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Sightings for Month: April 2022

April 30th

Reed Warbler – Matthew Barfield

Sandwich Tern – Matthew Barfield

Spotted Flycatcher – Leo Pyke

Despite the weather being similar to yesterday, it was quieter today. Hengistbury hosted singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and a Bullfinch, with a further 2 Redstart and a Bullfinch on Wick. There were also combined totals of just under 30 Willow Warbler, 35 Swallow and 7 Wheatear logged in these two areas. Fourteen Mediterranean Gull flew through the harbour, mainly east,and 43 Black-tailed Godwit were roosting in Holloway’s Dock. Moving on to Stanpit, the Lesser Whitethroat was still singing at Crouch Hill, where it was joined by a male Whinchat. A single Cattle Egret headed north, at least 1 Whimbrel was heard and a flock of 30 Bar-tailed Godwit were moving around the marsh. There is still a good number of Gadwall present, with today’s tally being twenty-two. A brief look at the sea from Hengistbury produced 25 Sandwich Tern and 3 Common Tern feeding offshore and a Common Scoter heading east.

April 29th

Lesser Whitethroat – Alan Hayden

Peregrine – Roger Tidball

It was another sunny morning, with the light wind still from the north-east. There was a good variety of migrants throughout the area, with passerine site totals of 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Redstart, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whinchat, 4 Garden Warbler, 8 Wheatear and at least 55 Willow Warbler.  It was also the best day of the spring so far for hirundines with 78 Sand Martin, 165 House Martin and 835 Swallow moving through over a three-hour period, but just 2 Swift. There was quite a turnover of waders at Stanpit, with birds feeding and/or on the move including singles of Avocet, Common Sandpiper and Greenshank, 29 Whimbrel, 9 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover east, 73 Bar-tailed Godwit and 10 Black-tailed Godwit, with another 39 of the latter preferring Holloway’s Dock. A flock of 14 Ringed Plover left the Harbour, with five more on the Sandspit. Also logged from Stanpit were 6 Common Tern, 86 Mediterranean Gull and a minimum of 15 Gadwall. The sea at Hengistbury received some attention with a Red-breasted Merganser heading east, as did 2 Common Tern and seven of the nine passing Mediterranean Gull, and 91 Sandwich Tern lingered offshore. Raptors were represented by 2 Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harrier, one in off the sea over Hengistbury headed north with the other hunting over the Salt Hurns, and the pair of Peregrine was around the Priory.

April 28th

Sand Martin – Jackie Smith

Black-tailed Godwit – Clinton Whale

There is not that much to report from a largely grey and settled day, but a Great White Egret west over the Barn Field was nice, as was an arriving Hobby along with 2 Yellow Wagtail. A Lesser Whitethroat was in the North Scrubs, while around 10 Willow Warbler and 4 Wheatear were about. A Greenshank in Barn Bight this afternoon was the best of the waders, but also one each of Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit, plus 12 Black-tailed Godwit. The Gadwall encroachment continues – a total of eighteen today perhaps being a record?

April 27th

The Curlew Sandpiper, again in Holloway’s Dock – Clinton Whale

Whimbrel – Clinton Whale

The wildlife highlight of the day came around 07:45 this morning, when a pod of at least 22 Bottlenose Dolphin made its way slowly towards the Solent. The pick of the birds, meanwhile, was two, brief Garganey with the twelve or so Gadwall and a couple of equally cameo Hobby. Also incoming, the first 2 Swift of the season over the Ironstone Quarry, as well as 18 Swallow. At sea, singles of Great Northern Diver and Red-throated Diver passed east, likewise: 16 Common Tern, a Common Gull, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Whimbrel, and a Curlew; while a Red-breasted Merganser and six ‘meds’ travelled west. The Curlew Sandpiper was again in Holloway’s Dock – today with just 2 Dunlin – but also a couple of settled Whimbrel and 33 Black-tailed Godwit. Although passerines were sparse, there was a female Pied Flycatcher on Solent Meads, as well as site totals of 9 Willow Warbler and 8 Wheatear. As is often the case, a Bullfinch was by the Viewing Platform on Wick.

April 26th

Curlew Sandpiper – Clinton Whale

Male Kestrel – Roger Tidball

Spring Curlew Sandpiper are always a nice surprise – one faithful to Holloway’s Dock today – where there were also 3 Dunlin, one of them colour-ringed and a Common Sandpiper. At least 2 Grey Plover were also using the harbour, as well as 15 Whimbrel, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit and 34 Black-tailed Godwit. A couple of male Redstart were seen on Hengistbury, while Willow Warbler were estimated around the fifty mark, up to 20 Wheatear were around, a couple of male birds on Crouch Hill showing Atlantic-type characteristics, the Lesser Whitethroat remained there and a further was in the North Scrubs. The sea was reasonably quiet, although 15 Common Scoter, 27 Gannet, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Whimbrel and 2 Oystercatcher were seen to head east. Wrapping up, it was good to hear of a Green Woodpecker in the garden of the HHVC.

April 25th

Male Whinchat – Jackie Smith

Lesser Whitethroat – Jackie Smith

Large Red Damselfly – Peter Boardman

It was the best day of the season by quite some stretch, when the Hengistbury estimate for Willow Warbler came to 200. Also, however: a Wood Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher around the Stunted Oaks; up to 6 Redstart, five of them males, and all on the head; 4 Whinchat – two of them on Crouch Hill, where the Lesser Whitethroat remained; a Cuckoo in Ashtree Meadow; a Tree Pipit that landed in the Long Field; 5 Yellow Wagtail over; and a site-wide reckoning of 20 Wheatear. Meanwhile, the Garden Warbler continues to sing in the Nursery and a Firecrest was in the Wood. There were, again, no small migrant waders seen; but at least 25 Whimbrel were in and out for the day, as were at least 20 Bar-tailed Godwit and 40 Black-tailed Godwit. The day-total for Mediterranean Gull is eleven, with Gadwall totalling sixteen – two of those in the surprise location of the Ironstone Quarry.

April 24th

Lesser Whitethroat – Scott Usher

and, for comparison, Whitethroat – Clinton Whale

Holly Blue – Clinton Whale

…and some of the 40+ attendees at this afternoon’s outdoor meeting at Stanpit – Henk Nieuwenhuis

Yesterday’s Grasshopper Warbler remained in-situ this morning, when it was again reeling. Also, in the same spot as originally being seen yesterday, on the eastern edge of Crouch Hill, was a Lesser Whitethroat, which showed reasonably well for this afternoon’s outdoor meeting. In addition, 2 Whinchat and 5 Tree Pipit, were on and over Hengistbury respectively, and a site-wide total of 11 Wheatear was reckoned. Waders at Stanpit included a Greenshank, 8 Whimbrel, around 25 Bar-tailed Godwit and 40 Black-tailed Godwit – a 30-strong flock of the latter dropping in from high with a tag-along ‘Barwit’. The best at sea were 3 Little Tern east, but also 11 Common Scoter, 5 Razorbill, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Whimbrel in the same direction; with singles of Fulmar and Gannet heading west. To finish, around 15 Mediterranean Gull were logged.

April 23rd

Nearly all the day’s news comes from Stanpit, where, on Two Riversmeet Meadow, a Grasshopper Warbler reeled for around twenty minutes at just after 4:00 this afternoon. Other migrant passerines, however, were sparse – just a female Wheatear and 2 Willow Warbler. An over-flying Little Ringed Plover and a heard-on-a-few-occasions Greenshank were the scarcest of the waders; but a flock of thirty-two, adult Bar-tailed Godwit was definitely the most spectacular sight – with 6 Black-tailed Godwit mingling in. The number of Gadwall using the area took another jump today – a dozen birds on the choppy waters of Stanpit Bight, where a pair of Shoveler was also present. Meanwhile, a group of 8 Teal were in the more sheltered environ of Parky Meade Rail. The only news from elsewhere is from Wick Fields, where 5 Willow Warbler fed-up and a Buzzard passed over.

April 22nd

It’s hoped we will see more of the seasonal activities of this pair of Sparrowhawk – the male, interestingly, carrying a ring – Jimmy Main

Sedge Warbler – Jimmy Main

The sea was perhaps slightly livelier today, when a Great Skua passed east and 2 Red-throated Diver travelled west. Also eastbound, a Kittiwake, a Common Tern, 4 Common Scoter, 8 Whimbrel and a Shelduck. Meanwhile, a Guillemot and a further 7 Common Scoter lingered; with a Sparrowhawk, an alba Wagtail, a Yellow Wagtail and a Willow Warbler being seen coming in-off. Before all this, a female Pied Flycatcher was by the HHVC and 2 Garden Warbler were logged – one of them in song in the Nursery, so perhaps the bird from last year returning? – as well as 2 Wheatear and around 25 Willow Warbler. A pair of Pintail and a drake Shoveler inside the harbour, where they joined 4 Gadwall, were something of a surprise; with the final piece of news being of a Bullfinch at the eastern end of the No Dogs Field.

April 21st

Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale

Whitethroat – Ray Scott

Brimstone – Clinton Whale

A male Ring Ouzel was in the North Scrubs, Stanpit, this morning; while a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat and an in-off Cuckoo were seen at Hengistbury. Also, passing over the area – 2 Tree Pipit and 6 Yellow Wagtail. In general, however, settled passerines were sparse; for example, just 13 Willow Warbler returned from across the site as a whole. After a couple of days of a little variety, the more interesting wader news comes mainly from the godwits – two and seventy-eight respectively of Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit – but also a single Whimbrel. The day’s Gadwall count was three – two drakes and a duck – with the passing Mediterranean Gull nudging sixty. This evening, a Whitethroat was in constant song adjacent to the Two Riversmeet football pitches.

April 20th

Cetti’s Warbler – Matthew Barfield

Grey Plover – Clinton Whale

Today saw a little more activity in terms of arriving passerines – at least 40 Willow Warbler were reckoned across Wick and Hengistbury, as well as three each of Wheatear and Whitethroat making landfall around the Long Groyne. Meanwhile, singles of Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail came in-off; as did up to 50 Swallow. Also seen on the move, a Great White Egret and a Merlin to the west, plus a minimum of 35 Mediterranean Gull east. A Common Sandpiper, at least 5 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit – one of those in breeding plumage – were the pick of the waders at Stanpit; with a Grey Plover and a Ringed Plover in Holloway’s Dock, and 30 Black-tailed Godwit and 11 Dunlin mobile around the area. In the north-easterly breeze, the sea wasn’t overly productive – although a Red-throated Diver did pass west – with other figures coming from: a Fulmar west; 5 Common Scoter, 6 Common Gull, 12 Gannet, 2 Whimbrel and 11 Turnstone east; and four milling Guillemot. In addition to 35 Sandwich Tern, a couple of Common Tern were inside the harbour, along with 5 Gadwall and the pair of Teal. To finish, a Bullfinch was again seen by the Viewing Platform.

April 19th

Sparrowhawk – Matthew Barfield

One of three Knot in Holloway’s Dock – Leo Pyke

Glossy Ibis – Clinton Whale

A Cuckoo was along Grimmery Bank this morning, when a male White Wagtail was by the Pod, up to 20 Willow Warber were about and 9 Wheatear were logged – four of them in the fenced area on the sandspit. Also, a westbound Spoonbill and trickle of inbound Swallow. The wader highlights were a couple of Little Ringed Plover on Priory Marsh, as well as 3 Knot in Holloway’s Dock and 19 Whimbrel circuiting Christchurch Bay with six accompanying Curlew. Meanwhile, Stanpit hosted a further 4 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit and a single, breeding-plumaged Dunlin. Perhaps as many as 75 Mediterranean Gull went over – but, as of late, in a mixture of directions; around 35 Sandwich Tern loafed in the harbour and twenty fished offshore; 4 Common Scoter passed; 3 Gadwall were in Barn Bight; a pair of Teal lingers at Stanpit and 2 Bullfinch were on Wick.

April 18th

The Dunlin passage gets underway – Clinton Whale

Linnet – Mark Taylor

Record of the day goes to a very good candidate, seen at the end of the head, for a ‘Continental’ Coal Tit – the race ater. Otherwise, apart from two immature Spoonbill high to the east, it was again all rather quiet. Wick saw 10 Swallow, a singing Willow Warbler and a pair of Bullfinch, while 3 Wheatear were on Hengistbury. In addition to the photographed Dunlin, there was a Whimbrel, plus 68 Black-tailed Godwit, at Stanpit; while 33 Mediterranean Gull passed generally east.

April 17th

Skylark – Clinton Whale

…and some of the twenty-five or so Sand Martin now busy home-building at the end of Hengistbury – Clinton Whale

Despite the south-east wind, there is little to report – although a total of 82 Mediterranean Gull, thirty-two of them east, including a flock of twenty-four, was quite nice. There was also a good count of in-harbour Sandwich Tern, at least forty birds. Otherwise, it’s just: an Avocet, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and the Glossy Ibis at Stanpit; a Wheatear on Hengistbury; and 2 Gadwall; to mention.

April 16th

The fantastic weather is meaning birds are presumably passing straight on over us. That said, 2 Black Redstart briefly by the HHVC this morning were nice, but the only other obviously transient passerines were 3 Wheatear on the Barn Field and a dozen Willow Warbler spread about. Meanwhile, Stanpit hosted 4 Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler. A Ring-necked Parakeet seen over the Priory, from within the recording area, was a surprise; on the converse, but there are definitely no complaints, the Glossy Ibis was again on Priory Marsh. Singles of Avocet and Golden Plover were the best of the early-Spring wader nadir, but a Whimbrel, 9 Grey Plover and 84 Black-tailed Godwit could also be seen. To finish, 5 Rook passed west, which is a bit of an intrigue; as did around 30 Mediterranean Gull.

April 15th

Whitethroat are in and raucous – Mark Taylor

…and there are now also plenty of Peacock butterfly around, but a little more demure in their presence – Clinton Whale

It was clear that more Whitethroat came in overnight – the minimum on site this morning being twenty-two birds. Also, a couple of Willow Warbler in song in the Stunted Oaks and the same figure of Wheatear on the Barn Field. Otherwise, it was a very low-key day, seemingly both in terms of birds and numbers of people attempting to find them. The remaining news being: 11 Cattle Egret on East Marsh for a while, early doors; 4 Gadwall in Brewer’s Creek; a male Bullfinch by the Viewing Platform on Wick; and 8 Mediterranean Gull announcing their departure over Mudeford Quay late in the afternoon.

April 14th

Osprey – Clinton Whale (upper) & Jackie Smith

…and Sandwich Tern – one of the daily sights and sounds of the Summer – Clinton Whale

An Osprey passed through Stanpit at just after 2:00 this afternoon; while the morning saw a Little Gull there – a species of fast-increasing scarcity to our area – as well as the season’s first Little Tern. Others making their annual debut were a Common Sandpiper and a Grasshopper Warbler; with 2 Yellow Wagtail, those on Crouch Hill, 2 Reed Warbler, a ‘few’ Sedge Warbler, 7 Willow Warbler and 20 Whimbrel also around; plus a Tree Pipit over. Meanwhile, the in-harbour Black-tailed Godwit flock fell to fifty-two birds, along with three, latish Lapwing, and 6 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. To finish, over a two-hour period, around 45 Mediterranean Gull passed in a variety of directions and a dozen Sand Martin were prospecting the cliffs.

April 13th

The first couple of Sedge Warbler of the season were around today, as well as a male Redstart on the Barn Field and a few more Whitethroat, plus 3 Willow Warbler. The Glossy Ibis left the roost at 6:05 and, true to form, settled on Priory Marsh for the day. The only other report is of a female Marsh Harrier over the Wick reeds.

April 12th

There was a clear influx of Whitethroat today – at least six birds around the site – after previously being just one, date-isolated individual. Meanwhile, a Little Ringed Plover flew upriver, along Grimmery Bank. The sea was again watched from the two normal spots, but was nowhere near as lively than of late. Nevertheless, the following, eastbound passage was logged: 40 Common Scoter, 2 Common Tern, 56 Sandwich Tern, a Fulmar, 27 Gannet and 6 Brent Goose; with 2 Red-throated Diver, 7 Common Scoter and 14 Mediterranean Gull heading in the opposite direction. The winter birds at Stanpit have suddenly dwindled – for example, just 17 Wigeon – but there were 10 Brent Goose, 3 Gadwall, a Grey Plover, a Dunlin, 16 Turnstone and 89 Black-tailed Godwit also still there. To finish the waders, a Sanderling in Holloway’s Dock is a nice record for the date. Rounding up the post: a Swallow passed through; a couple of Sand Martin may now be resident; a probable pair of Firecrest are around; and the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh.

April 11th

One of yesterday’s Redstart – Scott Usher

Ringed Plover on the inner Sandspit – Clinton Whale

It was another sunny day, with some cloud, and slightly milder than of late. The gusty, south-easterly wind meant that the sea at Hengistbury received some five and a half hours of attention from first light. It is difficult to know where to start with the excellent number and variety of birds almost exclusively heading east, but the highlights were a dark phase Arctic Skua, an Arctic Tern and a Manx Shearwater, all of which were ‘firsts’ for the year. Also going into the Solent were good numbers of more common species, including 635 Sandwich Tern, half of which were logged in the first hour, 16 Common Tern, 159 Common Scoter, 17 Eider, 89 Shoveler, 22 Pintail, 2 Garganey, 2 Gadwall and 3 Teal. In addition, there were 245 Gannet and 3 Fulmar, together with 9 Red-throated Diver and at least 1 Black-throated Diver. Gulls were less well represented, with just 12 Common Gull, 15 Mediterranean Gull and 3 Kittiwake, but there was a good selection of passing waders, comprising 19 Dunlin, 5 Whimbrel and singles of Sanderling and Grey Plover, while a Little Ringed Plover came in off the sea. Other arrivals were 17 Swallow, 21 Sand Martin, 2 House Martin, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 88 Linnet and 2 Wheatear, with another of the latter at Whitepits. Not to be outdone, Stanpit produced a male Ring Ouzel and a Redstart in North Scrubs, plus a Spoonbill north-east, a further Wheatear and, of course, the long-staying Glossy Ibis on Priory Marsh. The remaining news from Hengistbury was the first Reed Warbler of the year on Wick Hams, 2 Firecrest in the Wood, 52 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock and 8 Ringed Plover on the Sandspit.

Omission from yesterday’s post: 12 Cattle Egret left the Nursery roost at Hengistbury.

April 10th

Avocet – Jackie Smith

Curlew and Whimbrel – Jackie Smith

Speckled Wood – Clinton Whale

On a fine, mainly sunny day, it is good to report that, at last, there was a significant fall of spring migrants this morning. Most of the coverage was from Stanpit, where singles of Pied Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail and Redstart were all new for the harbour year list, with a second Redstart in North Scrubs this afternoon. Site totals of other arrivals, the majority at Stanpit, were 95 Willow Warbler, 55 Blackcap, 21 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin, 2 House Martin and a Little Ringed Plover. Ninety Mediterranean Gull flew west, while 18 Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plover, a Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit were also logged. More settled on the marsh were an Avocet, 4 Dunlin, 12 Brent Goose and 4 Gadwall. Hengistbury received less attention but did host most of the 30 Wheatear logged. The remaining news comprises an Osprey seen leaving the Harbour with a fish, a Marsh Harrier heading north, at least one Peregrine on the Priory and the Glossy Ibis still the main attraction at Priory Marsh.

April 9th

Redshank – Leo Pyke

The early frost soon disappeared, and it was a pleasant, sunny day. The main focus was on Stanpit, where a Great White Egret, a Brambling and a Tree Pipit all headed north, as did two young male Marsh Harrier that were being harassed by Herring Gull. Nine Cattle Egret lingered on East Marsh for a while after leaving the Hengistbury roost, and a Peregrine was on the Priory. Other birds on the move were 2 Pintail, at least 24 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Whimbrel, which landed on the Marsh, and a Kittiwake that took a short cut through the harbour, while the Glossy Ibis remained at Priory Marsh. A total of 19 Willow Warbler and 8 Blackcap were returned across the area, most of the former at Wick, where 3 Bullfinch were also present. At Hengistbury, 3 Gadwall were in Barn Bight and a brief look at the sea produced 5 Sandwich Tern and 7 Common Scoter lingering. An afternoon visit to Stanpit was quiet, with just 1 Swallow, 7 Brent Goose, 10 Shelduck, a further 5 Mediterranean Gull and what appeared to be reduced, but uncounted, numbers of Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank.

April 8th

The pick of today’s birds were logged at Hengistbury in the first hour or so after sunrise before the rain set in, when the first Spoonbill of the year headed east at sea, while 5 Fieldfare, 9 Redwing and a Brambling flew off the Head towards Wick.  Otherwise, there were just 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Blackcap and 2 Swallow over Barn Bight. Twenty-five Mediterranean Gull moved mainly through the Harbour, with a further five off the beach huts. The sea was again very quiet, with 12 Common Scoter going mainly east, as did 5 Sandwich Tern and a Red-throated Diver. The only news from Stanpit is of the Glossy Ibis at Priory Marsh – last year’s bird remained until 29th April, so it will be interesting to see if the current individual stays until a similar date.

April 7th

Wheatear – Clinton Whale

It was brighter this morning, with the odd rain shower holding off until the afternoon, but the westerly/north-westerly wind was stronger than yesterday, and the scarcity of spring migrants continued. The best birds were seen early on, when 2 Pale-bellied Brent Goose were inside the harbour with six of their Dark-bellied cousins, and 2 Whimbrel arrived at Stanpit with a Bar-tailed Godwit. Three Wheatear were on Crouch Hill, and 2 Sandwich Tern and a Mediterranean Gull were also present, while the Glossy Ibis remained faithful to Priory Marsh. At Hengistbury, 8 Willow Warbler and 4 Blackcap were logged, as well as a singing Firecrest and a further Wheatear. The sea again received attention from Mudeford Quay and Hengistbury but, like yesterday, it proved to be hard work. Heading east were 11 Common Scoter, 4 Common Gull, 5 Mediterranean Gull, a Pintail and three of the 5 Gannet. A lone Shelduck went west past the beach huts while, from the Quay, five more were seen moving east and two entered the harbour. A distant Peregrine was also seen from there.

April 6th

Black-tailed Godwit – Leo Pyke

Peregrine food pass – Clinton Whale

Snipe – Leo Pyke

It was a blustery day, with some drizzle during the morning, but brightening up from lunchtime onwards. The fairly strong west-south-westerly wind persisted throughout, but sea watches from both Mudeford Quay and Hengistbury produced little reward. Combined totals were 5 Gannet, 14 Sandwich Tern fishing and gradually drifting west, singles of Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebe on the sea, together with a pair of Wigeon and another of the latter heading east. An excellent total of 29 Purple Sandpiper were feeding at Mudeford Quay, where 2 Mediterranean Gull were logged, plus two more at Stanpit. Six arriving Swallow were shared between the two viewpoints, and a Wheatear landed on the rocks off the beach huts. At Stanpit, a second Wheatear was on Crouch Hill, and there were a further 7 Sandwich Tern, as well as 5 Dunlin, 3 Gadwall and 176 Black-tailed Godwits, many now displaying their smart summer plumage. The 2 Peregrine were still around the Priory tower, and the Glossy Ibis continued to favour Priory Marsh.  Migrant passerines were still thin on the ground, with just 8 Blackcap, a few Chiffchaff and 6 Willow Warbler noted on Hengistbury and Wick, and a further Willow Warbler at Stanpit. Finally, a pair of Bullfinch were at Wick.

April 5th

Eider – Leo Pyke

Blackcap holding territory – Clinton Whale

Gannet – Ray Scott

From the reports so far, it was a fairly low-key day – the best being a sub-adult, drake Eider on the sea off the Beach Huts. Otherwise, the sea produced just singles of Common Scoter and Guillemot, 3 Gannet and an increasing presence of Sandwich Tern. Nearby, 5 Purple Sandpiper were on the groynes, as well as 118 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock; 21 Meadow Pipit came in-off; and 14 Mediterranean passed east through the harbour. To finish on the bird news, by local standards there was notable Gadwall count – eight in total, all inside the harbour.

Priory Peregrine Update
As a result of the recent Peregrine activity on the Priory, the staff there have taken a decision to cancel Tower Tours until it is established if breeding is actually taking place or not. As such, CHOG would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to all involved in this decision.

April 4th

Buzzard and Kestrel over Wick – Jimmy Main

An Osprey passed over Stanpit at 13:00, before being watched fishing, outside of the recording area, in the Avon Valley. Early on, a Ring Ouzel, along with 2 Redwing, came out of the holly at the end of the head, while seven Willow Warbler and 6 Wheatear were also on the Hengistbury side of the area. Hardly up to Baltic standards, but there was a marked, eastbound passage of Common Scoter offshore – twenty-one birds – with the strange sight of a Brent Goose skein, heading in the opposite direction, comprising four pale-bellied and one dark-bellied. Also at sea, 3 Fulmar, a Guillemot, two auk spp., 5 Gannet and 13 Sandwich Tern. Five Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit groynes, with 141 Black-tailed Godwit and 17 Dunlin inside the harbour, as well as 2 Brent Goose. Rounding up, two drake Gadwall were about, a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight, Mediterranean Gull totalled thirteen and the Glossy Ibis was in the usual spot.

April 3rd

All the day’s news comes from the Stanpit side of the area, where at least 77 Redshank are still present. The reason for mentioning this, is that the wintering birds have normally dispersed by now – so perhaps the recent northerly winds have discouraged them from doing so. Of raptor interest, an apparent pair of Marsh Harrier visited, while the Peregrine couple on the Priory were accompanied by an additional female. Early in the day, the drake Garganey was in Parky Meade Rail and, of course, but who knows for how much longer, the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh. Meanwhile: around a dozen Mediterranean Gull passed over; 4 Brent Goose were on East Marsh; and around 15 Dunlin and a few more Black-tailed Godwit were in Stanpit Bight.

April 2nd

Sparrowhawk – Henk Nieuwenhuis

Redshank and Knot – Scott Usher

…and a cirrus icicle spectrum show – Henk Nieuwenhuis

It was slightly warmer today, but there were some icy showers this afternoon. A definite incoming of Chiffchaff was noted with birds in non-breeding areas and mingling with those already holding territory – perhaps fifteen being the ‘new-ins’ – plus at least one Willow Warbler on Wick and Tree Pipit briefly settled on Riversmeet Meadow, for where a Nuthatch was heard. A Knot at Stanpit was the only wader reported, but there are definitely a lot more there. Also at Stanpit, 36 Brent Goose, while 3 Gadwall and 4 Sandwich Tern were likewise inside the harbour, and a Shelduck was seen to arrive. Mediterranean Gull for the day were around twenty, plus 4 Common Gull at sea; a male Bullfinch was seen on Wick; the Glossy Ibis was on Priory Marsh; and the pair of Peregrine were again bonding on the Priory.

April 1st

The only news from another bitterly cold day is of the Glossy Ibis and a Garganey on Priory Marsh, plus a couple of Bar-tailed Godwit in Stanpit Bight.

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.