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Welcome to the website of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group

CHOG Archives

View the full archive of photographs, which now contains over 250 species.

Here is the full archive of features that have previously appeared on the CHOG website.


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Welcome to the website of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group

Recent daily sightings

May 22nd

Dartford Warbler – as always, we only publish opportunistic photos taken from well-trodden, public paths – Alan Crockard

The morning’s seawatch produced a surprise – both in terms of conditions and a slightly early date – record of a Storm Petrel; initially west, but then dropping onto the water and not seen again. Also from the Beach Huts: 2 Common Tern, twenty-four eastbound Common Scoter, a Fulmar, 3 Razorbill and 2 Guillemot. Earlier, the White-tailed Eagle was about until 7:00; when, in the resultant flush of birds, a pair of Garganey was noted. Meanwhile, a Spotted Flycatcher was along Roebury Lane and a late-arriving Willow Warbler was in song at the end Hengistbury; with incumbent songsters including a Garden Warbler on the Long Field and a Cuckoo near the HHC. To finish, 7 Swift and around 120 Swallow were seen incoming.

May 21st

Reed Warbler – Dave Miller

The fenced area on the sandspit has an unexpected breeder – Meadow Pipit – Robin Harley

Firstly, continuing the fenced-area theme mentioned in the photo caption, the Ringed Plover clutch hatched today, but with mixed results. A recent look at the nest revealed the adults must have jettisoned an egg, meaning only three, of an expected four, chicks were out and about. Nature then took its rightful course and a Kestrel preyed on one. Now to the picks of the day – a strange sight of seven adult Kittiwake passing east through the harbour and a Nuthatch coming off Hengistbury and along Wick. Meanwhile, taking the same route were 4 Spotted Flycatcher, with a further in the North Scrubs. Also incoming were: a Hobby, 7 House Martin, 9 Swift and 25 Swallow; while 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and a couple of Sanderling paused on their journey north-east. Rounding up: a Red Kite headed west; 4 Cattle Egret were logged; and 3 Cuckoo were again around – two males and the hepatic female.

May 20th

Green Hairstreak butterfly – Peter Boardman

The hide on Hengistbury offers good views of birds – Great Spotted Woodpecker – Clinton Whale

Birds being seen to arrive make up most of today’s offerings, and included: 7 Spotted Flycatcher along the riverside route on Wick, a Yellow Wagtail, 11 House Martin, 63 Swallow and 44 Swift. In addition, a Reed Warbler was in the blooming Cow Parsley on South Marsh. Meanwhile, the dispersal of non-breeding Red Kite to the south-west tip of the country is largely passing the area by – despite around twenty being logged just 2-3 kilometres north, just two were noted from Stanpit; but a couple of Buzzard passed over Hengistbury. Back to the recent Garden Warbler theme and one singing in the Nursery, likewise one of the day’s 2 Cuckoo; while, to finish, a pristine Grey Plover was around, before vocally leaving for his Arctic destination, and 4 Mediterranean Gull passed through.

May 19th

Female Orange Tip butterfly – Peter Boardman

Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly- Peter Boardman

Green-veined White butterfly – Peter Boardman

Spotted Flycatcher arrived in some numbers today – relatively speaking to decades past, that is – a total of fourteen making a customary flight along the Wick side of the river, including a flock of nine. Also incoming overhead, a Tree Pipt, 11 Swift and 64 Swallow, plus a couple each of settled Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear. The only passage waders were a Grey Plover, a Whimbrel and couple of Dunlin; while a Cuckoo sang on Wick and the White-tailed Eagle was seen leaving the area at 08:15.

May 18th

Downy Emerald – Ian Whittaker

Puss Moth – Robin Harley

Female Brimstone – Peter Boardman

Poplar Hawkmoth – Robin Harley

There was a small arrival of birds overnight – at least three Cuckoo about the site, two males in addition to the hepatic female; as well as singles of Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler singing from non-breeding habitat, plus 4 Yellow Wagtail and a handful each of Swift and Swallow. Meanwhile, 2 Garden Warbler were again in the Long Field area. The remaining news comes from: a 1cy Kittiwake in the offshore flock; and 3 Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and 16 Sanderling moving through the area.

May 17th

There were at least three, but possibly five, Garden Warbler, on Hengistbury today. Something that seems well more than expected – Alan Crockard

Some time during the morning, a Honey Buzzard headed north over the area – with other airborne moments coming from singles of Spoonbill, to the east, Hobby, Red Kite and Yellow Wagtail. Meanwhile, a Bearded Tit was heard from somewhere in the Wick reeds.

May 16th

There was a sight record of Bee-eater this morning – as two fed with Sand Martin low over the Coastguards for a couple of minutes, before drifting off to the east. Also, a Cattle Egret west over the head and, in the mid-afternoon, 3 Red Kite over Stanpit. The sea again produced some interest – the pick being an adult Little Gull in the feeding flock, a Manx Shearwater west and a Great Northern Diver east; as well as 12 Common Scoter and 5 Shelduck, all east. Until 09:00, the harbour was awash with hundreds of Herring Gull, but then around 50% of them picked up and headed out to sea, with 3 Mediterranean Gull – a 1cy and two 2cy birds – mixed in. Around the same time, a flock of 16 Whimbrel arrived and, intriguingly, 2 Garden Warbler were again by the Long Field.

May 15th

There was a clear influx of Painted Lady across the area today – Clinton Whale

There was some skua action off Hengistbury this morning – a Pomarine Skua paused briefly to hassle a Herring Gull, while 2 Arctic Skua, one pale and one dark, hung around for a little longer. Also at sea, singles of Manx Shearwater and Black-throated Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Common Scoter. Meanwhile, a Garden Warbler was again along the southern edge of the Long Field.

May 14th

The wind has been from the spring-time-fabled, south-east for a good while now, but it’s starting to look as if most of hoped-for skuas may have made it east of here already. Despite some decent attention, this morning, the sea yielded just a single, pale-morph Arctic Skua, 9 Manx Shearwater and 5 Common Scoter. North-bound waders about the place were a paltry: 2 Purple Sandpiper, a Knot and 7 Turnstone; while 2 Garden Warbler were on the Long Field.

May 13th

Although perhaps not as good as hoped in a mid-May south easterly, the sea was still pretty good this morning. The offshore feeding flock of gulls, which also contained up to 30 Common Tern and around 95 Sandwich Tern, attracted two, pale-morph Arctic Skua, while two more just powered on through; also in the mix, a couple of 2cy Little Gull. The presence of Manx Shearwater was a slightly unexpected, but very welcome – at least fourteen noted throughout the day, some available from Mudeford Quay. Otherwise, the only other news is of a single Whimbrel at Stanpit.

May 12th

Sand Martin – Alan Crockard

Chiffchaff – Alan Crockard

The only reports from a gloriously, warm day are of a Cuckoo in the North Scrubs, early on, and 4 Cattle Egret on East Marsh, during the afternoon.

May 11th

Another very, good-looking candidate for ‘Greenland’ Wheatear (although, the date suggests it’s a certainty) – Scott Usher

Over the last 10-15 years, Jackdaw has changed status from occasional to daily, in quite some numbers – Tina Scott

Other than the White-tailed Eagle about from 06:30 for an hour and the photographed Wheatear on Crouch Hill, all the news is from the sea. A trio of Eider – a drake and two ducks passed west – with a Shoveler, 20 Common Scoter, 14 Common Tern, a Sanderling and a Dunlin heading in the more-expected-for-the-season, opposite direction.

May 10th

The only news from the southern part of the area is that the Ringed Plover pair is still safely incubating – so, all being well, chicks are expected by this time next week. Over at Stanpit, there were 2 Yellow Wagtail around the ponies, but relatively little else: the northbound waders comprised just 16 Whimbrel and 8 Dunlin, while singles of Curlew and Redshank confused things a bit; also a drake Wigeon still around.

May 9th

There was a reasonable selection of migrant passerines about Stanpit this morning, including: a briefly reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Garden Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Yellow Wagtail over, while a couple of Willow Warbler were returned from Wick. Waders continue to be sparse – a Grey Plover, 4 Sanderling, 2 Purple Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 7 Ringed Plover and 13 Dunlin, across the entire area, is pretty poor for the date. A quiet sea gave up just: a Kittiwake, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 7 Common Tern, 21 Common Scoter and 2 Shelduck; and, to finish, a Little Grebe was singing on the Ironstone Quarry, 2 Red Kite headed west and a male Cuckoo was around.

May 8th

One of at least 5 Bottlenose Dolphin in Christchurch Bay this morning – Alan Crockard

A Bee-eater was heard four times over the HHVC late in the morning, but no further encounters resulted. Meanwhile, a Whinchat and 4 Wheatear were on the Barn Field, a couple of Spotted Flycatcher were about and the hepatic Cuckoo was also seen from Hengistbury. The offshore feeding flock of gulls and terns included 50 Kittiwake, 17 Mediterranean Gull and 2 Common Gull; with travelling birds over the sea represented by: a Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel and 7 Shelduck, all east, plus a diver west. Otherwise, there were 2 Purple Sandpiper near the Long Groyne.

May 7th

The day saw a marked arrival of birds, not least Spotted Flycatcher – a total of nine across the area, with a concentration of five in the trusty Stunted Oaks; also, a Pied Flycatcher seen coming in-off the sea! Arriving hirundines were a welcome sight – the Swallow noted being around 140, with 6 House Martin and a significant gathering of a hundred or so Sand Martin at Stanpit, late in the afternoon – plus 15 Swift. Also over, 2 Yellow Wagtail, although one may have lingered with the ponies. A couple of Whinchat were about – in the fenced area of the sandspit and Whitepits – along with 20 Wheatear, a Garden Warbler and 25 Willow Warbler. Meanwhile, there seemed to be a late pulse of Mediterranean Gull, at least twenty-seven to the east; while 3 Red Kite and 2 Buzzard drifted slowly in the opposite direction. Waders, however, are still light on the ground, the day’s totals from across the area being, just: a Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin! To round up: 3 Little Tern and 10 Common Tern were about; a pair of Wigeon were at Stanpit; and a Stonechat fledge was by the Natterjack Pond.

May 6th

The best of the day comes from flyovers – Little Ringed Plover and a Hobby at Stanpit, likewise one of 2 Yellow Wagtail, the other from the Broadway; plus 3 Swift and 7 Swallow. Meanwhile, the marsh hosted its first Whitethroat, by the Pod, so hopefully setting up a territory – there are several already on Hengistbury and Wick, however. To finish, 5 Willow Warbler were logged from the southern part of the area and a Bullfinch was by the Wooden Bridge.

May 5th

There are two stand-outs for the day. One, a Pomarine Skua east past Hengistbury at 15:30; and, two, a Barn Owl from Wick Hams towards Wick Fields at 05:15 – records of those, outside of cold spells, are a real premium. Other highlights included: 2 Cuckoo at Stanpit – one a hepatic female, so possibly the same as last year; two pairs of Eider settled off the Long Groyne and then into the Solent, being seen from Hurst; 3 Avocet in Stanpit Bight; and 2 Garden Warbler around Parky Meade Rail. Moving back to the sea and a Great Northern diver west, singles of Red-throated Diver in either direction, 7 Common Scoter east – but it now looks as if the winter flock may have moved on, 35 Common Tern being the best estimate from a difficult-to-count situation, ‘plenty’ of Sandwich Tern for the same reason and over 300 Herring Gull in the ever-varying feeding flock. Meanwhile, a Fulmar passed over the harbour itself. Inline with yesterday’s comments, birds seen to arrive came to just a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swift and 2 Swallow, with 5 Whimbrel and a Turnstone being the only northbound wader returns.

May 4th

A Greenland-bound-looking Wheatear – Paul Dore

All the news for the day comes from Stanpit, but there isn’t much. In fact, most of the talk was about how relatively few of some birds – Swallow and waders being prime examples – have come through, and of how ventures into the New Forest have suggested less-than-average numbers of species such as Blackcap and Chiffchaff on territory. Anyhow, back to what actually happened: 2 Yellow Wagtail passed over, 3 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were in Stanpit Bight.

May 3rd

Whimbrel – Mark Taylor

The Ringed Plover attempt on the sandspit is still going well. A thanks to BCP, ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, for bolstering the fence and some additional, CHOG-funded signs are now in place. If you’re not a member, please do consider joining us and helping us continue our drive for local nature conservation. The easiest way to do so is online…

A few Wheatear passed through today – early on, there were four on the Barn Field, which soon moved away; but were replaced by five in the afternoon, which all looked really good candidates for being on their way to the north-west Altantic islands. Also, 2 Whinchat in the same area, plus one on Crouch Hill, and three travelling Willow Warbler were on Wick. Meanwhile, the singing ‘willow’ is still in place and at least 3 Lesser Whitethroat appear to be holding territory; likewise, a Cuckoo. There seems to be very few small waders passing through, despite the date – just 3 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover and 9 Dunlin across the site, although 8 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit was a nice record. The larger of their kind were: at least 15 Whimbrel – ten of those together around Stanpit Bight – and 3 Black-tailed Godwit. To finish, the offshore feeding flock was a little less, but did contain over 90 Common Tern – and the White-tailed Eagle was around for a while in the morning.

May 2nd

There was a good selection of birds seen from Fisherman’s Bank during the morning, including, in order of local interest: an adult Little Gull, 2 Little Tern, a Cattle Egret, 5 Tufted Duck – three drakes and two ducks – a Great Crested Grebe, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and 27 Dunlin. Around the same time, a Cattle Egret was also returned from Wick and, later, 2 Grey Plover and a Greenshank spent some time at Stanpit. The sea experienced a reasonable easterly passage, made up of: 3 Arctic Tern, 180 Common Tern, a Red-throated Diver, 200 Gannet, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Whimbrel and 2 Grey Plover; as well as fifty or so settled Common Scoter. To finish, a Cuckoo sang from the Wick reeds and a Yellow Wagtail briefly landed on the sandspit.

May 1st

Seventeen Natterjack were seen last night – Robin Harley

Over the last couple of days, there has been some mention of the offshore gathering of gulls and terns – and, this afternoon, an effort was made to quantify it. The estimate was 670 gulls – the majority being Herring Gull of all ages, with the remainder made up of 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 6 Great Black-backed Gull and around 60 Black-headed Gull. Tern-wise, there were 10 Common Tern and 60 Sandwich Tern. Earlier at sea, there had also been 6 Little Tern, plus singles of Black-throated Diver and Red-throated Diver. Even earlier, two groups of five ducks each had passed over the harbour – one comprising 3 Scaup and 2 Garganey, the other singles of Shoveler and Gadwall with 3 Tufted Duck. It does seem the wader passage is yet to get going – the only sightings today being a Purple Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling and 9 Dunlin on the sandspit, as well as 10 Whimbrel about the place. To finish, it was nice to have a singing Cuckoo around; while a Garden Warbler was on Wick, a couple of different Lesser Whitethroat were logged and 3 Willow Warbler were on Hengistbury.

April 30th

There were plenty of Sandwich Tern around again today – Dave Miller

It’s currently thought the Priory Peregrine are incubating a clutch – Roger Tidball

…and Shelduck look as if they may be likewise in the area – Alan Crockard

As the wind hit the fabled, spring-time south-easterly quadrant, hopes were high for the seawatch. As it turned out, however, it was quantity rather than quality. The best was a couple of Arctic Skua, a Black-throated Diver, west, and 4 Red-throated Diver; but also 2 Little Tern, 43 Common Tern, around 250 Sandwich Tern – 130 of them lingering, 5 Kittiwake, 4 Common Gull, 54 Gannet and 4 Sanderling; all eastbound, unless mentioned otherwise. The rest of the post involves passerines – an arriving Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear on the Barn Field and a single Willow Warbler on Wick.

April 29th

Otter with breakfast – Adrian Simmons

…and Reed Bunting are becoming a nice feature at the bird hide – Clinton Whale

The feature of the morning was a close-in, feeding flock of gulls and terns just off the end of Hengistbury, feasting on Bass-driven sprats. The dominant species in the hundreds-strong gathering was Herring Gull – almost entirely birds of non-breeding age – but also two 2cy Little Gull, a same-aged Mediterranean Gull, 8 Little Tern, 48 Common Tern and around 150 Sandwich Tern. Meanwhile, a couple of Arctic Skua headed east, 6 Red-throated Diver and an unidentified diver were logged, the Common Scoter total was in the order of seventy – thirty to the east, the remainder settled – and 3 Fulmar cruised past. Other than an eastbound, female Marsh Harrier over Wick, the remaining news concerns passerines: a male Redstart was by Holloway’s Dock, 2 Garden Warbler were about – one in the Nursery and one along Roebury Lane – and 3 Wheatear complete the post.

April 28th

Male and female Bullfinch – Alan Crockard

…and one of the Crouch Hill Wheatear – Clinton Whale

The day started with rain, but finished reasonably pleasantly. Early on, an Arctic Skua headed east off the Beach Huts, where 3 Common Sandpiper were on the groynes. Later in the day, a further two ‘common sands’ were at Stanpit, along with 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 10 Whimbrel – the latter heading off inland. Also on the marsh, during the afternoon, a Redstart and 17 Wheatear were around Crouch Hill. The photographed Bullfinch pair was on Wick.

April 27th

Small Copper – Mike Kirby

Female Stonechat – Mike Kirby

There were quite a few birds around today – the best being a breeding-plumaged Water Pipit on Stanpit; but also 5 Whinchat, three by the Hiker café, and a good arrival of Wheatear – just over fifty birds across the area. Also about: 3 Garden Warbler and a Redstart; with 6 Yellow Wagtail over, plus an incoming of around 50 Swallow and 150 Sand Martin, along with an accompanying couple of Hobby. Meanwhile, in the order of 60 Mediterranean Gull were logged. Settled waders, mostly from Stanpit, included a Grey Plover, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Ringed Plover and 15 Dunlin; and a further 4 Whimbrel passed at sea. Also at sea, a nice flock of around 55 Common Scoter on the water; as well as three east – likewise, 12 Brent Goose. To wrap up, the White-tailed Eagle was around for a couple of hours early on.

April 26th

The bulk of the news comes from Stanpit on the morning flood tide, which saw a Grey Plover, a Greenshank, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, the same number of Whimbrel and 36 Dunlin. The best of the incoming passerines was certainly a Cuckoo, singing in the Nursery, with 4 Willow Warbler on Wick being the only other return. To finish, a female-type Marsh Harrier was seen over the Wick reeds.

April 25th

Little Egret – Tina Scott

Starting with mammals and a pod of around seven dolphins that headed south-west off the tip of Hengistbury this morning. During the afternoon, a Short-eared Owl toured the area; while, earlier, the White-tailed Eagle spent until 10:35 inside the harbour. A scattering of waders included: 11 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit, along with seven migrant Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin; plus 3 Common Sandpiper and 6 Whimbrel in varying spots. In addition to the apparently incumbent bird, there were 15 Willow Warbler returned; as well as 3 Wheatear on the Barn Field, a Lesser Whitethroat singing along Roebury Lane and a Swift over Solent Meades. Back to the sea, which from the Beach Huts, produced a Red-throated Diver and 6 Mediterranean Gull; and, to wrap up, 3 Common Tern came in over the Barn Field.

April 24th

Within hours of suspicion of the location of a Ringed Plover nest, the BCP Countryside team had this anti-predator cage in place – Jamie (BCP)

It was quiet in terms of newly arrived passerines – around 20 Willow Warbler being the only return in that respect; but a bird that has been singing for several days now in the Barn Field is of interest, as it’s been at least a couple of decades since any breeding attempt was made. Continuing the theme of potential of warbler breeding, it’s reckoned a minimum of 12 Whitethroat are now holding territory on Hengistbury. At sea: two passing flocks of Bar-tailed Godwit came to around thirty birds, a Common Tern headed west, 25 Common Scoter were noted, and a trickle of incoming Swallow and Sand Martin took place. Whimbrel were around – perhaps fourteen – and a Common Sandpiper was on the sandspit groynes, with a small number of resting Dunlin and Ringed Plover. To finish, the first in-harbour Common Tern of the year was over South Marsh.

April 23rd

The White-tailed Eagle again loafed on Blackberry Point from early on until at least 10:00; while all the other news comes from Wick and involves: a Great White Egret north, 3 Willow Warbler, a Bullfinch in the No Dogs Field and around thirty, recently arrived Swallow feeding in the shelter of the Clay Pool.

April 22nd

The White-tailed Eagle was around from pre-dawn until 10:20 – Karyn Cuglietta

There’s not much incoming news to cover for the post; but the lack of quantity is made up for by relative quality. A Short-eared Owl went over just before 08:30 and, earlier, a Grasshopper Warbler had been reeling by the HHC. Otherwise, it’s just 3 Whimbrel arriving, a Peregrine and G818 to mention.

April 21st

It was another reasonable day of spring migration – although if one looks back just a decade ago, the numbers of birds is greatly reduced. For example, 26 Wheatear – seventeen on Barn Field – is nowadays considered good, with twenty or so Willow Warbler in the same vein. Meanwhile, variety came from a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Swift over Crouch Hill, a Whinchat about Stanpit all day and a Lesser Whitethroat at Whitepits. Keeping with ‘lesser-whites’, there are now potentially three males now holding territory across the area. Moving to waders, and it was interesting to see how long travelling birds stayed before moving on: a Greenshank dropped in from high, slept a bit, then left ninety minutes later; while a party of 6 Whimbrel, also seen to arrive, spent their forty-five minutes feeding before shipping out. Today’s White-tailed Eagle activity was G818 fishing and eating at Stanpit from around 07:30 to 09:10.

April 20th

There is very little for this post. A couple of Whinchat and Lesser Whitethroat were about Wick, and Crouch Hill held a single Wheatear. Stanpit Bight, on a very low tide, provides the rest – 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, 10 Dunlin and a drake Gadwall; with a House Martin, not easy to encounter here in spring, passing over.

April 19th

White-tailed Eagle – Scott Usher

Although no great numbers, there was a nice selection of incoming passerines. A male Pied Flycatcher spent much of the day in, or adjacent to, the Stunted Oaks; 3 Grasshopper Warbler reeled for a while – two by the Natterjack Pond and one by the HHC; and a new-in Lesser Whitethroat rattled on the Barn Field. In addition, there was an arrival of Wheatear – although there is no definitive total, the known numbers are ten on the aforementioned field, six on the Old Pitch-and-Putt Course and the same number on Crouch Hill – as well as at least 15 Willow Warbler in song about the place and a small increase in Whitethroat. On the wing, the first Swift of the season came in over Mudeford Quay and there was a light passage of Swallow. Meanwhile, passing-through waders were represented by: 4 Common Sandpiper – three on the sandspit and one on Priory Marsh; 10 Whimbrel – nine inside the harbour and one at sea; and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, plus 65 Dunlin, around Stanpit Bight. Just after 09:00, gull chaos broke out as an Osprey passed through and a White-tailed Eagle commenced an hour-or-so-long stay – hovering, impressively, low over the water for minutes at a time. Earlier, a Great White Egret had spent some time on South Marsh, before heading inland; and, to finish, the sea produced an eastbound Red-throated Diver and twelve, settled Common Scoter.

April 18th

Common Lizard – Robin Harley

Green Hairstreak – Clinton Whale

There were a couple of highlights from Wick, this morning; namely, a Bearded Tit by the HHC and a Pied Flycatcher along the central path. Meanwhile, a surprise at Stanpit was a Bullfinch by the Purewell Stream. More expected, however, was the pair by the Viewing Platform; with other passerine interest involving a 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a singing Willow Warbler on the Batters. The only other news is of the spring’s first Greenshank, in Stanpit Bight.

April 17th

One of two Yellow Wagtail on Crouch Hill, briefly – Clinton Whale

..and the area saw an influx of Whitethroat – Alan Crockard

In addition to the 2 Yellow Wagtail, Crouch Hill also hosted a White Wagtail and a Wheatear; while a male Redstart was along Roebury Lane. Migrant waders were represented by a Common Sandpiper from Mudeford Quay and 9 Whimbrel at Stanpit. Meanwhile, 9 Mediterranean Gull passed west and the 2 Brent Goose, plus a few Wigeon, remain.

April 16th

Reed Warbler – Alan Crockard

…and some Gannet were very close off Double Dykes – Adrian Simmons

Again, there is little to write about and, what there is, is all from Stanpit. There was the biggest gathering of Sandwich Tern so far – twenty in Stanpit Bight, 7 Whimbrel – five of them overflying, a steady stream of Mediterranean Gull and 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. To finish the short post, eagle G818, which frequented the harbour for spells during the winter, has now taken a trip over the Channel to France.

April 15th

Large Red Damselfly at the shelter of the Lily Pond – Clinton Whale

It was an unpleasantly, blustery day and, as a consequence, reports are few. A Common Tern, 31 Purple Sandpiper and 3 Wheatear were seen from Mudeford Quay; while a further 3 Wheatear were on the Barn Field.

April 14th

Song Thrush – Alan Crockard

Lesser Whitethroat – Mark Taylor

News of the day is, without doubt, the presence of a breeding pair of Ringed Plover in the CHOG-funded fenced area on the sandspit. Due to increasingly frequent storm damage – it’s a constant programme of work – membership of CHOG will help us in this and other projects around the Christchurch area. Please do think about joining… In other news, as they say, there was an incoming of Wheatear – at least 34 birds – with concentrations in the aforementioned area and the in-construction Long Groyne. To complement, a gathering of 3 Whinchat at the eastern end of the Batters was quite notable; while Swallow pulsed through from time to time and 18 Mediterranean Gull were logged. At least fifty, mostly in breeding plumage, Dunlin at Stanpit would seem to be an indication of the start of the wader passage; with a Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel there. Meanwhile, the 2 Brent Goose and around 20 Wigeon remain.

April 13th

Lesser Whitethroat – Jackie Smith

Orange Tip – Ian Wigley

There is a good variety to write about for this post. A Hooded Crow was at Stanpit early on, where an Osprey visited around midday, and what is presumably the same Lesser Whitethroat has returned for his third season. Meanwhile, the highlights at sea were a Great Skua, a Little Gull, a Little Tern, a Black-throated Diver and a good count of 16 Red-throated Diver – all from the Beach Huts. Inside the harbour, Redshank is currently by far the dominant wader numerically, perhaps fifty still around, but there were also: a resting Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, the same number of Ringed Plover, and a couple each of Snipe and Curlew; with the sandspit playing host to 25 Purple Sandpiper. Across the area, there were more Whitethroat today, as well a 4 Wheatear, overhead Tree Pipit and Redpoll, an uncounted passage of Mediterranean Gull and a trickle of incoming Swallow. Winter is now fading fast from the memory – just 2 Brent Goose, 5 Teal and twenty or so Wigeon, serving as a reminder.

April 12th

Other than news from Wick, which hosted a Willow Warbler and 2 Bullfinch, all other is indirect and largely lacking in detail. A Corn Bunting was on Riversmeet Meadow early on, but presumably only briefly, and a Grasshopper Warbler, a Whinchat and a Common Sandpiper were elsewhere at Stanpit. Meanwhile, a more obliging Redstart was on the Long Field, Hengistbury. This afternoon, an Osprey caught a fish and then headed inland.

April 11th

Orange Tip – Jackie Smith

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Roger Tidball

There was a definite, overnight incoming of passerines – the pick being a Grasshopper Warbler in song and a Redstart, both by the HHC, but only early on – with the commoner ‘new-ins’ reckoned to be 17 Willow Warbler, 28 Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff and a handful of Whitethroat; plus, twenty-two, seen-to-arrive Swallow. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean Gull total was 153, almost exclusively east, and 3 Great White Egret also passed through, ditto a Whimbrel. There was also some settled wader interest at Stanpit – namely a Ruff and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit – while 13 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. Back to the sea and a little bit of variety, including: 2 Common Tern, 3 Eider, a Red-throated Diver, 11 Common Scoter, a Guillemot, 8 Common Gull and Peregrine, mostly eastbound. To round it up, Wick saw 5 Bullfinch – three by the Viewing Platform and two by the Wooden Bridge – and a trio of Gadwall popped up around the place.

April 10th

Linnet – Dave Miller

Wren – Dave Miller

Save for a Nightingale, a really premium species in this day and age, singing gently in the North Scrubs this morning, it’s another unremarkable post. Perhaps the next biggest event was a Shelduck influx – seventeen over Stanpit being the highest return, but twelve settled there were possibly additional. Otherwise, in no particular order, the site saw: 4 Willow Warbler, twenty over-flying Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Mediterranean Gull and a Great Crested Grebe.

April 9th

As the westerly wind continued unabated, it was extremely slim pickings today. The best was a House Martin over Central Marsh – a species not easy to catch-up with in spring as they pass over on their journey inland. Otherwise, it was just a few Swallow and new Whitethroat on Wick to give a hint of some arrival. The sea was even quieter – only 8 Mediterranean Gull, a Fulmar, 6 Sandwich Tern, 8 Gannet and the usual Common Scoter flock logged.

2022 Report

Birds of Christchurch Harbour 2022
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Tide Times

Tide times at the mouth of Christchurch Harbour.
Wick end is about
half an hour later.

Harbour Map

Our interactive harbour map helps you to identify locations around the harbour and gives some useful pointers.

Harbour Slideshow

See the best of some recent rarities in our Harbour Slideshow

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