Sightings for the current month

May 26th

Song–flighting Whitethroat - Alan Crockard

The only news for the day is of a Cuckoo on Wick. 

Tides May 27th: H03:55 | H07:05 | L11:25 | H16:40 | H19:35 |

May 25th

Jackdaw – Alan Crockard

There are no reports for today. 

Tides May 26th: H02:50 | H06:20 | L10:25 | H15:35 | H18:55 | L23:00

May 24th

Probably the most out-of-place bird right now is a drake Pintail, which has been at Stanpit for the last few days. Meanwhile, the waders there included 8 Sanderling, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, 75 Dunlin, the Curlew and 3 Lapwing; the first couple of the latter actually returning yesterday. This evening, the sandspit hosted 9 Sanderling. The only other news involves singing Cuckoo, of which there could well be two on site. 

May 23rd

There was a resurgence in wader interest at Stanpit this morning, when a Curlew Sandpiper, a Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 8 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover, 45 Dunlin and the Curlew were present. At the same time, a couple of Whinchat there were something of a surprise for such a late date, as were 2 Shoveler. In addition, there was a good count of 58 Shelduck, presumably including the 10 ducklings. Of breeding interest, a Cuckoo is still singing about the area; Whitethroat are now ferrying food; Dartford Warbler, Rock Pipit and Meadow Pipit have fledged; an estimate of Sand Martin suggests at least 20 holes are in use; and a hopeful Willow Warbler continues to sing by the Ironstone Quarry. 

May 22nd

Reed Warbler – Jackie Smith
Whitethroat – Jackie Smith

There are, unfortunately, no reports for today.

May 21st

Jay – Robert Gray
Herring Gull – Robert Gray

As we returned to finer weather, the waders may well have peaked. From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, there was a marked reduction in numbers and variety – the return being: a Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 7 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin and the Curlew. A Spotted Flycatcher was in the stunted oaks, while a Cuckoo sang nearby and a further 35 Mediterranean Gull continued their somewhat puzzling, for the date, eastward passage. 

May 20th

There was another scarce-egret experience today, when a party of 5 Cattle Egret briefly settled on Stanpit, just after dawn, before it headed off to the north. Almost as notable, however, was a count of 51 Mediterranean Gull moving east. It seems too late for them to be travelling towards the Solent colonies, so one wonders if they have deserted one to the west? At least 5 Spotted Flycatcher were on site – one in the No Dogs Field and four in the Stunted Oaks – a Willow Warbler continues to belt it out by the Ironstone Quarry and a Cuckoo was singing from the Salt Hurns. Back to Stanpit and its waders, which included: a Greenshank, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover, 58 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone and the Curlew. 

May 19th

Another day, another out-of-the ordinary egret – this time a Great White Egret on East Marsh. Waders from Fisherman’s Bank included 5 Grey Plover, a Sanderling, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Dunlin, 6 Turnstone, 2 Redshank and the Curlew; while Holloway’s Dock hosted a further one and two of Sanderling and Grey Plover respectively, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone. A total of 28 Mediterranean Gull passed to the east, which is a high count for such a late date, and the sea returned 7 Common Tern, 6 Common Scoter and a Fulmar. 

May 18th

A Cattle Egret in breeding plumage was in Stanpit Creek for a few minutes early on, but it soon headed off to the north-east. At least one Little Stint is still about, initially at Stanpit but then into Holloway’s Dock, where there were 10 Grey Plover, 5 Knot and 40 Black-tailed Godwit. A further 12 Grey Plover passed over to the east, there were 9 Sanderling on the sandspit and 55 Dunlin were on site. At sea, a Kittiwake and at least 7 Mediterranean Gull moved into the Solent, a Hobby came in-off and 5 Common Tern were lingering. Finishing up, a Willow Warbler was around the Salt Hurns and a Cuckoo was on Wick.

Omission: the Turtle Dove was again at Stanpit.

May 17th

Grey Plover – Alan Hayden
Knot – Alan Hayden

It was more of the same in terms of the waders, which at Stanpit included: a Little Stint, 6 Knot, 7 Grey Plover, 2 Sanderling, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 70 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone and the unseasonable Curlew. Meanwhile, between them, Holloway’s Dock and the Salt Hurns hosted 11 Grey Plover, a Knot, a Whimbrel, perhaps a further 68 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin. A total of 3 Spotted Flycatcher were on Hengistbury, one of them settled in the Stunted Oaks, and Cuckoo was heard from there and Wick. In addition to 5 Mediterranean Gull passing through the area, the sea produced a Fulmar, 30 Common Scoter – 17 east and 13 west – around 10 Gannet, 5 auks and 13 travelling Sanderling.

May 16th

Turtle Dove – Jackie Smith

The undoubted highlight of the day, given its fast-declining population in the country, was a Turtle Dove on Crouch Hill late this afternoon. That aside, the wader variety was again receiving the attention, with today’s peaks of mainly Arctic-bound birds at Stanpit being: a Little Stint, 5 Avocet, 11 Greenshank which left east, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 38 Black-tailed Godwit, 66 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, a Turnstone, 2 Redshank and a Curlew. Meanwhile, a flock of 4 Grey Plover in Holloway’s Dock may well have been additional birds and, at 9:45, a Spoonbill drifted by to the west. To complement all of this, there were 6 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall inside the harbour; Cuckoo song came from the North Scrubs and the Batters; at least 2 Mediterranean Gull moved through; and singles of Buzzard and Raven were in the airspace. 

May 15th

Knot – Jackie Smith

The fine run of waders continues on the pristine mud of Stanpit Bight, although it is now taking on an ominous, green tinge in places. There were an exceptional 3 Little Stint with the Dunlin flock, which contained around 70 of those and up to 4 Sanderling. A Curlew Sandpiper dropped in with a Ruff, but soon disappeared to view; while other returns, some of them in resplendent plumage, came from: 8 Greenshank, 10 Grey Plover, 4 Knot, 4 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, some heard-only Whimbrel, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 8 Turnstone. Less expected for the date, however, were 2 Redshank and a Curlew. Sticking with Stanpit, a duck Garganey was on the tip of South Marsh, the Shelduck came to 45, including nine youngsters, and a Cuckoo was singing. Elsewhere, there was an influx of Blackcap at Hengistbury – with an estimated 50 there – as well as 3 Garden Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Willow Warbler; plus 5 Swift over. 

May 14th

There were 2 Little Stint at Stanpit this morning – one with the Dunlin, the other with Knot and Grey Plover. First thing, a Spotted Redshank and 10 Greenshank upped and left, while a Knot, 7 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 80 Dunlin were present throughout. Seen to arrive slightly later, was a flock of four pristine Grey Plover and then 4 Ringed Plover. The remaining news comes from Wick, where singles of Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat and Bullfinch, presumably all breeders, were logged. 

May 13th

Spotted Flycatcher – Jackie Smith
Most of the remaining Black–tailed Godwit are now first-summer birds - Jackie Smith

There was a good selection of waders seen from Fisherman’s Bank this morning, including a Little Stint in breeding plumage; but also: 5 Greenshank, 7 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and 138 Dunlin. Slightly later, a couple of Greenshank high over the Barn Field may have been additional birds. Also at Stanpit, a party of four young Spoonbill that spent ten minutes settled before leaving to the south west; a couple of Common Tern; three each of Shoveler and Gadwall; and, amongst the 18 Shelduck, the year’s first nine shelducklings. On Hengistbury, a Cuckoo was in the Nursery, while 2 Spotted Flycatcher were around the Double Bends, a Yellow Wagtail passed over and a Willow Warbler sang. The sea was quiet, although 2 Red-throated Diver and 7 Whimbrel moved east, and a Fulmar was off the Barn Field. Small numbers of Swallow and Swift trickled in throughout, and a Peregrine patrolled the area. 

May 12th

Dartford Warbler adjacent to a well–trodden, public path - Alan Crockard

There were a couple of Spotted Flycatcher this morning – one in the No Dogs Field and one in the stunted oaks – as well as singing Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and a trio of Willow Warbler. Otherwise it’s just over-flying birds, namely a single Mediterranean Gull, 2 Swift and 4 Swallow. 

May 11th

The only definite passerine traveller this morning was a Spotted Flycatcher in the stunted oaks, while it seems the 4 Willow Warbler which are continuously singing around Hengistbury have been at it for a couple of days at least. A total of 5 Mediterranean Gull were logged, including a pair of westbound adults and an arriving one-year-old bird. Around 100 Dunlin were on site, as well as 6 Whimbrel and 70 Black-tailed Godwit. 

May 10th

 Fly–catching Long–tailed Tit - Robert Gray

From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, there were: a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Ringed Plover (always raise an interesting race discussion on a date like this) and 77 Dunlin, plus 2 Common Tern; while the site-wide Black-tailed Godwit total came to 52. The only other return is of a Cuckoo on Hengistbury. 

May 9th

Sparrowhawk – David Faulkner

This morning saw a total of 2 Arctic Tern, a Little Tern, 9 Common Tern and 71 Sandwich Tern about the area. There was little evidence of movement, save for a steady trickle of incoming Swallow and a couple of Common Sandpiper, and the rest of the post relates to birds that may now be with us for some time, including: 29 Whitethroat, 23 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, a Little Grebe, 2 Guillemot and 92 Black-tailed Godwit. On Whitepits, the first fledgling Stonechat of the season were out. 

May 8th

A Storm Petrel was lingering off the Beach Huts for around 20 minutes this morning, but strong sunlight made it difficult to keep close tabs on the bird. Also at sea, 4 Common Scoter, 6 Guillemot, four unidentified auks, a couple of Common Tern, 15 Sandwich Tern and 15 Gannet; as well as 4 House Martin and 15 Swallow seen to arrive. Close by, there were 63 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock.  

May 7th

We don't normally post photos from outside of the recording area, but this is an unashamed plug for the Barn Owl camera that CHOG is partially sponsoring in the Avon Valley – Joe Gillespie
Blue Tit – Roger Tidball
Green Hairstreak – Roger Tidball

It’s now very much bits and pieces, as the migration period draws to a close. At least 7 Wheatear, presumably headed for Atlantic islands, were on site, as were a Wheatear and 4 Willow Warbler; while continuing their so-far dismal spring, just 8 Swallow headed north. A female Pochard at Stanpit is quite a record for the date, and a Hobby passed over there and Whitepits. Wader totals came to: 9 Whimbrel, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 125 Black-tailed Godwit and perhaps as many as 175 Dunlin, but certainly 120. A look at the sea came up with 11 Common Tern – a further four of those in the harbour - and a Guillemot; 6 Mediterranean Gull travelled south west; and, of breeding interest, a vocal Little Grebe was noted and twenty-six occupied Sand Martin holes were counted. 

May 6th

Sand Martin – Alan Crockard

Nearly all the news comes from Stanpit, where a Cuckoo could be heard singing from the other side of the water and a Hobby passed through. In addition, there were 2 Ruff, 2 Grey Plover, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit, 175 Black-tailed Godwit and 45 Dunlin there; so a marked improvement on a previous wader comment. The only other news involves a Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler on Wick, plus five scattered Wheatear. 

May 5th

Bullfinch – Samuel Levy

It was a well-recorded day, which saw another Osprey use the area – a bird seen at 12:45 carrying a fish before heading off north. Earlier, a Wood Sandpiper had been flushed from somewhere on Stanpit and left to the east. The pick of the passerine migrants was a Siskin over the Coastguards, but also a Lesser Whitethroat by the HHVC, a Garden Warbler at Whitepits, 5 Willow Warbler and 7 Wheatear across the site. Meanwhile, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swift, 3 Swallow and 8 Mediterranean Gull headed over. At least 5 Little Tern were about, as well as 11 Common Tern and 63 Sandwich; nearly all of those offshore from the sandspit. Given the date, one should really expect more from the waders – just 2 Whimbrel, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 105 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Turnstone being returned today. Finally, there were some good counts of birds across Hengistbury and Wick, which are likely now resident, although it is possible the numbers are augmented by some transient individuals, and included: 54 Whitethroat, 80 Sand Martin, 29 Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Bullfinch.

May 4th

It was fairly quiet this morning – the only passerine news being of 2 Wheatear on the Barn Field. A seawatch from the Beach Huts produced 16 Common Scoter east, 10 Common Tern, around 25 Gannet and 35 Sandwich Tern all fishing aimlessly, a Fulmar and a couple of auks. Earlier, 5 Mediterranean Gull moved west over Hengistbury, while a couple of Whimbrel, 110 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin were in Holloway’s Dock. In case you haven’t noticed the new link at the top-right of the page, we are now streaming live from a Barn Owl box a few miles north of Christchurch. The female is currently sitting on two eggs. 

May 3rd

The only news for today is of 7 Wheatear on Hengistbury. Of butterfly interest, there were 3 Green Hairstreak on the wing. 

May 2nd

A Black Tern, 5 Little Tern and over 40 Common Tern were seen from Mudeford Quay prior to 10:00 this morning, while around 25 Swift arrived over there. It’s turning into an extraordinary spring for Wood Warbler – the fourth of the season was on Hengistbury this morning – along with a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat, 7 Wheatear and 3 Willow Warbler. In addition, a Garden Warbler and 2 Yellow Wagtail were at Stanpit, and a further 6 Wheatear were across the site. A Garden Warbler, on Wick, may well have been there since mid-April, which could constitute a first breeding record. Osprey have also been well represented in the period – one high over the harbour this morning – when 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Dunlin were also logged. 

May 1st

There is limited news today, but a Serin did fly over the Beach Huts. There was an estimate of 70 Whitethroat across Wick and Hengistbury, of which perhaps twenty may be breeding birds. Otherwise, it’s just 2 Whimbrel in Holloway’s Dock. 

April 30th

It was a fairly low-key day, during which Stanpit hosted a Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin, as well as a Common Tern and 2 Shoveler. Early on, at least 21 Mediterranean Gull passed over the HHC – split pretty much 50:50 east to west – while a couple of Wllow Warbler were there and a female Wheatear was on Crouch Hill.

April 29th

Linnet – Tina Scott

The numbers of incoming birds are tailing off, as would be expected for the date; but, in addition to a sprinkling of Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatear, there was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on the Salt Hurns and a Cuckoo elsewhere on Hengistbury. Meanwhile, there are singing Whitethroat seemingly everywhere; for example, over twenty on the head alone. Otherwise, it’s just a couple of Whimbrel and 3 Common Scoter to remark upon. 

April 28th

There were 2 Firecrest singing in the Wood this morning, while a couple of Little Tern fed off Whitepits and a Great White Egret came out of the valley and u-turned over the Nursery. The best of the waders was a Purple Sandpiper towards the end of the sandspit, as well as a couple of Knot at Stanpit, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, at least 60 Whimbrel moving about and over 100 Black-tailed Godwit. Finishing off, a pair of Bullfinch were by the HHC. 

April 27th

Sandwich Tern numbers are building up inside the harbour – Clinton Whale

Seawatching is a spring westerly rarely yields results, so those at the Beach Huts this morning shouldn’t have been so surprised about the paucity of birds. A 3.5-hour watch yielded just: 5 Common Scoter, 18 Fulmar, 16 Gannet, a Razorbill and 4 Sandwich Tern. Prior to that, a Hobby passed over the HHC and, on the walk back, a Firecrest was singing in the Wood. 

April 26th

Song Thrush – Alan Crockard

The sea was given another go this morning, but it was frankly dire. A diver into the Solent was the best, along with 4 Common Tern, 3 Gannet and an auk. On the land, the only signs of migration were 4 Wheatear, a couple of Willow Warbler and a resting Whimbrel. 

April 25th

The first Foal of the season at Stanpit – Tina Scott

A morning seawatch saw 2 Pomarine Skua, a Great Skua, 4 Little Gull and 4 Common Tern head into the Solent, as well as a Manx Shearwater, 4 Fulmar, a Guillemot and 7 Whimbrel. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Tern, a couple of Wheatear and drake Teal. 

Tides April 26th: H02:30 | H06:00 | L10:00 | H15:10 | H18:35 | L22:30

April 24th

Before the heavy rain set in around mid morning there were a few migrants to be found on Hengistbury.  A Wood Warbler was singing in the wood where singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler were present, also 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Yellow Wagtail and a few Willow Warbler while a Hobby moved north over the Long Field.  The sea was watched from the beach huts and from Mudeford Quay.  Totals were 86 Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Whimbrel, 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Tern and 1 Little Tern, all these east as 46 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Fulmar, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Red-throated Diver and 1 Guillemot travelled west; lingering offshore were 27 Gannet and 12 Sandwich Tern.  An afternoon visit to the quay was rewarded with a single group of 20 Manx Shearwater moving west.  Waders inside the harbour were 24 Dunlin, 10 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.  The only other sighting of note was a Marsh Harrier seen from Hengistbury.

April 23rd

Short–eared Owl from yesterday - Jackie Smith
Shoveler – Jackie Smith
Green Woodpecker –Roger Tidball

After the last week it was back down to earth in terms of passerines, although there were three singing Lesser Whitethroat about the site. As expected for the date, wader numbers are picking up – at least 30 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit passed to the east, while 12 ‘barwits’, a further 2 Whimbrel. 2 Ringed Plover and 21 Dunlin were settled. A couple of Common Tern were about, as were 3 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall. At sea, a Red-throated Diver headed west; a total of 33 Mediterranean Gull moved around and a Bullfinch was on Wick. 

April 22nd

One of last night's 3 Black–winged Stilt at Stanpit – Scott Usher

Last night’s stilts were nowhere to be seen, but there was a Short-eared Owl that spent some time at Stanpit before heading off to the west. Passerine-wise, it was much quieter than of late with the site-wide totals being: a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Redstart, a Yellow Wagtail, a Wheatear and a handful of Willow Warbler. A short seawatch produced 18 Whimbrel and 4 Bar-tailed Godwit east, while a 8 Whimbrel were seen to arrive. Also inside the harbour, the year’s first 2 Little Tern, around 50 Sandwich Tern, a Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpiper. 

April 21st

It was a cracking day for Mediterranean Gull – Scott Usher
Yellow Wagtail on Wick – Mike Gibbons
Garden Warbler – Jackie Smith
Water Pipit on Stanpit recently – Scott Usher

It was more a case of quality rather than quantity this morning, as the Willow Warbler staple seemed well down on the previous few days. The best was a singing Wood Warbler by the Double Bends, as well as a female Pied Flycatcher there. It may well be the best spring on record for those. A couple of Whinchat were on the Barn Field, while one was in the Bobolink Field, and the No Dogs Field held 6 Yellow Wagtail; the latter viewable amongst the cattle from Roebury Lane. Otherwise, it’s just 8 Wheatear and a further couple of Yellow Wagtail to mention, plus a trapped-and-ringed Garden Warbler. Over at Stanpit, there were 6 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 203 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Dunlin and five, getting-late Common Gull. Between 6:15 and 8:45, over 70 Mediterranean Gull were counted passing over the HHC; but with a constant backdrop of calls until noon at least, the day-total could be reasonably ventured as low hundreds. 

April 20th

Female Pied Flycatcher – Leo Pyke

The first Garden Warbler of the year was on Wick this morning, singing along the central path, while another first, a Cuckoo, headed west over the Wood. As the fine weather continued, there were also plenty of other migrants around, including: a Grasshopper Warbler reeling on the Long Field; a female Pied Flycatcher in the Stunted Oaks; 3 Redstart – a male on Wick and two females on the Barn Field; 2 Whinchat – one on Hengistbury and one on Stanpit; a further 2 Garden Warbler; a Lesser Whitethroat; 13 Wheatear; at least 30 Willow Warbler; and a Tree Pipit over. Meanwhile, there was some interest over Stanpit, comprising: a couple of Cattle Egret over the Priory; 3 Little Ringed Plover that headed north; a Little Gull; and over 180 Mediterranean Gull, the largest flock being of 38 birds. Also on the marsh, a Water Pipit was by the Rusty Boat, with waders there coming to 6 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 260+ Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Rounding up, a male Bullfinch was on Wick and a pair was in the North Scrubs, and 3 Gadwall were present.

Additional news: a White Wagtail was on top of the head and pair of Bullfinch was on the Batters.

April 19th

Pied Flycatcher – Leo Pyke
Linnet – Clinton Whale
Sandwich Tern – Ian Wigley

There was more migrant interest this morning, including a relatively early Spotted Flycatcher – that in the Stunted Oaks. Also around: a male Pied Flycatcher near the Wooden Bridge; a Whinchat around the Barn Field; the first 2 Lesser Whitethroat; 4 Redstart; and 6 Wheatear. For the second day in succession, there was some egret interest – today a Cattle Egret on South Marsh during the morning. Meanwhile, around Stanpit Bight, a Greenshank, the Spotted Redshank and at least 5 Whimbrel were present; as was the lone Brent Goose and the Gadwall pair. 

April 18th

An early flurry of birds at Hengistbury included: a Hawfinch, 3 Brambling, a Yellowhammer, a Wood Warbler, a female Pied Flycatcher, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 8 Yellow Wagtail and an Arctic Skua. Those arriving slightly later added a further two Grasshopper Warbler – one on Wick and one in the Nursery – 5 Wheatear and up to 30 Willow Warbler. The first Hobby of the year headed north over the Long Field, while a Great White Egret spent some time on East Marsh, Stanpit. Finishing off with the miscellany: a couple of Sanderling were inside the harbour, as were 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and 31 Shelduck; a Fulmar passed west off the Beach Huts; a male Bullfinch was on Wick; and the day-count for Mediterranean Gull came to just over 105, mainly from Stanpit and including a flock of 25.

April 17th

There was a huge fall of spring migrants this morning, in particular Willow Warbler with a minimum of five hundred birds across Hengistbury and Wick.  Blackcap were also present in good numbers with 120 on Hengistbury and 9 on Stanpit.  The stars of the show, however, were Pied Flycatcher and Redstart with eight of the former and seven of the latter; the stunted oaks along the harbour side of the wood held 5 Pied Flycatcher and 4 Redstart.  Other totals were 13 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat and 2 Reed Warbler; also logged were 135 Meadow Pipit, 85 Swallow, 35 Sand Martin, 6 House Martin and 3 Tree Pipit.  The Spotted Redshank was by the Bailey Bridge on Stanpit and 8 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit.  A group of 4 Whimbrel headed north while four remained on the marsh where there were around 250 Black-tailed Godwit and 46 Dunlin, also 5 Common Gull.  Mediterranean Gull were again on the move with c45 birds noted.  Finally both Buzzard and Peregrine were over the harbour.

April 16th

There was a complete change in the weather today as the recent dominant easterlies gave way to much milder conditions albeit with a some light rain.  A pair of Garganey came out of the murk and settled in Stanpit Bight then moved to Stanpit Creek before flying towards Central Marsh.  The Spotted Redshank was also present on Stanpit plus 7 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover.  Another 18 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel arrived on the sandspit where there was a single Purple Sandpiper and 3 Turnstone.  The flock of 305 Black-tailed Godwit moved between Holloway's Dock and Stanpit.  Migrants were again hard to come by with just 12 Swallow and two each of Wheatear and Willow Warbler.  This afternoon around a dozen Mediterranean Gull were inside the harbour while earlier sixteen were logged heading west and six moved east off the quay.  The Brent Goose was on Stanpit together with 8 Gadwall and 8 Wigeon.

April 15th

Off Mudeford Quay this morning most birds travelled east into the strengthening wind, the exceptions being Kittiwake and Common Scoter which headed west.  Totals were 15 Gannet, 12 Common Tern, 7 Common Scoter, 4 Swallow, 2 Shoveler, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Brent Goose, the regular Brent Goose remained on the marsh together with 6 Gadwall and 5 Greylag Geese.  Over Hengistbury another 2 Swallow and 16 Mediterranean Gull were logged.  The Mudeford Sandspit held 3 Bar-tailed Godwit while less Black-tailed Godwit were around today with 120 in Holloway's Dock and 44 off Fisherman's Bank.  This afternoon a young Peregrine was settled on East Marsh.  As I finalise this post 2 Arctic Tern are off the Quay.

April 14th

With little change in the weather migrant numbers didn't improve, just 4 Wheatear on the Barn Field, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcap and a Swallow.  Offshore from Mudeford Quay, moving east, were 13 Common Scoter, 12 Sandwich Tern, another 22 of these around the harbour, also 3 Whimbrel and four each of Mediterranean Gull, Common Tern and Common Gull.  A further 6 Mediterranean Gull moved west over the HHC.  Settled waders today included 2 Sanderling on the tip of the sandspit, the Spotted Redshank, a Grey Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 15 Dunlin and 318 Black-tailed Godwit.  The Brent Goose was still inside the harbour together with 7 Gadwall and 11 Wigeon.

April 13th

The recent dearth of migrants coupled with a stiff easterly breeze directed attention towards the sea this morning.  From the beach huts a Great Skua was seen moving west and 16 Common Scoter headed east while off Mudeford Quay an Arctic Skua, 2 Common Tern, 5 Sandwich Tern, 5 Gannet and 12 Common Gull moved east; another 8 Sandwich Tern were inside the harbour.  The few migrants were 5 Wheatear on the Barn Field, 3 Willow Warbler on Wick and a single Swallow.  On Stanpit the Spotted Redshank was again present plus five newly-arrived Whimbrel, also a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 15 Dunlin and 313 Black-tailed Godwit.  A late Brent Goose was in the harbour where between five and nine Gadwall were present.

April 12th

The Spotted Redshank was showing well again this morning, viewed from Fisherman's Bank; also 10 Dunlin and around 300 Black-tailed Godwit.  Shelduck numbers are increasing with ten on Stanpit together with 5 Gadwall and 8 lingering Wigeon.  There were just 2 Wheatear on the Barn Field today while Wick held a Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler and five each of Chiffchaff and Blackcap plus 3 Bullfinch, two of which were male.

April 11th

Cetti's Warbler – Alan Crockard

Despite a chilly start, the year’s first Reed Warbler was on site this morning – a bird in sub-song around the Wooden Bridge on Wick. A Blackcap total of twenty was returned from Wick Fields, but some of these may be birds holding territory as opposed to passing through. For example, three singing males were logged. Definite travellers, however, were Willow Warbler and Wheatear – three and two respectively – while a female Bullfinch remains. A Marsh Harrier hunted the Wick side of the river during the afternoon. 

April 10th

One of two Osprey this morning – Leo Pyke

There were 2 Osprey around during the morning: one at 07:45 that caught a fish and moved off quickly; then one around an hour later that fished for twenty or so minutes before succeeding and also leaving with its prey. In addition, a male Merlin was logged. The best of the waders was the Spotted Redshank, now starting to darken, off Fisherman’s Bank, but also a Greenshank, 147 Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Dunlin in Holloway’s Dock. The only passerine news concerns a Yellow Wagtail over, plus two each of Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat. Wrapping up, at least 12 Mediterranean Gull were returned, along with the pair of Gadwall. 

April 9th

The day started well enough with a little sunshine, but by lunchtime a drizzle held in the still air. Before that, at least 8 Willow Warbler were on site and 3 Swallow moved through. The singing Blackcap on Wick were counted at eight, along with 10 Chiffchaff. 

April 8th

Spoonbill – Jackie Smith
Blackcap – Alan Crockard

An adult Spoonbill, in breeding attire, that stopped briefly at Stanpit this afternoon was probably the bird of the day; as, after a night of fog, it was hard-going on the incoming migrant front. The Willow Warbler total nudged 20 birds, while the Wheatear numbered five. Overhead, a couple of Swallow and a House Martin were logged, but that was pretty much it. Two Whimbrel were at Stanpit, but the only other wader note is the 150+ Black-tailed Godwit. 

April 7th

The second Osprey of the season passed over the eastern fringe of the area thins morning, after approaching from the west. Meanwhile, a first-for-the-year was a Whitethroat briefly around Solent Meads car park. Also seen coming in – a Yellow Wagtail and a couple of House Martin, one of the latter narrowly escaping the talons of a young Peregrine. The peak Wheatear return is of four on the Barn Field and 2 Willow Warbler were on Wick. At sea a Red-throated Diver and a Fulmar both headed towards the Solent, while a male Marsh Harrier was about the area.

Omission: a Water Pipit was on Priory Marsh.

April 6th

Ruff - Scott Usher (upper) & Ray Scott

There were a couple of out-of-the-ordinary gull records today. Firstly, a second-calendar-year Ring-billed Gull was seen in flight off the Beach Huts; then, later in the day, a Yellow-legged Gull of the same age was coming to chips on Mudeford Quay. There were a number of first-of-the-spring returns, all from Stanpit and namely: a House Martin, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Whimbrel; while at least 2 Ruff were on the marsh, as were 220 Black-tailed Godwit. The Wheatear total for the day was six and there were just 3 Willow Warbler logged on Hengistbury. Elsewhere, the male Marsh Harrier and a male Bullfinch were seen from Wick, a Peregrine passed over the Long Field, and 6 Shoveler and 4 Gadwall were inside the harbour.

Omission: at least 55 Mediterranean Gull moved over Stanpit.

April 5th

Avocet – Ray Scott
Black–tailed Godwit - Ray Scott

The clear highlight of the day was a Hoopoe in the North Scrubs mid-morning - being seen briefly before heading off towards the former golf course, where it unfortunately couldn’t be re-found. With the wind coming from the south-east, seawatching was given some rightful attention. Unlike some of the Solent sites, however, there were no skuas, but a couple of morning sessions at Mudeford Quay did produce: a Manx Shearwater, a Little Gull, 4 Eider, a Red-throated Diver, 6 Kittiwake, 3 Fulmar, 2 Common Tern, 16 Sandwich Tern, 7 Mediterranean Gull and 28 Common Scoter. A further 30 Mediterranean Gull were turned in from elsewhere, but going uncharacteristically west. The best of the waders at Stanpit was an Avocet, but 367 Black-tailed Godwit, the majority of them in beautiful colour, toured the area; while the Ringed Plover and Dunlin came to just four and six of each respectively. Finishing off, a male Marsh Harrier was around during the afternoon, a Firecrest was in the Wood and a single Wheatear was at Stanpit. 

April 4th

On a dawn-to-dusk, wet day, there is nothing to report. 

April 3rd

Spring migration was much slower today with just a single Willow Warbler in Stanpit Scrubs, 3 Blackcap in the North Scrubs and 4 Wheatear on the Barn Field being returned. Meanwhile, at least 30 Mediterranean Gull trickled through overhead. A couple of Bullfinch were again on Wick, but the Brent Goose and Teal are shipping out – 15 and 30 respectively being the day’s estimates. 

April 2nd

As the long spell of fine weather came to an end today the first Common Tern of the year put in an appearance moving east past Mudeford Quay.  Otherwise there were just 3 Willow Warbler and 3 Sandwich Tern at Hengistbury, also 8 Sand Martin at the eastern end of the head.  Meadow Pipit were also on the move with a minimum of two hundred and fifty birds arriving over the beach huts.  A flock of 310 Black-tailed Godwit was in Holloway's Dock this morning with the bulk of these birds moving across to Stanpit Creek where 248 were counted this afternoon.  The sandspit held 15 Turnstone and 12 Purple Sandpiper were seen from the quay while at Stanpit 28 Brent Geese and 68 Redshank are hanging on, also two each of Shelduck and Shoveler.  Finally 7 Mediterranean Gull headed west.

April 1st

It was much quieter this morning with just 3 Wheatear on the Barn Field, plus on Wick, 18 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler and a couple of Bullfinch.  Overhead 11 Mediterranean Gull moved east.

March 31st

Shortly after 10am this morning an Osprey arrived over Wick Fields and continued north over Stanpit.  Earlier soon after first light 'first of the year' Redstart and Sedge Warbler moved off the head past the HHC, also c50 'phylloscs' split 60:40 in favour of Willow Warbler.  On the ground, mainly on Wick, were 35 Chiffchaff, 15 Blackcap and 5 Willow Warbler plus a minimum of 25 Wheatear on the Barn Field; another three of these were on Crouch Hill.  Waders at Stanpit were 130 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover and singles of Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit.  A couple of Brambling passed over Stanpit with two Raven there, while 28 Mediterranean Gull moved west over the harbour and a Buzzard, seen from Wick, headed north.

Tides April 1st: H00:25 | L02:40 | H07:45 | H10:50 | L15:00 | H20:10

March 30th

There was clearly an arrival of Wheatear this morning but oddly only on the Barn Field where fifteen birds were present.  Elsewhere there were 35 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcap, mainly on Wick plus 5 Sand Martin and 2 Swallow.  Mediterranean Gull were also on the move with seventeen counted over Hengistbury.

March 29th

The whole of the harbour was blanketed in an early morning mist that fortunately  cleared by 8am.  Stanpit had the pick of the birds with a female Garganey in Mother Siller's Channel and an early Whitethroat on the golf course bank.  Other migrant totals from across the area were 7 Swallow, 6 Wheatear, 4 Sand Marin, 3 Sandwich Tern and 2 Blackcap, also 3 Mediterranean Gull on the move.  The sandspit still held 5 Purple Sandpiper plus 11 Turnstone, also 12 Snipe were logged on Hengistbury while on Stanpit there were 85 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover and 2 Shoveler.

March 28th

Migrants today included the first Black Redstart of the year, by the beach huts at Hengistbury, plus, on Wick, a Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcap and 15 Chiffchaff, also a Swallow and 2 Sand Martin over Stanpit this afternoon.  There was an Avocet on Stanpit where just 10 Dunlin were present while a flock of 180 Black-tailed Godwit commuted between Stanpit Creek and Barn Bight.  A single Sandwich Tern was logged and 6 Mediterranean Gull passed over.  For late March a count of 56 Teal on Stanpit was noteworthy.

March 27th

The only reports received for today were from the Hengistbury side of the harbour where 2 Wheatear were on the Barn Field and 3 singing Blackcap together with a couple of male Bullfinch were on Wick.

March 26th

On another glorious spring morning migrants were once again few with just 3 Sand Martin, a couple of singing Blackcap on Wick and 8 Chiffchaff.  On Stanpit there were 141 Black-tailed Godwit, another 65 of these were in Barn Bight, 30 Brent Geese, 28 Dunlin, 17 Ringed Plover, the red-head Goosander and 260 Wigeon.  To round up just 4 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit today, a Grey Wagtail was on Wick Water Meadows and 2 Mediterranean Gull were over Stanpit.

March 25th

Despite a keen northerly wind the first Tree Pipit of the spring was recorded at Stanpit this morning; CHOG has only had three earlier ‘first of the year’ records, in 1988, 1990 and 2004. Otherwise there was just a single Sand Martin at Hengistbury, a few Chiffchaff and a singing Blackcap on Wick and half a dozen Wheatear across the area. A single Bar-tailed Godwit headed west over Double Dykes followed, a few minutes later, by a flock of 80 Black-tailed Godwit also moving west. A Red Kite was over Stanpit where, later in the day, there was a red-head Goosander and a pair of Shoveler. There were two pairs of Bullfinch today, one by the Lily Pond and one on Roebury Lane.

Tides March 26th: H00:25 | H04:00 | L07:45 | H12:50 | H16:30 | L20:10

March 24th

Purple Sandpiper – Clinton Whale
Dartford Warbler – Clinton Whale

On a fine day, the first Willow Warbler of the year arrived with us – a bird by the HHC gates. Also, a maximum of 8 Wheatear on the Barn Field and at least 15 Chiffchaff on  Wick, where there was also a Redwing and a Bullfinch. A total of 10 Mediterranean Gull passed over, while 8 Purple Sandpiper were again on the sandspit and a Buzzard visited the Stanpit airspace. 

March 23rd

A total of 9 Wheatear was reckoned across the area, while at least 20 Chiffchaff were present – some of them possibly birds now on territory – and 6 Sand Martin headed through. Meanwihile, in what felt like ideal conditions for a Meadow Pipit arrival, barely a handful came in over Hengistbury. Finishing up: a minimum of 8 Mediterranean Gull passed to the east, a Firecrest was in the Wood, 8 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit and a Peregrine hunted offshore. 

March 22nd

Stonechat – Leo Pyke

At least 4 Spoonbill overflew today – a flock of that number was seen over the harbour, then 15 minutes later a single bird headed west. Also overhead, a Little Ringed Plover, a Sand Martin and 8 Mediterranean Gull from Hengistbury. There was less on the ground than the previous couple of days – just 4 Wheatear and 9 Chiffchaff – but a flock of 38 Common Scoter moved into the Solent. Finishing with the news from the southern part of the area, a male Marsh Harrier was around Wick Hams, while a Buzzard and a singing Treecreeper were in the Wood. Over on Stanpit, there was a single Avocet and 102 Brent Goose. 

March 21st

Based on nothing more scientific than an ageing memory, it already feels as if there are more Wheatear coming through this season than last – an estimated 17+ in the recording area today – as well as 14 Chiffchaff, all on Wick, and a singing Blackcap there. Sticking with incoming birds, a party of 3 Sand Martin came in-off over Coastguards and a White Wagtail was again on Priory Marsh. Meanwhile, in contrast, an increase of the Water Pipit on Stanpit to four and a Redwing in the No Dogs Field were signs of winter visitors starting to depart these shores. A sub-adult, male Marsh Harrier was on the marsh throughout the day, as was an Egyptian Goose, while 8 Black-tailed Godwit moved through to the west. 

March 20th

Wheatear at Stanpit – Clinton Whale

The day saw a clear influx of Wheatear and Chiffchaff, with at least eleven and thirty of each respectively across the area. Meanwhile, a Water Pipit was with a dozen or so Pied Wagtail on Stanpit, and 12 Mediterranean Gull passed over there. Rounding up, 3 Bullfinch were logged – two on Wick and one in the Wood.  

March 19th

Cetti's Warbler – Jackie Smith

There was a single Wheatear at Stanpit today, while 7 Chiffchaff were returned from the other side of the river. In Holloway's Dock, the Black-tailed Godwit numbered 117.

March 18th

Lesser Black–backed Gull - Clinton Whale

On a fine day, the Wheatear continued to trickle in – a couple on the Barn Field this morning – while around 35 Meadow Pipit came-in-off-the-sea and 3 Chiffchaff were singing on Wick. The resident Dartford Warbler were also vocal – a total of three males in song. A Peregrine and a Buzzard both visited the area, and two male Bullfinch were on Wick. This evening, a pair of Goosander arrived and settled to roost in Mother Siller’s Channel. 

March 17th

Linnet are now returning to their breeding territories – Clinton Whale

It was a fine day, but with very few reports returned. There were, however, 3 Wheatear on the Barn Field and 4 Chiffchaff on Wick. 

March 16th

The day was dominated by a westerly gale, which made birding very difficult indeed. A couple of hours at the Beach Huts this morning produced, all west: 5 Kittiwake – two of those adults – 3 Fulmar, 58 Gannet and 2 Grey Plover. In addition, a Peregrine grazed the shoreline. Elsewhere on Hengistbury, a Firecrest was in the Wood and 39 Black-tailed Godwit were in Holloway’s Dock.  

March 15th

Collared Dove – Alan Crockard
Hen Pheasant going to roost – Tina Scott

Despite it being a blustery and grey day, there was a small number of newly-arrived birds. A couple of Wheatear were on the Barn Field, Stanpit hosted three each of Sand Martin and Blackcap, up to a dozen Chiffchaff were across the area and, this afternoon, a handful of Meadow Pipit were noted making land over the sandspit. Meanwhile, a Firecrest was in song on Hengistbury and a Water Pipit was amongst 21 Pied Wagtail on Priory Marsh. The Black-tailed Godwit total for the post is 45, some of them coming into very nice plumage indeed. Of mammal interest, an Otter was in Parky Meade Rail during the late morning.

Sightings for earlier months can be found in our Sightings Archive.
Barn Owl Cam
Paul Turton, Jackie Smith and Dave Taylor have set-up a Barn Owl camera.
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