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Welcome to the website of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group

Recent daily sightings

September 26th


Wryneck – Matthew Barfield

Wheatear – Gary Foyle

The Wryneck showed well for around an hour this morning in the fenced area of the Long Field; but other than a couple of Wheatear on the Barn Field, and the occasional calls of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, Hengistbury seemed devoid of settled migrants. Overhead, however, there was a steady, westerly movement of hirundines – mostly Swallow, but also some House Martin – plus a constant sound of Meadow Pipit and at least 4 Skylark. There was, perhaps, more of note in the afternoon, when a juvenile Garganey associated with the Wigeon in Stanpit Bight, along with a first-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull there; a further return of the latter came from Mudeford Quay, so may have been the same bird. Also from the quay and looking across the Run to the sandspit, 3 Curlew Sandpiper and a Whimbrel, while, beyond, 3 Common Scoter and at least 20 Gannet headed towards the Solent. Moving back to the marsh and the best-of-the-rest were: 2 Knot, a Greenshank, 16 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Black-tailed Godwit; a first-winter Common Gull and 2 Mediterranean Gull; a Yellow Wagtail and a Wheatear; the Pintail; and around 35 Sandwich Tern.

September 25th

It was a day of almost constant drizzle and it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that the sun put in any form of appearance. The Wryneck was on the Long Field again in the morning, when a Garden Warbler, 17 Chiffchaff and 6 Blackcap were on Wick. Over at Stanpit, just a single Wheatear was returned and 100 or Swallow moved west. A Common Scoter was off the end of the sandspit, where around 75 Ringed Plover and a few Dunlin roosted in the fenced area.

September 24th

Wryneck – Samuel Levy

Red Admiral – Peter Calladine

The biggest surprise of the day, by far, was a Sooty Shearwater seen heading west off the Coastguards this morning. Meanwhile, the Wryneck was again in the fenced-off area of the Long Field, for what we now understand to be its third day. Also about Hengistbury and Wick: 21 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Wheatear and 19 Stonechat; with 4 Grey Wagtail, at least 50 Meadow Pipit and 29 Swallow passing over. The news from Stanpit all comes from the late afternoon, when: a Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ringed Plover and 65 Dunlin were present; as well as 5 Yellow Wagtail settled on South Marsh. To wrap up, a Water Rail was in Brewer’s Creek and forty or so Sandwich Tern were around the place.

September 23rd

Coot – David Faulkner

A couple of Curlew Sandpiper and the Spotted Redshank were again at Stanpit, where 5 Knot, 6 Greenshank, 7 Sanderling, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Black-tailed Godwit were also present. Later in the day, up to 12 Yellow Wagtail were seen about the marsh, as was the Pintail. Over on the other side, the returns were made up of: 3 Wheatear, 9 Chiffchaff and 6 Whitethroat. To finish, a Peregrine hunted unsuccessfully over Stanpit Creek.

September 22nd

Wryneck – Peter Boardman

A Glossy Ibis flew into Parky Meade Rail at 10:00 this morning, before relocating slightly to Central Marsh. Meanwhile, a Wryneck sat out in the Long Field for a little time. Other highlights came from: a skein of three pale-bellied Brent Goose east at sea; a juvenile Little Gull, an ever-scarcer bird nowadays, on the tip of South Marsh; and a Great White Egret on East Marsh. In the bushes, a Firecrest and a Goldcrest were logged in the Wood, as was a Willow Warbler in song, along with 12 Chiffchaff. There were also 5 Wheatear on the top of the head. A fine wader selection, nearly all at Stanpit, was headed by a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and a Spotted Redshank, but also: 11 Grey Plover, ten of those just passing, a Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 6 Sanderling, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Black-tailed Godwit and 15 Dunlin. There are now three, conventional Brent Goose inside the harbour, with the Wigeon there suddenly getting to 273 birds, as well as a Gadwall and the Pintail; and a further four of the latter headed west. To finish, a single Common Tern was logged and a pure-white Swallow really caught the eye as it fed above Central Marsh.

September 21st

Tufted Duck – Peter Boardman

Most of today’s news comes from Stanpit, where 3 Avocet and 4 Knot were on South Marsh and 5 Greenshank were in Stanpit Creek. A Curlew Sandpiper, possibly the same bird as yesterday, was also present as was a Great White Egret this afternoon. The North Scrubs hosted at least 30 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and a Goldcrest, while 2 Yellow Wagtail were on Crouch Hill. The only report from Hengistbury involves the long-staying drake Tufted Duck, which was on the Ironstone Quarry Pond.

September 20th

Southern Hawker Dragonfly – Peter Boardman

There were a few birds moving through the area this morning, including 490 Swallow, 140 House Martin, 200 Meadow Pipit, 9 Yellow and 4 Grey Wagtail, all mainly coasting in a westerly direction. Site total for Chiffchaff came to 65, with just 1 Willow Warbler. At Hengistbury, a Whinchat and 5 Wheatear were on the Barn Field, with a further 3 of the latter species seen at Stanpit and Mudeford Quay. Once again, waders were well represented at Stanpit this morning with a Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 7 Bar-tailed and 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Knot, 4 Greenshank and 8 Snipe. A single Brent Goose was on South Marsh, together with 68 Canada Goose and the lone Pintail, while Common Sandpiper were logged on both sides of the harbour. This evening, a Whimbrel was seen leaving the harbour and a Peregrine successfully caught a small wader at Stanpit.  Of mammal interest, a pod of 6 or 7 Dolphin were observed from Mudeford Quay and Hengistbury.

September 19th

Snipe – Scott Usher

Black–tailed Godwit – Scott Usher

The early morning mist and murk eventually cleared so most of the day was warm and sunny. There was an excellent selection of waders on both sides of the harbour, with 2 Golden Plover, 5 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper and singles of both Green and Wood Sandpiper at or flying over Stanpit. The latter was lost in the mist, but might have landed on Priory Marsh. Meanwhile, a high tide visit to the Sandspit at Hengistbury returned 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 9 Sanderling, 41 Ringed Plover, 155 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone with a lone Black-tailed Godwit also on site. Wildfowl were represented by 3 Shoveler and 3 Tufted Duck. Overhead passerine movement included 2 Siskin, 80 Meadow Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail east at Hengistbury and Wick. A couple of Tree Pipit flew over Stanpit, where a Grasshopper Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher were settled around the golf course bank. Totals of grounded birds for the whole site came to 48 Blackcap, 70 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler and a dozen each of Sedge and Reed Warbler. Finally, after the first sighting of the autumn two days ago, 2 Brent Goose flew south over Double Dykes.

September 18th

The early morning mist and murk eventually cleared so most of the day was warm and sunny. There was an excellent selection of waders on both sides of the harbour, with 2 Golden Plover, 5 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper and singles of both Green and Wood Sandpiper at or flying over Stanpit. The latter was lost in the mist, but might have landed on Priory Marsh. Meanwhile, a high tide visit to the Sandspit at Hengistbury returned 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 9 Sanderling, 41 Ringed Plover, 155 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone with a lone Black-tailed Godwit also on site. Wildfowl were represented by 3 Shoveler and 3 Tufted Duck. Overhead passerine movement included 2 Siskin, 80 Meadow Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail east at Hengistbury and Wick. A couple of Tree Pipit flew over Stanpit, where a Grasshopper Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher were settled around the golf course bank. Totals of grounded birds for the whole site came to 48 Blackcap, 70 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler and a dozen each of Sedge and Reed Warbler. Finally, after the first sighting of the autumn two days ago, 2 Brent Goose flew south over Double Dykes.

September 17th

White–tailed Eagle – Tim Burdock

A colour–ringed, juvenile Sandwich Tern – Alan Crockard

It’s been a couple of days of large, soaring birds from re-introduction programmes. Today, it was a White-tailed Eagle, which made a low pass at 14:15, making the spectacle. Earlier, 3 Cattle Egret and a Great White Egret were logged from Hengistbury, where a Green Sandpiper was in Brewer’s Creek. The morning also saw a good presence of passerine migrants – the best a Garden Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher on Hengistbury; with site-wide totals coming to: 80 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Goldcrest, 40 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler and 2 Wheatear. A Ruff at Stanpit was the pick of the not-already-mentioned waders, but also: 6 Knot, 4 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit, 42 Ringed Plover and 112 Common Sandpiper. There were a confirmed 2 Kingfisher about, but perhaps as many as four, while the familiar, drake Tufted Duck was again with Mallard.

September 16th

White Stork – David Faulkner (upper two), Peter Boardman (third from top) & Leo Pyke

After they spent the night just to the east of us on Sway Tower, there was always the possibility the 36 White Stork from the Knepp Re-wilding Project would come our way during the morning; and around 11:45 they duly did. Whatever one thinks of the re-introduction scheme, the spectacle of this in UK skies is pretty special. The best, truly wild birds for the day, however, were 2 Brent Goose seen from the sandspit early on. The morning also saw a big movement of Swallow and House Martin, along with smaller amounts of Sand Martin and Meadow Pipit, although numbers are yet to be established. A single Curlew Sandpiper was again at Stanpit, as were: 5 Knot, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank – a further of those in Brewer’s Creek – 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 133 Dunlin. Meanwhile, birds flying through the harbour, included a Marsh Harrier and 2 Common Tern. Turning to passerines, the site held 35 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat and 3 Wheatear; with the final mentions going to the Pintail and 60 Wigeon.

September 15th

A Grasshopper Warbler was amongst 69 birds ringed at the HHC this morning, as were 18 Chiffchaff and 4 Willow Warbler – confirming the shift to the former the field-birders have been seeing – 17 Sedge Warbler, 12 Reed Warbler and 7 Blackcap. Meanwhile, a Whinchat was on South Marsh and up to 15 Wheatear were about, with a Whitethroat and 6 Chiffchaff also logged. Overhead, there was: a Tree Pipit; evidence of the Meadow Pipit passage about to start, 14 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Grey Wagtail. A good selection of waders, as always mostly at Stanpit, was headed by: singles of Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper; but also 5 Knot, 3 Greenshank, a Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Sanderling, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Ringed Plover and 68 Dunlin. Moving to terns, the juvenile Little Tern remains; while 2 Common Tern of the same age were also present and a Dutch-ringed Sandwich Tern was one of thirty-three. To wrap up: the Pintail remains; a Kingfisher was on Central Marsh; and a Peregrine was noted.

September 14th

Migrant Hawker – Peter Boardman

Painted Lady – Peter Boardman

A juvenile Black Tern rested on the Flats for some time this morning, when a Little Tern, 3 Common Tern and over 85 Sandwich Tern were logged. Also in the same area, a Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Knot, a Whimbrel, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Sanderling. Later in the day, at Stanpit, the Crouch Hill scrape held a Common Sandpiper, a Dunlin and 9 Teal; while 3 Greenshank, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Pintail and 2 Shoveler were in Stanpit Bight.

September 13th

Greenshank – Alan Hayden

Linnet – Alan Hayden

An Ortolan was on Hengistbury this morning. The bird was encountered briefly as it landed on the Barn Field fence, before disappearing off. Also around, but only for a short period, was a Spoonbill, which arrived over Wick and then left to the north. Other notables for the day were: a late Swift; a juvenile Little Tern at Stanpit, amongst 81 Sandwich Tern; and a Tree Pipit over. After a few bumper days, Yellow Wagtail were greatly reduced – perhaps just under ten birds today. Meanwhile, the Wheatear came to half a dozen. The peak wader numbers all come from Fisherman’s Bank during the morning, when: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, 5 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Sanderling, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Turnstone and 12 Snipe were returned. To finish, a Kingfisher was in Brewer’s Creek and a Peregrine visited.

September 12th

Yellow Wagtail – Alan Hayden

The Swallow family is around Crouch Hill for its fourth day now – Alan Hayden

Sparrowhawk – Alan Crockard

A Wryneck was on Grimmery Bank this morning for a little while, before flying across the river to Wick. Yellow Wagtail were all about Stanpit – perhaps as many as fifty birds settled, along with a Grey Wagtail, 3 Spotted Flycatcher and up to 10 Wheatear. Meanwhile, Wick held 15 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcap. As in the previous few days, there was a constant trickle of Swallow, with a few Sand Martin, across the area. Moving to waders, a Little Stint was in Mother Siller’s Channel this afternoon and a Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and 7 Black-tailed Godwit were around the marsh. To complete the post, a drake Tufted Duck was in Barn Bight.

September 11th

Red Admiral – Peter Calladine

A couple of Marsh Harrier passed over this morning, when singles of Spotted Flycatcher were by the Stunted Oaks and in the North Scrubs; with the latter also holding 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 15 phylloscs – Chiffchaff being the ones identified – and 5 Blackcap. Elsewhere, the Nursery had 2 Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff, and around 15 Wheatear and a couple of Whitethroat were about. The Yellow Wagtail peaked at around thirty on Crouch Hill and South Marsh this evening, while at least half-a-dozen Grey Wagtail passed over during the morning. Once again, there was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper on Blackberry Point, with other waders around there and the adjoining Stanpit Bight including: 4 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Knot, 3 Greenshank, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Black-tailed Godwit. To finish, an adult Mediterranean Gull was inside the harbour, 21 Sandwich Tern headed west past the sandspit, where 10 Turnstone were seen, and a Kingfisher was in Mother Siller’s Channel; where there was a brief piece of Reed Warbler song.

September 10th

There was a good showing of Yellow Wagtail today – Scott Usher

Adult Mediterranean Gull (left) with Black–headed Gull – Scott Usher

Arriving–from-Iceland, juvenile Black-tailed Godwit – Scott Usher

… and, from the Arctic, a juvenile Bar–tailed Godwit – Scott Usher

Crouch Hill was spectacularly alive with birds throughout the day, which peaked at 45 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Grey Wagtail, 15 Wheatear and a 30-strong flock of Linnet. Nearby, there were 2 Whinchat and a Spotted Flycatcher; with a further four of the former on the Long Field. During the morning, a Cattle Egret was on Central Marsh, while there were 2 Osprey, a Garganey and a Pochard seen from Hengistbury, and a juvenile Arctic Tern at Stanpit. Fly-over waders included 5 Green Sandpiper and 2 Ruff, with those settled at Stanpit included: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, a Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 24 Black-tailed Godwit – fifteen of those, seemingly all juveniles, dropping out of the sky and presumably just arriving. To finish, it was nice to encounter 5 Mediterranean Gull – two adults in non-breeding plumage and three birds-of-the-year in transitional attire.

September 9th

A family of Swallow with two very recently fledged juveniles have been lingering around Crouch Hill for a couple of days now. Where they have come from is a bit of a mystery – Ian Wigley

Jersey Tiger Moth – Peter Boardman

It was a day of rain and sun. Passerines throughout, included: two each of Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher on Hengistbury; 12 Wheatear and 7 Yellow Wagtail settled at Stanpit; and 3 Tree Pipit, 40 Yellow Wagtail, 200 Swallow and a House Martin over in three hours; all this morning; plus many further Yellow Wagtail calls as birds flew to roost over Two Riversmeet football pitches at dusk. A flock of 30 Grey Plover west over the sea was impressive, equally so 15 Knot; while a Great Skua, a Fulmar and a Common Scoter were also logged. Also involving the sea, an Arctic Tern flew into the harbour via the Run, with a Great Crested Grebe and 3 Mediterranean Gull being returned from Mudeford Quay. A Little Stint was in Holloway’s Dock for a short time and 2 Curlew Sandpiper were on the end of the sandspit; with other waders, all at Stanpit, coming to: 11 Knot, a Grey Plover, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Black-tailed Godwit. The Wigeon have now reached fifty-two birds, with the Pintail, 2 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall completing the wildfowl interest. To finish, the in-harbour Sandwich Tern peaked at around seventy.

September 8th

The morning saw quite a movement of Swallow into the south-easterly wind – an estimate of 1200 during the period 07:30 to 11:00. Meanwhile, the early low tide produced 2 Little Stint on the Flats, viewed from the sandspit, with the afternoon ebb at Stanpit contributing: a Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 10 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Snipe. Mediterranean Gull have been bordering on the rare this summer, so at least fifteen for the day is very welcome. Other than Sandwich Tern, terns have also been difficult to catch up with, but there were two juvenile Arctic Tern and 8 Common Tern around, amongst 50 or so of the ‘sarnies’. After a poor showing yesterday, Yellow Wagtail were again a feature – around fifteen over Hengistbury early on and up to twenty settled at Stanpit in the afternoon. A Whinchat was on the Long Field and Wheatear numbered eleven. The Pintail remained in Stanpit Bight and a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea.

September 7th

Wheatear – Derek Hopkins

In terms of migrant passerine activity, it was far quieter today. The best was: a Whinchat on Crouch Hill; a Redstart in the North Scrubs; and a Spotted Flycatcher close to the Stunted Oaks. Meanwhile, 4 Willow Warbler, 5 Yellow Wagtail and a minimum of 13 Wheatear were also noted; and around 130 Swallow passed over Stanpit in an hour this morning. Also before lunch, a couple of Curlew Sandpiper roosted with the Redshank on East Marsh, with 2 Knot, a couple of Greenshank, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Snipe around Stanpit Bight. Around the same time, 80 Ringed Plover and 90 Dunlin were roosting on the sandspit; while 20 Turnstone slept, on floating moorings off the Ferry Jetty. To finish, the incomers for the winter, which included: a Pintail, a Shoveler, 13 Teal and a Kingfisher.

September 6th

Spotted Flycatcher with Oak Eggar moth, which should see the bird nicely full of calories for the next leg of its southbound journey – perhaps even as far as South Africa – Alan Hayden

Common Sandpiper on the Crouch Hill scrape – Clinton Whale

Southern Migrant Hawker – a first for the area – Peter Boardman

There was a clear exodus of Swallow and Yellow Wagtail into the southerly breeze throughout the day – pulses of the former were every few minutes, likewise calls of the latter. Meanwhile, a Tree Pipit and a couple of Grey Wagtail also passed over, while settled outbound migrants included: a Pied Flycatcher, 10 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 4 Willow Warbler and 3 Chiffchaff at Stanpit, all but half the ‘spotflies’ in the North Scrubs; as well as, on the other side of the area, 4 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and 8 Willow Warbler; with the Wheatear total for the day being a minimum of ten birds. Perhaps also on its way out was a Hobby over the marsh, where the pick of the waders were: a Greenshank, 3 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Sanderling and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit. Rounding-off a half-decent post: a Pintail, four each of Shoveler and Teal, and 2 Shelduck were about; 3 Bullfinch, one from the new hide, were logged; and a Water Rail showed in Stanpit Creek. Of odonata interest, the area received its first record of Southern Migrant Hawker – from the Wooden Bridge on Wick.

September 5th

After two yesterday, the Avocet at Stanpit had increased to four this morning – but then fifteen by this evening. Meanwhile, across the day, the following wader maxima were returned from there: a Spotted Redshank in Stanpit Creek, a juvenile Ruff, 5 Greenshank, 6 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Sanderling and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit. Staying with the marsh, where there was: a getting-late Little Tern; a Pied Flycatcher and up to 10 Willow Warbler in the North Scrubs, plus at least 15 Yellow Wagtail and 9 Wheatear; and a male Marsh Harrier that passed north. Late in the afternoon, Hengistbury and Wick produced 5 Redstart, along with a Lesser Whitethroat on Roebury Lane and a further 4 Wheatear.

September 4th

After a year–long delay, it was fantastic to be able to open the new hide on Hengistbury Head – which will be available for everyone visiting the head to enjoy – Paul Turton

Bar–tailed Godwit – Alan Hayden

…and a very good candidate for blue-headed wagtail, which roosted with around 35 Yellow Wagtail by the HHC last night – Kevin Sayer

Those who attended the guided walk ahead of the opening of the new hide enjoyed a Whinchat on the Long Field, while during the ringing demonstration at least 5 Grey Wagtail overflew and there were frequent calls of Yellow Wagtail – but only two could be seen against the, then, blue sky. Also, a steady movement of Swallow, along with a few Sand Martin to the east. The rest of the news comes from Stanpit, however, where a Garganey was with 4 Shoveler and 48 Wigeon were counted. A Wood Sandpiper may have come down on to Priory Marsh, but more amenable were: 2 Avocet, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Black-tailed Godwit. To round up, at least 20 Yellow Wagtail and 9 Wheatear were decked on the marsh.

September 3rd

Little Stint – Joy Aubin

The three white egrets were all seen this morning. In addition to the resident ‘littles’, a Cattle Egret passed east and a Great White Egret headed north. Earlier, just after first light, 3 Tree Pipit, 44 Yellow Wagtail and 6 Grey Wagtail were overhead, while 3 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart and 8 Willow Warbler were on Hengistbury, and 3 Yellow Wagtail and 15 Wheatear fed at Stanpit. At least 2 Green Sandpiper moved other, but singles of Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper – the latter cohorting with Lapwing at the northern end of Stanpit Creek – were more settled; as were 6 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Black-tailed Godwit. The good showing of Dunlin and Ringed Plover went uncounted, however. To finish: a Nuthatch was again in the Nursery; a Common Gull, an adult, and 2 Mediterranean Gull, an adult and a juvenile, were logged; and a Shoveler, 35 Wigeon and 30 Teal were around.

September 2nd

Yellow Wagtail on the sandspit – Gary Foyle

Let’s start today’s post with waders – all at Stanpit, but viewed from both Fisherman’s Bank and around Stanpit Bight: a Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Knot, 6 Greenshank, 4 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Turnstone and 4 Snipe; plus uncounted Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Moving to passerines, at least 22 Yellow Wagtail were returned from Stanpit, including some settled birds around Crouch Hill; while the sandspit also held some, but no numbers mentioned. Elsewhere, a Redstart was on the Batters, a Spotted Flycatcher was in the North Scrubs, a Whinchat was on the Barn Field and over 16 Wheatear were spread about. To finish; an adult Mediterranean Gull roosted on East Marsh; a Shoveler, 44 Wigeon and 18 Teal were on site; and a Great Crested Grebe was around Blackberry Point.

September 1st

Curlew Sandpiper with sleeping Dunlin (upper) and with Sanderling – Chris Chapleo

Adult (upper) and juvenile Ringed Plover – Alan Crockard

After over ten days of easterly wind, a Balearic Shearwater off Hengistbury this morning was a major surprise; with two eastbound Common Scoter and 16 Gannet also being logged at sea. A minimum of 3 Spotted Flycatcher were in the North Scrubs, a Garden Warbler was on Wick and a Lesser Whitethroat was on Hengistbury; while around 30 Willow Warbler, 22 Chiffchaff, 6 Whitethroat and 6 Wheatear were across the site. Moving to waders: early morning on the sandspit saw a Curlew Sandpiper, 9 Sanderling, 122 Ringed Plover, 165 Dunlin and 5 Turnstone; then the afternoon at Stanpit added a Little Stint, 4 Greenshank, a very smart Grey Plover, 4 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Black-tailed Godwit; plus a Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight. After a couple of blank days, the distinctively tailed Osprey visited morning and afternoon, and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was at Mudeford Quay in the early evening.

August 31st

Sanderling (upper), Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone – all enjoying the sanctuary at the end of Mudeford sandspit – Gary Foyle

Presumably it’s the over-a-week-long spell of easterlies which continue to bring Pied Flycatcher to the area – another today in the No Dogs Field. Also, a Redstart there with 10 Willow Warbler and 6 Chiffchaff. Meanwhile, a Whinchat and half-a-dozen Wheatear were west of the Barn Field, towards Whitepits; a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap and 2 Wheatear were at Stanpit, mostly in the North Scrubs; and a remarkable 16 Yellow Wagtail and 11 Wheatear were in the fenced area at the end of the sandspit. Not just waders benefitting from that project! Speaking of waders, the best was a Green Sandpiper over Wick in the afternoon, while Stanpit held: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, at least 3 Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 110 Ringed Plover and 150+ Dunlin. For those planning to attend the ringing demonstration on Saturday, please note above the change of venue.

August 30th

Snipe – Clinton Whale

Ruff – Scott Usher

Kingfisher – Clinton Whale

For the area, the most notable record of the day was certainly a doubling of Nuthatch – to two birds – in the Nursery; while a Garden Warbler was on the adjacent Long Field, 7 Wheatear were about and 5 Yellow Wagtail passed over. The pick of the waders was a juvenile Ruff that appeared at Stanpit late in the afternoon; where, earlier, 3 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Grey Plover and 4 Bar-tailed Godwit were logged. Meanwhile, the returning wildfowl came to: a Shoveler, 10 Wigeon and 12 Teal.

August 29th

Whinchat – Alan Hayden

Stonechat – Alan Hayden

Reed Bunting – Alan Hayden

Sedge Warbler – Alan Hayden

The Osprey’s two visits today were at 11:30 and 15:40 with a successful catch at the earlier visit.  Reasonable numbers of migrants were logged, mainly this morning, including 200 Swallow north-east over Hengistbury plus site totals of 18 Willow Warbler,16 Whitethroat, 15 Sedge Warbler, 9 Wheatear, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat and a Redstart; also a Nuthatch in the Nursery.  With so much exposed mud in the harbour the waders were difficult to count accurately but amongst the birds present were 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe and singles of Greenshank, Grey Plover, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit. The Tufted Duck was still around together with 22 Wigeon, 7 Teal and 2 Shoveler; also a Kingfisher was on Stanpit.

August 28th

Osprey with attendant Lapwing – Roger Tidball

The three Curlew Sandpiper with a Redshank – Alan Hayden

Adult Grey Plover – Alan Hayden

… and a juvenile Black–tailed Godwit – Alan Hayden

Save for a few Yellow Wagtail and Willow Warbler, passerines were few and far between; wader variety, however, made for a reasonably decent day. This morning, three juvenile Curlew Sandpiper appeared in Stanpit Bight and during the afternoon the Little Stint was again on Blackberry Point. In addition, there and on the Flats, a Ruff, 2 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 5 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, 85 Ringed Plover and 90 Dunlin were all logged. The Osprey visited around 10:30 and 15:30, both times successfully, a Peregrine hunted and 45 Sandwich Tern loafed.

August 27th

Grasshopper Warbler – Leo Pyke

One of the Yellow Wagtail ringed today – Kevin Sayer

In addition to the pictured Grasshopper Warbler by the HHC, there were 3 Pied Flycatcher and a Lesser Whitethroat briefly at Stanpit this morning; while; more settled, across Wick and Hengistbury, as far as the Nursery, were: 5 Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat and a Garden Warbler; plus around thirty each of Willow Warbler and Whitethroat; with ten or so Wheatear spread across the site. Overhead, singles of Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail passed, as well as 40 Yellow Wagtail – a further twelve of the latter grounded at by Mother Siller’s Channel in the evening. An adult Little Stint was on Blackberry Point during the afternoon, with other waders in and around Stanpit Bight coming to: 3 Greenshank, 4 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Ringed Plover, 83 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone. There were three Osprey moments – around 9:30, 14:30 and 15:30 – the latter definitely resulting in a catch. On that occasion, the bird left so low over the Recreation Ground that it was possible to hear its wingbeats. Common Gull are now creeping back – adults seen passing to the west and one loafing on South Marsh. The same can be said of wildfowl – a Pintail, a Wigeon and 13 Teal all returned today; along with the drake Tufted Duck. To finish, a Peregrine was about.

August 26th

A couple of Little Stint, a Curlew Sandpiper and an over-flying Little Ringed Plover were at Stanpit this morning, along with: 3 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Turnstone; the latter a notable, in-harbour number. Passerine-wise, there was a brief Grasshopper Warbler at Stanpit, but two each of Whinchat and Redstart were more amenable, as were up to 10 Wheatear. Meanwhile, on the other side of the area, a Spotted Flycatcher was on the Long Field, a Lesser Whitethroat was by the HHC, and twos of Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit passed over. Early on, a Great White Egret was about the marsh, as were two juvenile Mediterranean Gull – a species that is a bit scarce this late-summer – as well as a Tufted Duck. To finish, this evening, between 6:30 and 7:30, at least 22 Yellow Wagtail headed towards the harbour over the Two Riversmeet football pitches.

August 25th

Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale

There was another nice selection of passerine migrants today, including: 2 Pied Flycatcher in the North Scrubs; 3 Whinchat on the Barn Field; a Lesser Whitethroat on Roebury Lane; Redstart on Wick and Crouch Hill; and at least 6 Wheatear, 25 Willow Warbler and 10 Whitethroat. A single Tree Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail went over this morning; but by the late afternoon, calls of the latter were pretty constant on South Marsh – with perhaps twenty birds settled. Back to the morning, when a Black Tern passed through with some Common Tern and the Osprey failed to catch either side of 10:00. The best of the waders were a couple of Green Sandpiper, with 3 Greenshank, over Wick; while Stanpit held a further 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, four juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit and a 200-strong mix of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Wrapping up, single juveniles of Peregrine and Mediterranean Gull were turned in.

August 24th

Avocet – Alan Hayden

In a continuing easterly breeze, passerine variety notched up again slightly. Pied Flycatcher were in the Nursery and the No Dogs Field; 3 Spotted Flycatcher were in the Long Field, with a further in the North Scrubs; that field also held a Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler, while the scrubs held another; a couple of Whinchat were on the Barn Field, plus one at Stanpit; of 3 Redstart, two were in the No Dogs Field; at least 10 Wheatear were about and the Willow Warbler came to around thirty. Meanwhile, moving over, were 2 Yellow Wagtail, 17 Sand Martin and 50 Swallow. The Osprey performed at 08:50 and a male Marsh Harrier in moult was logged. Amongst the waders, Avocet were a feature – two birds settled and seven eastbound, high over the harbour. Also lingering, 2 Knot, a Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper. No other small waders were reported, however. To round up: 4 Common Tern and two juvenile Mediterranean Gull were loafing around Stanpit Bight, where 4 Shoveler, the 3 Wigeon and 21 Teal were also present.

August 23rd

There was a variety of passerine migrants around this morning. A Pied Flycatcher was in the Old Council Depot site; a Spotted Flycatcher was in the North Scrubs, along with a Redstart; a further Redstart was in the Nursery; a Garden Warbler was in the No Dogs Field; 13 Tree Pipit and 12 Yellow Wagtail passed over; with others coming to: 10 Wheatear, 25 Willow Warbler, 20+ Whitethroat and similar number of Chiffchaff. The best of the waders – singles of Curlew Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and Avocet – were all brief affairs, but a Knot, a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Turnstone were more settled at Stanpit. Meanwhile, it was nice to hear of a Knot, 75 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin roosting in the CHOG-BCP fenced area on the sandspit. The Osprey visited this morning, when a Peregrine was about, and the first Wigeon of the ‘winter’ – three birds – were in Stanpit Bight.

August 22nd

Osprey – Scott Usher

Wheatear – Alan Crockard

This morning, Ashtree Meadow held a Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher, as well as a few Willow Warbler, and 7 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill; while 2 Yellow Wagtail and 8 Swift overflew. The Osprey came at around 10:00 and caught on the first plunge, with a Peregrine and Buzzard also being logged. To finish the bird news, a light day of wader reports – just a Knot, 2 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel to mention. Of odonata interest, there were still 2 Small Red-eyed Damselfly around.

August 21st

This morning, a Garganey was with 4 Teal at Stanpit, while 3 Arctic Skua passed over high to the west. Also westbound through the area, 3 Little Tern and 20 Common Tern. Meanwhile, 3 Tree Pipit headed south, 9 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill and 7 Willow Warbler were returned from Wick. This afternoon, around 15:15, the regular Osprey – a tail feather missing – visited, again caught successfully and took it back to the Avon Valley. To conclude, the Stanpit waders, which included: 3 Knot, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit – nine of those not stopping, 70 Ringed Plover, 80 Dunlin and two each of Snipe and Turnstone.

August 20th

On another grey day, a flock of 9 Knot – two adults and seven birds of the year – arrived at Stanpit late in the afternoon; when earlier there had been 2 Ruff, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 5 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Turnstone; plus uncounted Ringed Plover and Dunlin. The Osprey came and went around 15:45, while, early on, 3 Swift passed through. The only passerines to mention are 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a sprinkling of Willow Warbler in the North Scrubs. To finish, the wildfowl: still the single, juvenile Shelduck remains; and as somebody took the trouble to count them there is a moral duty to pass the news on – 227 Canada Goose and 7 Greylag Goose. Please note, the weather forecast has scuppered the ringing session of the meet at Durlston tomorrow, but the guided walk is still planned to start at 9:00am. 

August 19th

Starting at the end of the day, when a seawatch from Hengistbury saw two juvenile Arctic Tern and a mixture of 21 Common Tern pass west. Back to the morning and a Spotted Flycatcher was in the North Scrubs, along with several Willow Warbler – some of them singing – while 3 Tree Pipit and the same number of Swift went over. The Wheatear on Crouch Hill peaked at five this afternoon. Moving to the waders at Stanpit, there were 3 Knot, one of them an adult still showing red, as well as 3 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, a Turnstone and a Snipe. To finish, the Osprey was around between 10:30 and 10:45, when it left with a fish.

August 18th

It was a grey and breezy day that ended up feeling more like October! The Osprey visit came at 09:00 and didn’t last too long – a couple of circuits of Stanpit Creek and back again with fish. Around midday, a Red Kite circled over Wick, while a westerly hirundine passage was estimated at 100+ Sand Martin and around 60 Swallow. The day’s wader counts, all from Stanpit Bight, peaked at: 2 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, a Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Sanderling, 150 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin and a Turnstone. A Tree Pipit was decked on Wick and one went over Stanpit, where there was a Spotted Flycatcher in Ashtree Meadow and 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. To round up, single juveniles of Common Gull and Mediterranean Gull headed west and was settled at Stanpit respectively.

August 17th

Osprey with the afternoon catch – Alan Hayden

After there being three male Small Red–eyed Damselfly yesterday, a female arrived today – Simon Coupe

Painted Lady – Jackie Smith

The same Osprey visited twice today – around 09:15 and 15:30 – each time successfully catching a fish and taking them back to wherever in the Avon Valley. Earlier, a Great White Egret had headed the same way over Wick Fields. The waders, mostly at Stanpit, were headed by a very brief Little Stint, at least 2 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 81 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, 22 Snipe, the bulk of them seen to arrive in varying sized wisps, and a notable count of 117 Redshank. Passerines were again sparse, but did include a Redstart and a Yellow Wagtail from Ashtree Meadows, plus 7 Willow Warbler around Wick. The gull interest came from two juvenile Mediterranean Gull and 2 Common Gull – an adult and a juvenile – all passing through west, with a settled adult of the latter; also at least 3 Common Tern about the place. After yesterday’s Teal, there was a doubling, along with 5 Shoveler, and, to finish, singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher were returned.

August 16th

Linnet – Clinton Whale

Wheatear on the Rusty Boat – Jackie Smith

Small Red–eyed Damselfly – Barrie Taylor

The first, two juvenile Knot of the season were at Stanpit today, along with a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, over 40 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. The only other bird news involves up to 10 Wheatear settled across the site and an adult, male Marsh Harrier, in a heavy state-of-moult, over this afternoon. Of odonata interest, the newly created nature pond on Riversmeet Meadow hosted the area’s first Small Red-eyed Damselfly – three males.

August 15th

An Osprey visited briefly around 1:50 this afternoon, before leaving to the north with a catch. Earlier in the day, there was an excellent record of Wood Warbler at Wick – a species that is very rare here on the return passage. Also 4 Willow Warbler on the fields there, with a Spotted Redshank circling the nearby farm meadows before heading west. Meanwhile, the waders at Stanpit included: a Greenshank, at least 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 35 Ringed Plover, 17 Dunlin and 10 Snipe. To finish, a couple of Wheatear were on their favoured spot of Crouch Hill and 5 Swift passed over. From this date onwards, all records of the latter are welcome.

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