Sightings for the current month.

July 21st

Peregrine
Peregrine on Christchurch Priory – Clinton Whale
Sanderling
Sanderling on the sandspit – Clinton Whale
A strong southerly wind that gained strength overnight brought two species of shearwater to Christchurch Bay  – a total of 3 Balearic Shearwater and 15 Manx Shearwater. Most of the former seen from Mudeford Quay just after 8:00, with Hengistbury returning most of the latter. In all, the quay was watched for over five hours from 5:45 and produced: 12 Kittiwake east and 18 Common Tern, a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Whimbrel, 38 Common Scoter and 48 Gannet, mainly west. An hour late in the afternoon, when the wind had shifted slightly to the east, added just a single Common Tern, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 7 Common Scoter and 3 Gannet. Meanwhile, 5 Sanderling were on the sandspit.
 
in focus logo
Optical retailers, In Focus, will be holding a binocular and telescope sales day on 5th August at The Pod, Stanpit Marsh, when a percentage of the takings will be donated to CHOG. This is an excellent chance to field-test, in a birding environment, any equipment you may be interested in. More details of the ranges stocked can be seen on the In Focus website. If there is anything you are particularly want to see, it may be worth calling beforehand to ensure it is brought along.

Tides July 22nd: L03:55 | H08:40 | H12:10 | L16:20 | H21:05

July 20th

Dunlin
Juvenile (front) and adult Dunlin – Gary Foyle

A north-westerly wind made for a poor day. At Stanpit, there was a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel and 17 Dunlin, while the only returns from Mudeford Quay were singles of Mediterranean Gull and Grey Heron west. 

July 19th

The pick of the birds from this morning's sea watch was a Great Skua that moved west off Mudeford Quay shortly after 7:00. Otherwise it was fairly standard fare with totals of 30 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Tern, 6 Common Scoter and an adult Mediterranean Gull, all west, with another 21 Common Scoter east; also 11 Gannet offshore. Inside the harbour, 8 Mediterranean Gull were present. Waders today on Stanpit included 8 Dunlin and 5 Greenshank, plus singles of Ringed Plover and Turnstone on the sandspit. In the early afternoon, there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull on the sandbar off the quay, while a juvenile bird was present earlier. The first hint of passerine migration was provided by a male Whinchat on Crouch Hill this morning and a Yellow Wagtail overhead. The Peregrine was again on The Priory Tower.

Please check back to yesterday for late news.

18th July

With the wind more east than north this morning, there was a moderate movement of Common Tern and Gannet past Mudeford Quay with counts of 34 and 38 respectively, also 10 Dunlin, 9 Swift and 5 Common Scoter, all these east, while another 9 Common Scoter moved west. On Stanpit, there were 88 Redshank on site plus 15 Dunlin, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Whimbrel and the first Turnstone of the 'autumn'. The only report from Hengistbury was of a Common Sandpiper on the river.

Late news: a Roseate Tern moved east past Mudeford Quay.

July 17th

There was just enough of a breeze this morning to warrant a look at the sea. Hence, from Mudeford Quay, 17 Common Scoter were logged plus 20 Sandwich Tern and 7 Common Tern; also 45 Gannet lingering in the bay. From Fisherman's Bank, another 4 Sandwich and 2 Common Tern were off South Marsh, as the tide dropped. On East Marsh, in the high tide roos,t were fourteen, mainly adult, Mediterranean Gull but also two birds-of-the-year. There were 4 Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit, the latter still in its summer finery, while the counts of Redshank and Curlew were 49 and 25 respectively. The Peregrine was on The Priory Tower once again and the unseasonable Brent Goose was on Stanpit.

July 16th

Whitethroat
Whitethroat – Alan Crockard
Jay
Jay – Matthew Barfield

It was a close, grey day which could have done with a bit of thunder to clear the air. The only news comes from Wick and the western end of Hengistbury. A Goosander overflew Wick Fields and headed towards Stanpit, while a Whimbrel and 18 Redshank were in Barn Bight.


July 15th

Lesser Black-backed Gull
This adult Lesser Black-backed Gull spent quite some time this morning quartering, harrier-like, over Central Marsh – Alan Crockard
Whimbrel
Whimbrel in the algae, taking its place
amongst the numerous gulls it attracts – Alan Crockard

A Bearded Tit that flew from Wick Hams to Stanpit is probably the best report of the day, although the Brent Goose from Thursday was relocated on South Marsh. Generally, however, there were very slim pickings in a north-westerly breeze, save for 5 Whimbrel, the Peregrine on The Priory and 2 Kingfisher about Parky Meade Rail. Meanwhile, a few birds are still in song – not least Reed Warbler by the Bailey Bridge and Whitethroat on Crouch Hill, with Reed Bunting trying to join in from Central Marsh.

July 14th

Brent Goose
This Brent Goose, which should really currently be in Siberia,
was on the sandspit yesterday – Gary Foyle

Firstly, please check back to yesterday for some additional news of mid-summer interest. This morning, however, was fairly routine – the on-site waders being highlighted with 3 Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin and a good count of 43 Redshank, all the latter in Barn Bight. There seemed to be a few more Common Tern about – around ten passing through the area – but the Mediterranean Gull count came to just three birds. A Grey Wagtail was heard a few times from Fisherman’s Bank, but couldn’t be picked out, while a couple of Peregrine, one of them the tower bird, jousted over there. Rounding up, a Kingfisher flew past the Wick viewing platform.

July 13th

The summer weather returned and brought a few waders with it, including 6 Whimbrel and 23 Dunlin at Stanpit, while a further four and five respectively passed west and east; as well as a couple of Ringed Plover on the marsh. The pair of Common Tern were again seeming to court off Argyle Road, a Mediterranean Gull moved west, the Peregrine was on the tower and a few Swift were about.

Additional news: a very unseasonable Brent Goose was on the inner side of the sandspit.

July 12th

This morning saw a good count of 12 Common Sandpiper together on the end of the sandspit, viewable from Mudeford Quay, as well as a Greenshank in Barn Bight and 5 Black-tailed Godwit north. Also airborne were a few Swift – perhaps 10 or so noted moving into the north-westerly breeze. Otherwise, however, it was relatively quiet with just 4 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Tern and Redshank, those moving east, seen from the quay.

Additional news: there were a further 10 Common Sandpiper off Fisherman's Bank and the Peregrine was on its gargoyle.

July 11th

The warm weather finally broke and drizzle, then heavier rain, dominated the day. From Mudeford Quay early on, a total of 18 Mediterranean Gull – 16 adults and two juveniles – headed west, while 2 Common Tern arrived, a dozen Sandwich moved west and Gannet, perhaps 40 birds, were present for around 10 minutes. Inside the harbour, there was a Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Dunlin and 64 Lapwing, plus a Buzzard that drifted west over East Marsh. Elsewhere, the male Bullfinch was again on Wick and the Peregrine was on The Priory tower.

July 10th

Kestrel
Kestrel - the juveniles are currently spending their time sat on the sandy slopes
at the western end of Hengistbury – Matthew Barfield
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker - juvenile just visible in the nest-hole – Jane Pearce

There was a flurry of large, white birds off Fisherman’s Bank this morning. Firstly, a flock of 6 Spoonbill arrived from the east, inspected the area without touching down and then carried on west over Southbourne. Shortly afterwards, a Cattle Egret, still with touches of breeding plumage, was picked out in the long grass on East Marsh amongst 20 or so Little Egret. The bird wasn’t seen after 10:00, however, despite being looked for. Meanwhile, waders on the marsh included: a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, three wonderfully-plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, presumably fresh-in from Iceland, and a Ringed Plover. A Common Tern fished in Stanpit Bight and a Peregrine has taken to one of the gargoyles on the south face of The Priory tower, which has been a favoured spot going back almost 20 years.

July 9th

Reed Warbler Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler – Steve Hogan

A combination of little wind, biting insects and stinking weed made Stanpit a less-than-pleasant early morning venue, when 4 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and an adult Mediterranean Gull were the returns. Over on Hengistbury, at least one Peregrine was seen around the cliffs.

July 8th

On another warm morning, Mediterranean Gull were conspicuous – with at least 40 heading generally west through the area. Sticking with gulls, the first juvenile Herring Gull of the year was in the harbour, while the last week has seen some colour-ringed Black-headed Gull, including a ‘white’ adult and some ‘red’ juveniles, but all too distant to get to grips with. Waders were poor, although there were 2 Whimbrel in Stanpit Creek, where a Common Tern fished and a Peregrine passed over. 

July 7th

The first Greenshank of the ‘autumn’ was at Stanpit this morning, before it left high to the north. Also there, a Whimbrel and 9 Curlew, plus a selection of terns comprising: a Little Tern, a Common Tern and at least 10 Sandwich Tern. Meanwhile, six adult Mediterranean Gull were on East Marsh, along with 23 Little Egret.

July 6th

It was, at times, uncomfortably hot today with the temperatures hovering about the mid-20s. As such, there is little bird news – a Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight, a Lesser Whitethroat in song by the HHC and two juvenile Sedge Warbler by the HHC – but of mammal interest a Stoat was seen at Stanpit.

July 5th

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull – Alan Crockard

The returning waders are trickling by, but as the behaviour of 3 Knot confirms the state of the harbour for them, due to the algae plague, is nothing short of hopeless. These birds came in from high, with a couple of Redshank, circuited a few times and then moved off west. A total of 4 Dunlin did manage to find a pocket of uncovered mud, however. Longer-billed species, such as Whimbrel, are able to cope and there was a single today, while 2 Black-tailed Godwit passed east. Around 4 Mediterranean Gull, including a juvenile were logged and around twelve similarly-aged Black-headed Gull were about. Over on Wick, a Lesser Whitethroat sang in the Bobolink Field. 

July 4th

Linnet
Linnet – Clinton Whale

There was a total of 5 Common Sandpiper at Stanpit today, along with a couple of Whimbrel. Meanwhile, at least 7 Mediterranean Gull were logged.  

July 3rd

Starling
Now is the time of year when post-breeding flocks of Starling frequent the area
– Clinton Whale
Peacock
Peaccock – Clinton Whale

It was another decent day in terms of weather and one that saw the first juvenile Mediterranean Gull of the year, in the company of an adult. There is little else to report, however, save for 50 Redshank, 20 Lapwing a 6 Curlew on Stanpit.  

July 2nd

Returning wader interest is spluttering into life, with a total of 3 Common Sandpiper at Stanpit and 9 Black-tailed Godwit north, as well as 15 Curlew and around forty each of Lapwing and Redshank on site. Otherwise, the best of a hot day were: 2 Mediterranean Gull west, a male Bullfinch by the HHC and a Peregrine over. 

July 1st

Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk – Gary Foyle
Even before these photos were received, it was clear there must be a nest of hungry
youngsters somewhere, as a male bird was seen making four prey-laden trips
in little over an hour over Mudeford Quay and along the sandspit.

There was a significant passage of Swift this morning, as a minimum of 500 moved from the Solent and generally to the north-west. This was in a 90-minute period, when a band of low cloud seemed to sit between Milford-on-sea and the Isle of Wight. As soon as that cleared, however, there were no further birds. Otherwise though, it was all rather dull – with just 2 Whimbrel east; 5 Curlew, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Common Tern west; and single, arriving Little Egret and Grey Heron logged from Mudeford Quay. Inside the harbour, the Whimbrel and a further 10 Curlew were present, as was a single Dunlin, and the pair of Common Tern were again off Fisherman’s Bank. On Crouch Hill a recently-fledged Stonechat family comprising three youngsters was present, but slightly worse new regarding the mixed-Polish brood of Mute Swan – the three white cygnets remain, but there is now just one conventional grey individual.

June 30th

Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper – Clinton Whale
Comma
Comma – Clinton Whale

Late in the afternoon, a Marsh Harrier was seen flying north from Stanpit, while earlier in the day a male Bullfinch and 5 Mediterranean Gull headed west.

June 29th

Linnet
Linnet – Gary Foyle

After yesterday’s wash-out, there is a little more to report on today. Around 20 Black-tailed Godwit, presumably early returners from Iceland, were logged, as well as the lingering Whimbrel and 8 Curlew. Other birds that were likely wanderers from not-so-distant breeding locations included a Kingfisher in Stanpit Creek, a Mediterranean Gull over there and 34 Swift moving above Wick. Meanwhile, despite not breeding in the area or ever really showing an interest in doing so, two adult Common Tern continue to pass food amongst themselves off Fisherman’s Bank.

June 28th

Reed Bunting Reed Bunting
Some very bedraggled-looking Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale

As the photographs suggest, rain was a feature of the day; all day, in fact! In the wet and still conditions, the only bird of any note was a Common Tern through the Run.

June 27th

The best of a short post is a male Bearded Tit that sat atop reeds immediately adjacent to the HHC for a minute or two this morning, while a little later both Firecrest and Treecreeper were heard in the Wood.

June 26th

Wick Viewing Platform
The new viewing platform on Wick, which was partially funded by CHOG – David Taylor
Wick Viewing Platform
...and the vista from it, including the recently-created reed bed pool – David Taylor

Waders make up the bulk of the post with the Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper, those in Mother Siller’s Channel, at Stanpit, as well as 6 Curlew, 15 Redshank and 40 Lapwing. Meanwhile, a couple of Common Tern, one feeding the other, were off Fisherman’s Bank and up to 9 Mediterranean Gull were logged, mainly adults. The new viewing platform was christened with 2 Peregrine, both heading towards Hengistbury, and a Buzzard soared just north of Wick.

June 25th

The Whimbrel was again at Stanpit this morning, on South Marsh, and a Common Sandpiper could be heard calling from Barn Bight, where 7 Redshank were seen from the Hengistbury side. The only other logged waders, however, were 7 Lapwing on the marsh. Although only two gatherings of Shelduck ducklings – eleven larger and five smaller – were noted today, it does seem probable there have actually been three broods this season. Meanwhile, Blackcap are still in good voice around the Nursery, as is a Chiffchaff.

June 24th

With a strong south-westerly blowing up overnight and some morning drizzle, the sea looked a fair shout this morning. As it turned out, however, just a Common Tern, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 6 Common Scoter could be mustered from Mudeford Quay. Inside the harbour, the algae, some of which is now confirmed to be non-native, is taking serious hold; meaning it's looking pretty grim for the autumn wader passage. Not to mention the smell! CHOG are in dialogue with the Environment Agency to try and determine more information.

Additional news: a Whimbrel was at Stanpit.

June 23rd

Kestrel Kestrel
All six of the young Kestrel are now out and about from the nest box – Paul Turton

The Birds of Christchurch Harbour
Now being distributed to members

As there is now news for today, it’s a good time for some announcements. Firstly, our report for 2016, The Birds of Christchurch Harbour, will be dropping through members’ letterboxes. As such, another big thank you to Leo Pyke for the many, many hours she puts into compiling and editing what is yet another outstanding publication. If you are not a member, copies will soon be available in local retailers, but why not Join CHOG and receive one for free. Also free for members is entry to our Indoor Meetings and details of the forthcoming programme are now on-line.

Additional news: a Whimbrel, 2 Curlew and a Mediterranean Gull were at Stanpit in the evening, while the Grey Seal had earlier been in the Run.

June 22nd

Although the temperatures were still on the warm side, cloud was present for much of the day. A one-hour seawatch from Whitepits from 6:30 this morning saw a Great Skua, 2 Common Tern, 12 Common Scoter and five adult Mediterranean Gull head west, while a second-calendar-year ‘med’ lingered. Slightly later, the Beach Huts experienced 4 Common Scoter west and a Guillemot east. Elsewhere, a Firecrest was in the Wood again.

June 21st

Sand Martin
Sand Martin – Clinton Whale
Stonechat
Stonechat – Alan Crockard
In the continuing heat, bird news is hard to come by so the odonata update following this short post is very welcome. First, however, the birds. A Firecrest was singing in the Wood on Hengistbury, 3 Mediterranean Gull passed east and 36 Lapwing were logged. The Shelduck breeding situation is again getting confused: over the weekend distinct groups of ten and six were seen at Stanpit; while a group of five seen on Monday was described as ‘newly-hatched’, meaning three broods may be present.

Odonata Update
Many species of dragonfly and damselfly species are now on the wing at Hengistbury Head, helped by this period of hot weather.  An intensive odonata survey is well underway, and with the help of a very enthusiastic team of volunteers, we have so far proved by collecting exuviae that 13 species breed on the reserve – Large Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and Common Darter.  If anyone sees a Downy Emerald, please do let us know!  Thank you to all involved for all your hard work so far.  John Lloyd

June 20th

Jay
Jay at Stanpit – Clinton Whale

The only report today is of a couple of adult Mediterranean Gull roosting on East Marsh at high tide.

June 19th

Whitethroat
Whitethroat above and Greenfinch below, both on Stanpit recently – Clinton Whale
Greenfinch

There is no news so far today.

June 18th

Cuckoo
Cuckoo at Whitepits this morning – Ann Parramore
Kestrel Kestrel
The six young Kestrel seem to have outgrown their box! – Brian Wadie

The only news for the today involves the photographed Cuckoo early this morning. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news, however. 

June 17th

Emperor Dragonfly Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly – Chris Chapleo
Meadow Brown
Meadow Brown – Clinton Whale

A scorching day, during which the sky was completely cloudless throughout, saw a very unseasonable Kingfisher whizz through Wick Fields. Also of note, and a species that shares breeding sites on the rivers which feed into the area, was a Grey Wagtail, heard over the Wood. Meanwhile, a Lesser Whitethroat sang briefly by the HHC, 3 Mediterranean Gull – of the three available plumages – passed through, a female-type Common Scoter headed east at sea and a Curlew moved west. The pick of the waders at Stanpit was certainly a Whimbrel, but also 20 Lapwing, 9 Redshank and 4 Curlew there. Of local breeding interest, Dartford Warbler were conspicuous in song this morning – seemingly a second burst of activity from them – and the in-harbour Little Egret count is building – 26 birds today. Remaining on the breeding theme, bu t moving to amphibians: it seems Natterjack have had a great season, with masses of tiny toadlets around at least one of the ponds.

Additional news: a Nightjar was feeding over North Marsh, Stanpit, last night.

Tides June 18th: H03:15 | H06:50 | L11:10 | H15:40 | H19:55

June 16th

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler – Alan Crockard
Mute Swan
This Mute Swan family, which frequents the inner shore of Mudeford Quay,
contains three 'Polish' cygnets - the white ones – Clinton Whale

A Ringed Plover was the wader ‘highlight’ for today, amongst a Curlew, 2 Redshank and 3 Lapwing; all at Stanpit. 

June 15th

The struggle for excitement in June continues. Today's best were 11 Mediterranean Gull west over Hengistbury, while 11 Grey Heron gathered in Barn Bight and 3 Curlew were logged.  

June 14th

All the news comes from Stanpit, the most notable, for the month that is, being of wildfowl; which included a Shoveler, 4 Teal and 4 Gadwall. Meanwhile, 16 Mediterranean Gull passed west and a couple of Curlew were around.

June 13th

Shelduck
Shelduck – Gary Foyle
Cormorant
Cormorant – Clinton Whale

The only migrant news from a gloriously warm day involves three each of Sanderling and Dunlin on the sandspit. Of breeding interest, a pair of Mute Swan close to Mudeford Quay, presumably the same duo as last year, have hatched a brood of six cygents – three standard and three Polish type; exactly the same number and combination as twelve months ago!

June 12th

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting – Gary Foyle
Rock Pipit
Fledgling Rock Pipit – Gary Foyle

There was a typical sign of post-breeding dispersal from nearby woodland today, when a Nuthatch – not yet recorded this year – was on Hengistbury, opposite Holloway’s Dock. Also from the head, a Hobby, over the Batters and then out to sea, and a Buzzard, initially in the Wood and then north. The marsh is in mid-summer hiatus, with the only reports involving a Curlew, 9 Lapwing and two broods of Shelduck, one counted at six and one estimated, due to length of vegetation, to be around the same number. 

June 11th

There is, so far, no news for today.  

June 10th

Storm Petrel Storm Petrel Storm Petrel
Storm Petrel from yesterday – Chris Dresh

Although there are no reports received today, with the wind continuing in the same vein it seems reasonable to assume there were still petrels offshore.

Update: it seems the rather casual assumption above was incorrect, in that no petrels could be seen, although 3 adult Kittiwake were. This evening, there were 2 Nightjar churring on the top of the head. 

June 9th

Storm Petrel
Storm Petrel – Leo Pyke

Storm Petrel again dominate the post; in fact, other than 3 Gannet, there were no further seabirds noted. At least 15 ‘Stormies’ were off the Beach Huts this morning, but this had dropped to five by the afternoon. Looking from Mudeford Quay, the maximum there was six – one of which was watched entering the harbour through the Run! Of continuing breeding interest, the Redshank on Wick Hams, which have not been obvious for a while, became very agitated when a juvenile Grey Heron landed in their patch! The Grey Seal was again seen.  

June 8th

Sand Martin
Sand Martin – Tony Adamcik

The sea again received all the attention and a change in the wind to south-west – just like Monday – brought Manx Shearwater into Christchurch Bay; at least 85 were logged exiting into the blow. A 5-hour watch from Mudeford Quay also produced a dark-phase Arctic Skua, seven lingering Storm Petrel, a westbound flock of 6 Kittiwake, 9 Fulmar, 21 Common Scoter, 2 Mediterranean Gull and 33 Sanderling. Earlier, a minimum of 20 Storm Petrel was estimated from the Beach Huts, while a Great Crested Grebe and a Guillemot were returned from there. Of mammal interest, a Grey Seal has been loitering around the Run for the last few days.

June 7th

Storm Petrel
Storm Petrel– Roger Howell
Sand Martin
Sand Martin – Roger Howell

The Storm Petrel performed as hoped this morning, when a maximum of 17 was counted in a single scan from the Beach Huts, while six or so visible from Mudeford Quay were presumably some of those. Late in the afternoon, there were still 11 off the huts. The attraction was clearly a couple of lines of close-in lobster pots, which often brought birds to within 20m of the shore; one even hawking over the strand line for a minute or two. Additionally, it was often possible to see the splashes of water as they pattered across the waves. Otherwise, however, there was little to be seen at sea – either that or too much time was spent enjoying the main event – with 2 Common Tern, 5 Common Scoter and a Shag being the best of the rest. A Firecrest in the Wood this afternoon was a real surprise. 

June 6th

Rock Pipit
Rock Pipit – Clinton Whale

The wind shifted overnight such that it blasted from dead-on west for the entirety of the day, during which Storm Petrel were constantly on show. Birds were returned from three locations, each a few hundred metres apart, with maximums of: the Beach Huts eight, Mudeford Quay seven and around the Long Groyne three. It would, therefore, seem reasonable to assume as many as fifteen were involved, but there is also a case for claiming far more given how long individuals disappear into wave troughs. For those planning to visit, the quay is the easiest access and it’s best to look as far right as possible, over the sandspit itself. For closer views, it's recommended to get to the Beach Huts at the eastern end of Hengistbury Head. The wind is forecast to continue, so there's every chance it will all happen again tomorrow. Strangely, after yesterday’s big number, the change in wind direction meant there wasn’t a single Manx Shearwater in Christchurch Bay, although ‘several’ were seen in Poole Bay from the site of the former Point House Café. Finishing up at sea, there were: 63 Common Scoter and 2 Common Tern west; 2 Kittiwake east; and at least 3 Fulmar lingering. Meanwhile, over 100 Swift moved west and a Hobby came in-off the sea by the Long Groyne. In previous years, that species has been watched hunting petrels! A few late-moving waders make the post – 14 Sanderling and a Ringed Plover – and a Bullfinch was by the HHC. 

June 5th

Cuckoo
Cuckoo on Hengistbury, before the rain set-in – Paul Turton

It was the tried-and-tested combination of wind and date range – a strong south to south-westerly between late May and July – for Storm Petrel, and Hengistbury didn’t let us down; although views were probably better described as glimpses. This morning it was confirmed there were two birds present, while one was nabbed during the afternoon. The day saw a steady stream of Manx Shearwater passing west, mainly along the southern edge of Christchurch Bay, with the following numbers received from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts: MQ 5:30 to 11:00 – 86; HH 7:00 to 11:00 – 153; MQ 11:00 to 12:15 – 22; HH 13:45 to 15:00 - 39; HH 15:00 to 16:20 – 12. Making a logical tot-up of these figures, leads to an absolute minimum of 226. Also seen at sea: around 15 Fulmar, 6 Kittiwake, those only from the quay, a Common Tern, a ‘commic’ Tern, a second-calendar-year Mediterranean Gull, a dozen or so Guillemot, at least 75 Gannet across a mix of ages, 41 Common Scoter, including a lingering flock of 35, and 11 Swift. Meanwhile, other bits for the day came from: a Cuckoo on Hengistbury, 12 Sanderling past the quay and a Curlew inside the harbour.

Additional news: a Storm Petrel was off Mudeford Quay this evening.

June 4th

A Lesser Whitethroat was by the HHC this morning, while the Shelduck conundrum continues. A gathering of 11 ducklings were off Fisherman's Bank when a further six could be seen in Stanpit Bight. The puzzle is that the original brood was confirmed on a number of occasions as being ten!

June 3rd

There were 11 Shelduck duckling counted today from Fisherman's Bank, although counts of nine and six were made earlier in the week; so it may be possible that two broods have now formed a creche. Thanks to all who attended last night's walk on Burton Common, where excellent views were had of both target species. 

June 2nd

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl – Paul Turton
Skylark
Skylark  – Clinton Whale
Painted Lady
Painted Lady  – Clinton Whale

There is a little more to write about tonight. In addition to a Cuckoo seen in flight over Wick Hams, a couple of Red Kite and a Marsh Harrier were over Stanpit. A total of of 9 Mediterranean Gull headed west through the harbour and 2 Bearded Tit were on Priory Marsh. Meanwhile, half a dozen Collared Dove were on Wick. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news.

June 1st

At least one Nightjar was churring about the Ironstone Quarry at dusk.

May 31st

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owlet – Paul Turton
Kestrel Kestrel
Kestrel – Mike Lyons (upper) & Clinton Whale

The only news for the day is of a Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry.

May 30th

Kestrel Kestrel
Male Kestrel passing food to his mate, who then feeds their three chicks – Paul Turton

There is, unfortunately, no news for today; and it's not even June!

May 29th

The notable feature of the day was a westerly movement of Mediterranean Gull – a total of 30 birds passing through the harbour this morning. Meanwhile, 14 adult Dunlin were settled at Stanpit, at least one of them showing characteristics of the race arctica. Also a Grey Plover in non-breeding plumage, so possibly a first-summer bird, a Redshank and a Curlew there. Elsewhere, a Fulmar passed the Double Dykes and Tawny Owl were again seen.

May 28th

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl – Clinton Whale Dartford WarblerDartford WarblerDartford Warbler – Steve Davies (upper) & Steve Birt

A total of 4 Mediterranean Gull, presumably some that have already given up on breeding in the Solent, were seen heading west over Hengistbury this morning, while a couple of Swift were also logged. Our next event is less than a week away, see below.

Additional news: a further 5 Mediterranean Gull were seen this evening, four adults and a second-calendar-year bird, as well as around 25 Sandwich Tern and 10 Gannet fishing aimlessly off the Gulley. Meanwhile, 11 Black-tailed Godwit briefly dropped-in before heading north and the Redshank pair are still in the locale of Wick Hams.

Sightings for earlier months can be found in our Sightings Archive.