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Sightings for Month: August 2021

August 31st

Sanderling (upper), Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone – all enjoying the sanctuary at the end of Mudeford sandspit – Gary Foyle

Presumably it’s the over-a-week-long spell of easterlies which continue to bring Pied Flycatcher to the area – another today in the No Dogs Field. Also, a Redstart there with 10 Willow Warbler and 6 Chiffchaff. Meanwhile, a Whinchat and half-a-dozen Wheatear were west of the Barn Field, towards Whitepits; a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap and 2 Wheatear were at Stanpit, mostly in the North Scrubs; and a remarkable 16 Yellow Wagtail and 11 Wheatear were in the fenced area at the end of the sandspit. Not just waders benefitting from that project! Speaking of waders, the best was a Green Sandpiper over Wick in the afternoon, while Stanpit held: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, at least 3 Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 110 Ringed Plover and 150+ Dunlin. For those planning to attend the ringing demonstration on Saturday, please note above the change of venue.

August 30th

Snipe – Clinton Whale

Ruff – Scott Usher

Kingfisher – Clinton Whale

For the area, the most notable record of the day was certainly a doubling of Nuthatch – to two birds – in the Nursery; while a Garden Warbler was on the adjacent Long Field, 7 Wheatear were about and 5 Yellow Wagtail passed over. The pick of the waders was a juvenile Ruff that appeared at Stanpit late in the afternoon; where, earlier, 3 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Grey Plover and 4 Bar-tailed Godwit were logged. Meanwhile, the returning wildfowl came to: a Shoveler, 10 Wigeon and 12 Teal.

August 29th

Whinchat – Alan Hayden

Stonechat – Alan Hayden

Reed Bunting – Alan Hayden

Sedge Warbler – Alan Hayden

The Osprey’s two visits today were at 11:30 and 15:40 with a successful catch at the earlier visit.  Reasonable numbers of migrants were logged, mainly this morning, including 200 Swallow north-east over Hengistbury plus site totals of 18 Willow Warbler,16 Whitethroat, 15 Sedge Warbler, 9 Wheatear, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat and a Redstart; also a Nuthatch in the Nursery.  With so much exposed mud in the harbour the waders were difficult to count accurately but amongst the birds present were 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe and singles of Greenshank, Grey Plover, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit. The Tufted Duck was still around together with 22 Wigeon, 7 Teal and 2 Shoveler; also a Kingfisher was on Stanpit.

August 28th

Osprey with attendant Lapwing – Roger Tidball

The three Curlew Sandpiper with a Redshank – Alan Hayden

Adult Grey Plover – Alan Hayden

… and a juvenile Black–tailed Godwit – Alan Hayden

Save for a few Yellow Wagtail and Willow Warbler, passerines were few and far between; wader variety, however, made for a reasonably decent day. This morning, three juvenile Curlew Sandpiper appeared in Stanpit Bight and during the afternoon the Little Stint was again on Blackberry Point. In addition, there and on the Flats, a Ruff, 2 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 5 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, 85 Ringed Plover and 90 Dunlin were all logged. The Osprey visited around 10:30 and 15:30, both times successfully, a Peregrine hunted and 45 Sandwich Tern loafed.

August 27th

Grasshopper Warbler – Leo Pyke

One of the Yellow Wagtail ringed today – Kevin Sayer

In addition to the pictured Grasshopper Warbler by the HHC, there were 3 Pied Flycatcher and a Lesser Whitethroat briefly at Stanpit this morning; while; more settled, across Wick and Hengistbury, as far as the Nursery, were: 5 Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat and a Garden Warbler; plus around thirty each of Willow Warbler and Whitethroat; with ten or so Wheatear spread across the site. Overhead, singles of Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail passed, as well as 40 Yellow Wagtail – a further twelve of the latter grounded at by Mother Siller’s Channel in the evening. An adult Little Stint was on Blackberry Point during the afternoon, with other waders in and around Stanpit Bight coming to: 3 Greenshank, 4 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Ringed Plover, 83 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone. There were three Osprey moments – around 9:30, 14:30 and 15:30 – the latter definitely resulting in a catch. On that occasion, the bird left so low over the Recreation Ground that it was possible to hear its wingbeats. Common Gull are now creeping back – adults seen passing to the west and one loafing on South Marsh. The same can be said of wildfowl – a Pintail, a Wigeon and 13 Teal all returned today; along with the drake Tufted Duck. To finish, a Peregrine was about.

August 26th

A couple of Little Stint, a Curlew Sandpiper and an over-flying Little Ringed Plover were at Stanpit this morning, along with: 3 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Turnstone; the latter a notable, in-harbour number. Passerine-wise, there was a brief Grasshopper Warbler at Stanpit, but two each of Whinchat and Redstart were more amenable, as were up to 10 Wheatear. Meanwhile, on the other side of the area, a Spotted Flycatcher was on the Long Field, a Lesser Whitethroat was by the HHC, and twos of Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit passed over. Early on, a Great White Egret was about the marsh, as were two juvenile Mediterranean Gull – a species that is a bit scarce this late-summer – as well as a Tufted Duck. To finish, this evening, between 6:30 and 7:30, at least 22 Yellow Wagtail headed towards the harbour over the Two Riversmeet football pitches.

August 25th

Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale

There was another nice selection of passerine migrants today, including: 2 Pied Flycatcher in the North Scrubs; 3 Whinchat on the Barn Field; a Lesser Whitethroat on Roebury Lane; Redstart on Wick and Crouch Hill; and at least 6 Wheatear, 25 Willow Warbler and 10 Whitethroat. A single Tree Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail went over this morning; but by the late afternoon, calls of the latter were pretty constant on South Marsh – with perhaps twenty birds settled. Back to the morning, when a Black Tern passed through with some Common Tern and the Osprey failed to catch either side of 10:00. The best of the waders were a couple of Green Sandpiper, with 3 Greenshank, over Wick; while Stanpit held a further 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, four juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit and a 200-strong mix of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Wrapping up, single juveniles of Peregrine and Mediterranean Gull were turned in.

August 24th

Avocet – Alan Hayden

In a continuing easterly breeze, passerine variety notched up again slightly. Pied Flycatcher were in the Nursery and the No Dogs Field; 3 Spotted Flycatcher were in the Long Field, with a further in the North Scrubs; that field also held a Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler, while the scrubs held another; a couple of Whinchat were on the Barn Field, plus one at Stanpit; of 3 Redstart, two were in the No Dogs Field; at least 10 Wheatear were about and the Willow Warbler came to around thirty. Meanwhile, moving over, were 2 Yellow Wagtail, 17 Sand Martin and 50 Swallow. The Osprey performed at 08:50 and a male Marsh Harrier in moult was logged. Amongst the waders, Avocet were a feature – two birds settled and seven eastbound, high over the harbour. Also lingering, 2 Knot, a Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper. No other small waders were reported, however. To round up: 4 Common Tern and two juvenile Mediterranean Gull were loafing around Stanpit Bight, where 4 Shoveler, the 3 Wigeon and 21 Teal were also present.

August 23rd

There was a variety of passerine migrants around this morning. A Pied Flycatcher was in the Old Council Depot site; a Spotted Flycatcher was in the North Scrubs, along with a Redstart; a further Redstart was in the Nursery; a Garden Warbler was in the No Dogs Field; 13 Tree Pipit and 12 Yellow Wagtail passed over; with others coming to: 10 Wheatear, 25 Willow Warbler, 20+ Whitethroat and similar number of Chiffchaff. The best of the waders – singles of Curlew Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and Avocet – were all brief affairs, but a Knot, a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Turnstone were more settled at Stanpit. Meanwhile, it was nice to hear of a Knot, 75 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin roosting in the CHOG-BCP fenced area on the sandspit. The Osprey visited this morning, when a Peregrine was about, and the first Wigeon of the ‘winter’ – three birds – were in Stanpit Bight.

August 22nd

Osprey – Scott Usher

Wheatear – Alan Crockard

This morning, Ashtree Meadow held a Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher, as well as a few Willow Warbler, and 7 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill; while 2 Yellow Wagtail and 8 Swift overflew. The Osprey came at around 10:00 and caught on the first plunge, with a Peregrine and Buzzard also being logged. To finish the bird news, a light day of wader reports – just a Knot, 2 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel to mention. Of odonata interest, there were still 2 Small Red-eyed Damselfly around.

August 21st

This morning, a Garganey was with 4 Teal at Stanpit, while 3 Arctic Skua passed over high to the west. Also westbound through the area, 3 Little Tern and 20 Common Tern. Meanwhile, 3 Tree Pipit headed south, 9 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill and 7 Willow Warbler were returned from Wick. This afternoon, around 15:15, the regular Osprey – a tail feather missing – visited, again caught successfully and took it back to the Avon Valley. To conclude, the Stanpit waders, which included: 3 Knot, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit – nine of those not stopping, 70 Ringed Plover, 80 Dunlin and two each of Snipe and Turnstone.

August 20th

On another grey day, a flock of 9 Knot – two adults and seven birds of the year – arrived at Stanpit late in the afternoon; when earlier there had been 2 Ruff, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 5 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Turnstone; plus uncounted Ringed Plover and Dunlin. The Osprey came and went around 15:45, while, early on, 3 Swift passed through. The only passerines to mention are 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a sprinkling of Willow Warbler in the North Scrubs. To finish, the wildfowl: still the single, juvenile Shelduck remains; and as somebody took the trouble to count them there is a moral duty to pass the news on – 227 Canada Goose and 7 Greylag Goose. Please note, the weather forecast has scuppered the ringing session of the meet at Durlston tomorrow, but the guided walk is still planned to start at 9:00am. 

August 19th

Starting at the end of the day, when a seawatch from Hengistbury saw two juvenile Arctic Tern and a mixture of 21 Common Tern pass west. Back to the morning and a Spotted Flycatcher was in the North Scrubs, along with several Willow Warbler – some of them singing – while 3 Tree Pipit and the same number of Swift went over. The Wheatear on Crouch Hill peaked at five this afternoon. Moving to the waders at Stanpit, there were 3 Knot, one of them an adult still showing red, as well as 3 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, a Turnstone and a Snipe. To finish, the Osprey was around between 10:30 and 10:45, when it left with a fish.

August 18th

It was a grey and breezy day that ended up feeling more like October! The Osprey visit came at 09:00 and didn’t last too long – a couple of circuits of Stanpit Creek and back again with fish. Around midday, a Red Kite circled over Wick, while a westerly hirundine passage was estimated at 100+ Sand Martin and around 60 Swallow. The day’s wader counts, all from Stanpit Bight, peaked at: 2 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, a Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Sanderling, 150 Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin and a Turnstone. A Tree Pipit was decked on Wick and one went over Stanpit, where there was a Spotted Flycatcher in Ashtree Meadow and 2 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. To round up, single juveniles of Common Gull and Mediterranean Gull headed west and was settled at Stanpit respectively.

August 17th

Osprey with the afternoon catch – Alan Hayden

After there being three male Small Red–eyed Damselfly yesterday, a female arrived today – Simon Coupe

Painted Lady – Jackie Smith

The same Osprey visited twice today – around 09:15 and 15:30 – each time successfully catching a fish and taking them back to wherever in the Avon Valley. Earlier, a Great White Egret had headed the same way over Wick Fields. The waders, mostly at Stanpit, were headed by a very brief Little Stint, at least 2 Knot, 3 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 81 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, 22 Snipe, the bulk of them seen to arrive in varying sized wisps, and a notable count of 117 Redshank. Passerines were again sparse, but did include a Redstart and a Yellow Wagtail from Ashtree Meadows, plus 7 Willow Warbler around Wick. The gull interest came from two juvenile Mediterranean Gull and 2 Common Gull – an adult and a juvenile – all passing through west, with a settled adult of the latter; also at least 3 Common Tern about the place. After yesterday’s Teal, there was a doubling, along with 5 Shoveler, and, to finish, singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher were returned.

August 16th

Linnet – Clinton Whale

Wheatear on the Rusty Boat – Jackie Smith

Small Red–eyed Damselfly – Barrie Taylor

The first, two juvenile Knot of the season were at Stanpit today, along with a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, over 40 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. The only other bird news involves up to 10 Wheatear settled across the site and an adult, male Marsh Harrier, in a heavy state-of-moult, over this afternoon. Of odonata interest, the newly created nature pond on Riversmeet Meadow hosted the area’s first Small Red-eyed Damselfly – three males.

August 15th

An Osprey visited briefly around 1:50 this afternoon, before leaving to the north with a catch. Earlier in the day, there was an excellent record of Wood Warbler at Wick – a species that is very rare here on the return passage. Also 4 Willow Warbler on the fields there, with a Spotted Redshank circling the nearby farm meadows before heading west. Meanwhile, the waders at Stanpit included: a Greenshank, at least 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 35 Ringed Plover, 17 Dunlin and 10 Snipe. To finish, a couple of Wheatear were on their favoured spot of Crouch Hill and 5 Swift passed over. From this date onwards, all records of the latter are welcome.

August 14th

Willow Warbler – Scott Usher

Greenshank – Alan Crockard

The best from a day of fine weather was a Hobby heading over Stanpit, towards Hengistbury, early; when up to 10 Willow Warbler and a few Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler were spread about, as well as at least 4 Wheatear on Crouch Hill. The morning low water carries all the wader news, with 2 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 63 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin and up to 6 Snipe being logged; nearly all at Stanpit. To finish, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was also there late in the afternoon.

August 13th

Wheatear – Clinton Whale

Jersey Tiger – Jackie Smith

Adder – Jackie Smith

The day saw at least 3 Greenshank at Stanpit, as well as a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 57 Ringed Plover, around 35 Dunlin, a Turnstone and 3 Snipe; the latter all on the new scrape by Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, 5 Wheatear spent the day on Crouch Hill and a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour.

August 12th

Dunlin – Paul Turton

There is not much to report for the day – a Grey Plover and 2 Whimbrel were at Stanpit; while up to 13 Black-tailed Godwit were about the area. To finish, 5 Willow Warbler were on Wick and 2 Wheatear hung around Crouch Hill.

August 11th

Sandwich Tern – Roger Tidball

A female Redstart was on the Long Field this morning, while 2 Wheatear spent the day on Crouch Hill and a Yellow Wagtail passed. At least 2 Greenshank were around, that number being in Holloway’s Dock with another logged at Stanpit; as were a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and over 100 Ringed Plover.

August 10th

A drop in the wind saw an arrival of warblers – at least 100 Sedge Warbler and up to the same number of Willow Warbler from the sites which were visited, but coverage wasn’t comprehensive so there were certainly more across the area. Also settled, a Wheatear on Crouch Hill, while a Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail overflew. The waders totals include: 2 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock, plus 5 Common Sandpiper, 9 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin at Stanpit; where a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was present.

August 9th

The good number of Sandwich Tern currently using the area has brought a couple of colour–ringing recoveries – this one from north-east Scotland and another from mid-Wales – Scott Usher

Wall butterfly – Joy Aubin

Today’s Osprey visit came just after 16:00, when the bird spent over thirty minutes attempting to fish, again unsuccessfully. During the time it was there, only two splashes were made – presumably, the wind-rippled water was making fish difficult to pick out? Then, just after 17:00, a siege of 9 Cattle Egret appeared from the east and settled on South Marsh; looking less than comfortable in their new surroundings, however. To finish the highlights, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was literally on Fisherman’s Bank for a brief period this morning. Wader-wise, the pick were: a Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 21 Ringed Plover, around 30 Dunlin, 3 Turnstone and 8 Snipe; a total of 14 Common Tern make the list; and a Willow Warbler was in the North Scrubs.

August 8th

Osprey – Alan Hayden (upper) & Scott Usher

There was another, high-tide Osprey visit today, around 14:00, when a bird unsuccessfully fished before heading north again. Also about Stanpit at that time, 3 Whimbrel, 37 Dunlin, a big increase of Ringed Plover to twenty-seven and 3 Snipe. To finish with the marsh, there were 2 Mediterranean Gull and over 100 Sandwich Tern resting. Moving to the sea, where a further 160 Sandwich Tern were present offshore, as well a 3 Common Tern, at least 2 Fulmar and around 65 Gannet.

August 7th

Willow Warbler – Matthew Barfield

Dunlin – Matthew Barfield

The feeding–flock off the sandspit – Matthew Barfield

Snipe – Carla Peach

There were 2 Osprey seen at Stanpit this morning; one from Fisherman’s Bank that hunted unsuccessfully and headed off to the north; the other passing over in a south-westerly direction. Also briefly on the marsh, a Little Ringed Plover and 2 Spotted Redshank; while 9 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Dunlin and 8 Snipe were more settled. Sticking with the waders, and from the sandspit, where 2 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone make the list. Moving to the sea, and there was again a large feeding-flock offshore – estimates from that being 115 Sandwich Tern, 87 Gannet and 220 gulls. Meanwhile, a Common Scoter passed west and a further 130 Sandwich Tern rested inside the harbour. To finish, the passerines, which today included: a Tree Pipit over, 2 Garden Warbler in Ashtree Meadow, a Willow Warbler on Roebury Lane and around 50 Sedge Warbler in the northern part of Stanpit.

August 6th

This colour–flagged and -ringed Redshank was seen at Stanpit during the week, where it remains. We have learnt it was ringed as an adult in the Avon Valley this Spring, when it successfully raised a brood – one of them having since been seen in South Wales – Alan Hayden

This Black–headed Gull, also an adult, was at Stanpit today. Although confirmation is being sought, it seems it may be of Polish origin – Scott Usher

In a south-westerly blast, Mudeford Quay got the best of the seabirds. This morning a Great Skua and an adult Little Gull moved west past there, while an Arctic Tern and 2 Manx Shearwater did likewise this evening. Other counts for the day, mostly from the Beach Huts, came from: 330 Sandwich Tern lingering offshore, plus forty-seven in Holloway’s Dock, 11 Common Tern west and around a hundred drifting Gannet. During the morning, a couple of Greenshank were also in Holloway’s Dock, but the later selection of waders at Stanpit was a little underwhelming – a Common Sandpiper, at least 5 Whimbrel and around 45 Dunlin being the best of it. To finish, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull put in a very brief appearance on South Marsh.

August 5th

Cattle Egret and Sandwich Tern – David Faulkner

Ruff – Alan Hayden

Sedge Warbler – Alan Crockard

Three Cattle Egret spent some time on East Marsh this morning, when a Spotted Redshank was heard passing by. Also early on, a single Wood Sandpiper and 4 Green Sandpiper travelled through; while a Ruff, a Knot and 6 Common Sandpiper were more settled at Stanpit. In addition to a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, there were 5 Mediterranean Gull returned; and a Yellow Wagtail passed over.

August 4th

At the northern end of Stanpit/Priory Marsh this morning a Quail was heard but only three or four times; also a Wood Sandpiper passed over there with another bird around South Marsh.  A Spotted Redshank arrived from the east and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit travelled west.  More settled waders included 32 Dunlin, 2 Ruff and a Common Sandpiper.  North Scrubs held a Lesser Whitethroat and a Treecreeper while overhead were 20 Swift and a Yellow Wagtail.  To round up a Peregrine moved south and 65 Sandwich Tern were around the harbour.

August 3rd

The first Osprey of the ‘autumn’ put in an appearance this afternoon at 3pm and stayed for around fifteen minutes.  Earlier the 3 Wood Sandpiper were still on South Marsh where they remained for most of the day, also present were singles of Green Sandpiper, Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel and 25 Dunlin.  There was a Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock and 2 Willow Warbler in the North Scrubs plus 35 Sandwich tern and 5 Mediterranean Gull around the harbour.

August 2nd

Wood Sandpiper – Alan Hayden

The morning saw 5 Wood Sandpiper at Stanpit, when three were settled on South Marsh two had already departed west. Also passing in that direction, a Spotted Redshank. Other waders there, throughout the day, included: a Knot, a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover and 47 Dunlin. To finish with the water birds, 2 Common Tern, a Shoveler and the still, nine-strong Shelduck family were logged. To conclude the post, a Grasshopper Warbler was at Stanpit and 6 Willow Warbler were on Wick.

August 1st

Wood Sandpiper – Scott Usher

The best for the day was a flighty Wood Sandpiper at Stanpit late in the afternoon, when a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin, 2 Snipe and a Turnstone were all present. Otherwise, it’s just 2 Willow Warbler along Roebury Lane to mention.


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