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Sightings for Month: March 2022

March 31st

Female Linnet – Clinton Whale

Redshank – Mark Taylor

A bitterly cold, northerly wind, which brought at least one snow flurry with it, made it a challenge to be outside today. Consequently, there isn’t too much to write about. The 15 Cattle Egret lingered until around 8:00 this morning, when what was presumably an additional bird headed east over Wick. On Hengistbury, a Ruff was with 134 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock, with 6 Common Scoter, a Brent Goose and 11 Common Gull passing east at sea. At Stanpit, there were 4 Mediterranean Gull, a male Marsh Harrier and, what we now know for sure to be a pair, the 2 Peregrine – hunting mutually and then some later romance on the Priory.

March 30th

Shoveler – Clinton Whale

Reed Bunting – Jimmy Main

Glossy Ibis – Clinton Whale

A drake Garganey was seen morning and evening in Mother Siller’s Channel, with other wildfowl on Stanpit including 3 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall and 5 Brent Goose. Meanwhile, a further thirty-seven ‘brent’s passed east as sea, along with a Red-throated Diver, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Gull, 11 Gannet, a Razorbill and 2 Wigeon, with a Tufted Duck heading in the opposite direction. Early on, birds departing after their Winter in the west comprised a 2 Brambling and a Redwing in the Wood; where, in contrast, there were 3 Firecrest and two, singing Goldcrest, as well as the now-established Chiffchaff and Blackcap territories. The only Wheatear for the day was a male by the Coastguard, but Sandwich Tern fared better with at least five about the area. Essentially, they are now ‘in’. A Red Kite moved over around 9:00; 2 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit; 123 Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Dunlin were in Stanpit Bight; a Peregrine hunted Wick; and, other than a brief excursion elsewhere, the Glossy Ibis was in it’s favoured 10sqm of Priory Marsh.

March 29th

This sylvia warbler – Dartford Warbler – probably hasn’t left the area for the winter – Clinton Whale

…while this one – a male Blackcap – is still sporting the pollen encrustation he picked up on his journey from the Mediterranean – Jimmy Main

Continuing from the photographs with the sylvia warbler theme, after its journey from south of the Sahara, the first Whitethroat of the season was in the North Scrubs today – on a date that is well ahead of the 60-year average of April 10th. Meanwhile, also new-in, was a Black Redstart briefly by the HHVC early on. There was nice little passage of dabbling ducks east at sea – namely, 4 Garganey, a pair of Shoveler and 2 Teal – along with 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Guillemot, 8 Gannet, 16 Common Scoter and a Shelduck. In addition, at least 5 Sandwich Tern, 10 Mediterranean Gull and 2 Common Gull were offshore. The only wader news involves a Whimbrel, 145 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Snipe, all at Stanpit; while 2 Firecrest were in the Wood and the Bullfinch pair was again seen by the Viewing Platform on Wick.

March 28th

Red-legged Partridge – Samuel Levy

Marsh Harrier – Jimmy Main

Wheatear – Samuel Levy

Snipe – Clinton Whale

…and Bar-tailed Godwit – Leo Pyke

The surprise of the day was a Red-legged Partridge in the bizarre location of the end of the sandspit, where it accompanied 2 Wheatear. Meanwhile, there was a proper arrival of Meadow Pipit during the morning – a total of 1600 or so, of which 1000 passed in the hour prior to noon, along with much smaller numbers of Pied Wagtail and Skylark. Also more obvious today were Sandwich Tern, with at least sixteen records, as were Willow Warbler – four at Stanpit – and Blackcap. Other notables included: a Yellowhammer, a Garganey, a Little Ringed Plover and a Whimbrel north; the first sighting of a Marsh Harrier for nearly a week; plus 15 Cattle Egret and the Glossy Ibis. Mediterranean Gull were certainly on the move – perhaps as many as 100 throughout the day; as were presumably Brent Goose, with gaggle and skeins of variable quantities being returned – the largest being twenty-eight leaving Stanpit. Now the finishing muddle: the sea produced 4 Common Scoter, a Common Gull, 8 Gannet and 2 Great Crested Grebe; a Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 94 Black-tailed Godwit were inside the harbour; 3 Bullfinch were on Wick, as was the vocal Green Woodpecker; and a drake Tufted Duck flew downriver. Of mammal interest, a Grey Seal was off the Beach Huts.

Omission: 2 Swallow – the first of the season – passed through at Stanpit.

March 27th

Chiffchaff are now firmly on territory – Clinton Whale

There were actually very few reports received for the day. A White Wagtail was in the No Dogs Field on Wick; a Sandwich Tern rested inside the harbour; the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh; and the presumed pair of Peregrine was again on the Priory itself.

March 26th

The 15 Cattle Egret spent an hour or so around Stanpit Creek, before leaving for the Avon Valley; where, by the middle of the afternoon, they had picked up an additional bird. Also, the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh again. Over on Hengistbury, a couple of Velvet Scoter passed east at sea and a Black Redstart was briefly along the southern edge of the Barn Field; then, later in the day, an adult Little Gull headed north through Stanpit. Moving back to the sea and, in addition to the previously mentioned scoter, a watch from the Beach Huts produced: a Sandwich Tern, a Fulmar, 11 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall, a Gannet, 15 Common Gull and 12 Brent Goose – nearly all east – as well 44 Linnet and around the same number of Meadow Pipit arriving. A drake Red-breasted Merganser inside the harbour was a surprise, along with 4 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall. Up to 30 Mediterranean Gull were noted; a Firecrest sang in the Wood; and the 2 Peregrine were on the Priory.

March 25th

Willow Warbler – Clinton Whale

Meadow Pipit – Alan Hayden

Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale

Wigeon – Alan Hayden

It was reasonably quiet today, but a Sandwich Tern did pass the Beach Huts this morning, when 4 Cattle Egret headed north at 09:15; while the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh throughout. At least one Willow Warbler was in the North Scrubs, with an Avocet, 175 Black-tailed Godwit, a Shoveler, a Gadwall, 29 Brent Goose and 12 Shelduck also returned from Stanpit. Interestingly, a further three Shelduck were settled, albeit nervously, in the Bobolink Field on Wick – where there are plenty of holes. The Peregrine pair were around all day and, for the records, the Mediterranean Gull day-count was just four.

March 24th

They’re not often this obliging! Cetti’s Warbler – Peter Boardman

Jay – Clinton Whale

…and Peacock – Clinton Whale

There was a small, but definite, arrival of Blackcap across the area this morning, as well as the first Willlow Warbler of the season in Ashtree Meadow. Also, a couple of Wheatear about the place, plus 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Marsh Harrier over; the latter to the south-east. After leaving the roost, the 15 Cattle Egret briefly breakfasted off the tip of South Marsh, before heading to the Avon Valley, with a single Avocet also in that area. In terms of genera, the rest of the post is a bit of a smorgasbord: a Red Kite got to the end of the head and then headed along the sandspit; a Firecrest was on the Batters; a Fulmar and 2 Shoveler passed at sea; 100 Black-tailed Godwit spent the low tide in Barn Bight; the Green Woodpecker remains on Wick; two pairs of Gadwall were at Stanpit; and a Peregrine was on the Priory.

March 23rd

Cattle Egret going to roost – Jackie Smith

With dropping of the south-easterly wind, there was a real warmth in the air today – when it was a real pleasure to be in the field. Despite the conditions though, the only reported incoming migrant was a Sand Martin around Barn Bight. There was, however, another good show of egrets: at dawn, a Great White Egret trailed 17 Cattle Egret out of the roost, with a further ‘great-white’ briefly in Stanpit Bight; then, just before 18:00, at least 15 Cattle Egret returned for the night. Meanwhile, as is customary, the Glossy Ibis spent all day on Priory Marsh. For the record, the roost now seems to holding five species of heron, assuming the ibis can be classed as such – something that would have been inconceivable even just a couple of years ago. Five Avocet were logged, two of them choosing to linger, as well as a Grey Plover, 144 Black-tailed Godwit and 23 Dunlin. The Brent Goose gaggle peaked at 72, another Red Kite passed and a single Peregrine was noted on the Priory.

March 22nd

Some nice, showing-the-features shots of White Wagtail – Leo Pyke

This ringed, adult Mediterranean Gull, which we now know was fitted-out in Belgium, was on Mudeford Quay yesterday – Jackie Smith

One of three Sanderling which were on the sandspit yesterday – Paul Sheaf

…and Opsrey passing over Wick on Sunday – Jimmy Main

It was a three-egret day – a couple of Great White Egret were about early on, 15 Cattle Egret headed to roost at just before six tonight and, of course, there were plenty of ‘littles’. Meanwhile, the Glossy Ibis maintained its habits. Another Red Kite passed over Hengistbury, as did a Woodlark, with a Spotted Redshank heard from there. Around Stanpit Bight, the best of the waders were singles of Avocet and Knot, along with a Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 14 Turnstone, and uncounted Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin. Crouch Hill held 2 White Wagtail throughout, with 25 Linnet suddenly appearing on there during the morning, when 23 Mediterranean Gull travelled east. As is becoming the norm, the 2 Peregrine were around the Priory.

March 21st

Peregrine – Clinton Whale

Comma butterfly are now on the wing around the area – Clinton Whale

There is lots to write about tonight – starting with the highlights. Early on, a pair of Garganey headed north over the area, when 15 Cattle Egret fed for a while in the harbour before leaving in the same direction, and a Little Ringed Plover and the Glossy Ibis were on Priory Marsh. Later, a couple of female-type Marsh Harrier were about Stanpit and 2 Red Kite passed over The Hiker cafe, a Goosander headed north over Wick in the gloaming, and the Glossy Ibis and 10 Cattle Egret were seen going to roost. The morning saw a passage of Meadow Pipit, those reported totalling 380 birds, with four accompanying Pied Wagtail. Also, a Sand Martin about Wick and a site-total of 13 Chiffchaff; plus two duelling, male Firecrest making themselves very conspicuous. The waders at Stanpit included 3 Grey Plover, 246 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin; with 7 Shelduck and 59 Brent Goose there. Rounding up, a further four ‘brents’ passed at sea, as did a few Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull, and the pairs of Bullfinch and Peregrine were present and correct.

March 20th

Red Kite – Matthew Barfield

Peregrine – Peter Boardman

Ruff – Matthew Barfield

Surprise of the day was certainly a Ring-necked Parakeet heading into the easterly breeze over the Recreation Ground early this morning! Meanwhile, on another day of clear blue skies, there was a good showing of large raptors. The first Osprey of the season headed north over Wick around 12:30, with White-tailed Eagle over Stanpit earlier and a day-total of eight, passing-through Red Kite. Also, the 2 Peregrine about the Priory. There was some unexpected wader interest – a Spotted Redshank and a Ruff around Stanpit Bight – but also 5 Grey Plover, 230 Black-tailed Godwit, 31 Dunlin and 2 Turnstone there. Additionally, the Glossy Ibis, 5 Cattle Egret, 3 White Wagtail and 2 ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit were logged on the marsh. The last WeBS of the Winter saw the expected reduction in Wigeon and Teal – to 122 and 74 respectively – with other totals comprising: 8 Brent Goose, 6 Shoveler, 3 Pintail, 5 Gadwall, 77 Redshank, 2 Coot and 2 Kingfisher. To finish: a male Wheatear was on the Barn Field; the pair of Bullfinch was on Wick; and 5 Common Gull and 3 Mediterranean Gull were inside the harbour.

Omission: 7 Sanderling and a Knot were at Stanpit.

March 19th

Chiffchaff – Mark Taylor

Small Tortoiseshell – Peter Boardman

It was again reasonably quiet, but a pair of Garganey tucked away on East Marsh for most of the day was nice. Otherwise, in terms of incoming migrants, it’s just singles of Wheatear and Sand Martin, an eastbound Siskin and around thirty-five, arriving Meadow Pipit to report upon. There was another Red Kite in the airspace, just after 8:00 this morning, seen from Wick, where there was again a pair of Bullfinch. A Knot at Stanpit was the best of the waders, but also 5 Grey Plover and 220 Black-tailed Godwit there. Meanwhile: the sea turned in 6 Common Scoter, 8 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull; at least one Firecrest was in the Wood; the Glossy Ibis was again present; a pair of Peregrine stood sentry on the Priory; and a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight.

March 18th

Despite the fantastic weather and some good coverage during the morning, there is relatively little to report. Perhaps the most interest, in a local context, came from a Nuthatch calling by the Civic Offices, where 3 Sand Martin passed over. Otherwise, it’s just handful of incoming Meadow Pipit and around a dozen, eastbound Mediterranean Gull to report on with respect to overhead birds. Over in the Wood, there was a Winter-to-Spring contrast – with 2 Redwing and 3 Firecrest logged. Meanwhile, up to 15 Chiffchaff were on-site.

March 17th

Glossy Ibis – Clinton Whale

Female Marsh Harrier – Jimmy Main

…and a pair of Linnet – Clinton Whale

It was a gloriously, sunny day, when the Green Woodpecker was again vocal on Wick, along with half-a-dozen Chiffchaff. Early on, 16 Cattle Egret passed over Stanpit – fifteen from the roost and one from the south – as did a Little Ringed Plover. Meanwhile, 5 ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit were on Crouch Hill and the Glossy Ibis was in its usual location of Priory Marsh. Also of interest, a Mistle Thrush in the North Scrubs.

March 16th

A flock of 4 Garganey – three drakes and a duck – spent the morning around Stanpit; when a Red Kite toured low over Hengistbury, panicking many birds as it did so. There was clear arrival of passerines, with over 30 Chiffchaff spread across the head and Wick; while fly-overs, before the-remainder-of-day rain set in, around 9:30, were counted as 179 Meadow Pipit, but also mention of alba Wagtail and finches passing through. Additionally, a single Wheatear was on the Barn Field and a ’Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit was on Crouch Hill. Mediterranean Gull totalled six for the day; a Bullfinch was on Wick; a Peregrine was on the Priory; and a lone Gannet was offshore.

March 15th

Water Rail – Clinton Whale

Mediterranean Gull – Leo Pyke

As they become more-and-more established across southern England, March has become the month to see Red Kite over Christchurch – presumed to be young birds pushed from their more-inland, natal areas by the adults – so three this morning from Wick was not totally unexpected. Earlier, a Short-eared Owl headed north over Hengistbury, with a travelling Redpoll also over there. At sea, there was an early, up-channel Whimbrel, as well as a Red-throated Diver, 5 Common Scoter, 2 Common Gull and an unknown quantity of Mediterranean Gull. Stanpit held good interest, with a Water Pipit on Priory Marsh and 3 ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit, plus a White Wagtail, on Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, Hengistbury hosted two, new-in Blackcap, with up to a dozen Chiffchaff about and a nest-building Firecrest. The wildfowl were headed by a Goosander at Stanpit, along with 113 Brent Goose – with the only wader count being a nice total of 225 Black-tailed Godwit. To finish, the Glossy Ibis was again faithful to Priory Marsh and its two Mute Swan companions – an interesting postulation being put forward that the large feet of the latter may stir-up food – a single Bullfinch was close to Holloway’s Dock and a further two were on Wick.

March 14th

Marsh Harrier – Jackie Smith (upper) & George Garland

Teal – Jackie Smith

Great Crested Grebe – Jeremy Mayes

The best bit of news for the day, by far, was of a yaffling Green Woodpecker on Wick – after being a common resident, an absence of records over the last few years had raised concerns the species may have become extirpate in the area. Another welcome presence was Brent Goose – 114 counted at Stanpit and presumably a gaggle working its way back east; but also a single bird west. The other highlights for the day were: a Firecrest singing in the Wood; three ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit on Crouch Hill, amongst a dozen Meadow Pipit and 20 Pied Wagtail; a male and female Marsh Harrier about Wick; and the Glossy Ibis again on Priory Marsh. The sea was, once more, hard work, with just a Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe being returned. To round off the post: the site-wide Chiffchaff total was eight; two each of Gadwall and Great Crested Grebe were in Barn Bight; the day-count for Mediterranean Gull, most of them this evening at Stanpit, was just over thirty; a pair of Bullfinch were on Wick; and a Peregrine was on the Priory.

March 13th

Rock Pipit of the race littoralis – ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit. This bird was observed and photographed on Crouch Hill, Stanpit, yesterday by Adrian Simmons. We now know it was ringed as an adult male on April 2nd, 2019, on the island of Giske in Norway. Just under a year later, it was seen in the same area of Norway and then, in March last year, around Eastbourne, Sussex.

A close-up view of the ring – Adrian Simmons

…and one of four, associating, un-ringed birds – Adrian Simmons

There is relatively little to report today, when a couple of Wheatear were again on Crouch Hill and 2 Firecrest were in the Wood. Otherwise, it was just a quiet sea – the pick from there being: 9 Mediterranean Gull, 10 Common Gull, a Fulmar, a Guillemot and 2 Great Crested Grebe.

March 12th

Bullfinch – Jimmy Main

There was a nice, typical, early-Spring gathering of birds on Crouch Hill during the day, namely: 2 Wheatear, a Water Pipit, 5 ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit, 20 Meadow Pipit, a White Wagtail, 12 Pied Wagtail and 4 Skylark. Meanwhile, the Glossy Ibis was present throughout and Wick held 4 Chiffchaff plus a pair of Bullfinch. Of butterfly interest, the afternoon sun brought out a Comma by the Nursery.

March 11th

On a largely wet day, no reports were received.

March 10th

Pied Wagtail, the season’s first Wheatear and Meadow Pipit – Jackie Smith

It always feels like Spring has arrived when the first Wheatear does – a male on Crouch Hill for the day. Meanwhile, other incoming migrants settled at Stanpit, mainly around the aforementioned spot, totalled: 4 littoralis Rock Pipit, 28 Meadow Pipit and 18 Pied Wagtail. Elsewhere, a Sand Martin was feeding around the Ironstone Quarry and 6 Chiffchaff were on Wick. A male Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit for the afternoon, when the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh, and 9 Grey Plover, 21 Ringed Plover and 188 Dunlin were around the bight; with 86 Black-tailed Godwit returned from Hengistbury. A very quiet sea mustered just: a Red-throated Diver, 2 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Gull and 3 Brent Goose; while the post finishes with a further 3 Mediterranean Gull inside the harbour, 3 Gadwall and a Peregrine.

March 9th

Male Kestrel – Roger Tidball

The day saw at least 5 Chiffchaff dotted about the place, some of them singing; while the Wood produced the song of 2 Firecrest and a Goldcrest. A quiet sea gave a hint of wildfowl movement – a Pintail east, 2 Common Scoter and forty, settled Wigeon – as well as: a Red-throated Diver, a Gannet, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 5 Common Gull. Further ‘Meds’ came from a pair over Wick and an individual in Barn Bight. The wader numbers are headed by 151 Black-tailed Godwit from Hengistbury, but also a Grey Plover and around 40 Dunlin at Stanpit. Also on the marsh, 2 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall and a Shelduck, with the Glossy Ibis again faithful to Priory Marsh. To finish, a couple of Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour and a Bullfinch was on Wick. Of butterfly interest, a Speckled Wood was on the wing on Wick.

March 8th

Chiffchaff in the Nursery – Leo Pyke

The day started overcast, with a south-easterly wind. The sun broke through for a while this morning before the cloud took over once again from lunchtime. The sea was watched from Mudeford Quay and Hengistbury, but the best bird was a dark (blue phase) Fulmar flying east past the Quay. This form is rare locally and, if accepted, it is a potential first record for Dorset. Otherwise, heading east at Hengistbury were 13 Gannet, a Great Northern Diver and 2 Mediterranean Gull, while moving in the opposite direction were 2 Red-throated Diver and 5 Common Gull. A total of 177 Black-tailed Godwit were in Holloway’s Dock and 2 Great Crested Grebe were in Barn Bight. The wood hosted 2 Firecrest and 2 Chiffchaff. The Glossy Ibis flew over to Stanpit fairly early in the morning, where a Kingfisher was along the Purewell Stream and 8 Linnet were on Crouch Hill. Finally, a pair of Shoveler was off the tip of South Marsh.

March 7th

Male Marsh Harrier hunting over Wick – Clinton Whale

It was another mainly sunny day, with a cold north-easterly wind increasing the chill factor by several degrees. The Glossy Ibis started the morning in Barn Bight before moving over to Priory Marsh. Also at Stanpit were a single Brent Goose, 2 Greylag Goose, 6 Shelduck, with a further six leaving the harbour to the west, and at least 100 Dunlin. The remainder of today’s news comes mostly from Hengistbury, where 2 Gadwall were in Barn Bight, 5 Common Scoter headed east, as did three out of the 4 Common Gull, and 7 Mediterranean Gull flew mainly west. There were still 9 Skylark on Barn Field, 2 Firecrest in the Wood and at least one Marsh Harrier hunting around the harbour. Last, but not least, 3 Bullfinch were on Wick.

March 6th

It was a bright, sunny day but with a chilly north wind. Counts from Stanpit at high tide this morning comprised 94 Brent Goose, 175 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Grey Plover, 110 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover and 2 Turnstone. Nineteen Pied Wagtail, 25 Meadow Pipit and a Rock Pipit showing characteristics of the Scandinavian littoralis race were on Crouch Hill, while the Glossy Ibis was in its favoured spot on Priory Marsh. Three Mediterranean Gull were logged, with a further seven flying over Wick Fields, where there was also a Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch, including a pair in Roebury Lane. The only other news comes from an afternoon visit to Stanpit, where a Marsh Harrier was hunting before heading towards Wick.

March 5th

The morning started quite bright, but cloud gradually increased so it became overcast and quite cool in the north wind. It was a quieter day in terms of birds and the only sightings received came from Hengistbury, where the highlight of an hour’s sea watch was a Sandwich Tern heading east. The supporting cast was just 2 Guillemot, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Common Gull and a Peregrine in off the sea. A total of 26 Brent Goose arrived over the beach huts to join around 50 already on the marsh. Otherwise, there was a Bullfinch singing at HHC, 2 Reed Bunting also singing and a pair of Gadwall in Barn Bight.

March 4th

Skylark – Sam Levy

Dartford Warbler – Sam Levy

The pair of Garganey arriving with Brent Geese – Sam Levy

The cloudy morning cleared into a pleasant sunny afternoon, although the stiff north-westerly breeze persisted throughout. It was another day that saw more spring arrivals with a Sand Martin seen from Fisherman’s Bank and a pair of Garganey coming in over the beach huts in a flock of 75 Brent Goose. It was uncertain if the Garganey landed in the harbour or continued north, but they were not seen again. The Brent Goose flock joined up with birds already on the marsh, making the day total at least 120. Also at Stanpit were 4 Tufted Duck, which came in off the sea over Coastguards and were later in Stanpit Creek, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 14 Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 75 Black-tailed Godwit. Dunlin and Ringed Plover numbered 50 and 9 respectively and the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh. At Hengistbury, the sea produced 3 Red-throated Diver east and one west, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Guillemot. Most of the 23 Mediterranean Gull and 11 Common Gullchose to head east through the harbour rather than at sea. To round up at Hengistbury, a Siskin flew east, a male Marsh Harrier circled high over the harbour, 2 Bullfinch were near the HHC and the Barn Field hosted 9 Skylark and four returning Linnet. An afternoon visit to Stanpit added a further 9 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Gull and two Peregrine.

March 3rd

Rock Pipit at Crouch Hill – Clinton Whale

A flooded Stanpit – Clinton Whale

There’s much to write about on what was a rather dull day, with some drizzle before lunch and a light south-easterly breeze. The majority of reports come from Hengistbury, where a Snow Bunting that flew over the Long Field was probably the bird of the morning. However, it was also a day that saw the first spring migrants on that side of the harbour as 9 Chiffchaff, including two singing, moved through between the HHC and the Nursery. A further individual at Wick may well have been the one which has been present for several weeks. Other birds moving north were 16 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling and 3 Siskin, as well as 10 Redwing and 5 Song Thrush, plus 4 Meadow Pipit which came in off the sea. A Bullfinch was in the Nursery, with another at Wick. Three Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour and two Shoveler which flew east may have been the pair also seen at Stanpit. Several hours watching the sea produced 29 Common Gull and 60 Mediterranean Gull east, a few of the latter taking a shortcut through the harbour. Also heading in the same direction were 5 Guillemot, 2 Razorbill, 2 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Diver, while a Great Northern Diver flew west. Moving across to Stanpit, where a very high tide limited coverage for much of the day, the Glossy Ibis was again on Priory Marsh, with the only other sightings being 186 Black-tailed Godwit on Central Marsh, a few Rock Pipit on Crouch Hill and 4 Skylark.

March 2nd

This month will see a major incoming of Meadow Pipit above the area, some of them stopping to rest before continuing north – Clinton Whale

Black-tailed Godwit – Clinton Whale

An hour’s seawatch from Mudeford Quay notched up: a Red-throated Diver, an unidentified diver, 3 Common Scoter, 24 Gannet and 5 Brent Goose – the latter two species eastbound. Meanwhile, the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh with other stuff at Stanpit involving: a Chiffchaff by Two Riversmeet, so possibly a new-in bird; around 160 Black-tailed Godwit; 24 Meadow Pipit feeding on Crouch Hill; 4 Mediterranean Gull; and a pair of Peregrine.

March 1st

Kestrel – Clinton Whale

The Glossy Ibis was present and correct for the day with its 2 Mute Swan friends on Priory Marsh; with four littoralis-candidate Rock Pipit in the favoured location of Crouch Hill – one reported to be flushed pink, so any if anyone fancies a go at getting some photos… Meanwhile, the sea was quiet, although there was a hint of return wildfowl passage – two each of Shoveler and Teal east – as well as a Red-throated Diver, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Common Gull and a Great Crested Grebe; plus the first incoming Meadow Pipit of the season. Continuing on the Spring theme, a Skylark was in song on Hengistbury; where 3 Redwing and a Firecrest were also noted. To finish: a Peregrine was on the Priory; a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour; and a Kingfisher hunted Brewer’s Creek.


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