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Sightings for Month: February 2022

February 28th

There is a bit more to write about today; not least from the sea, where watches from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay produced: 2 Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 14 Common Gull, 5 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Scoter and 5 Pintail – generally west – while a Merlin east was a nice bonus and 2 Great Crested Grebe were settled. Before being on Priory Marsh, the Glossy Ibis, was seen leaving the roost – along with 13 Cattle Egret and 22 Little Egret; a Jack Snipe was on the Salt Hurns; and a Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch and 2 Mediterranean Gull were returned from Wick.

February 27th

Glossy Ibis – Clinton Whale

The only news from a day of complete sun, although a cold breeze, is of the Glossy Ibis faithful to Priory Marsh, 4 Mediterranean Gull over Wick and a female Bullfinch in the No Dogs Field.

February 26th

Rock Pipit – Leo Pyke

…and two more of the same bird on the Salt Hurns. Given the strong supercilium, the overall grey tones on the mantle, nape and crown, the rather un-smudged breast markings and, not least, the habitat; particularly when many British birds are already in favoured breeding spots, there is a good case for ‘Scandinavian’ littoralis Rock Pipit.

Little Egret and Water Rail – Adrian Simmons

The only news received so far today is of a White-tailed Eagle that crossed from the island and headed west over the harbour at just after 9:00 this morning, plus 124 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock.

February 25th

Glossy Ibis – Scott Usher

Hunting Water Rail – Clinton Whale

…and Dartford Warbler were making themselves very obvious in the sunshine – Clinton Whale

A decade ago, the such frequent presence of the first-three-mentioned species of the post would have been unimaginable! The Glossy Ibis was seen leaving roost, spending the day on Priory Marsh and returning to roost. The Cattle Egret siege came out as twelve, but picked one up for their return; while at least two, but possibly three, Marsh Harrier were reported. For those wishing to see the ibis, then it’s best from Riversmeet Meadow, formerly the golf course, and viewing Priory Marsh from there – the bird tending to accompany a couple of Mute Swan. The best of the waders were an Avocet in Stanpit Creek and 4 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit, but also 7 Grey Plover and 175 Black-tailed Godwit inside the harbour. The Mediterranean Gull return for the day is of seven west over Hengistbury, with the remaining interest coming from 31 Brent Goose and a Peregrine.

February 24th

Glossy Ibis – Mark Taylor

On a day of very variable weather, after being seen leaving the roost, along with 12 Cattle Egret, the Glossy Ibis spent its day on Priory Marsh. Meanwhile, the only news from the sea, is of a Black-throated Diver on it; with the rest of the post made up from: a female-type Marsh Harrier, a Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch, all about Wick.

February 23rd

Blackcap – Jackie Smith

Mediterranean Gull – Peter Boardman

What were almost certainly the first incoming warblers of the coming Spring were logged today, both in the North Scrubs and in song and sub-song respectively – a Chiffchaff and a male Blackcap. Mediterranean Gull were again a feature about the area – up to twenty-five being the estimate for the day. Wader-wise, an Avocet in Stanpit Bight was the best, with the only other report being of 48 Black-tailed Godwit in Barn Bight, where there were 3 Gadwall. This evening, the Glossy Ibis and 13 Cattle Egret – twelve and one – went to roost, along with 4 Little Egret.

February 22nd

In what is becoming true to form, the Glossy Ibis was in Barn Bight at just before 8:00 this morning and on Priory Marsh in the afternoon. Also at Stanpit, a couple of Marsh Harrier, 16 Grey Plover, 3 Shelduck, 3 Common Gull and an in-song Goldcrest.

February 21st

The sea provided the undoubted highlight of the day, when four fortunate observers enjoyed a Black Guillemot on the sea just off the sandspit, before it flew around the end of the head – exactly the same as one, presumably the same, did so a couple of weeks ago. The sea also came up with: an adult Little Gull, 9 Mediterranean Gull and a Red-throated Diver, all east; 2 Kittiwake and 14 Common Gull, all in the opposite direction; and an aimless Fulmar. Meanwhile, another high-point was a Yellowhammer passing over the Beach Huts. The Glossy Ibis left the roost at 17:02 and had a brief wash-and-brush-up in Barn Bight, then headed inland. No Cattle Egret were seen to leave; but eleven went in tonight, however. To finish: a Firecrest was in song on Hengistbury; a completely dark Marsh Harrier, so sounding like a new bird, was seen; the Bullfinch pair was by the Viewing Platform; and 2 Gadwall were inside the harbour. Of mammal interest, a Weasel was logged.

February 20th

It seems the Glossy Ibis could now be a little more habitual. After leaving roost it settled in Barn Bight at 07:05 for a short time, but was then seen agian on Priory Marsh just before 16:00. Also out of the roost, 8 Cattle Egret. There were far fewer Mediterranean Gull around today – around seven – so it’s tricky to work-out what’s going on with them at the moment. It was the penultimate WeBS count of the winter, with the best being 15 Purple Sandpiper seen from the sandspit, but also: 15 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 316 Black-tailed Godwit, 29 Ringed Plover, 230 Dunlin, 177 Redshank and just 33 Lapwing; with the more-interesting wildfowl numbering 73 Brent Goose, 38 Teal and 832 Wigeon. Some final comment on the totals – 36 Coot; this winter seems to have them in exceptionally low numbers, a pattern mirrored elsewhere? To finish the bird news, the regular male Marsh Harrier was about and a pair of Peregrine hunted Stanpit. Finally, we recently sent an e-Bulletin to all members and those who were members last year – if you haven’t received it, please email: secretary@chog.org.uk

February 19th

First- (top) and second-winter Common Gull – Matthew Barfield

Adult Mediterranean Gull – Matthew Barfield

Portuguese Man o’ War on Hengistbury – per Facebook

After a fortnight-or-so-long, eastbound trickle of Mediterranean Gull, there was a noticeable, westerly return today. At 10:30 this morning, a flock of around twenty-five arrived over Sandhills caravan park, with a further three passing at sea. Additionally, there were three – one of each of the currently possible plumages – settled on Mudeford Quay. The sea was watched from 07:40 to 10:45, from both the Beach Huts and the Gully, and came up with: a lingering Red-throated Diver, 3 Kittiwake, 21 Common Gull – again the whole gamut of plumages – 5 Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebe. Just after first light, the Glossy Ibis and 12 Cattle Egret left the roost – the former seeming to head up the Stour – and a Jack Snipe came up from the end of the head. At Stanpit, there was another nice gaggle of Brent Goose, estimated at eighty, as well as a Peregrine. Wick, meanwhile, contributed the Bullfinch pair by the Viewing Platform and a Kingfisher from the Wooden Bridge. Of mammal and jellyfish interest, Weasel and Portuguese Man o’ War respectively, were seen on Hengistbury.

February 18th

This morning’s very high tide, spilling off the Salt Hurns and into the Wood – Leo Pyke

The Glossy Ibis had a little bit of supper from around 16:50 in Barn Bight, before going to roost around 20 minutes later. At dawn, today’s out-of-roost flight contained 13 Cattle Egret and 8 Little Egret. Despite the onslaught of Storm Eunice, a 3-hour seawatch produced just: a Fulmar, 11 Kittiwake, a Mediterranean Gull, 8 Common Gull and 6 Wigeon. Meanwhile, a Firecrest was in the Wood, at least 80 Brent Goose and 200 Black-tailed Godwit were at Stanpit, and, this evening, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull and 2 Great Crested Grebe were in Barn Bight.

February 17th

Glossy Ibis, photographed a couple of days ago, over Crouch Hill – Alan Crockard

…and, rarely seen in these parts, a Great Crested Grebe sporting breeding plumage – Peter Boardman

What has been suspected for a couple of weeks, at least, was confirmed this evening, when a Glossy Ibis was seen going to roost – just after 17:00; with 12 Cattle Egret bedding down around twenty-five minutes later. Just before that, a female Marsh Harrier was watched heading out to sea, but the regular male was around for much of the day. Meanwhile, a couple of Firecrest – one of them in song – were about Hengistbury, a Chiffchaff was on Wick and 3 Mediterranean Gull were at Stanpit. To finish the post: 78 Brent Goose and 60 Dunlin were on Stanpit; a single Bullfinch was returned from Wick; 125 Black-tailed Godwit were briefly in Barn Bight; a second-calendar-year Common Gull passed east at sea; and a Kingfisher was around Holloway’s Dock.

February 16th

‘Continental’ – sinensisCormorant – Peter Boardman

There were definite signs of Spring today, despite largely grey skies and a good amount of drizzle – Dartford Warbler and Rock Pipit were in song, while 35 Lapwing, flocks of twenty-nine and six, came in-off-the-sea and 17 Mediterranean Gull headed east over it. Sticking offshore, a couple of Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebe were also logged. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, a Red-breasted Merganser, a further 2 Great Crested Grebe and 56 Brent Goose could be seen. This evening, 11 Cattle Egret went to roost at 17:15, with the rest of the news coming from the Bullfinch pair by the Viewing Platform and a Kingfisher around the Wooden Bridge.

February 15th

This evening, after being settled for a while on East Marsh, 12 Cattle Egret were seen from Fisherman’s Bank as they headed-off to roost. Also, from there: 11 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a good count of 205 Black-tailed Godwit and a notable, in-harbour number of Turnstone – twenty – chucking stuff about on Blackberry Point. Earlier in the day, the sea from the Beach Huts turned in: 3 Red-throated Diver – two of them settled, a Fulmar, 4 Kittiwake, two breeding-grounds-bound Mediterranean Gull, 7 Common Gull and 3 Great Crested Grebe.

February 14th

Black-tailed Godwit – Roger Tidball

There was a slight increase in Cattle Egret today – fifteen out of the roost – along with 14 Little Egret, a Brambling and a Siskin. A little while later, the sea produced: a Great Northern Diver, a Red-throated Diver, a Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Mediterranean Gull and 13 Common Gull; with a single Purple Sandpiper on the groynes. Other wader news, from Stanpit, is of 2 Bar-tailed Godwit amongst the uncounted Black-tailed of Godwit and Dunlin. Also on the marsh, the welcome sight or 50 or so Brent Goose. To finish, a pair of Bullfinch was again by the Viewing Platform and a couple of Kingfisher were about the harbour-shore side of Hengistbury.

February 13th

Second-calendar-year Common Gull – Matthew Barfield

Common Scoter and the Needles light – Matthew Barfield

Mediterranean Gull – Matthew Barfield

An approved Snipe census on the Salt Hurns, in their entirety, this morning resulted in eighty-nine birds, plus 2 Jack Snipe; but impressively no wet feet amongst the five counters! Prior to all that, the roost flight contained 13 Cattle Egret, 12 Little Egret and around 80 Stock Dove amongst the many hundreds, if not four figures, of other birds. Meanwhile, the sea was watched from both Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts from first light until 11:00, at least, and produced: 3 Kittiwake, 2 Common Scoter, two unidentified auks, 6 Mediterranean Gull – five of those entering the harbour, 8 Common Gull, a Shelduck and a Great Crested Grebe.

February 12th

Reed Bunting – Jimmy Main

The only news at the time of an early posting is of a Fulmar from the Beach Huts.

February 11th

Yesterday’s Glossy Ibis – Jimmy Main

Today’s 2 Avocet in Holloway’s Dock – Peter Boardman

A stretching, adult Mediterranean Gull nicely showing the diagnostic, all-white wings – Scott Usher

…and male Marsh Harrier – Jimmy Main

It was a lovely, sun-filled day with blue skies pretty much throughout. A couple of Avocet about the place were new-in birds, while 2 Sanderling remained Stanpit, along with 15 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 28 Ringed Plover and 140 Dunlin. A couple of Mediterranean Gull were also around the marsh, as was the expected Marsh Harrier and a lone Shelduck. Meanwhile, a total of 4 Bullfinch was returned from Wick.

February 10th

Song Thrush – Clinton Whale

Black-tailed Godwit – George Garland

This afternoon, a Glossy Ibis was seen from the Wooden Bridge heading up the Stour, while earlier a Chiffchaff and a pair of Bullfinch were also logged on Wick. At Stanpit, there was another out-of-season wader surprise – today, 6 Sanderling – as well as 16 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 80 Black-tailed Godwit, 38 Ringed Plover and 148 Dunlin; plus 2 Common Gull and a nice total of 9 Shoveler.

February 9th

Goldfinch – Mark Taylor

Mediterranean Gull – Alan Crockard

Grey Wagtail – Clinton Whale

…and Stonechat – George Garland

A morning seawatch from the Beach Huts produced singles of Great Northern Diver and Red-throated Diver, west and east respectively, as well as 2 Common Scoter in the latter direction and 3 Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, an unseasonable Greenshank was at Stanpit, with the first two calling Mediterranean Gull of the coming Spring passing through. Later in the day, the marsh produced 12 Grey Plover and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. Back to the morning and Wick, where a cream-crowned Marsh Harrier, a Chiffchaff and two female Bullfinch were logged. Rounding up, the best Black-tailed Godwit number – twenty-seven – comes from Holloway’s Dock, Grey Wagtail was about the Horse Paddock and Kingfisher were seen around Wick Hams and Grimmery Bank.

February 8th

A Chiffchaff was on Wick this morning, in a spot where there hasn’t been a wintering bird, while a pair of Bullfinch was nearby and a second-winter Marsh Harrier headed off to the north again. This afternoon, a total of 6 Mediterranean Gull at Stanpit was nice, with 16 Grey Plover and 33 Ringed Plover being the only waders counted.

February 7th

Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock – Clinton Whale

A Black Guillemot landed on the sea off the sandspit for a short while this morning, before leaving to the west. Also from there, a settled Great Northern Diver. Earlier, there was an interesting from-roost flight, involving: a Great White Egret, 13 Cattle Egret, 22 Little Egret and 3 Marsh Harrier. A Pochard circuiting the harbour is a really nice record, with the rest of the news coming from a total of 74 Black-tailed Godwit around the northern edge of Hengistbury and 5 Bullfinch on Wick.

February 6th

Peregrine – Clinton Whale

It was a windy day, but the sea produced little from Mudeford Quay this morning. That said, a Black-throated Diver west was nice, but then it’s just 5 Shelduck in the same direction and 5 Purple Sandpiper, commuting to and from the sandspit, to mention. Meanwhile, the sub-adult male Marsh Harrier was seen from Wick, as were 3 Bullfinch – a pair again on by the Viewing Platform and one close to the Driving Range. To finish, 2 Peregrine could be seen loitering around the Priory.

February 5th

After a sporadic few weeks, it was nice to see a half-decent Brent Goose presence at Stanpit today – 47 birds in total. Also around the marsh, 13 Grey Plover, 139 Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Ringed Plover, 220 Dunlin and 66 Lapwing; plus 5 Shelduck. Elsewhere, 4 Great Crested Grebe were in the Run, a pair of Bullfinch were by the Viewing Platform and at least 4 Common Gull were about; with Kingfisher logged in Holloway’s Dock and by the HHC.

February 4th

Three Mediterranean Gull – two adults and a second-winter – were a bonus at Stanpit, while 2 Purple Sandpiper on sandspit groyne S9 were also nice. Also at Stanpit, 16 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 80 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 120 Dunlin.

February 3rd

Male Marsh Harrier – Jimmy Main

A female-type Black Redstart around the north-west corner of the Recreation Ground was the pick of today; but also 3 Cattle Egret out of roost, both a male and a cream-crowned Marsh Harrier at Stanpit, and a Firecrest in the Wood. At sea, a couple of Red-throated Diver were logged, along with 2 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Razorbill and 3 Great Crested Grebe. Of 40 Brent Goose, just fifteen were inside the harbour – the rest passing offshore. To finish, at least one Peregrine was about.

February 2nd

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Mark Taylor

A Firecrest in the Wood is the best from a quiet day, while 3 Brent Goose and a Shelduck were at Stanpit.

February 1st

It’s light on news today, with a couple of female Bullfinch on Wick, at least one male Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine over and six, offshore Great Crested Grebe being the only reports received.

Publications

We have a number of publications available including the current edition of Birds of Christchurch Harbour

Also, back issues from previous years and other goodies.

Publications

We have a number of publications available including the current edition of Birds of Christchurch Harbour

Also, back issues from previous years and other goodies.