Share this page
Sightings for Administrator 1

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 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.


We have a number of publications available including the current edition of Birds of Christchurch Harbour

Also, back issues from previous years and other goodies.


We have a number of publications available including the current edition of Birds of Christchurch Harbour

Also, back issues from previous years and other goodies.