Welcome to the website of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group
Welcome to the website of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group
Recent daily sightings
Wednesday, December 13th, 7:30-9:00pm
The Return of Breeding Ospreys to Poole Harbour – Brittany Maxted
For more information and how to book…
The next In Focus event at the Pod, Stanpit Marsh, is December 9th. If you are interested in buying or renewing your optics, come along and test the possibilities in the field. A small percentage from each sale will be donated to CHOG.
CHOG is a founder member of this organisation and will benefit from some of the funds raised. We have already been active during 2023 in our area – from east of Bournemouth pier to the Hampshire border – with plans for three Swift streets well progressed. If you would like to make a donation to provide funds for the construction and installation of Swift nest boxes, please follow this link…
If you join between now and the end of the year, you will also get 2024 Membership. The easiest way to join and make a positive contribution to local conservation is here…
CHOG member, Jeff Picksley, is looking for a new home for these publications…
On a cold, damp day, the main interest again came from waterfowl. A Great Northern Diver arrived over Hengistbury and appeared to land in the harbour; while 4 Red-throated Diver were logged offshore, one of them settled, as well as 11 Pintail, 4 Shovler, 14 Teal, 4 Brent Goose and 2 Shelduck. Meanwhile, the in-harbour Brent Goose count rose threefold to sixty-one birds! Also about, a Sandwich Tern and 3 Common Gull. The day-total for Dunlin was a reasonably healthy 112, with 2 Grey Plover, 34 Black-tailed Godwit and 50 Ringed Plover also around the area. The best from Wick was a Firecrest, 2 Fieldfare and the photographed Redwing; a Dartford Warbler was on Crouch Hill; and a male Marsh Harrier and the Buzzard were logged.
There is very little to report today – just 15 Common Scoter offshore and 3 Marsh Harrier inside the harbour.
The sea was given some attention this morning, from the Beach Huts, and did not disappoint. The best being a flock of 5 Velvet Scoter west – in all likelihood, the same group that had early been seen from Selsey Bill heading towards the Solent. Meanwhile, a Black-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 13 Red-throated Diver, 4 Goosander, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Great Crested Grebe and a lingering Egyptian Goose were also logged. Early on, 12 Cattle Egret and a female Marsh Harrier were about; and, later, a Swallow was feeding over the Barn and Long Fields.
The day’s only news comes from the late afternoon at Stanpit, when 5 Marsh Harrier were around – two adult males, a 1cy male and two females – as well as ten, roost-bound Cattle Egret. Teal were more conspicuous than of late, so the cold conditions may have brought more in; and of 21 Brent Goose eight were 1cy birds.
A clear dawn saw some further, late-autumn movement, namely: 12,750 Woodpigeon; 2 Brambling, a Redpoll, 16 Siskin, 56 Chaffinch, 85 Goldfinch and 7 Linnet; and 13 Fieldfare, 31 Redwing and 9 Song Thrush. A few Chiffchaff are still about – four logged today – and a Firecrest was in the Wood. At sea, an adult Little Gull headed west, as did 3 Kittiwake and 4 Red-throated Diver. Also during the morning, 2 Marsh Harrier, 11 Cattle Egret and a Bullfinch. The cold northerly wind discouraged any later activity.
It was a lot quieter today, in terms of reports received – the best was a settled Black-throated Diver off the sandspit, but also seen from Mudeford Quay. Meanwhile, a Sandwich Tern was also offshore and 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, a Shelduck and a Teal passed. Otherwise, it’s just a Great White Egret at Stanpit to mention.
There was a late kick of migration this morning, when 11,750 Woodpigeon headed west over Hengistbury; where a Short-eared Owl, a Golden Plover, a Crossbill, 3 Brambling, 7 Fieldfare, 11 Redwing and 5 Reed Bunting – all typical November fayre – also passed. There was also some, perhaps, unexpected gull activity – 86 Mediterranean Gull and 72 Common Gull – offshore; while thirty-seven and twenty-two respectively were seen inside the harbour, from Mudeford Quay, along with an adult Little Gull and a Kittiwake. The waterfowl movement continues – mostly at sea and west: 3 Barnacle Goose, 49 Brent Goose, 3 Red-throated Diver, a Shoveler, 3 Gadwall and 66 Teal; with a redhead Goosander and 75 Common Scoter settled. In other news, a Firecrest was by the Wooden Bridge, the Buzzard was again in North Paddock, and 5 Grey Plover and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were returned. Early on, 16 Cattle Egret came out of roost and 3 Marsh Harrier seemed to coast from the east – adding further speculation about commutes between the Avon Valley and the west Solent marshes.
Again, as the migration season peters out, there isn’t too much to write about. At sea, 3 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver and around 60 Gannet were logged. Inside the harbour, there were 9 Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Pintail – all drakes – and a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull, that on the inner side of Mudeford Quay. Wick saw a couple of Fieldfare pass over to the north, while 18 Cattle Egret left the roost and a minimum of two, but likely a couple more, Marsh Harrier used the area.
It’s bits and pieces today really. At sea, a Red-throated Diver, a Kittiwake, 2 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Gull and 2 Shelduck passed, while 60 Common Scoter and around 30 Gannet lingered. Over Hengistbury, went a Redpoll and 4 Siskin, with 2 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit. At Stanpit, 4 Grey Plover and a pair of Pintail were logged, along with a male Marsh Harrier.
Before listing the monthly WeBS numbers, the news from the sea; where a Little Auk passed west, close to the Beach Huts, as did 6 Shoveler, while around 30 Common Scoter loitered and a Peregrine was over the water. Close by, there were ‘several’ Purple Sandpiper along the sandspit. Now the highlights of the counts – waders: 9 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 479 Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Ringed Plover, an impressive 273 Dunlin and 153 Redshank – waterfowl: 2 Pintail, a Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 67 Teal, 856 Wigeon, 16 Brent Goose and 182 Coot. To finish, at least 4 Marsh Harrier used the area and a Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge. Of mammal interest, an Otter was seen at Stanpit.
There was a good variety on the move over the sea this morning, including: 3 Great Northern Diver – the photographed bird taking a short cut over Stanpit – 2 Red-throated Diver, 68 Kittiwake, 6 Mediterranean Gull, 19 Common Gull, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 18 Common Scoter, 7 Pintail, 3 Gadwall, and 4 Brent Goose; almost entirely west. In addition, a Red-throated Diver, 52 Common Scoter, 4 Sandwich Tern, a Great Crested Grebe and 12 Gannet were lingering. Meanwhile, Stanpit was likewise busy with birds – the Black-tailed Godwit estimated at something between 6-800, along with 13 Grey Plover, a Sanderling and a good count of 24 Snipe. Also about the marsh – a Great White Egret on Central Marsh, a slight increase of 23 Brent Goose and a Peregrine. Wrapping up, at least 2 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit.
Following on from yesterday’s wildfowl arrival comment: three drake Pochard – a modern-day rarity in the area – spent all day in Stanpit Bight, where a drake Tufted Duck and 2 Great Crested Grebe were also present. Meanwhile, 16 Pintail passed west at sea, 14 Brent Goose did largely the same and a Teal was settled just offshore. More expected there were 23 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver towards the Solent, four westbound Mediterranean Gull and a couple of lingering Common Gull. The only other news is of 8 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit groynes.
There was the impression of more waterfowl arriving today – a couple of redhead Goosander were seen, one coming in-off over Mudeford Quay and one seeming to linger around Stanpit. In addition, there were three rafts of Coot on the sea – twenty-two in total, made up of twelve, six and four. Meanwhile, a couple of Sandwich Tern were also offshore. Otherwise, it’s just 3 Marsh Harrier – an adult male and two female-types – and 2 Grey Plover, all inside the harbour, to mention.
There was another Snow Bunting encounter today, when one flew towards the old Point House Café site, which is now a block of apartments – right at the south-west limit of the recording area. Meanwhile, a couple of Firecrest were by the Wooden Bridge and a similar number Chiffchaff were also on Wick. The sea held a Red-throated Diver and 12 Common Scoter, with a Great Crested Grebe inside the harbour. The early, clear skies saw 425 Woodpigeon pass west and, at the opposite end of the day, 7 Cattle Egret were seen going to roost. To finish, at least 2 Marsh Harrier were about – an adult male and one thought to be an adult female.
Bird of the day was easily a Black-necked Grebe that drifted west past the Beach Huts this morning – while 2 Mediterranean Gill and a Great Crested Grebe flew that way, and 21 Common Scoter were settled. The sandspit held 6 Ringed Plover and a Sanderling, with in-harbour waders including: a Greenshank, 8 Grey Plover, 250 Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Ringed Plover and 70 Dunlin. The Buzzard mentioned yesterday was seen to leave it roost, likewise 14 Cattle Egret, and, to wrap up: an adult male Marsh Harrier was about; a drake Gadwall was on South Marsh; the Brent Goose number is still a concern, just eighteen again; and a Kingfisher was on East Marsh.
After a heavy, overnight blow, the sea held some interest this morning – all from the Beach Huts. A Grey Phalarope thought about landing just offshore, but actually headed towards Mudeford Quay, while a Little Gull passed in the same direction. Also: 2 Great Northern Diver, a Sandwich Tern, 48 Kittiwake, two adult Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Gull, 45 Gannet and 23 Common Scoter, the latter all settled. Along the sandspit, 8 Purple Sandpiper were on groyne S8 and 2 Sanderling were towards the tip. Moving to Stanpit, and when the Avon Valley floods the Black-tailed Godwit come – an estimated 500 on East Marsh this afternoon – suggesting the Poole area has seen a drop in numbers? In addition, a Greenshank and a Grey Plover were present. Over the last week, a Pied Wagtail roost has formed around Parky Meade Rail – this evening at least 120 birds, but today choosing just over the river in the Wick reeds. While that was being checked, a Buzzard came from the north and appeared to go to roost on Hengistbury, likewise a single Cattle Egret; with the day’s Kingfisher returns coming from the Wooden and Bailey Bridges.
It’s probably no longer than a decade ago that Goldeneye was a winter resident in the harbour; but short-stopping, brought on by global warming, means they are now a premium bird for a year-list – a drake north through the harbour, early on this morning. From other sightings, it would seem it was a day of wildfowl movement – 88 Brent Goose west at sea, plus five arriving and three leaving, and 12 Pintail. Also over the water: a Great Skua, a Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern, west; 2 Red-throated Diver and a Great Crested Grebe, east; and at least twenty, milling Common Scoter. At Stanpit, the Greenshank was again around, along with 4 Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit, with around 200 Black-tailed Godwit coming in at dusk. To finish, it would seem we are currently down to just a single Marsh Harrier, an adult male.
Starting with the waders and a getting-late Greenshank at Stanpit, where the Grey Plover again increased – eleven today, and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, plus 14 Black-tailed Godwit, were present. Early on, 2 Barnacle Goose left the area, while unquantified Mediterranean Gull and Woodpigeon were reported as moving. The near-force-zero conditions allowed up to 50 Common Scoter to be picked up at sea, with 8 Brent Goose heading west and 4 Purple Sandpiper on the Long Groyne. Passerine-wise, there was the impression of a Blackbird arrival, but Chiffchaff came to less than ten, with singles of Firecrest by the Lily Pond and Solent Meads. Wrapping up: the male Marsh Harrier was about; a Pintail was at Stanpit, where a pair of Great Crested Grebe displayed; Kingfisher were seen on the marsh and in Holloway’s Dock; and, at dusk, a Short-eared Owl hunted the area.
A Long-tailed Duck passed west off the Beach Huts this morning, while a watch from Mudeford Quay produced: 4 Kittiwake, a Red-throated Diver, a Razorbill, two unidentified auks and 24 Gannet, on the move, plus 12 Common Scoter settled. On Wick, the Yellow-browed Warbler is still present after a couple of blank days, but only now a single Chiffchaff there. Around Stanpit Bight, there were 6 Grey Plover, a bit of an influx, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 51 Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin and a Turnstone; as well as 13 Brent Goose – which is a significantly low number for the date. To finish, a male Marsh Harrier was about the place.
A fairly light day of news and in no particular order. A Wheatear was by the café on the sandspit; a Firecrest was in the Wood; and a Ring Ouzel was encountered at dawn. Also on the sandspit, 6 Purple Sandpiper, while a Red-throated Diver and 15 Common Scoter were at sea.
All the news comes from Mudeford Quay and mostly gulls – 3 Little Gull, two adults and a 1cy, a Kittiwake, 4 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull – all west. In addition, a Great Northern Diver headed towards the Solent and a Purple Sandpiper was about.
In modern-day terms, Twite on the south coast is a major rarity – so one briefly with Goldfinch around the Barn Field was noteworthy indeed. Perhaps not quite so rare is Hoopoe; the frustrating individual putting in its third cameo in as many weeks – this morning flying low over the No Dogs Field. Overhead, the early movement was relatively light in comparison to the last two posts – just the 4,500 Woodpigeon – but also a couple of Brambling and 150 Chaffinch. Meanwhile, the Wood held a minimum of 5 Firecrest. Seabird-wise, a Great Northern Diver headed down-channel, but over the harbour; while 2 Red-throated Diver passed the opposite way in more conventional fashion, at sea. The only wader news is of 2 Sanderling on the sandspit and the Marsh Harrier total is the same number, both males, an adult and a 2cy.
It was another Woodpigeon day – 32,500 west, along with 150 Stock Dove – all seen from Hengistbury. Also over the head: a Bullfinch, 4 Brambling, 25 Siskin, 370 Goldfinch, 120 Linnet, 255 Chaffinch, 145 Meadow Pipit, 21 Skylark, 21 Redwing and 6 Song Thrush. Meanwhile, the first Water Pipit of the winter was briefly on Wick Hams; but, in contrast, two late Wheatear were logged – one on Crouch Hill and one by the Noddy Train terminus – and 7 Chiffchaff were on Wick. A Grey Plover was again at Stanpit, as well as 48 Black-tailed Godwit; with the biggest wader total being a 75-strong, mixed flock of Ringed Plover and Dunlin on the sandspit. At dusk, 15 Cattle Egret and 31 Little Egret went in to roost, while an all-dark Marsh Harrier was around. Of more general interest, a few have remarked on the recent abundance of Long-tailed Tit, particularly around Wick, so it was nice to get a return of twenty-three from there; and a Kingfisher was by the Wooden Bridge.
They are like clockwork – the first clear morning in November and Woodpigeon will be moving. A total of 16,500 west, counted from Hengistbury, which also totalled: 41 Stock Dove, a Woodlark, 27 Skylark, 12 Brambling, 19 Redpoll, 69 Siskin, 37 Chaffinch, 110 Meadow Pipit, 11 Redwing, a Swallow and 185 Lesser Black-backed Gull, almost entirely westbound. Incoming birds were headed by: a ringtail Hen Harrier, at least one Marsh Harrier and 5 Golden Plover north; 3 Spoonbill which took a look but carried on west; and a Curlew Sandpiper that seem to go down on to Stanpit. A female-type Merlin was also logged from the head, while the Yellow-browed Warbler remains on Wick and 2 Bearded Tit were by the Wooden Bridge. At Stanpit, a Wheatear was on Crouch Hill; with a Sandwich Tern, a Grey Plover and a drake Pintail were the pick of Stanpit Bight. To finish: a redhead Goosander was inside the harbour at dawn; including the already mentioned bird, the day-total for Marsh Harrier is four; Mediterranean Gull came to five; and a Kingfisher was about.
Despite the morning rain, it was a pretty good day all round. Quite remarkably, given it’s November, three species of tern were seen from Mudeford Quay – a Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Tern were perhaps expected, but 2 Common Tern were certainly not. Also at sea, the currently in-discussion skua by the Long Groyne, an adult Little Gull feeding off the Double Dykes, a diver spp., 5 Mediterranean Gull, a Gannet and 3 Brent Goose. This afternoon, the photographed Short-eared Owl was found roosting on Wick and a Snow Bunting with more white in the wing than the bird of the previous couple of days was by Coastguards – there are possibly, therefore, two individuals around.
The feature of the day was, without doubt, Bearded Tit – with sightings as follows: seven from Parky Meade Rail towards Wick; five just upriver from the HHC; a single in Wick Hams; and one by the Wooden Bridge, plus, anecdotally, ‘loads’ seen there by a visiting birder. Close by, the Yellow-browed Warbler is now in its sixth day on the junction of paths around 50m south of the Wooden Bridge – it can be very vocal, but please set expectations in terms of seeing it. Also on Wick, a Ring Ouzel that put in a couple of cameos about the Bobolink Field. Meanwhile, other passerines on site included: one, but possibly, 2 Wheatear at Stanpit; a Firecrest by Holloway’s Dock; and 2 Blackcap on Wick, along with thirty or so Chiffchaff. Despite the calmer waters, the sea produced another Leach’s Petrel, as well as: a ‘commic’ tern – for the date, presumably an Arctic, 2 Sandwich Tern, an unidentified diver, a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Gull, 6 Avocet, 5 Grey Plover and 14 Brent Goose, all passing; with 12 Common Scoter and, bizarrely, 27 Coot settled on the swell. Also on the move, 2 Great White Egret – to the east, 7 Crossbill and 5 Brambling; but more settled were 5 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit – the seaward side of the Beach House café, in the company of 25 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin.
It goes without saying the sea was looked at for most of the day, but for the most part it was birdless. There were some moments of quality, however – 2 Leach’s Petrel and a petrel spp. seen from Mudeford Quay in the afternoon – with the best-of-the-rest from there and the Beach Huts being: an adult Little Gull, a Great Northern Diver, 3 diver spp., 8 Kittiwake, 10 Mediterranean Gull, a Sandwich Tern and 11 Common Scoter. To put the previous ‘birdless’ comment into context – just 3 Gannet were logged throughout! Interest on the land was headed by: a Snow Bunting seen flying over Long Field towards the Coastguards; one, but possibly two, Yellow-browed Warbler by the Wooden Bridge; and a couple of Firecrest. To finish, a Merlin was seen from Hengistbury, while 2 Marsh Harrier were inside the harbour.
Even ahead of Storm Ciaran, there was interest at sea. From 08:00 to 11:00, the following were logged: 2 Leach’s Petrel – at least one of them lingering, 2 Little Gull – both 1cy birds, a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, 7 Kittiwake, around 50 Gannet and 24 Common Scoter; all from the Beach Huts. With the overnight blow being forecast as SSE, there is a lot of uncertainty as to what might happen. A Snow Bunting was again seen – flying from the lawn around the Coastguard down toward the Long Groyne area; while a Yellow-browed Warber remained, close to the Wooden Bridge on Wick. Inside the harbour, a Sandwich Tern was in Stanpit Creek and the 2cy male Marsh Harrier was logged.
A Yellow-browed Warbler performed a little better today – being seen and heard, on and off, at the junction in the paths around 50m south of the Wooden Bridge. Over Hengistbury, a couple of Merlin were probably the best, but also: a Brambling, 5 Redpoll, 7 Siskin, a Swallow and 6 Skylark. Meanwhile, at Stanpit, a late Wheatear was in the North Scrubs; with at least 20 Chiffchaff and 14 Goldcrest stopping off on the other side of the area. Just 2 Marsh Harrier were seen; a Bullfinch was on Wick; a Treecreeper was again in the Wood; and a Kingfisher was around Barn Bight.
What was presumably the same Hoopoe as seen nine days ago put in another cameo this morning – seen in flight across the non-driving end of the Driving Range on Wick, before seeming to land somewhere in the village. Mention of Kingfisher is usually reserved until the end of the post, but no less than four on show together around a flooded Wick Hams promotes them to this position. Later in the day, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler were by the Wooden Bridge, but largely elusive, and at least 10 Chiffchaff were in the same general area. Another Red-breasted Merganser, this time an adult drake, was noted – moving south over the harbour; with passerine passers-by including: a Brambling, 7 Redpooll, 35 Siskin, 50 Goldfinch, a couple of Reed Bunting and a Swallow. In the Wood, there were 2 Firecrest, a Treecreeper and 2 Coal Tit; and, to finish, the 3 Marsh Harrier were about – now reckoned to be an adult of either sex and a 2cy male – at one point arriving in formation from high over Christchurch.
Despite, at times, biblical weather and water levels at least 0.3m higher than a spring tide – there are some reports. A Yellow-browed Warbler was close to the Wooden Bridge on Wick, where there were also at least 5 Chiffchaff; while, the second Snow Bunting of the week was seen in flight by the HHVC. Red-breasted Merganser are, nowadays, scarce in status – so a redhead in the Run early on was nice. Around the same time, 11 Cattle Egret left the roost and an adult Marsh Harrier was around. At sea, an Arctic Skua passed; but a Great Northern Diver took the short route over the harbour. At Stanpit, during the morning, waders were finding dry ground difficult – singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin with the Black-tailed Godwit on North Marsh, where 17 Brent Goose were also present; and, on Hengistbury, a Jack Snipe was pushed to the edge of the Salt Hurns.
The area was pretty much unbirdable for the day – frequent, driving rain and a flooded Stanpit. At sea, the best was a Goosander, 2 Great Northern Diver and a Red-throated Diver, all west. Meanwhile, Stanpit returned 2 Marsh Harrier – an adult male and a female reckoned to be in the same age range – with Wick recording 3 Chiffchaff.
This post won’t take too long – the only news being of 3 Marsh Harrier about the area, a Swallow over the Coastguards and 5 Chiffchaff on Wick.
It was another good day – headed by a Snow Bunting by the Coastguards, before appearing to drop to the Beach. Almost as good, for the date that is, was a Whinchat at Whitepits. It’s possible 3 Short-eared Owl were involved today – sightings in the hour or so after 11:00, when the Stanpit marshes were flooding, perhaps meaning decked birds were being forced airborne? Before the numbers: two adult male Marsh Harrier were logged; singles of Firecrest were at the end of the head and on Wick; and a pair of Tufted Duck overflew. The smaller passerine migration included: 3 Brambling, 14 Redpoll, 12 Siskin, 49 Chaffinch, 103 Linnet, 108 Goldfinch, 15 Pied Wagtail, 91 Meadow Pipit, 3 Swallow, 15 Skylark and 2 Reed Bunting – mainly east, although the Redpoll were encountered as they took stock of things on Wick. Meanwhile, 9 Song Thrush and 25 Starling were seen arriving; and 16 Stock Dove and 38 Woodpigeon, west, were perhaps the vanguard of bigger things. Sticking with land birds, 9 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and 27 Goldcrest were feeding-up; but, at sea, 19 Mediterranean Gull and 3 Common Gull travelled west. To finish, the only wader returns were a Grey Plover, 17 Black-tailed Godwit and 18 Ringed Plover; with the Brent Goose day-total being forty – twenty-four of them west.
A few days of quiet news, there is quite a bit to write about for this post. A Yellow-browed Warbler was on the Batters and a Ring Ouzel was initially heard by Solent Meads car park before heading toward Wick, where it was relocated on a couple of occasions. Meanwhile, a Short-eared Owl arrived, drawing the attention of the local gulls, with a couple of Marsh Harrier – one of them an adult male – perhaps doing the same. The sea was also lively – a Grey Phalarope and 2 Arctic Skuathe best – but also: 3 Sandwich Tern, 84 Mediterranean Gull, mostly adults, 16 Common Gull, 17 Guillemot and 5 Razorbill, all west; with 29 Common Scoter settled. Overhead migration, all to the east comprised: a Brambling, 14 Chaffinch, 18 Siskin, 103 Linnet, 173 Goldfinch, 10 Pied Wagtail, 30 Meadow Pipit, 4 Reed Bunting, the same number of Skylark, 11 Jackdaw and 10 Swallow. In the bushes, a Firecrest was amongst 18 Goldcrest, along with a Redpoll, 40 Chiffchaff and a single Blackcap. Across the area, the wader returns included: a passing Golden Plover, a Grey Plover, a Greenshank, a Sanderling, 48 Black-tailed Godwit and 21 Dunlin. Moving to wildfowl and a nowadays premium bird, a Pochard, at Stanpit, where a Shoveler and 17 Brent Goose were also logged. This evening, at least one Marsh Harrier went to roost – one an adult male.
It’s hard to decide if the highlight of the day was the 3 Bearded Tit close to the Wooden Bridge on Wick or the wing-tagged Marsh Harrier this afternoon at Stanpit, when there were two further individuals. Meanwhile, the ever-busy Stanpit Bight held a Greenshank, 7 Mediterranean Gull – all adults – 3 Common Gull and 9 Brent Goose.
Once again, it’s light on news and, today, all from Wick. A Red Kite passed west mid-morning, with a Buzzard and 25 Siskin having earlier been encountered.
There is very little news for today – in fact, just: 2 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap; 40+ Black-tailed Godwit; and 14 Brent Goose – all from Stanpit.
Around noon, a Hoopoe was seen coming from Whitepits and settling on the lawn of St. Nicholas’ church on the Broadway. Unfortunately, the observer had to quickly leave to attend to a parking matter and, on return, the bird couldn’t be relocated. Earlier, there had been local quality elsewhere: an adult Little Gull was off Mudeford Quay; while, an hour or so after dawn, 2 Great White Egret and 3 Cattle Egret were on Central Marsh.
Omission: the Razorbill was again in the Run.
Bearded Tit are something an enigma in the area, but October has been a time to see them – presumably on some kind of migration – three over the Ironstone Quarry, this morning, heading towards Mudeford Quay, making for a nice record. Meanwhile, a Razorbill was close off Mudeford Quay, from where 5 Brent Goose were seen to arrive. Wader-wise, only godwits were counted – 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 95 Black-tailed Godwit, from Fisherman’s Bank; with migrant passerines at Stanpit including 2 Siskin, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaff, all in the North Scrubs. Also about the marsh, during the day, a Marsh Harrier and at least 2 Kingfisher; while the late afternoon produced 3 Cattle Egret.
It was mainly cloudy with showers, but the southerly wind increased temperatures to above the mid-teens. The sea was again watched at Hengistbury, the best being a juvenile Little Gull. Also mainly flying west were 20 Common Scoter, 40 Gannet, 15 Mediterranean Gull, 25 Kittiwake and 2 Sandwich Tern, while a Razorbill was on the sea and at least 180 Herring Gull were in the offshore feeding flock. Four Sanderling were in the mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover on the Sandspit. Three Bar-tailed Godwit were at Stanpit, together with 2 adult Mediterranean Gull, and a Grey Wagtail flew over Priory Marsh. After lunch, small numbers of finches headed east – totals were 70 Siskin, 50 Linnet, 25 Goldfinch, 5 Chaffinch and 7 Swallow. Eight Chiffchaff, 15 Goldcrest and a Blackcap were also noted.
The wet and windy conditions for much of the day meant there was little coverage. At Wick, 6 Chiffchaff were near the viewing platform and 6 Siskin flew over. An hour’s sea watch from Mudeford Quay in a break between showers this morning only produced 6 Common Scoter and 2 Brent Geese east.