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Sightings for Month: July 2022

Free Youth Membership

As from August 1st, we will be offering free membership to young people aged 16 to 25. This will allow free access to all our events, as well as a PDF copy of our annual report, The Birds of Christchurch Harbour.

Additionally, this free membership will extend to our partner in this initiative, the Dorset Bird Club, and all the benefits they offer; plus access to all BTO Youth Team events across Dorset.

We welcome all new members to this scheme.

Details of how to join…

July 31st

The only news for the day is off 3 Whimbrel, 11 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Mediterranean Gull, all around Stanpit Bight.

July 30th

Jersey Tiger Moth – Peter Boardman

Migrant Common Tern have become scarcer and scarcer over the last decade at least, so a flock of thirteen west through the harbour this morning was nice to see. Meanwhile, the settled waders at Stanpit included: a Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, an adult Knot, 14 Whimbrel, 5 Dunlin and 75 Redshank. Early on, there was hint of passerine migration with a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat, 12 Reed Warbler and 7 Sedge Warbler on or around the Riversmeet Meadow embankment.

July 29th

Juvenile Peregrine – Jackie Smith

Juvenile and adult Ringed Plover – Alan Crockard

Yellow-legged Gull – Jackie Smith

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were a little behind schedule this year, but the now-expected, small numbers seem to be around – at least two, but probably three, at Stanpit throughout the day. Also on the marsh, the adult male Peregrine giving life-lessons to one of his offspring; as well as, 6 Common Tern, 14 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover and 10 Dunlin. The only news from the other side is of a Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher about the Lily Pond.

July 28th

There were a couple of surprises for the day: the first, a couple of Red Kite over Stanpit; the second, a singing Garden Warbler by the Nursery – it’s really something of a mystery as to what may have been going on around there for last couple of seasons. Also around the marsh, there were a couple of Green Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover and an Avocet, as well as 5 Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel and 12 Dunlin. Sandwich Tern were around in numbers, but the largest single return was 105; also a couple of Common Tern in Holloway’s Dock, up to 18 Mediterranean Gull about and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in the Run. To finish: 13 Swift passed over; 2 Kingfisher were at Stanpit; and Swallow and martins were feeding over Two Riversmeet this evening.

July 27th

Dunlin over Stanpit Bight – Alan Crockard

The best for the day is 2 Little Ringed Plover at Stanpit, where there were also 5 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plover, six adult Dunlin and a good count of 93 Oystercatcher. Meanwhile, the three young Peregrine are still around the recording area and east Christchurch in general, a couple of Kingfisher were about and the Ironstone Quarry hosted two Little Grebe chicks.

July 26th

Female Brown Hawker – Jackie Smith

The only news for the day is mention of ‘quite a few’ Swift, Swallow and martins feeding at Stanpit this afternoon.

July 25th

A/the Wall Brown was still on Hengistbury today – Peter Boardman

A brisk south-westerly wind brought a Balearic Shearwater close to Hengistbury this morning, when a Yellow-legged Gull of unspecified age was off the Long Groyne. Later in the day, Stanpit came up with a Knot, a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel, along with at least 3 Mediterranean Gull.

July 24th

Adult male Peregrine – the Priory bird, with the VA ring – Scott Usher

The Priory Peregrine are still around the area – the adult male was over Stanpit with one of his offspring; while all three of them were seen together over Hengistbury. Also from Stanpit, a Lesser Whitethroat again on Crouch Hill, 3 Common Sandpiper in Mother Siller’s Channel, 4 Whimbrel and 5 Mediterranean Gull. Returning to the head, a further Whimbrel was in Holloway’s Dock, along with 16 Sandwich Tern.

July 23rd

Wall Brown – perhaps only the third record for the area – Peter Boardman

Grasshopper Warbler – Leo Pyke

Comma – Barrie Taylor

Male and female Linnet – Henk Nieuwenhuis

Amongst the passing Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Blackcap, a couple of Grasshopper Warbler were recorded – one caught by the ringers and one with a family of Cetti’s Warbler at Stanpit. Meanwhile, the ringing team processed around sixty birds – essentially a 50:50 split of Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler. Otherwise, it’s mainly waders about the marsh to report upon, including: 5 Common Sandpiper, 9 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 6 Dunlin. In addition, 5 Mediterranean and around 10 Sandwich Tern were about, one of the latter a juvenile, while a Peregrine soared about the Priory.

July 22nd

Shelduck – David Faulkner

Coot with juvenile Water Rail – David Faulkner

The day’s news is entirely made up of waders. A Little Stint was seen at Hengistbury this morning, but couldn’t be re-located at Stanpit, where a breeding-plumaged Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel, a couple of Black-tailed Godwit, a single Ringed Plover and 6 Dunlin were present.

July 21st

Six-spot Burnet moth on ragwort – Roger Tidball

Dartford Warbler, adjacent to a well-trodden, metalled path – Peter Boardman

Goldfinch – David Faulkner

Emerald Damselfly – Peter Boardman

All the news is from the morning at Wick, where Marsh Harrier passed north and Yellow Wagtail was settled on the water meadows.

July 20th

Male (upper) and female Gatekeeper – Peter Boardman

Brown Hawker – Peter Boardman

Ruddy Darter – Barrie Taylor

All the news is from Stanpit, where the best was a redhead Goosander flying north early on. Also, however, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Wheatear on Crouch Hill, while the waders included a Common Sandpiper, 6 Whimbrel and 4 Black-tailed Godwit.

July 19th

Silver-studded Blue – a scarce butterfly in the area – Peter Boardman

The temperature once again got into the low 30s, but the breeze was always at hand to make things more comfortable – and even a bit of rain and thunder in the afternoon. Wrap-up warm tonight, it could plunge as low as seventeen! Bird-wise, Stanpit provides the only news – the best being 2 Garden Warbler on the Riversmeet Meadow embankment and a Wheatear on Crouch Hill. Also, however, a couple of Common Sandpiper, at least 40 Mediterranean Gull and a Kingfisher.

July 18th

Herring Gull – Barrie Taylor

Early on, before the heat kicked in, a Wood Sandpiper circuited Stanpit in the company of a Ringed Plover; while a further of the latter and 2 Little Ringed Plover were also about. Briefly touching on passerines, Whinchat were on Priory Marsh and by the Wooden Bridge – that bird a juvenile, with a Grey Wagtail also by the bridge. Back to waders and a Snipe came up from Priory, plus 7 Whimbrel, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Curlew and 28 Redshank around Stanpit Bight. The peak Mediterranean Gull was fifty-one, along with commentary of, ‘a few sub-adults and five juveniles.’ Of breeding interest, the Hengistbury Kestrel eggs hatched today – perhaps self-incubated over this last week!

July 17th

Little Grebe adult and two juveniles – Peter Boardman

Water Rail – Alan Crockard

The heatwave continued today, with an onshore breeze providing some relief. There was no sign of the Caspian Tern from early morning, so it is assumed to have left the area. The best bird this morning was a Glossy Ibis which flew north through the Harbour. There was a trickle of return migration at Stanpit with a Tree Pipit over, 3 Yellow Wagtail, two of which landed on Central Marsh, and 2 Willow Warbler in North Scrubs. An hour’s sample count of hirundines moving east produced 123 Sand Martin and 59 Swallow, with 73 Swift also heading in the same direction. Waders were represented by a Green Sandpiper on Priory Marsh, whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Snipe which flew over. Finally from that side of the harbour, a male Marsh Harrier flew over Crouch Hill. The only news from Hengistbury is of an adult and two juvenile Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry Pond.

July 15th

One or two Song Thrush are still singing around the area – Alan Crockard

The Caspian Tern continued its routine for the day. This morning it spent some time on the HHC mudbar, but preferred Stanpit Creek in the afternoon. Other news is light, however – although a couple of Cattle Egret passed high south and out to sea; while a Greenshank and a Kingfisher were logged at Wick.

July 14th

Caspian Tern – Adrian Simmons (upper) & Roger Howell

Caspian Tern and Common Sandpiper – Mike Gibbons

The four Little Grebe chicks are all still safe and sound – Clinton Whale

…and Common Sandpiper – Alan Hayden

The cloudless-sky temperatures were tempered a little by a refreshing breeze, which this evening saw Swift moving through the area – at least fifty birds. Meanwhile, the Caspian Tern resumed yesterday’s routine of resting at Stanpit, perhaps favouring Stanpit Creek, and fishing in the Avon Valley; also, a couple of Common Tern inside the harbour. The wader variety around the marsh was nice and included: 3 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Greenshank, 7 Common Sandpiper, 12 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Dunlin. To finish, the low tide in Parky Meade Rail produced 7 Water Rail – going there at the point of low over the next couple of months is a really good bet for catching up with these – and 3 Teal were around.

July 13th

Caspian Tern – Alan Hayden

A record shot of four, very young Little Grebe – Clinton Whale

Common Darter – Peter Boardman

A very-welcome Caspian Tern spent the day commuting between Stanpit and the Avon Valley, and was last seen apparently roosting on the marsh at dusk. Over on Wick, 3 Cattle Egret were seen to head up the Stour during the morning, when 2 Spoonbill headed east over the area and around 30 Mediterranean Gull were on the marsh.

July 12th

Juvenile Peregrine – Scott Usher

Ruddy Darter – Peter Boardman

Reed Bunting – Peter Boardman

The only news for the day is of a Garden Warbler on Wick, plus 2 Swift and a Swallow stopping-off around the Ironstone Quarry.

July 11th

As the temperature continues to gather pace, a Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock this morning, while the site-wide total for Mediterranean Gull was in excess of twenty-one. Stanpit was quiet in terms of waders, but a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and 3 Black-tailed Godwit were logged. Also from the marsh, a juvenile Lesser Whitethroat ‘near Crouch Hill’ and 5 Crossbill, plus 3 Swift, over.

July 10th

The Lily Pond on Hengistbury – one of the best spots on the head for dragon- and damselflies – Henk Nieuwvenhuis

As it’s their peak time of year, let’s start with odonata – dragon- and damselflies – and a first for the harbour; namely, a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly, at the dam end of the Ironstone Quarry, with up to 6 Red-eyed Damselfly also there. Now the birds, the best perhaps being a Hobby over Wick and a settled Garden Warbler on the fields. The rest comes from Stanpit, where a juvenile Dartford Warbler was notable in the company of four same-aged Stonechat – neither of the species breed on the marsh. The onset of the algae looks like it won’t be a great next couple of months for waders – today, just 2 Whimbrel and an arriving-from-the-north Black-tailed Godwit for the log. To finish, a female-type Shoveler was in Stanpit Bight and the Mediterranean Gull tally was: thirty-one inland during the morning and twenty-five loafing in the afternoon.

July 9th

Sedge Warbler – Alan Crockard

All four Mediterranean Gull plumages – clockwise from top left: juvenile, first-summer, second-summer and adult – Matthew Barfield

Silver-washed Fritillary, a scarce species about the area – Peter Boardman

There was clear evidence of the return Sedge Warbler migration getting underway, with up to a dozen birds around Mother Siller’s Channel this morning; when a Goshawk passed over Stanpit to the north and a Whinchat was present. Around midday, a Little Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel and 2 Black-tailed Godwit were logged; while later in the afternoon, the variety of Mediterranean Gull was at least twenty, including a Benelux-ringed adult.

July 8th

Robin – trying to cool-off – Barrie Taylor

Purple Hairstreak – Peter Boardman

It was another very warm day and, once again, Stanpit served up a nice selection of mid-summer waders. The best was 4 Little Ringed Plover – an adult, two juveniles and one unaged – settled for a while in Mother Siller’s Channel. In addition, 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and 13 Curlew were about the place. Today’s Mediterranean Gull tally was 107 – seventy-two settled and thirty-five heading inland. To round up, 3 Peregrine and a Buzzard were logged; as well as a surprising party of nine, well-grown Shelduck youngsters.

July 7th

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Alan Hayden

On a day when 257 Swift, 11 Swallow and 7 House Martin headed-out south, a couple of returning Kingfisher were around Stanpit this afternoon. Mediterranean Gull were plentiful, including the first three juveniles for the year – sixty-nine moving inland early on and ten later settled in the harbour. Meanwhile, the waders were headed by: a fly-over Little Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin. To finish, 7 Gadwall were around and the regular, drake Tufted Duck was joined by another.

July 6th

 Bittern – thought to be an adult, but any other comments would be welcome – Linda Smith (upper) & Aspen Stobart

During the morning, there was the quite incredible sight of a Bittern occasionally wandering around on the mud on the western side of the river, opposite Grimmery Bank. There has probably never been a July record in the area for the species. Also seen around Stanpit, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit; as well as 5 Water Rail, one of them a juvenile.

July 5th

Greenshank – Alan Hayden

…and there are now a few Gatekeeper on the wing – Peter Boardman

Stanpit was a bit more-lively today, with the best being an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper and 2 Whimbrel. The support, meanwhile, came from a surprise of two, very small Shelduck ducklings, a Wigeon, the Tufted Duck, 2 Mediterranean Gull and 19 Curlew. On the other side of the area, the Garden Warbler was still in song in the Nursery and 150 Swift passed to the south.

July 4th

Stonechat – Alan Crockard

As the seemingly, constant south-westerly wind picked up again, all the news comes from Stanpit. During the morning, a Roseate Tern passed through west and a Great White Egret went over north; while the afternoon added just singles of Whimbrel and Dunlin.

July 3rd

Dartford Warbler on Hengistbury breed alongside the metalled, heavily trodden pathways – Alan Crockard

Likewise, Linnet – Alan Crockard

Most of the news comes from Stanpit in the late afternoon, when the Mediterranean Gull in the South Marsh roost gradually built-up to around thirty birds. Also there, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, six adult Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Curlew. Earlier, a single Common Tern was with the Sandwich Tern off the sandspit.

July 2nd

Manx Shearwater were a feature of the day – between 08:00 and 11:00, a total of 67, heading west, were seen from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay; while thirty minutes in the afternoon produced a further eleven from the former site. Also offshore, 8 Common Tern, 35 Sandwich Tern and 2 Mediterranean Gull. After yesterday’s bumper day for waders and the like, Stanpit was pretty dismal – a single Whimbrel being the best of the morning flood tide – but a Common Sandpiper was on the sandspit.

July 1st

Juvenile Little Ringed Plover – Scott Usher

A flock of 16 Common Sandpiper – Scott Usher

Whimbrel – Jackie Smith

Marsh Harrier – Alan Hayden

…and a particularly brutish-looking, and presumably sickly, Yellow-legged Gull – Jackie Smith

No sooner than June passes and the birds are back. Waders, in particular, provided the interest with: a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and a Green Sandpiper in Stanpit Creek; a total of 18 Common Sandpiper about the marsh; a Greenshank on the HHC mudbar; 2 Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit around Stanpit Bight; and site-aggregates of 24 Redshank and 7 Curlew. Over on Hengistbury, a singing Garden Warbler in the Nursery was something of a surprise and may have been there for a couple of days now. Meanwhile, a Marsh Harrier came from the north and did a couple of circuits before returning; with the rest of the news involving: a Yellow-legged Gull and up to 10 Mediterranean Gull inside the harbour; plus a Wigeon, 5 Shelduck and a Tufted Duck, the latter the regular drake.

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.