Sightings for January 2018
Dartford Warbler in the morning sun – Alan Crockard
On a fine day, there was a Firecrest by the Double Bends in the Wood, while a pair of Bullfinch were along Roebury Lane. At Stanpit, there was another good Black-tailed Godwit return – approximately 300 – along with 150 Lapwing, 9 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 51 Brent Goose and 3 Shelduck.
There is little to report today. The Spoonbill was on the tip of South Marsh and a pair of Bullfinch were by the Wooden Bridge. Off Mudeford Quay, a single, large raft of Cormorant numbered around 160 birds.
Grey Heron already in the courtship process – Alan Crockard
The Black-tailed Godwit using the area are building to impressive numbers – around 580 estimated from Fisherman’s Bank around midday. In addition, there was a single Bar-tailed Godwit, 60 or so Dunlin, 400 Lapwing and 4 Pintail. The best from the other side was 2 Redpoll at the eastern end of the Batters, as well as a couple of Bullfinch on Wick, where a Kingfisher was seen from the Viewing Platform and 6 Song Thrush were in full voice.
Firecrest on Hengistbury – Alan Crockard
The Stilt Sandpiper was again either on North Marsh or in Stanpit Creek, while the Spoonbill remains and the fourth-calendar-year, male Marsh Harrier returned after a short absence. Meanwhile, a Firecrest was on Hengistbury, a pair of Bullfinch was in Roebury Lane and the Spotted Redshank was at Stanpit. Also on the marsh, around 350 Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Pintail, 10 Shoveler and 4 Mediterranean Gull.
Spoonbill – Robert Gray
Other than the first couple of hours of daylight, it was another rain-induced write-off. The only news is of the Spoonbill in Brewer’s Creek and a Firecrest in the Nursery. The information services were also reporting the Stilt Sandpiper from Fisherman’s Bank. Tomorrow’s forecast looks decent for the sojourn to Weymouth.
Redwing – Robert Gray
All the directly-received reports of the Stilt Sandpiper relate to the mud at the northern end of Stanpit Creek, but there was an information services post of it on North Marsh just after lunch. The morning at Fisherman’s Bank was particularly wader-rich, with 2 Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, 6 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 240 Black-tailed Godwit and 240 Dunlin on show. Meanwhile, the Pintail presence rose to 36 birds, as well as 12 Shoveler and a Gadwall, but just 4 Brent Goose. This winter has been the worst since the species became a regular on the south coast and hopefully not linked to the increasing presence of Canada Goose about the area! The sea was looked at from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts, and came up with 2 Eider, 12 Common Scoter and 5 Great Crested Grebe, all settled. Rounding up, there were 3 Redwing around the Recreation Ground.
By local standards, it’s turning into an exceptional winter for Bullfinch – today’s total on Wick being seven – a single male, the rest females. The only other news, however, is of a Peregrine over the same area.
A largely wet and windy day, the only news being: a Kittiwake and 4 Gannet west at sea; a Great Crested Grebe in Barn Bight; and 12 Pintail, 4 Shoveler and a Peregrine at Stanpit.
A constant mirk made birding difficult today. The forms of 2 Marsh Harrier could be seen over the Wick reeds, before they headed off towards Stanpit, but the poor light meant no plumage detail could be seen. A short while later, the Spoonbill also moved off in the direction of Stanpit over Wick. The recent, mild temperatures have encouraged some song, however – a total of 6 Song Thrush were belting out around Wick Fields this morning.
Purple Sandpiper – Colin Raymond
Today started as yesterday had finished – wet; but things soon improved. Early in the day, a Firecrest was in the Nursery, a couple of Purple Sandpiper were on groynes at the southern end of Double Dykes, a Bullfinch was about the Old Depot site and a flock of at least 12 Linnet, something of a winter rarity in the area, was on North Marsh. Later, at Stanpit, the Spoonbill was seen, along with a Grey Plover, around 175 Black-tailed Godwit and over 50 Dunlin; plus 11 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, eleven of these had previously overflown the Recreation Ground, 51 Brent Goose and 3 Common Gull.
Despite the commendable efforts of the counters, this morning’s WeBS count was pretty much a wash-out. The best being a Purple Sandpiper with a few Turnstone by the Double Dykes, but also 52 Black-tailed Godwit, 87 Dunlin, 9 Pintail and 44 Brent Goose. The only non-waterbird news is the 4 Bullfinch on Wick – two by the Wooden Bridge and two by the Viewing Platform.
The Stilt Sandpiper started the day on North Marsh, but around mid-morning suddenly left the area and headed for Coward’s Marsh in the Lower Avon Valley. Meanwhile, the Spoonbill was seen in flight from Wick before it wandered around North Marsh and eventually went to sleep; also a Ruff there and a Water Pipit was by Parky Meade Rail. Elsewhere, a couple of Redwing were on Wick and the first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was around the inner shore of Mudeford Quay during the afternoon.
Knot – Roger Howell
Teal – Paul Turton
The Stilt Sandpiper was again on North Marsh, for the morning at least, where at times it was very close to the path. Also about the marsh: the Spoonbill, a Sandwich Tern, a Knot, around 50 Dunlin, 2 Shoveler and 16 Pintail. Over on Hengistbury, a Treecreeper was in the Wood.
Stilt Sandpiper – Chris Dresh (upper) & Alan Hayden
The since-last-Friday-predicted first-for-the-harbour came off today, when a Stilt Sandpiper spent most of the morning on North Marsh, Stanpit. Actually, according to a photograph on social media, it had been present since at least yesterday, but not realised as such. In case none of this makes sense, the bird was discovered in the Lower Avon Valley last Friday, after touring various Dorset locations since September. Also on the marsh, but playing second fiddle by a long chalk, were the Spoonbill, a Knot and 50+ Brent Goose. Meanwhile, over on Wick, there was a total of 4 Bullfinch.
Goosander – Paul Turton
Meadow Pipit – Steve Hogan
Bar–tailed Godwit – Scott Usher
This morning, at Stanpit, there was: the Spoonbill, a redhead Goosander, 32 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, a Gadwall and a sharp rise of Brent Goose to 110; while 3 Chiffchaff were on the golf course embankment and 5 Redwing were in the North Scrubs. Late in the afternoon, at dusk, an adult Caspian Gull was at Mudeford Quay, as well as a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, a couple of Sandwich Tern, 2 Red-throated Diver west and 15 Common Scoter.
Curlew – Chris Dresh (upper) & Roger Tidball
Another quiet day, during which the only news is of the Spoonbill on Wick Hams this morning, before it left north, and 2 Bullfinch by the Viewing Platform.
Rock Pipit – Robert Gray
On a wet and windy day, the only reports are of the Spoonbill by the Bailey Bridge, Stanpit, and 3 Bullfinch on Wick.
Bullfinch – Chris Dresh
There were 3 Spoonbill in total today – two which passed east over the area, seen above Mudeford Quay, and the regular that showed well at Stanpit before heading to the western side of the area. Meanwhile, the expected male Marsh Harrier was about and there were at least 5 Bullfinch across Wick. A short seawatch from the quay produced: a diver to the west, a circuiting Shoveler, a Common Scoter east and 3 Great Crested Grebe. Of mammal interest, a Common Seal was in The Run.
Peregrine 62 parking a teal – Chris Dresh
Spoonbill – Chris Dresh
Once more, as the photos confirm, the regulars played ball. The Spoonbill was around North Marsh, while Peregrine 62 spent most of the day on South Marsh. The male Marsh Harrier was obliging throughout the morning and this evening left high to the east. He has actually been suspected of roosting somewhere in that direction and this was further evidence to support the case. Around the southern edge of Parky Meade Rail, there were two, but possibly three, Water Pipit – one of them already acquiring a grey head – and a Spotted Redshank was in Stanpit Creek, where 4 Black-tailed Godwit and c60 Dunlin also fed. Earlier, a second Marsh Harrier was around and 100+ Black-tailed Godwit overflew. The Pintail count came to 20, but the Brent Goose figure remains dismal – less than ten! Finally, there were hopes for a second addition in the course of a week to the harbour list. After it was learnt on Tuesday that the 2005 elegant tern had been formally accepted by the BBRC, this morning the stilt sandpiper flew high south from Coward’s Marsh with around 100 black-tailed godwit. However, despite extensive searching, neither the godwit flock nor the ‘stilt sand’ could be found anywhere in the recording area.
Kingfisher – Brian Wadie
Most of the regulars were present and correct today, although for the second time in a week there were 2 Spotted Redshank – both off Fisherman’s Bank around midday. In addition, the Spoonbill was logged on South Marsh and the male Marsh Harrier visited both sides of the harbour. Also becoming regular is a pair of Peregrine, the male a colour-ringed bird (Black 62) that hatched on Chichester Cathedral in 2015 – today the birds were settled on South and Central Marshes, at the latter spot seemingly doing a bit of bonding that involved an unfortunate duck Teal. The remaining news comes from 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 39 Dunlin and the dodgy Emperor Goose.
Oystercatcher – Clinton Whale
No records have been received from this morning presumably due to the overnight fog that hung around until c10:30am. This afternoon, however, a visit to Stanpit produced a good mix of species including a sub-adult male Marsh Harrier and the regular Spotted Redshank, also a Knot, 9 Grey Plover, 15 Ringed Plover, 21 Pintail, 125 Black-tailed Godwit, 156 Dunlin and 300 Lapwing. Later, at dusk, the Spoonbill was in Barn Bight. Additional news: from Hengistbury this morning, an Eider was on the sea, while 16 Common Scoter, 2 Pintail and a Gadwall were also logged. In the Wood, both a single Firecrest and a Treecreeper were present. Thanks to Russell Wynn for an excellent talk at a well-attended meeting last night.
Bullfinch – Robert Gray
On a glorious spring-like morning many birds were in full song on Hengistbury, particularly Song Thrush with at least six individuals between the Wick platform and the Long Field. The Marsh Harrier hunted over Wick Hams before perching in full view for twenty minutes or so while the Spoonbill, initially asleep on South Marsh, crossed the harbour around mid-morning to feed in Brewer's Creek. Elsewhere the Treecreeper was in the wood and 3 Bullfinch were on Wick Fields.
The Spoonbill made a short excursion to Hengistbury this morning, when it was seen on Wick Hams. The Marsh Harrier was also seen there, but over at Stanpit as well, where it interacted with a Peregrine and caused great alarm. The hams also held a good number of Lapwing – over 150 birds – while, off Fisherman’s Bank, there was: the Spotted Redshank, a Knot, 2 Grey Plover, just 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Dunlin; along with 3 Pintail, 6 Shoveler and 17 Shelduck.
There were various bits and pieces at sea today, with reports coming from Mudeford Quay, the Beach Huts and Double Dykes. A couple of Black-throated Diver passed close east, while a further headed in the same direction but over the end of the head itself. In addition, a Great Northern Diver and 4 Red-throated Diver moved west, with a flock of six of the latter travelling towards the Solent. Also logged were: 3 Eider, 6 Shag, at least 8 Great Crested Grebe and 25 Common Gull, those all east. As well as the expected 25 or so Common Scoter on the water, there was a surprise congregation of dabbling duck – estimated at 160 Wigeon, 30 Pintail and 25 Teal. Meanwhile, wildfowl inside the harbour included 15 Pintail, 2 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall and 8 Shelduck. A couple of Purple Sandpiper were on groynes between Double Dykes and Whitepits, the Spotted Redshank was in Stanpit Creek and a Bar-tailed Godwit was by Mudeford Quay. The male Marsh Harrier was briefly around Wick Hams, the first-winter Yellow-legged Gull busied itself with a discarded tennis ball that evidently appeared edible and 2 Kingfisher were logged.
In the cruel, north-easterly wind, the sea was watched for a couple of hours from mid-morning; when, despite the offshore nature of the blow, 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Fulmar could be seen passing west, while a further 7 Red-throated Dover, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 15 auks headed towards the Solent. The Spoonbill remained inside the harbour, being seen at Stanpit and off Fisherman’s Bank, from where 2 Spotted Redshank were logged.
A north-easterly wind made for quite a cold day, during which the Spoonbill remained at Stanpit – dividing its time between North Marsh, where it had teamed up with a Little Egret, and Central Marsh. Also around, the male Marsh Harrier, which has just entered its fourth calendar-year and the Spotted Redshank off Fisherman’s Bank. Other birds logged from the bank included: a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c250 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 14 Pintail, 5 Shoveler and at least one Kingfisher. Elsewhere, there were 3 Bullfinch on Wick.
Jay – Robert Gray
Crow – Clinton Whale
...and the Salt Hurns at highwater
During another day of very high tides, the Spoonbill sought sanctuary at the base of Crouch Hill before moving into the North Scrubs, as most of Stanpit was once more underwater. There were 14 Pintail about the marsh, also 2 Gadwall and 12 Shoveler, plus 250 Black-tailed Godwit and a dozen Dunlin. A further 50 of the latter were on sandspit groyne S9, where they were mixed in with 2 Purple Sandpiper and some Ringed Plover. The sea was watched for a couple of hours from Mudeford Quay, where all birds were moving west. A close-up Black-throated Diver led the way, while also logged were 12 Brent Geese, 6 Gannet, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Common Gull and singles of Guillemot, Kittiwake, Mediterranean Gull and Great Crested Grebe; another of these was in Barn Bight. Rather frustratingly, a harrier, probably a ringtail, came out of Christchurch Bay and entered the harbour over the Run, but the views were inconclusive. Finally, a Peregrine was over Hengistbury and eight presumed ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit were on the marsh.
The Spoonbill was on what remained of East Marsh this morning as most of Stanpit was once again under water; also present were a dozen Pintail and a minimum of 250 Black-tailed Godwit. The best of the rest was a Peregrine over Barn Bight, 3 Bullfinch on Wick Fields and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull west past the Mudeford Quay.
Additional news: a Firecrest was on Wick.
Green Woodpecker on Hengistbury – Mike Lyons
A strong westerly wind prompted seawatches from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay. The peak counts from both, being: 2 Red-throated Diver, 3 Kittiwake, 2 Guillemot, 4 Razorbill and a sample, 20-minute count of 42 Gannet, all west; 3 Common Scoter east; and at least one lingering Sandwich Tern. Elsewhere, a couple of Redwing were in the Wood.
Skylark – Clinton Whale
Black–tailed Godwit – Clinton Whale
A 2-hour seawatch from the Beach Huts this morning yielded: 7 Red-throated Diver, 25 Kittiwake, 6 Guillemot, 2 Razorbill and 25 Gannet, all west; plus 3 Purple Sandpiper close by. In the Wood, a Firecrest and Treecreeper were present, while a clear influx of Black-tailed Godwit resulted in 200 birds at Stanpit.
Dunlin on groyne S8 – Clinton Whale
Happy New Year to all our website visitors. This morning’s wind and rain means there is no news from that period, but an afternoon visit to Stanpit produced 3 Chiffchaff – two on the golf course bank and one in the North Scrubs – as well as a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Gull and 4 Pintail. Meanwhile, there were over 100 Dunlin on groyne S8.
Little Grebe on the pool overlooked by the Viewing
Platform on Wick – Brian Wadie
The location of the Viewing Platform has just been added to the Interactive
In a strong, south-westerly breeze, there was a hint of wildfowl movement off Mudeford Quay this morning, namely: a flock of 56 Wigeon west and 4 Brent Goose – three u-turning, west then east, and one arriving. Also from the quay, a Razorbill and a Great Crested Grebe, while late in the afternoon a brutish-looking, first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was on the lawn alongside the approach road. The only other news involves 3 Purple Sandpiper with 45 Dunlin on groyne S8 and 2 Bullfinch by the Wooden Bridge on Wick.
Spoonbill – Nick Whitehouse
The only bird news comes from Stanpit, where at one point 2 Spoonbill were present. Also a Marsh Harrier there. A 90-minute seawatch from Mudeford Quay provided nothing at all of note.
Heavy rain and high tide this morning resulted in an inundated
meaning waders, such as these Dunlin, sought refuge on the
sandspit – Clinton Whale
Earlier, the Highcliffe Sailing Club anemometer recorded a gust of 97 knots, which by our reckoning is around 111mph! Their video-cam also seems to show a mini tornado sweeping through the dinghy park at just after 8:00 – Jackie Smith (upper two) & Jean Southworth
Despite several hours of south-westerly blow, there was not a single storm-blown seabird off Mudeford Quay this morning; not even a gannet! From there, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Great Crested Grebe and 9 Common Scoter were all that made the notebook. Other than the news of the Dunlin and Ringed Plover sitting things out on the sandspit, there is nothing else to report.
Curlew in the sun at Stanpit – Mike Lyons
Yesterday’s cruel wind had abated almost completely and it was pleasant to be in the field today. The Spoonbill was present at Stanpit during the afternoon, as were seven presumed littoralis Rock Pipit, while the regular male Marsh Harrier was around in the morning. Also about the marsh: 14 Grey Plover, 67 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Ringed Plover and around 120 Dunlin; as well as a good count of 32 Pintail, but a dismal 7 Brent Goose. In addition, singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher were logged, and a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea.
Song Thrush – Robert Gray
A very uncomfortable day, as a blasting north-westerly added
further chill to the already, low-single-figure temperatures.
Mudeford Quay this morning produced just a Great Crested Grebe and
the Common Scoter flock; while, after a few weeks absence, the
Emperor Goose, of more-than-suspect origin, was with ‘canadas’ off
Lapwing – Robert Gray
There is little to report for this Boxing Day: just the Spoonbill in flight over the harbour and an adult Mediterranean Gull, 20 Pintail and 3 Shoveler, all females, in Stanpit Bight.
Additional news: a Red-throated Diver, a Razorbill, 7 Gannet and
2 Brent Goose moved west past Mudeford Quay, a Great Crested Grebe
headed in the opposite direction and around 30 Common Scoter were
Normally one of the photographers sends us an image to use,
but this year we've had to improvise...
With the wind picking up from the west overnight, the sea produced a modicum of interest. A Great Skua, 8 Kittiwake and around 100 Gannet moved west past Hengistbury, while a Guillemot fished in the Run mid-morning. Elsewhere, the Spoonbill spent some time in Stanpit Creek, as did the Spotted Redshank, with other birds returned from Fisherman’s Bank including: 4 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 116 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Pintail and 10 Shoveler. Over on Wick, singles of Chiffchaff and Bullfinch were logged.
The only news for Christmas Eve comes from Mudeford Quay, over which a Sandwich Tern and a flock of 6 Shoveler arrived; while two female-type Common Scoter and a single Great Crested Grebe were offshore.
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Robert Gray
There were lots of bird viewable from Fisherman’s Bank early this morning, including: a redhead Goosander in Stanpit Creek, 18 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Pintail and 4 Mediterranean Gull – two adults and two first-winter birds. Also from the bank, but at times unknown, the Spoonbill on Blackberry Point and a Common Sandpiper. Over on Hengistbury, a Firecrest was behind the Nursery, while a Chiffchaff, a Grey Wagtail and 3 Redwing were returned, and a couple of Bullfinch were by the HHC. Offshore, a Red-throated Diver passed west and 9 Common Scoter were settled, as were 2 Great Crested Grebe. Rounding up, the regular Marsh Harrier was about Wick Hams and a Yellow-legged Gull, an adult, was inside the harbour by Mudeford Quay.
Redshank – Robert Gray
Another mild and windless day saw the Spoonbill still off Fisherman’s Bank, plus the Marsh Harrier from there, and 2 Sandwich Tern again around Mudeford Quay. Also inside the harbour, 12 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit and, continuing their strong showing, 36 Pintail.
It’s hard to believe it’s mid-winter already, not least with temperatures tipping 12°C today! The only news, however, concerns 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Redwing at Wick, plus 2 Sandwich Tern off Mudeford Quay.
Purple Sandpiper – Clinton Whale
Kestrel – Robert Gray
Blue Tit – Clinton Whale
The harbour was covered in quite dense fog this morning, hence there isn't a great deal to report. A Goosander was in Barn Bight and 3 Sandwich Tern were seen, one at Hengistbury and two off Mudeford Quay, while 2 Purple Sandpiper were on the Long Groyne. There was also a Grey Seal in the Run.
Grey Plover – Clinton Whale
Fox – Clinton Whale
After a frosty start, there was a good selection of birds at Stanpit, including: the Spoonbill, seen from Fisherman’s Bank; a Water Pipit on Central Marsh; two Marsh Harrier – the third-calendar-year male and a female-type; and a drake Pochard with 3 Tufted Duck. Meanwhile, the Spotted Redshank went for a day out – after passing high over the North Scrubs it was later encountered outside of the recording area in the Lower Avon Valley. Commoner wader numbers involved: 12 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit and around 70 Dunlin. A couple of Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour, as were 31 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, a couple of Shelduck and 6 Common Gull.
Some recent images of Marsh Harrier. The lower two show
the regular, male bird,
reckoned to be in its third winter, while the upper two are
to be of a younger male. Comments
– Jimmy Main (upper two) & Robert Gray
Ringed Plover on the sandspit – Clinton Whale
Grey Heron – Roger Tidball
The WeBS counters experienced a frosty start, but things warmed up as the morning wore on and by lunchtime rain had set in. The pick of the wildfowl was a redhead Goosander south over Stanpit, but also an excellent return of 25 Pintail, as well as 5 Shoveler, a Shelduck, 96 Teal, 799 Wigeon and 36 Brent Goose. Meanwhile, the waders came in at: 17 Grey Plover, that also a good number, 70 Black-tailed Godwit, 82 Ringed Plover and 65 Dunlin. Off Mudeford Quay, a Black-throated Diver moved into the Solent and a flock of 6 Red-throated Diver headed the other way. The male Marsh Harrier was again over Wick Hams, while singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher were logged.
Omission: the Spoonbill was at Stanpit.
A Firecrest was in the Wood this morning, when a Sandwich Tern, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 32 Common Scoter were seen from the Beach Huts. Meanwhile, a female-type Marsh Harrier was over the Wick reeds and 3 Bullfinch were on the adjacent fields. At Stanpit, a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 55 Dunlin were logged from Fisherman’s Bank. This afternoon, a Hooded Crow was on the beach at Mudeford Quay, a Marsh Harrier went east and a Red-throated Diver west.
Kingfisher from the viewing platform on Wick – Paul Turton
A cold day gave up little of significance, save for the Spoonbill which was seen on North Marsh. It does at last seem we may have a bird that is lingering around the area. Otherwise the news is: a Red-throated Diver and a Red-breasted Merganser west past Hengistbury, along with a Sandwich Tern, 33 Common Scoter and six auks off there. Meanwhile, 120 Dunlin, 6 Pintail and 4 Shoveler were inside the harbour at Stanpit.
Little Egret – Jimmy Main
Once again, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay; where, just before a 11:00, an Arctic Skua lingered before moving off west, a Black-throated Diver and 2 Red-throated Diver were at sea, and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was on the inner harbour shore.
Sparrowhawk – Jimmy Main
The only news from a damp day is of 2 Sandwich Tern at Mudeford Quay.
Jay – Clinton Whale
After a relatively heavy, for the location that is, overnight frost, there was some evidence of cold-weather movement, when a flock of 7 Goosander left the harbour to the west just after first light. Also around that time, a couple of Redwing over and 4 Bullfinch settled in the No Dogs Field. The icy conditions brought Snipe close to the paths on Stanpit, while a Grey Wagtail and 4 Turnstone were on Mudeford Quay.
Dunlin seeing out the high tide on the sandspit – Clinton Whale
On a bitterly cold morning, brought about by a northerly wind and accompanying sleet, expectations of birds displaced from snow-covered areas of the country proved nothing more than fanciful. A 2-hour seawatch from Mudeford Quay producing just: a Red-throated Diver, a Sandwich Tern, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 21 Common Scoter, 2 Pintail, 3 Knot, 3 Ringed Plover and 125 Dunlin.
Spoonbill – Roger Tidball
Grey Heron – Jimmy Main
Mudeford Quay – Clinton Whale
As forecast, the morning was blighted with strong, westerly wind and frequent showers. From Mudeford Quay, a Black-throated Diver was seen heading into the Solent, a Great Northern Diver moved in the opposite direction and a redhead Goosander fished in the Run before flying into the harbour.
The swallow that was on Hengistbury Head yesterday had moved to Avon Beach today, just outside of the recording area, where it seemed to be somehow picking insects from the air.
Redwing – Jimmy Main
The biggest surprise of a frosty morning was a Swallow on Hengistbury! The bird was first seen over the Barn Field around 10:00 and then spent time hawking for precious insects around the eastern end of the head. Meanwhile, Black-throated Diver continue to be recorded – two west and one east – as well as 21 Red-throated Diver, those all west. In addition, 35 Common Scoter, 67 Brent Goose, 5 Great Crested Grebe and 9 Wigeon were settled on a calm sea. The Spoonbill was reported from Holloway’s Dock and seen in Stanpit Creek, where a local, winter rarity, a Greenshank, was also present. Other birds inside the harbour included: the Spotted Redshank, 12 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Ringed Plover, 116 Dunlin, 15 Pintail and 6 Shelduck; while 3 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. The Marsh Harrier again makes the post, as do 2 Chiffchaff at Stanpit, a Grey Wagtail at Mudeford Quay and a Kingfisher in Holloway’s Dock.
There certainly seems to a Black-throated Diver lingering around the area, with this morning producing one west very close inshore off Double Dykes. A first-winter Spoonbill touched down briefly in Barn Bight before being spooked by the regular, male Marsh Harrier and then heading off towards Fisherman’s Bank. A redhead Goosander was also in Barn Bight; while from the sandspit, a Sandwich Tern, 24 Common Scoter and 4 Shag were returned. Elsewhere, a couple of Bullfinch were on Wick.
The day started to wind and driving rain. So much so that poor visibility hampered any meaningful seawatching from Mudeford Quay, although a Black-throated Diver flew into the harbour over the Run. The only other news comes from the information services and involves a Spoonbill at Stanpit.
Drake Shoveler – Clinton Whale
There was just one diver logged today – a Black-throated Diver west past Mudeford Quay this morning, when a Great Crested Grebe and 25 Common Scoter were also present. Interest on Wick continues, with a Firecrest, a Chiffchaff and 2 Bullfinch, while the male Marsh Harrier again seen on at least two occasions.
This male Peregrine, as seen in a photo last week, carries a ring 'Black 62'. As such, we now know it was ringed as a chick, along with his two sisters, in May 2015 on Chichester Cathedral. Since then he has been seen on Hayling Island in August 2015, at Hurst Spit during October of the same year and then at Durlston in April 2016 – Jimmy Main
There were more divers this morning. A Black-throated Diver was seen from Hengistbury heading east over the harbour and a Great Northern Diver moved into the Solent past Mudeford Quay. Earlier, a ‘great-northern’ had passed west over the Barn Field and one travelled east with a Red-throated Diver, with a further of the latter going in the same direction as a singleton. The Purple Sandpiper count from the sandspit came to 8 birds and, once more, there were 4 Bullfinch on Wick. Meanwhile, 16 Redwing were in the Wood and the male Marsh Harrier hunting Wick Hams at 8:45 may have been the bird seen from the quay arriving from the east. Finishing off, at least 15 Common Scoter were settled in the usual spot.
Great Northern Diver off the sandspit – Clinton Whale
...and the Common Scoter flock – Clinton Whale
Another largely windless day produced a good haul of divers. This morning, a Black-throated Diver and 16 Red-throated Diver moved west past Mudeford Quay, while a further of the latter was on the water. This afternoon, a couple of Great Northern Diver were settled off the sandspit, with a Black-throated Diver seen heading into the Solent and 2 Red-throated Diver west. Also at sea during the morning: 4 Sandwich Tern, a Shag, seven auks, 6 Gannet, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 23 Common Scoter, 3 Teal, two adult Mediterranean Gull and 10 Common Gull. Meanwhile, a maximum of 5 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. Over on Wick, at least one Firecrest was present, as well as 4 Bullfinch, an over-flying Fieldfare and 3 Chiffchaff, with a further of those on the quay. At Stanpit, on the afternoon ebb tide, the counts included: 12 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 37 Ringed Plover and 103 Dunlin, along with 9 Pintail and at least one Shoveler. Moving back to earlier, the Marsh Harrier again hunted Wick Hams and a couple of Kingfisher made the post.
Drake Wigeon in today's sunshine – Clinton Whale
Sunset from Mudeford Quay – Clinton Whale
...and the supermoon from Stanpit – Clinton Whale
After some colder days, this morning’s temperature was several degrees above freezing. Wick was particularly productive, hosting: a Firecrest in the No Dogs Field, a Brambling, 3 Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch; the latter all in the Bobolink Field. Meanwhile, an hour at Mudeford Quay yielded: 6 Red-throated Diver – four west and two east, 3 Great Crested Grebe west and a total of 40 Common Scoter – five west, 15 east and 20 settled.
One of the Bullfinch which are being regularly seen on Wick – Jimmy Main
Late in the morning, from Hengistbury, the following were seen moving west at sea: a Red-necked Grebe, a Great Northern Diver, 32 Red-throated Diver, a Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Pintail, 17 Teal and 54 Wigeon. Earlier, from Mudeford Quay, just 3 Red-throated Diver were logged, but a couple of female-type Eider, the 30 or so Common Scoter, as many as 20 Great Crested Grebe and a Gadwall were settled on the water in Christchurch Bay, which also hosted a couple of Sandwich Tern. Inside the harbour, there was evidence of an arrival of birds, presumably pushed south by falling temperatures further north, including: 32 Pintail, 12 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and 75 Teal, as well as 16 Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 45 Ringed Plover and 180 Dunlin. Elsewhere, 3 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, a Bullfinch, 4 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing were on Wick, a Mistle Thrush was on the Long Field, a further Firecrest was in the Wood and the male Marsh Harrier frequented Wick Hams.
Coal Tit - not a straightforward bird in the recording area – Jimmy Main
Great Spotted Woodpecker by the Pod at Stanpit – Robert Gray
Despite a clear night, there was little frost – presumably as a result of a northerly breeze drying the air. A couple of Velvet Scoter moved west past Hengistbury this morning, while a Black-throated Diver and 5 Red-throated Diver headed into the Solent; also on their way west were 15 Grey Plover. Other than a Marsh Harrier arriving and 23 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock, the remaining news involves winter passerines; of which 5 Brambling, a Fieldfare and 8 Redwing make the post.