Hobby was over Wick Fields in the morning, when a Cuckoo was heard from the HHC area.
Additional news: a pale Arctic Skua was in amongst the gulls off the end of the sandspit.
Apart from the expected breeding species that were seen on the well-attended walk this morning, there are only 25 Black-tailed Godwit over Stanpit and 7 settled Dunlin to remark upon for the day.
Additional news: in the early evening, a pale-phase Arctic Skua was harrying gulls off Whitepits, while much earlier in the day a Goldcrest was singing by the Horse Paddock on Wick. Stanpit was also visited late in the day and produced counts of: 23 Lapwing, 6 Redshank, 32 Shelduck and 11 Sandwich Tern.
Again, Wick produced a worthy record during these quiet times, when 2 Crossbill moved over west; along with a couple of first-summer Mediterranean Gull. Otherwise, it's just Fisherman's Bank, which chipped in with a Dunlin, a Redshank and 6 Lapwing.
There were a couple of interesting records from Wick this morning; when a female Stonechat, a species not recorded on the fields for some time, was with two recently fledged young. So, where they all came from is something of a mystery. Also a Siskin south over there, which for the date is quite out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, a high-flying group of 3 Heron passed west over Hengistbury and 5 Common Tern - three east at sea and two resting in the harbour - were also logged. From Fisherman's Bank, 2 Dunlin and 8 Redshank made the notebook, while the Gadwall was again in Barn Bight.
A murky morning saw a fair amount of passing wader interest at Stanpit, with 3 Grey Plover, a Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Ringed Plover all passing through east or north-east; but a Whimbrel, 15 Dunlin, a Curlew and 2 Redshank were more settled. The conditions also brought in 150 Swift, 15 House Martin and 35 Swallow, all north, while a male Yellow Wagtail and 3 Spotted Flycatcher passed over the marsh in the same direction. Other snippets for the day involved a drake Gadwall in Barn Bight and 3 Common Scoter, 12 Sandwich Tern and a couple of Gannet at sea.
A pretty wet day throughout, which saw only a couple of visits to Fisherman's Bank to remark upon. From there, 2 Lapwing, 20 Sandwich Tern, 22 Oystercatcher and 25 Shelduck were counted. Meanwhile, the reason behind the recent 'invasion' of large gulls may have just become apparent - since the winter, previously arable fields at Sopley have been turned over to pigs, whose food is simply irresistible to lazy, adolescent birds from miles around, and where better to sleep off a meal than Stanpit.