Sightings for August 2013

August 31st

Record shot of today's Wryneck – Mark Andrews
Clouded Yellow
Clouded Yellow are still being seen around the area – Hugh Goldsmith
Wall Brown
Wall Brown, which is a notable local record – Clinton Whale

Given the numbers that have been in the country for the last week, it was no real surprise but nevertheless very welcome when a Wryneck was discovered on Wick Fields mid-morning. The bird was showing well at times on the path that runs between the No Dogs and Bobolink Fields. The sea was also quite lively for an hour or so with 17 Manx Shearwater and 21 Balearic Shearwater being seen in the period prior to 9:00. During that time, in excess of 50 Wheatear were logged, but birds were still arriving along the cliff edges when the Red Arrows were showing at midday. In addition to those, there were 5 Whinchat, 11 Wheatear on Stanpit, 3 Spotted Flycatcher a Lesser Whitethroat and 15 Yellow Wagtail settled on Hengistbury and Wick, while 50 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Tree Pipit and 400 House Martin went over. No wader counts were made, but miscellaneous records came to: a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 5 Knot, 6 Black-tailed and 2 Snipe. Early on, an unkindness of 10 Raven arrived high from the west, circled the area and then headed on northward, but with at least five further birds being seen the day-total is certainly notable. A flock of 21 Wigeon passed through to the west, as did 6 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull.

August 30th

Mediterranean Gull
Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Alan Hayden

There were another couple of quality terns in the area today: firstly, a Roseate Tern was seen offshore from the Natterjack Pond; then in the afternoon, a juvenile Black Tern spent a good deal of time feeding between Blackberry Point and Mudeford Quay. Local passerine quality was provided by a male Yellowhammer feeding on a path on Wick, while 2 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, a Garden Warbler, 35 Whitethroat, 18 Blackcap, 20 Chiffchaff and 11 Willow Warbler were on the Barn and Long Fields. This being the first date of the autumn that ‘chiffs’ have outnumbered ‘willlows’. Incredibly, the were no Wheatear on Hengistbury in the morning, but there were two around Crouch Hill after lunch. Meanwhile, aerial migrants included a Swift, so we’re edging closer to a ‘september-bird’, 100 Yellow Wagtail, that figure not being an estimate, and 12 Grey Wagtail. Waders at Stanpit remain sparse, although 10 Sanderling is a good in-harbour number, along with a Knot, one (or some) calling but not seen Whimbrel and Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Turnstone, 11 Ringed Plover and 9 Dunlin. Kingfisher have been slightly later than normal in returning to the area, so a couple around Wick Hams are worth a mention, a Peregrine visited, a couple of Fulmar were at sea, a few Mediterranean Gull were about and the seemingly insane, drake Tufted Duck was hanging around with the local Mallard. 

August 29th

Wigeon – Alan Hayden

A young Osprey put on a bit of a show at around 11:40 this morning, when it made four unsuccessful plunges into the harbour before deciding to take a rest on the mud off South Marsh. This was short-lived, however, as a Greater Black-backed Gull took umbrage and jumped on the bewildered youngster, so forcing it to leave the area to the east. There were fewer Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit than of late - forty-three and six respectively - but flycatchers were once again reasonably represented, with 9 Spotted Flycatcher, most of the them on the Batters, and 2 Pied Flycatcher, those also on Hengistbury. In addition, 4 Whinchat, 6 Wheatear, 2 Garden Warbler and 25 Whitethroat were on the head. Other than a couple of Green Sandpiper on Wick, 5 Knot through the harbour and two more settled, there are no wader reports for the day. Meanwhile, a Pintail and 14 Wigeon were around the area, a recently fledged brood of Bearded Tit was seen and a Kingfisher was along Fisherman’s Bank.

August 28th

Between the high waters this afternoon, Stanpit held 3 Curlew Sandpiper, a Knot, a Greenshank, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Black-tailed Godwit; most of these being firm evidence of a long awaited influx of waders. Much earlier, a Little Stint overflew Wick with 2 Ringed Plover, while a couple of Turnstone also passed over there. Around the same time, birds seen from Hengistbury included a Little Ringed Plover, a Golden Plover, 6 Greenshank, 31 Ringed Plover and 48 Dunlin. Yellow Wagtail just missed the century this morning, with ninety-nine being the figure, a third of them over Wick and the rest over Hengistbury. Also, 12 Tree Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, a latish Swift and an early Siskin. There was a dozen Spotted Flycatcher in all, four of them in the North Scrubs, a Pied Flycatcher on the Batters, 3 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 15 Wheatear, 6 Garden Warbler, 40 Whitethroat and a couple of Blackcap. A juvenile Arctic Tern was at Stanpit, along with 15 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler and 23 Teal, a Hobby went over and a Nuthatch was on the Batters. Of butterfly interest, in addition to up to 10 Clouded Yellow having being recorded on each of the last few days, there is a tremendous presence of ‘whites’, particularly on the higher parts of Hengistbury.

August 27th

Black Tern
Black Tern
Black Tern, digi-scoped from a good distance – Alan Hayden

What was presumably yesterday’s Black Tern was again at Stanpit this morning, while an Osprey passed west over Hengistbury at around 7:20. Also on the move during a fine day were 8 Grey Heron - two in-off the sea and four out-to-sea - just over 100 Yellow Wagtail, including an impressive flock of forty-eight over Wick, and 11 Tree Pipit. The Batters hosted 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart was by the HHC and 5 Whinchat were on-site, most of them in the Barn Field. In addition, 12 Wheatear, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 20-25 Whitethroat, 9 Blackcap and a handful of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler were scattered across Wick and the western portion of Hengistbury. At Stanpit, the reported waders comprised: 8 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and 2 Ringed Plover; along with 7 Wigeon now settling into the marsh, that in spite of a good deal of canoe disturbance this afternoon. The remaining miscellany is provided by: a Grey Wagtail on Wick meadows, a Nuthatch in the Wood and a Kingfisher. Meanwhile, after seemingly not breeding on the Ironstone Quarry, quite why a Little Grebe was on there today is a bit odd.

August 26th

Ruff on Stanpit last night – Alan Hayden

Mondays have a habit of being good, but thankfully this time it was a Bank Holiday! The day started with a continuation of the northerly wind, but by lunchtime it had backed west and the daylight period finished very pleasantly indeed. Firstly, the highlights: early on, a Little Stint left west over the HHC in the company of 3 Dunlin, and a few moments later a Garganey did exactly the same thing with a Shoveler; at least 3 Pied Flycatcher were on-site - two on the Batters and one in the North Scrubs; 4 Balearic Shearwater were seen off Hengistbury; a Roseate Tern was at Stanpit during the afternoon; and early in the evening a juvenile Black Tern was hanging around the tip of South Marsh. It was another good day for Yellow Wagtail - the aggregate tally from all locations being 102 birds - as well as 12 or so Tree Pipit. The Whinchat figure reached seven, along with 42 Wheatear, 2 Redstart and 4 Garden Warbler. Winter wildfowl again featured, with 6 Pintail, 11 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon and 71 Teal being logged in total, plus 3 Gadwall. The pick of the waders were 3 Green Sandpiper at Stanpit, where there were also 4 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Dunlin and 11 Ringed Plover. The peak count of Common Tern inside the harbour came to 61 birds, while 18 Mediterranean Gull, nearly all of them moving west, and 3 Common Gull were also noted. To finish off, a Nuthatch was on the Batters in the morning and a Hobby hunted over Stanpit recreation ground in the evening. For those that follow the area closely, please check back over the last week's reports for some extra items that have just been added.

Omission: a Grey Wagtail was also on the move with the Tree Pipit. 

August 25th

A northerly wind that blew across the harbour made it really rather chilly this morning, with comments even being made about the need for gloves early on. It was fairly quiet to start with, but as the morning progressed chats started to appear - namely 8 Whinchat and 35 Wheatear on Hengistbury, with a further six of the latter on Crouch Hill, Stanpit. In the North Scrubs, there was a Spotted Flycatcher and at least 4 Garden Warbler, while 25 Whitethroat were across the Barn Field. Around 9:00-9:30, there was a spectacular gathering of hirundines over Hengistbury, which slowly dissipated to the north and contained up to 1000 birds - 750 of them reckoned to be House Martin. Not surprisingly, these attracted a Hobby on a couple of occasions, with up to 15 Yellow Wagtail and 7 Tree Pipit also being logged overhead. The wader presence, despite some real attention, was again very disappointing, although a Little Ringed Plover was seen along Grimmery Bank. Otherwise, the Stanpit Bight area could manage just: 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Ringed Plover and 15 Dunlin. Teal once again featured, with over 30 birds on site, as well as a drake Gadwall and the resident Tufted Duck.

Additional news: the evening at Stanpit saw 13 Goosander fly upriver, as well as 3 Ruff, a Knot and 70 Yellow Wagtail.

August 24th

Turnstone on the sandspit – Clinton Whale

Although the wind was westerly veering to north-westerly as the day progressed, which are never favourable vectors, there was actually a good bit to be seen, particularly during the morning. Starting with waders, the following were noted from either the HHC, Fisherman’s Bank or Crouch Hill: at least 3 Green Sandpiper, a Knot, a Ruff, 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 4 Sanderling, 6 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Snipe and 2 Ringed Plover; while half-a-dozen Turnstone were on the sandspit. There were fewer terns than yesterday, but an adult Roseate Tern was in Stanpit Bight during the afternoon and a couple of juvenile Arctic Tern had been hanging around with 35 Common Tern earlier in the day. The minimum Yellow Wagtail total for the day was sixty-three, but with the ‘heard-onlys’ going down as single birds there were likely more; in addition, 3 Tree Pipit went over and 3 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Wheatear were about the area. The sea was given a go for around an hour, but all the action came in the first ten minutes when 21 Balearic Shearwater, in groups of seven and fourteen, headed west past the Natterjack Pond. The first returning Wigeon were represented by 2 birds inside the harbour as well as four west at sea, with other wildfowl interest coming from 4 Shoveler and 65 Teal. Over the last couple of weeks Mediterranean Gull numbers have steadily diminished, so a a flock of ten at sea is worth a mention, but otherwise there were perhaps a similar number inside the harbour, as well as an adult Common Gull. To complete the post, a Peregrine was seen at Stanpit. 

Additional news: to counter the previous comment on Mediterranean Gull, there were ninety-five off Mudeford Quay early in the morning.

August 23rd

Whimbrel – Alan Hayden

An easterly breeze saw the first passage of hirundines for the autumn as 620 Swallow, 420 Sand Martin and 130 House Martin headed into the light wind. Also airborne over Hengistbury, 8 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Tree Pipit, plus 9 westbound Black-tailed Godwit. Terns were a plenty, both inside the harbour and offshore, with estimates of 250+ and 50 of Sandwich Tern and Common Tern respectively. Also seen at sea were an Arctic Skua, a Balearic Shearwater and 4 Fulmar. At Stanpit, small waders were almost non-existent with just 2 Sanderling being logged amongst an insignificant number of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. However, there were 3 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Black-tailed Godwit amongst the larger birds on show. A Redstart and 6 Wheatear were the only evidence of migrant passerines; a Shoveler, a Gadwall and 7 Teal were around; and a Kingfisher was about Hengistbury. 

August 22nd

The morning saw an excellent variety of waders across the area. At Fisherman’s Bank, there were 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Knot, a Greenshank, 8 Whimbrel , a Bar-tailed Godwit and 9 Black-tailed Godwit; while birds seen in flight from Hengistbury, mostly leaving the area, included a Little Stint, a Little Ringed Plover, a Ruff, a Spotted Redshank, a further Green Sandpiper, 2 Turnstone, 7 Snipe and 26 Ringed Plover. Meanwhile, in addition to 30 Common Tern inside the harbour, a Roseate Tern moved through to the west. Passerine-wise, the Long Field was the place to be, with 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat, 4 Redstart, 28 Willow Warbler and 85 Whitethroat being turned in from there, along with 8 Tree Pipit and 12 Yellow Wagtail over. Finally, Bearded Tit were heard by the HHC and 16 Teal were mobile about the recording area.

Additional news: 37 Whimbrel headed south over the sandspit in the evening.

August 21st

Mediterranean Gull
Juvenile Mediterranean Gull moulting into first-winter plumage – Alan Hayden
Peregrine Peregrine
...and Peregrine at Stanpit recently – Alan Hayden

Osprey has been predicted for the last couple of weeks, so the ‘mullet hawk’ that cruised over the harbour and headed towards the Isle of Wight at 9:30 this morning wasn’t at all unexpected. Also moving over were 5 Tree Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail, with a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Wheatear, 15 Willow Warbler and 35 Whitethroat settled between the HHC and the Long Field. At Stanpit, late in the afternoon there were 2 Ruff, one of them actually a reeve; while earlier there had been 3 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, 10 Ringed Plover and 24 Dunlin. Resting terns were also in evidence - 9 Common Tern and 85 Sandwich Tern being the peak returns. 

August 20th

Greenshank Greenshank
Greenshank at Stanpit last night – Alan Hayden

There is little to report, but a Little Stint at Stanpit is a decent bit of news for the day. Also there, a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Garden Warbler, plus 2 Swift over.

Additional news: other waders at Stanpit during the evening included: 2 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Ringed Plover and 21 Sanderling; as well as a Teal and a Peregrine. 

Further news: an Osprey came in from high west over the sandspit.

August 19th

After a relatively quiet weekend for passerine migrants, there were plenty about the site this morning - with Stanpit holding the lion’s share. The best were a couple of Turtle Dove that left the North Scrubs and headed towards Wick, but also 15 Tree Pipit, including a flock of twelve, 27 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Swift over. Meanwhile, a total of 23 Wheatear were decked, along with 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 16 Willow Warbler. On the Hengistbury side, there were a couple of Redstart, a further 6 Wheatear, singles of Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, plus a smattering of Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. The same Marsh Harrier as yesterday again put in an appearance at around 7:30, seen from Crouch Hill, while a Hobby and a Peregrine also visited the area. The pick of the waders was a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, with other interest provided by 2 Sanderling, 21 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Black-tailed Godwit. To round up, a Nuthatch was along Roebury Lane and 32 Teal were at Stanpit, where a Raven was logged, as were 5 Bearded Tit. Of butterfly interest, at least 4 Clouded Yellow were on Hengistbury. 

Additional new: 190 Canada Goose and 3 Greylag Goose were on the sea off Mudeford Quay early in the day, while a Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 9 Ringed Plover were at Stanpit just before dusk.

Further news: there were 2 Nightjar on the top of Hengistbury tonight.

August 18th

One of 6 Wheatear on Crouch Hill this morning – Clinton Whale
Holly Blue
Holly Blue – Clinton Whale

The wind had died away somewhat overnight, but there was still enough to tempt a few to venture to the far end of Hengistbury. As it was, a leisurely breakfast may have been a better use of time, save for 3 Balearic Shearwater and a juvenile Kittiwake west, plus an incoming Greylag Goose, spread across the 2.5-hour vigil. Early on, a young Marsh Harrier was seen from both sides of the area, while the combined wader totals involve: 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and a mixed, thirty strong flock of Sanderling and Ringed Plover. A Swift headed into the wind over Hengistbury and there was a party of 6 Wheatear on Crouch Hill.

Additional news: a juvenile Kittiwake was inside the harbour.

August 17th

Common Tern
Common Tern - Alan Hayden

Prior to 7:00 this morning, there was no wind at all and this gave rise to a brief flurry of migrants. In addition to a Redstart and Lesser Whitethroat in the Bobolink Field, around 45 Whitethroat and 20 Willow Warbler were on Hengistbury and Wick, while 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail and 4 Tree Pipit went over. Then, almost instantly, the wind picked up and very shortly reached a constant 30km/h or so. As a consequence, the next couple of hours by the Natterjack Pond produced at total of 26 Balearic Shearwater west, including a flock of 18 birds that probably represents the second largest gathering the area has experienced. To complement the shearwaters, a Great Skua headed into The Solent, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were milling offshore and 19 Common Tern, 7 Common Scoter and 2 Fulmar passed. Also during the morning, a Kingfisher around Wick Hams and 5 Teal heading upriver. This afternoon, a 90-minute spell at Mudeford Quay came up with just 15 Common Tern, despite the promising conditions.

August 16th

As a result of the early rain, the sea was watched from 7:00 to 11:00 from both Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts. The former site produced a juvenile Arctic Tern feeding amongst 10 or so Common Tern and a constant presence of 25 or so Mediterranean Gull. As the gulls were a mixture of ages, it was clear to see there was a turnover of individuals, meaning at least 50 birds were involved in all. Meanwhile, combined numbers for the two locations included: around 70 Common Scoter, a Kittiwake, 6 Fulmar, an auk sp., 55 or so Gannet and a Hobby. Not mentioned so far are Sandwich Tern, but there had been a clear influx with the day’s highest count - 120 - coming from Fisherman’s Bank this afternoon. Waders throughout the tide cycle came to: a Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Turnstone, plus about forty each of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Also inside the harbour around the water, 2 Shoveler and a Gadwall. A couple of Swift passed over Stanpit - we’re now at the point of noting all of these - as did a trickle of Swallow and Sand Martin, but the only other evidence of migration was a Wheatear on Crouch Hill.

August 15th

Water Rail Moorhen
Parky Meade living up to its name - Water Rail (top) & Moorhen – Alan Crockard

There is very little to report for today, save for 28 Ringed Plover and 33 Dunlin, as well as around 95 Sandwich Tern, all inside the harbour. 

Additional new: at Stanpit in the evening, there were 12 Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 10 Dunlin, as well as in excess of 55 Mediterranean Gull.

August 14th

A windless dawn provided the challenge of a wealth of biting insects, but did see a light covering of migrants. The best being a Pied Flycatcher by the Lily Pond, but also 5 Tree Pipit over and up to 50 Willow Warbler, all these on the Hengistbury and Wick side of the river. Just after 11:00, a female-type Marsh Harrier cruised west over Wick and 3 Sparrowhawk seen there were notable as that species has been largely absent for the last few weeks. Before moving to the waders, Bearded Tit were in the HHC reeds, 2 Eider passed west at sea and 3 Teal were inside the harbour. A decent variety at Stanpit included: a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 9 Whimbrel, 6 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Snipe, 32 Ringed Plover and 18 Dunlin; many of these on view only when disturbed by what was most likely a large raptor that slipped through unseen. 

August 13th

There were good numbers of Willow Warbler on the move at Hengistbury this morning with a minimum of 125 counted in the first couple of hours of daylight; also on site were 25 Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear plus another on Crouch Hill and one each of Whinchat, Redstart and Garden Warbler. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was opposite Fisherman's Bank while 75 Mediterranean Gull were logged at Mudeford Quay.  Stanpit held a good selection of waders albeit in small numbers with 12 Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Sandpiper, 6 Sanderling, 6 Snipe, 4 Turnstone, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and 1 Grey Plover.  A Kingfisher was by Parky Meade Rail where Bearded Tit were also present.

August 12th

Whinchat – Leo Pyke

Hengistbury again saw a scattering of common, returning migrants - the numbers being: 2 Whinchat, 12 Wheatear, 2 Garden Warbler and up to fifty each of Willow Warbler and Whitethroat. In addition, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Tree Pipit passed over. At Stanpit, the waders were represented by a Green Sandpiper that pitched onto the mud briefly, 2 Sanderling, 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe and 3 Dunlin. There were also 5 Bearded Tit recorded and a couple of Teal were in Mother Siller’s Channel.

August 11th

Sanderling – Clinton Whale
Common Lizard
Common Lizard – Olly Frampton
Wheatear – Jean Southworth

A series of early morning showers meant that Mudeford Quay was afforded a bit of time this morning, an exercise that produced a Black Tern amongst 45 Common Tern. Also from there, 10 Sanderling and a drake Common Scoter in The Run. Elsewhere, there was a scattering of migrants - the Willow Warbler count from Hengistbury and Wick coming to 44 birds, with a Lesser Whitethroat on the Long Field, a Garden Warbler on Wick and a Wheatear on the Barn Field being the best of the other common passerines. Other than the previously mentioned Sanderling, all the wader numbers come from Fisherman’s Bank from where 3 Greenshank, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper and 14 Whimbrel were returned. Back on Hengistbury, a Nuthatch was again in the Wood; and a Marbled White butterfly, scarcely seen in the area, was along Wick Ditch and made for the second record for the year.

August 10th

A still, cloudy morning was made quite unpleasant by the biting insects on Stanpit, where the only real highlight was the surprise of a Ring-necked Parakeet heading west over Priory Marsh and then being seen over Wick. A couple of Green Sandpiper were also around those areas, while the low tide in Parky Meade Rail saw at least half-a-dozen Water Rail, including some juveniles, on show. On the other side of the water, Hengistbury and Wick experienced a nice presence of Willow Warbler, with in excess of 100 birds being the estimate, along with 2 Garden Warbler and small numbers of Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. Meanwhile, a further Garden Warbler and a Grasshopper Warbler were in the North Scrubs, 3 Tree Pipit went over, two above Wick and one above Crouch Hill, a Wheatear was on Central Marsh and a single Swift was seen over The Priory. Subsequent to the first couple of hours of daylight, there was then a light passage of Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow into the increasing westerly breeze. Despite the early morning spring low tide, the expected waders were sparse - the totals being just: a Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 10 Whimbrel, a Knot, some Ringed Plover heard, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Snipe and 20 or so Dunlin. Early on, a minimum of 4 Bearded Tit were vocally active on the edge of Parky Meade Rail and a lone Teal was in Stanpit Bight.

August 9th

Whitethroat – Jean Southworth

Quail are recorded only once in every few years, so one flushed on the Barn Field this morning was a real bonus. Otherwise, apart from local interest provided by a Nuthatch in the Wood, there was little out-of-the-ordinary. Amongst a handful of commoner migrants, there were 3 Yellow Wagtail and a Wheatear on Hengistbury, while 5 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 14 Ringed Plover and 46 Dunlin were logged, most of them checking-out on the morning flood tide. Meanwhile, the miscellany came from: a couple of Bearded Tit in the HHC reeds, 5 Shoveler and a Raven. Please check back to yesterday for some additional pieces of interest.

Additional news: a Green Sandpiper was at Stanpit in the evening, while the Mediterranean Gull count reached fifty-seven.

Butterfly and Odonata Update 9th August 2013
Gatekeepers have emerged en masse, along with Meadow Browns, while Small Skippers are still in evidence with smaller numbers of Large Skippers. Quite a few Purple Hairstreaks are still around the Oaks in the wood. Painted Ladies, Peacocks and Red Admirals are around in small numbers. Of more unusual species, Clouded Yellow has been seen on a couple of occasions in the last week, and a Marbled White was a good local record late last month.
In terms of Dragonflies this seems to be a good year for Brown Hawkers, with regular recent sightings of ones or twos. Recent weeks have also seen several sighting of Scarce Chaser in reed bed areas and a few Southern Hawkers are around. Of smaller species, there are continuing big numbers of Common Blue Damselflies, and somewhat fewer Small Red Damselflies. Of note is a record of Emerald Damselfly on the Lily Pond this week.

Information provided by Chris Chapleo 

August 8th

Sandwich Tern Sandwich Tern
Adult Sandwich Tern, now in varying states of head moult – Alan Hayden

For the second day in succession, there were passerine migrants on-site but not in quite the same numbers as the previous 24-hour period. The pick were a Pied Flycatcher and 2 Grasshopper Warbler on Stanpit, with combined figures of others from all locations coming to: 8 Garden Warbler, 63 Willow Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail. A Garganey, possibly the same bird as from a couple of days ago, was around Stanpit Bight, as were: 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, 7 Ringed Plover and a Black-tailed Godwit, plus a further nine of the latter west. To round up, a Hobby was over Wick and 8 Mediterranean Gull were inside the harbour. 

Additional news: a flock of 11 Goosander headed downriver just before 6:00 in the morning, while a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was on the Driving Range and a Little Ringed Plover overflew. Also, a Cuckoo on the Stanpit side.

August 7th

Reed Warbler
Recently fledged Reed Warbler – Alan Hayden

 Migration clearly moved up a gear today on what was easily the best morning of the 'autumn' so far.  A total of 310 Willow Warbler was logged on Hengistbury between 5:30am & 9:30am; also 65 Sedge Warbler, 5 Garden Warbler, 2 Redstart and one each of Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear.  Earlier a 'redhead' Goosander was on the river.  It was a good day for waders with eighteen species in all including both Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint in flight over the harbour, the latter in the company of a few Dunlin, 105 of these were noted 'coming and going' while another 40 were on Stanpit.  The numbers were 10 Whimbrel, 5 Ringed Plover plus 32 arriving, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone and singles of Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit plus 4 west, Grey Plover and Snipe. Stanpit saw a steady arrival of Mediterranean Gull with 109 counted while 9 Gadwall and 4 Shoveler were about.  Finally, a couple of Raven were unwelcome visitors to the Nursery.

August 6th

Garganey Garganey
Garganey in Stanpit Bight last night – Alan Hayden

With the conditions once more returning to those resembling summer, there was a nice selection of returning passerine migrants to be had around the area. In addition to over 40 Sedge Warbler ringed, nine were field-recorded; along with a Wheatear on Crouch Hill, the first of the autumn, 2 Garden Warbler, 21 Willow Warbler, and 9 Whitethroat, with most of the warblers being about Wick. A better-than-of-late wader presence at Stanpit included: a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Common Sandpiper, 13 Whimbrel, 9 Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin; while over 80 Common Tern, a Common Gull, 10 Teal and a couple of the regular Bearded Tit were also seen there. From three birds in the morning, by late in the afternoon the Mediterranean Gull reached fifty-two. Please check back to yesterday for some extra news.

August 5th

Reed Bunting
One of the many young Reed Bunting around Stanpit – Clinton Whale

An uneventful day saw just a Treecreeper and a Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs, as well as 100 or so Sandwich Tern around Stanpit Bight.

Additional news: Stanpit in the evening was far more productive, not least with a Garganey that arrived in the company of 4 Mallard. Also, a Knot, a Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper, 9 Whimbrel, 9 Ringed Plover and 34 Dunlin, as well as 24 Mediterranean Gull.

August 4th

Curlew and Whimbrel Curlew and Whimbrel
An excellent comparison of Curlew (left) and Whimbrel – Alan Crockard

After yesterday’s elements of interest, the sea was disappointing this morning - the much reduced number of Gannet doing nothing to raise hopes for something better. Mudeford Quay produced 5 Little Tern, while 22 Common Scoter, a Fulmar and around 50 Gannet were turned in from Hengistbury. Stanpit was described as, ‘dire,’ but there was a Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight. 

August 3rd

Kestrel Kestrel
Male Kestrel on Crouch Hill, Stanpit – Clinton Whale

A south-westerly wind brought plenty of Gannet within easy reach of Hengistbury and Mudeford Quay this morning, when each scan normally produced at least seventy individuals. Notably, there was a high percentage of immature birds and relatively few adults. Hopes were high for more to be seen with them, but as it was just singles of Balearic Shearwater and Manx Shearwater before and after lunch respectively were the best, as well as a supporting cast of 22 Common Scoter and a Fulmar. A juvenile Peregrine spent a good deal of time buzzing the cliffs at Hengistbury, even attempting to maraud the aforementioned Fulmar and a Carrion Crow; both of which proved more than capable of dealing with the threat, however. Waders at Stanpit continue to be in the shadow of nearby Solent sites, with only 6 Whimbrel, 3 Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin being worthy of note on the afternoon flood tide. Around the same time, there was just shy of a 100 Mediterranean Gull on South Marsh, but birds were still trickling in from the valley, while earlier a Grey Wagtail had been on Wick. 

Additional news: 5 Balearic Shearwater, in flocks of three and two, passed west off Hengistbury in the evening.

August 2nd

Black-tailed Godwit Black-tailed Godwit
A couple of adult Black-tailed Godwit – Alan Crockard

Not atypically, things seem to have slowed down a bit as we head into the weekend. There is no news from Hengistbury or Wick, while Stanpit could muster just 4 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Ringed Plover and up to 30 Dunlin. In addition, Bearded Tit were heard on Priory Marsh, a Hobby hunted the local Sand Martin and South Marsh hosted a constant twenty or so loafing Mediterranean Gull, although there was a steady turnover of birds meaning a good deal more were actually involved. 

August 1st

A really hot day saw an equally decent selection of birds. At around 7:00 an Osprey cut through the area to the east, while an hour earlier a flock of 26 Crossbill headed over Wick in the same direction. A couple of Wood Sandpiper came up from the Wooden Bridge area and a Green Sandpiper left Priory Marsh to settle in Central Marsh, with other waders recorded coming courtesy of: a Spotted Redshank west, likewise 11 Greenshank,  including a flock of seven, and a Grey Plover; 3 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling and 3 Ringed Plover. There was also a surprising number of passerine migrants about Stanpit, not least a Wood Warbler in the North Scrubs along with 10 or so Willow Warbler. Elsewhere about the marsh, there was a juvenile Cuckoo, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 70 Sedge Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail. Aerially, 85 Sand Martin headed into the easterly wind and 37 Common Tern went with the breeze; also a further 17 Common Tern settled and at least 3 Little Tern around. Finally, five or so Bearded Tit were logged. 

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