Sightings for September 2018
Marsh Harrier Martin Lewis
The 2 Cattle Egret were around again today on Priory Marsh early on before leaving north as was a Marsh Harrier. Slightly later, a couple of Curlew Sandpiper were seen from Fishermans Bank on the rising tide, while other waders from all areas of the harbour included: 9 Grey Plover, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 52 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Snipe, 95 Ringed Plover and 70 Dunlin. A couple of Wheatear were on Stanpit, along with a handful of Chiffchaff and Blackcap but a further fifteen and five respectively were west of the Wood on Hengistbury. It was the first WeBS count of the winter and some of the numbers involved: 3 Pintail, 230 Wigeon, 22 Teal, 219 Mute Swan, 220 Canada Goose, 21 Grey Heron, 38 Little Egret and 486 Coot!
Chiffchaff Martin Lewis
Goldfinch Alan Crockard
The morning, which was sunny but chilled by a northerly breeze, saw a light flow of Meadow Pipit, alba Wagtail, Swallow and Linnet to the east, plus a few Siskin and a couple of Tree Pipit. Also before lunch, a Little Ringed Plover came up from Grimmery Bank, a Marsh Harrier and a Reed Warbler were at Stanpit, and at least 8 Yellow Wagtail came out of local roosts; while, later in the day, 2 Cattle Egret were with the ponies on Central Marsh. Around 25 Chiffchaff were logged between Wick and the Wood in the afternoon, as were 7 Blackcap, with the site-wide Wheatear total coming to around a dozen. Waders were thin on the ground, but did include 14 Black-tailed Godwit and 29 Dunlin; a Mediterranean Gull passed west; and 5 Pintail were at Stanpit, as were 2 Little Grebe, a Kingfisher and 208 Canada Goose accompanied by the now-familiar Emperor Goose.
A Whinchat on the Barn Field was the pick of this mornings migrants at Hengistbury, also there were 2 Siskin and 10 Chiffchaff while on Stanpit 4 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail were on Crouch Hill and a couple of Sedge Warbler were in Parky Meade Rail; 3 Kingfisher were also on the marsh. Hirundines were on the move with 300 House Martin and 300 Swallow moving through the harbour. Waders on Stanpit were 35 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe and singles of Whimbrel, Sanderling and Turnstone. The immature male Marsh Harrier was around Stanpit and a couple of Little Grebe were on the river, also 15 Teal and 3 Pintail were logged.
Evening update: a Cattle Egret landed towards the tip of South Marsh just after 6pm.
With no reports received from Hengistbury its all about Stanpit today. Crouch Hill held 5 Wheatear plus singles of Lesser Whitethroat and Yellow Wagtail while 4 Blackcap and just 3 Chiffchaff were in the North Scrubs. Waders were counted as 28 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Ringed Plover and one each of Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin. Two of yesterdays three Pintail were in Stanpit Bight where 3 Shoveler were also present.
On a warm and sunny late September day there was plenty to see around the harbour. A Hawfinch flew east over Wick Fields this morning but otherwise overhead movers were just 4 Yellow Wagtail and a few Meadow Pipit. Hirundines were also thin on the ground until c9am when the Swallow passage began. However no counts were made. At lunchtime the information services reported a Red-rumped Swallow south-east over Hengistbury but no further details were given. The same source also reported 2 Firecrest on the head. Migrants on the Hengistbury side of the harbour were 20 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap and a Whitethroat while on Stanpit there were another 12 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Siskin, the latter in the North Scrubs. On Priory Marsh late morning a small crake, probably a Spotted Crake, was inadvertently flushed but not seen again. The Marsh Harrier was around Stanpit and a Peregrine passed over Wick. The number of Coot using the harbour continues to increase as a sample count from Fishermans Bank today produced 457 birds, also 163 Wigeon and 3 Pintail.
After another very cold start the temperature rose rapidly to 17C by lunchtime today. A light south-easterly breeze encouraged hirundines, in particular Swallow, to move through on a broad front. An hours watch over the Barn Field saw well in excess of a thousand birds heading into the wind, also a few House Martin and a couple of Sand Martin plus 6 Yellow Wagtail. Grounded migrants were few across the area; Hengistbury held a Reed Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 9 Blackcap and 23 Chiffchaff while on Stanpit there were 5 Wheatear, 8 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcap. The male Marsh Harrier hunted over Priory Marsh and Wick Hams, also a Common Buzzard was over the recreation ground and a couple of Raven were on Stanpit.
It was one of the better days of the autumn for Wheatear Alan Hayden
There were also clearly more Stonechat around today Jackie Smith
Kestrel Robert Gray
A cold northerly breeze gave rise to another four-figure Meadow Pipit morning, when around 1000 were estimated to have travelled west over Hengistbury. Siskin were also frequently heard, but, as always, frustratingly difficult to see, meaning reckoning the numbers is hit and miss to say the least. There must have been in excess of 30 birds, however; as well as a constant flow of House Martin and Swallow, plus 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 10 alba Wagtail, 5 Skylark and 4 Reed Bunting. Singles of Whinchat were decked on Crouch Hill and Hengistbury, the latter site also hosting a Spotted Flycatcher, while the former held 11 Wheatear, a White Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail around the middle of the morning. Later on, at least 6 Yellow Wagtail were about the marsh and a Reed Warbler was in Parky Meade Rail. Back to the morning and Wick, where there were 2 Willow Warbler, 22 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap; in addition, the western portion of the head contained 30 Yellow Wagtail, which were flushed by a Merlin from the Barn Field, 20 Chiffchaff and 5 Blackcap. The remaining interest comes from 2 Mistle Thrush north over the Barn and a Hobby above Stanpit.
Cattle Egret Jackie Smith
There was incessant rain until around 13:00 and a north-easterly breeze throughout. At some point in the day, Crouch Hill held quite a number of passerine migrants, including: a Grasshopper Warbler, a Whinchat, 8 Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, a Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Stonechat; while, nearby, 11 Blackcap were in the North Scrubs. Across the entire recording area, House Martin were a feature all day a steady flow moving into the wind that must have involved thousands of birds in total. Swallow were also mixed in, but in a relatively low proportion. As an example, a one-hour sample at Mudeford Quay came up with 250 and 50 respectively. During the afternoon, a Cattle Egret came out of Central Marsh and joined the ponies on Priory Marsh, and a Buzzard settled on North Marsh after being hassled by Carrion Crow. The pick of the waders were a juvenile Ruff and an adult, perhaps the, Spotted Redshank in Mother Sillers Channel, along with 2 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 102 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ringed Plover and 34 Dunlin about the marsh, plus 3 Sanderling on the sandspit. Finishing off, a lone Shoveler was at Stanpit, 4 Water Rail were around Parky Meade Rail and a Kingfisher was logged.
A lessening in the wind and low cloud brought on a decent movement of Meadow Pipit as many as 4000 moved west over the whole area in the period up to 10:30, along with a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, 19 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Grey Wagtail, at least 600 Swallow and 40 House Martin. Meanwhile, a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Firecrest were settled on Hengistbury, and 5 Wheatear were spread about. Early on, a Cattle Egret passed north over Parky Meade Rail, presumably one of the birds which have been frequenting the Avon Valley leaving roost, and Marsh Harrier were seen at Stanpit on two occasions. The sea was very quiet this morning, other than for a Black Tern west past Hengistbury, 5 Mediterranean Gull and a couple of Common Scoter. Later on, a juvenile Arctic Tern was seen from Mudeford Quay, as were a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Grey Plover and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit. Waders inside the harbour included 2 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and 18 Black-tailed Godwit.
Leach's Petrel at Stanpit! Ray Scott
More more strong winds meant the sea garnered a good deal of attention the best seabird was encountered inside the harbour, however, at Stanpit, where a wrecked Leachs Petrel was present late this afternoon! The seawatching itself produced an Arctic Skua west past the Beach Huts this morning and a juvenile Arctic Tern this afternoon. Earlier, a similarly-aged Arctic Tern had been inside the harbour. During the morning, just six or so Chiffchaff could be located on Hengistbury, where a Merlin trailed a steady westward passage of Meadow Pipit; the latter also being experienced at Stanpit where there was a single Wheatear. The head also turned in a couple of Common Sandpiper, while the marsh held an unidentified stint, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 45 Black-tailed Godwit. Finally, a Teal had a lucky escape over Parky Meade Rail after being caught by a Peregrine for the fortunate duck, a couple of Carrion Crow decided to harry the falcon so causing it to drop its prey, which seemed none the worse for wear for the experience; and the familiar Emperor Goose from last winter put in a reappearance.
Linnet battling the storm Jackie Smith
The fringes of Storm Ali made for a very windy day indeed. Other than a Manx Shearwater west past the Beach Huts and a bird-of-the-year Kittiwake over Mudeford Quay, however, the hoped-for seabird bonanza failed to materialise. There were very few waders at Stanpit, but the sandspit fared better with a Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Sanderling, 25 Ringed Plover and around 100 Dunlin contributing to the post. On the marsh itself, meanwhile, there were 18 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Snipe. Despite the conditions, hirundines attempted to travel 40 and 150 of House Martin and Swallow respectively a couple of juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were again on the Mudeford Quay lawn and a pair of Pintail were inside the harbour, where the Coot were counted at 350 and the Wigeon remain at the thirty mark.
The only news from a stormy day is of an Arctic Tern coming into the harbour over the sandspit.
Longtailed Tit - Clinton Whale
The only news from a blustery and, at times, wet day is of 4 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin and around 250 Swallow, all west, past the Beach Huts.
A few Clouded Yellow were about Hengistbury today Clinton Whale
Hengistbury was deathly quiet for the early part of the morning just a couple of Wheatear and some unseen Yellow Wagtail being worthy of website copy. Later on, five first-winter Mediterranean Gull moved west over the head and some hirundines started to coast the estimates being 400 Swallow and 100 House Martin.
On another warm, late-summers day there is not much to report; but there are some snippets of quality nonetheless. A Pied Flycatcher was on the golf course embankment at Stanpit, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was in Stanpit Bight, a Spotted Redshank was in Mother Sillers Channel and a young, male Marsh Harrier headed south early on. In addition to those waders already mentioned, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, around 30 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin on the marsh, where an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Pintail, a drake Gadwall and at least 30 Wigeon were also present. The dreadful season for passerines continues, with just a Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warbler being returned.
Dunlin Ian Wigley
Sanderling Gary Foyle
Wheatear Alan Crockard
The Wood Sandpiper was around again this morning, commuting between Wick water meadows and Parky Meade Rail, while an adult Spotted Redshank was in Brewers Creek. Passerines were very thin on the ground indeed the best being a Redstart on Priory Marsh as well as a Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap and 5 Whitethroat on Wick. Meadow Pipit trickled into the westerly breeze on a broad front all morning an hour at Coastguard producing a sample of 50; but the overall number will be into the hundreds, at least. Also singles of Yellow Wagtail and Grey Wagtail over, along with a small amount of Swallow and martins. The only other interest comes from 2 Kingfisher in Parky Meade Rail and an adult, male Peregrine over there.
Ringed Plover Clinton Whale
Sanderling Clinton Whale
Settled passerines were fewer than yesterday, but did include a Whinchat, 44 Chiffchaff, 15 Willow Warbler, 35 Blackcap and 3 Whitethroat across Hengistbury and Wick; as well as 2 Wheatear on Stanpit. Meanwhile, a Tree Pipit. 97 Meadow Pipit, 37 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Siskin and a single pulse of 60 House Martin moved over the head. The pick of the waders was certainly a Wood Sandpiper in Parky Meade Rail during the mid-morning low tide, with other highlights being a couple of juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit and a Spotted Redshank in Brewers Creek. A Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 32 Black-tailed Godwit and 55 Dunlin were also inside the harbour, while the bulk of the Ringed Plover 45 birds were on the sandspit. A mixture of wildfowl included 2 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 25 Wigeon, a few Teal and 5 Shelduck; a Kingfisher was again around Mudeford Quay; and a Peregrine was around.
There was a lot more to be seen today the best being a Tree Sparrow u-turning and heading back west over the Nursery. Also over, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail, as well as low hundreds of Swallow and House Martin. Meanwhile, on the deck, across Hengistbury and Wick, there were an estimated 100 phylloscs, with those identified to species suggesting a 4:1 ratio in favour of Willow Warbler over Chiffchaff; plus 4 Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, up to 30 Blackcap and 12 Whitethroat. A Whinchat was on Stanpit and the site-wide Wheatear total came to 20 the largest concentration being 11 on the sandspit. A fair wader selection was centred around Stanpit, although its not certain whether 8 Knot east over Hengistbury were some of the nine logged there, where there were also: a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 6 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Black-tailed Godwit and 65 Dunlin. In addition, a couple of Greenshank were in Holloways Dock and 6 Snipe were on Wick. A tired-looking Tufted Duck spent the day in Stanpit Bight, twenty-five Wigeon in Barn Bight were a sure sign of the changing season, and a Shoveler and 4 Shelduck were present. To finish the post, a Marsh Harrier was seen at Stanpit on a couple of occasions and 2 Kingfisher were returned.
There were four species of falcon recorded in the area today. A female Merlin headed east over Mudeford Quay, while at least 2 Hobby were about the sandspit. In addition, a male Peregrine was over Priory Marsh and, of course, a few Kestrel were around . The other highlights included a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull again on the lawn at the quay, the Spoonbill at Stanpit and 3 Goosander in Barn Bight. Other than a Wheatear on the marsh, all the passerine news comes from Hengistbury where a Spotted Flycatcher, up to 21 Yellow Wagtail and 10 Blackcap were logged. Waders seemed sparse, with a Greenshank, 2 Sanderling west, a few Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Dunlin being the only returns. Rounding up, a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea and a Kingfisher was around the quay.
After a night of south-westerly blow, Mudeford Quay was watched from the four hours after 6:15, with the following being logged heading west: a Balearic Shearwater, 3 Mediterranean Gull - all first-winter birds, 15 Common Scoter, 12 Gannet and 57 Sandwich Tern. Also from the quay, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull on the lawn and a Whimbrel that arrived from the east. Inside the harbour, the Spoonbill was still present, along with a Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a further Mediterranean Gull, while a Hobby passed over. Over on Wick, there was a single Whimbrel, 5 Blackcap and 8 Teal.
A Marsh Harrier headed north over Wick this morning, while the Spoonbill was on Stanpit. Also on the marsh: a Spotted Redshank, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Passerines on Hengistbury were sparse, with just a Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat and a couple of phylloscs being turned in.
Around thirty members turned up for this mornings activities. As always the ringing demonstration proved popular although the blustery conditions werent favourable. In all twenty-two birds were trapped and ringed, the most numerous being Reed Warbler and Blackcap with five of each. Migrant totals, including those ringed, but otherwise mainly from Wick, were 11 Blackcap, 10 Willow Warbler, 7 Reed Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler and a Garden Warbler. Elsewhere the sea was watched from Mudeford Quay for two hours and produced 3 Mediterranean Gull, two adult and a first winter, plus 25 Sandwich Tern, 7 Gannet and 6 Turnstone. On Stanpit the Spoonbill remained.
With the exception of a modest movement of hirundines passerine migration had almost ground to a halt today. There was, however, plenty of interest; in particular this afternoon, when around 4:30pm, 2 Cattle Egret were on South Marsh. The first bird flushed from the tip of South Marsh and left the harbour heading north while the second bird was settled amongst the horses, also on South Marsh. Earlier a party of 4 Avocet arrived in Stanpit Bight and 5 Greenshank were in Mother Sillers Channel. The long staying Spoonbill and the Spotted Redshank were both still present. Wader numbers were 31 Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 14 Snipe on Wick, 2 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot and 1 Whimbrel. Hirundines were estimated as 350 House Martin and 50 Swallow but otherwise there were just 12 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Wheatear, the latter on Stanpit. The Wigeon count was 37 and the 2 Pintail remained.
Migration was similar to yesterday with a smattering of birds on both sides of the harbour. Totals for the site were 11 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Reed Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whinchat and singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Wheatear. The Spoonbill and the Spotted Redshank were on Stanpit. Wader totals, mainly from Stanpit were 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin, 10 Snipe over Wick, 5 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. A Peregrine made a pass over Stanpit this morning while 2 Pintail were present, also 32 Sandwich Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
The golf course bank on Stanpit held singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart plus 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler and 2 Whitethroat while 3 Wheatear and 2 Whinchat were on Crouch Hill. Willow Warbler passage seems to have dried up with just one bird on Hengistbury today, also 5 Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler and 4 Chiffchaff. The Spoonbill was on Stanpit where wader counts were 63 Dunlin, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover, 3 Snipe, 2 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel. Also on the marsh were 16 Wigeon, 14 Teal and 4 Common Tern. Finally Kingfisher were seen on both sides of the harbour.
A group of 5 Spoonbill flew south-west over the HHC around 9:30am this morning while the semi-resident bird remained on Stanpit. Singles of Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Knot, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit were also on the marsh together with 40 Dunlin, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 5 Sanderling. Migrants, mainly on Hengistbury, were 19 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Sedge Warbler, 7 Whitethroat, 5 Wheatear, 3 Tree Pipit and 2 Spotted Flycatcher; another 2 Wheatear were on Stanpit.
A Wryneck was seen again this morning; the bird flew the length of North Paddock towards the wooden bridge on Wick. There were two sightings of Marsh Harrier, firstly a female south-east over Wick Water Meadows just after 7am then another female high over Stanpit mid morning. Waders today included the Spotted Redshank heard over Hengistbury and on Stanpit 86 Dunlin, 75 Ringed Plover, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Snipe, these on Priory Marsh, 4 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. Only 9 Sedge Warbler were trapped and ringed by the HHC this morning but elsewhere there was a reasonable spread of migrants with 10 Yellow Wagtail, 7 Willow Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Grey Wagtail and on Stanpit 2 Whinchat and a Wheatear. Overhead at Hengistbury 430 House Martin were counted, also 200 Sand Martin over Whitepits and a couple of dozen Swallow. There are now 60 Teal on Stanpit, also 14 Shelduck and 5 Wigeon. There was a Kingfisher again today and a couple of Raven. This evening a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 4 Common Tern were off Mudeford Quay, also 20 Knot were on the sandspit.
On another fine morning migrants were again hard to come by although a harbour count of 13 Wheatear was the best for some time. A Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Lesser Whitethroat, the latter on Wick, were the pick of the rest, the totals being 10 Whitethroat, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Blackcap, 4 Grey Wagtail, 4 Willow Warbler and 3 Reed Warbler; also 200 Swallow south while a Hobby headed north over Hengistbury. From Stanpit there were singles of Greenshank and Whimbrel, 17 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Snipe, another 4 Snipe were on the water meadows at Wick.. There are now 14 Wigeon, 9 Shelduck, 5 Teal and a Shoveler on the marsh. To round up a Kingfisher was on the Bailey Bridge at Stanpit, 4 Mediterranean Gull were logged, the in harbour count of Sandwich Tern was 49 this afternoon and Coot totalled 334 on Stanpit.
There was another Wryneck this morning on Wick Fields by the horse paddocks, also a female Redstart by the wooden bridge. Elsewhere on Wick were 13 Willow Warbler, 12 Whitethroat, 11 Blackcap, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail while on Stanpit there was a Wheatear on Crouch Hill plus 6 Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat in the North Scrubs. Once again there was a hint of hirundine movement with 300 Swallow and 150 Sand Martin logged through the harbour. Waders werent counted today but the 12 Black-tailed Godwit were still in Mother Sillers Channel, also 1 Whimbrel and a couple of Common Sandpiper were noted. Finally the Spoonbill was on Stanpit and 2 Raven were around.
Around 7:30am this morning a Great White Egret arrived in the harbour, on Blackberry Point. Unfortunately the bird only stayed for a couple of minutes before heading off north. A couple of hours later the first Wryneck of the autumn was on the Long Field at Hengistbury and the regular Spoonbill was feeding opposite Fishermans Bank. The Spotted Redshank was heard only while there were 4 Greenshank today, one on Wick Water Meadows and three on Stanpit, also a Green Sandpiper left Wick Hams and headed south. Wader counts from Stanpit were 142 Ringed Plover,95 Dunlin, 13 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Sanderling.. Migrants included 19 Blackcap, four of which were on Stanpit, 18 Yellow Wagtail, mainly on Wick, 7 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler plus a Wheatear on Stanpit. There were 2 Kingfisher, 2 first winter Mediterranean Gull and 2 Teal around Stanpit, also a party of 10 Wigeon and 2 Teal circled the harbour and left.
LATE NEWS: A Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail was trapped and ringed at the HHC wagtail roost yesterday evening, also 50 Yellow Wagtail.