Although the foul weather didn’t set in until the afternoon, there is nothing to report for today.
As the month draws to an end, there were 80 or so Chiffchaff across Wick and Hengistbury this morning; along with a Lesser Whitethroat and a Whinchat on the Long and Barn Fields respectively. Meanwhile, 4 Firecrest were in the Wood, 14 Blackcap were logged, 5 Goldcrest were spread about and a couple of Yellow Wagtail were at Stanpit. Overhead, House Martin were conspicuous – perhaps a couple of hundred about – as well as 19 Swallow, plus 74 Meadow Pipit and 42 Linnet to the east. For the first time in a while, there was a Marsh Harrier logged – a female-type hunting the Wick reeds – and, keeping with raptors, a couple of Buzzard were over the same area, at one point being hassled by a Peregrine. Waders were sparse – although the Central Marsh scrape attracted 2 Greenshank – but the only others for the post were a Grey Plover, a Knot and 17 Black-tailed Godwit. To finish: there were 3 Brent Goose, a Tufted Duck and a Gadwall; and a Kingfisher was in Parky Meade Rail.
Firstly, a follow-up on yesterday’s cranes. After leaving the Christchurch area, they showed up in the north-west of Poole Harbour, where it could be confirmed they were all adults and all unringed. So, perhaps last night’s assumption on this site about their provenance was a little hasty. Back to today and the morning at Hengistbury, when 40 Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest, 6 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper and a Coal Tit were in the Wood. Also on that side of the area, a congregation of 150 small waders on the sandspit comprised Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Sanderling, in that order of prevalence. Waders elsewhere, included: 2 Greenshank in Barn Bight; plus, a Grey Plover and at least fifteen each of Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit at Stanpit. Finishing off, s female Pintail was at Stanpit, a Kingfisher was around Barn Bight and 2 Peregrine were on the Priory.
The day started very well, indeed, with what will hopefully become the area’s first Pallid Harrier – a juvenile – passing east over Hengistbury at around 08:25; being seen well by two independent observers. Later in the day, another fly-over moment, when a flock of 8 Common Crane headed north-west over Stanpit recreation ground – presumably wanderers from the reintroduction programme in the West Country. Meanwhile, a trip to the sandspit saw a host of small waders, namely: 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Sanderling, 120 Ringed Plover and 80 Dunlin; plus a couple of Wheatear; with the walk out also yielding a Firecrest at the end of the head and a Buzzard hunting Wick Fields. To finish, there is still a female-type Tufted Duck frequenting the Ironstone Quarry, as do 2 Peregrine on the Priory.
On a day that started to heavy rain and with a cold northerly throughout, all the news is from Stanpit; where, during the morning, 4 Greenshank, a Grey Plover, a nice total of 22 Bar-tailed Godwit and 18 Black-tailed Godwit were the pick of the waders. Meanwhile, a couple of fly-over Yellow Wagtail and a single Wheatear were logged, the Brent Goose was still around and at least 2 Kingfisher were present.
There is no news from the morning, but the late afternoon saw a nice selection of the more-interesting waders around Stanpit. Parky Meade Rail held 4 Greenshank, while 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, 3 Knot and 17 Bar-tailed Godwit were around the Bight and out beyond Blackberry Point. A couple of seasonals first were singles of Brent Goose and Common Gull, that a juvenile, with at least four, mobile Yellow Wagtail concluding proceedings. News just in, a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull was at Mudeford Quay late on.
The day’s only news comes from: couple of Bar-tailed Godwit plus singles of Black-tailed Godwit, Yellow Wagtail and Wheatear, at Stanpit; and one or two Peregrine on the Priory.
It’s mostly about waders today, which were a little coming-and-going in their habits, with the absolute minima being; a Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Grey Plover, 11 Knot, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, twenty each – but surely more – of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, and a Turnstone; all around Stanpit Bight. The only other news, also from the marsh, is of 3 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatear and a male Peregrine.
The day started with an adult male Hen Harrier west at sea, plus 2 Peregrine on the Priory tower – Dad VA and one of his juveniles. Later, a couple of Curlew Sandpiper were in Stanpit Bight, along with a Grey Plover, around 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Black-tailed Godwit; while 2 Grey Plover and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit were on the sandspit. To finish with birds on this post: the photographed Razorbill was in the Run; the in-harbour Wigeon were counted at 313, plus 3 Gadwall and 12 Teal; and at least 2 Kingfisher were about the marsh. Now some further Willow Emerald news – two on the Lily Pond today.
Starting with odonata and a first for the area – a Willow Emerald damselfly – and only the third for Dorset, on the Lily Pond this afternoon. Bird-wise, however, it was a very quiet day, despite some reasonable hours in the field. The morning was enlivened, somewhat, when a Great White Egret circled at 09:30, landing briefly, but then pushing off inland. The waders in and around Stanpit Bight included: a Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 5 Black-tailed Godwit, plus unqualified Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Also there, a couple of Mediterranean Gull, the respective trios of Pintail and Shoveler, and a couple of Kingfisher. Over on the other side, 45 Chiffchaff and 8 Blackcap were logged, 13 Common Scoter passed west and 3 Grey Heron left high to the south-east.
There were a couple of Curlew Sandpiper around today – sightings in Holloway’s Dock and about Stanpit Bight – along with: 2 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Ringed Plover and 55 Dunlin. Hirundines were counted between 08:00 and 09:45, from Hengistbury, and numbered 415 Swallow, 240 House Martin and 8 Sand Martin, all eastbound, but at varying degrees of pace. Also over, 37 Meadow Pipit. Meanwhile, across the site, up to 30 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 8 Yellow Wagtail, 14 Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat were settled. This evening, a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull and 25 Common Scoter were logged from Mudeford Quay, while 3 Shoveler and a Kingfisher were inside the harbour.
There isn’t too much to report for today – although, early on, there was a nice cluster of 25 Chiffchaff around the Pod; with a further twenty spread about on the other side of the river, along with 2 Willow Warbler. Otherwise, in terms of passerines, it’s just a Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Yellow Wagtail, 3 Blackcap and a Whitethroat to mention. Hirundines, however, were plentiful – large numbers feeding all over the area during the morning – with Swallow dominating, but a reasonable ratio of both martins. Heard-only Golden Plover and a settled Grey Plover were the best of the waders, but also 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Black-tailed Godwit and 16 Ringed Plover, as well as several arriving-from-high Snipe. Also seen to check-in, 3 Shoveler – joining an incumbent Pintail – while 9 Cattle Egret coming in for the night and 2 Kingfisher around Stanpit conclude the post.
A Redwing west over Hengistbury this morning will likely be one of the earliest ever for the area, while departing birds across the site included: a Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, up to 25 Chiffchaff and possibly a Willow Warbler or two. A flock of 4 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock was nice; while a Whimbrel was at Stanpit, as were at least 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 20 Black-tailed Godwit. An Osprey toured for around ten minutes during the morning and, later in the day, a Cattle Egret dropped onto Stanpit from the east for a few minutes before heading inland. The remaining news involves what is probably the first returnee-for-the-winter Little Grebe in Parky Meade Rail and a Kingfisher around Holloway’s Dock.
It was a very cold start to the day – gloves and woolly hats a necessity, until the sun took control of things. The 40+ members on the morning walk were treated to prolonged views of a Wryneck on the top of the head, just east of Coastguards, as well as an Osprey hunting the harbour for at least ten minutes. Other interest during that period came mostly from the Ironstone Quarry, where: the juvenile Little Grebe seems to have made it; there were two Tufted Duck – the regular drake and a female-type bird; and a Grey Wagtail landed briefly. Stanpit, meanwhile, produced a Green Sandpiper, a Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper; with a juvenile Black Tern settling for a minute or so in the afternoon, when a 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Knot, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel were also logged. Other day totals from the marsh include 20 Black-tailed Godwit and around a 135 mix of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. To finish, a Kingfisher was feeding well about Stanpit Bight. News just in – 9 Cattle Egret headed to roost this evening.
There was a good variety of birds around Hengistbury this morning, including: a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Willow Warbler, 80 Chiffchaff – those having a 30-minute rush of 40 birds from 08:30 – 22 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Firecrest and 3 Goldcrest. Meanwhile, 110 Meadow Pipit headed into the north-easterly wind, with a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail and modest numbers of all three hirundines also moving over. The only other news is of, a Treecreeper in the Wood, 2 Whimbrel and 11 Black-tailed Godwit.
The light wind veered to the north-west overnight and it was a cooler day which started overcast but brightened later. A Short-eared Owl over Hengistbury and Wick Water Meadows was probably the day’s main highlight, closely followed by a Golden Plover in partial summer plumage on the HHC mudbar and a Little Stint at Stanpit. The Wigeon flock increased to around 100 birds and were joined by what were presumably yesterday’s 4 Pintail. Wader numbers at Stanpit are gradually increasing, with 24 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Sanderling, 3 each of Knot, Turnstone and Snipe and a single Greenshank also present. In addition, a Spotted Flycatcher was in North Scrubs, together with some 25 Chiffchaff. Combined totals of 11 Yellow Wagtail and 5 Wheatear were returned from Wick and Stanpit, with 2 Grey Wagtail also noted at the former site, and Kingfisher were recorded on both sides of the harbour.
There is quite a lot to report today, despite rain for much of the morning. The light north-easterly wind continued. There was a good selection of birds at Stanpit, with 3 Little Tern, 16 Sandwich Tern, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, an exceptional count of 10 Ruff and singles of Knot, Greenshank and Common Sandpiper. Two Curlew Sandpiper arrived over Mudeford Quay but were not found inside the harbour. Also present were 4 Pintail and a Shoveler, with Wigeon numbers down to just twelve. An Osprey arrived at 14:20, but appeared to leave without a fish, while a male Marsh Harrier soared over the harbour at the same time. At Hengistbury, an offshore feeding flock of some 200 birds, including 55 Gannet and 70 Sandwich Tern, attracted an Arctic Skua, and 9 Common Scoter moved west. Amongst afew waders pausing briefly on the Long Groyne were a further Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling and a Whimbrel, with another of the latter in Holloways Dock. Also heading east over a period of 90 minutes from early afternoon were 546 Swallow, 15 House Martin, 22 Sand Martin and 126 Meadow Pipit; a steady stream of Swallow was reported from Stanpit in the morning, so these figures may be a small fraction of the true numbers on the move. Passerines were thin on the ground, with 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, a Redstart, 18 Chiffchaff and 3 Willow Warbler at Wick and site totals of 6 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat and 14 Wheatear. Early evening visits to Stanpit produced 7 Cattle Egret on East Marsh and a flock of around 25 Snipe flew over Crouch Hill.
The intermittent drizzle and showers of the morning became more persistent from lunchtime to early evening. There was a light north-easterly breeze. An early visit to Stanpit produced a Shoveler, 12 Teal, a Greenshank, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Black-tailed Godwit, as well as the autumn’s first Brent Goose – a singleton in Stanpit Bight. A Whinchat and a Wheatear were on Crouch Hill, but a further 11 Wheatear noted just outside the recording area suggests more may have been present had there been wider coverage at Hengistbury. An Osprey caught a fish and headed off north-east at about 13:45. A large easterly movement of hirundines was reported during the morning, involving mainly Swallow and House Martin, with a Swift noted at Hengistbury later. Also present at Hengistbury: a Whimbrel on Salt Hurns, 16 Yellow Wagtail over the HHC, 2 Pied Flycatcher and a Spotted Flycatcher in the Stunted Oaks, with another Whinchat at Wick Hams. Combined totals of warblers at Wick and Hengistbury were 5 Whitethroat, 12 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warbler. Finally, Kingfisher were logged on both sides of the harbour and 2 Raven flew over Barn Field.
It was a low-key day, with the best being 4 Whinchat at Stanpit, where at least 10 Yellow Wagtail and 6 Wheatear were also present. For a while, it looked as if there may have been a big Swallow surge about to happen – several hundred to the south in a half-hour spell – and the calls of Meadow Pipit are becoming more frequent. Otherwise, it’s just returning wildfowl and waders – two each of Pintail and Shoveler dropping out of the sky, as did 7 Black-tailed Godwit and a Snipe.
It was the first WeBS count of the season and the undoubted highlight was a Pochard – nowadays, we only get a handful of records each year – with other wildfowl including: a Pintail, 24 Teal and 79 Wigeon. Now the waders from the census, as ever, in order of perceived interest: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Ruff, 5 Greenshank, 4 Knot, 3 Common Sandpiper, 13 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 199 Ringed Plover, 84 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 3 Turnstone, 170 Redshank, 56 Oystercatcher and 18 Curlew. Meanwhile, there was a somewhat exceptional return of 69 Little Egret. Early in the day, around 25 Yellow Wagtail about Wick Farm Meadows – but fifty-two were over Stanpit at dusk; with other passerine interest, mainly at Stanpit, coming from 7 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest. An Osprey took just one attempt to make a catch just after 09:30, spending only five minutes in the area; seventeen, but perhaps eighteen, Cattle Egret went to roost; and a Kingfisher was at Stanpit.
The feature of the day were hirundines – with many thousands slowly passing through, at seemingly all levels, including low over offshore waters. The vast majority were Swallow, but House Martin and Sand Martin were also represented. A couple of Whinchat and at least 7 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill; with a Tree Pipit, a minimum of 6 Grey Wagtail and 16 Yellow Wagtail over. Elsewhere, a further 35 Yellow Wagtail and a Spotted Flycatcher were on Wick, while two more Wheatear, 5 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 13 Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat were scattered. Of the waders, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit were at Stanpit and Black-tailed Godwit were logged at seventy-four – all but ten of them eastbound. Also about, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and 6 Snipe. A couple of Skylark at Stanpit were new there, with small numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall also watched arriving. An Osprey fished for some time, around 10:00, before gaining a good deal of height and seeming to head south – also a couple of Kingfisher around. This evening, a male Marsh Harrier dropped into the reeds and 17 Cattle Egret went to roost.
There are nice birds to write about today. Around 09:00 this morning, a Grey Phalarope was in Stanpit Bight, but it soon disappeared upriver. Meanwhile, a Curlew Sandpiper was on the sandspit, along with 14 Sanderling, 105 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. This evening, between 05:45 and 6:00, a Short-eared Owl was about Stanpit – seeming to come down on Priory Marsh – when a Swift was seen, always a bonus in September; with an Osprey having visited at 10:30. Passerines were headed by a Pied Flycatcher on Wick, at least 10 Yellow Wagtail settled on Crouch Hill and a Redstart by the Pod; but supported by 7 Wheatear, 10 Willow Warbler, 9 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat. Other waders about the site included a Greenshank, 15 Black-tailed Godwit and a similar number of Snipe; the Wigeon are now at sixty-four; and a Kingfisher was around Central Marsh. Almost too late for the post, but just made it – the Glossy Ibis came in with 17 Cattle Egret.
On another, largely wet day, there was evidence of Firecrest on their travels – two on Wick, where 5 Chiffchaff were also seen. The only other migrant passerines reported, however, were 3 Wheatear at Stanpit. Despite the rather strong south-westerly wind, the sea was quiet – although an Arctic Skua and a Fulmar, always a decent bird in September, both west, were nice. Additionally, 6 Common Scoter, 40 Sandwich Tern, 55 Gannet and 11 Swallow over the water. There were at least 25 Sanderling about – eleven by Double Dykes and fifteen on the sandspit, where 130 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and 4 Turnstone were also present. Meanwhile, singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel were on the marsh. As always, the Kingfisher news – one by the Wooden Bridge in the morning.
The sea was watched from the Beach Huts for four hours, starting at 07:30, and produced: a Black Tern and an Arctic Skua west, 2 Common Tern, two auk sp., 28 Gannet, 7 Sand Martin, 29 Swallow, 3 Ringed Plover and a passing Turnstone. Meanwhile, Mudeford Quay chipped-in with a pair of Common Scoter. Multiple counts of Sandwich Tern were received, but to avoid in-harbour duplication we’ll go with seventy-five on the tip of South Marsh; plus at least forty-five offshore. It was again quiet for passerines, although a Whinchat was on Crouch Hill, along with a Wheatear; the only others reported, however, were 7 Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff on Wick. Moving to waders and the 3 Knot are now into their fifth day at Stanpit, with a Greenshank and 11 Sanderling also around. To finish: Osprey visited at around 10:05 and 11:20; 41 Wigeon were counted; and the winter Coot flock now numbers 156.
On a day heavily punctuated with showers, there is still a little to write about. Around 16:00, two Osprey arrived almost simultaneously and both were soon successful. The wader variety at Stanpit was headed by 2 Curlew Sandpiper, one a moulting adult, plus: 3 Knot, 4 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Bar-tailed Godwit; but only a couple each of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Early on, eleven Cattle Egret were in Mother Siller’s Channel; while 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat were on Wick.
A couple of Firecrest were in the Wood today – one of them in full song during the late afternoon; with the best of other passerines being: a Redstart on the Long Field, a Lesser Whitethroat and Spotted Flycatcher on Stanpit, a further two ‘spotflies’ on Hengistbury, and singles of Whinchat either side of the area. Meanwhile, 19 Willow Warbler, 9 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff and 4 Blackcap were scattered. The waders were again, but as should be expected, reasonably varied and included: a Curlew Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 3 Knot, 8 Sanderling, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Ringed Plover, 30 Dunlin and 4 Turnstone. Perhaps only one Osprey visited today – first seen around 09:30 and leaving with catch around twenty minutes later. Wrapping up, the Cattle Egret peaked at eleven, while 5 Shoveler and 38 Wigeon were logged.
The sandspit has had exceptional coverage over the last few days and it was nice to hear of high-water-roosting waders in the CHOG-funded fenced area numbering: a Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 9 Sanderling, 92 Ringed Plover and 38 Dunlin. The Knot have been at Stanpit during low-water for the last three days, so it’s great to get some proof of how quickly birds latch-on to safe areas. Meanwhile, another spot that is benefitting from fencing – Holloway’s Dock – hosted a Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling and 75 Ringed Plover. Also in the dock, a 1cy Mediterranean Gull; with 2 Common Scoter east at sea, plus some lingering Gannet. The morning saw an hour of Swallow ‘trickling’ to the east, along with 28 Wigeon at Stanpit; and to finish, the last few evenings, just after dark, have produced Nightjar around Solent Meads golf course.
On a fairly quiet day, there was a total of 15 Cattle Egret – fourteen out of the roost and, long after they had gone to the valley, another on South Marsh. Meanwhile, Osprey visited at 10:50 and 16:45 – both times unsuccessfully – with first bird settling on posts or the mud for times. Although only 7 Willow Warbler were logged, there was a Pied Flycatcher in the Wood and 3 Whinchat – two of those on the Barn Field; also, 8 Blackcap and 6 Yellow Wagtail, those all from Hengistbury and Wick. Few waders were reported, but there is a Greenshank, 3 Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit to mention, while 8 Common Tern headed west at sea and around 50 Sandwich Tern lingered. To finish: Wigeon numbered twenty-two; the regular drake Tufted Duck was about; and a Kingfisher was returned.
With some birds at the moment, it’s difficult to know just how many are ‘around’ or passing. For example, Osprey, which visited at 09:50, 13:20 and 16:50, are reckoned to have involved two juveniles and an adult over the last couple of days. Similar confusion exists with Cattle Egret: during the morning – ten came out of roost and four later went north over Wick; then, in the afternoon – four came out of the valley, when five seem to have already been settled on East Marsh. The only constant, however, is the Glossy Ibis – the lone bird seen leaving the roost. The wader variety and numbers are encouraging, the best being 4 Curlew Sandpiper in Stanpit Bight and a Green Sandpiper up from Central Marsh, but also: 2 Sanderling 3 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, the first juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit of the season, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 96 Ringed Plover, 18 Snipe, 2 Turnstone and uncounted Dunlin; all inside the harbour. To finish: migrant passerines from across the site included 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, at least 6 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler and 6 Whitethroat; wildfowl-wise, 5 Pintail, a Shoveler, 20 Wigeon and 13 Teal were logged, with a drake Common Scoter off the Beach Huts for a while and a female-type passing; and 2 Kingfisher were returned.
The day was bright, but with more cloud than of late, and the light north-easterly wind persisted. At Stanpit, the Glossy Ibis again lingered briefly in Mother Siller’s Channel after leaving the roost and there was a good variety of waders, the best being a Curlew Sandpiper on South Marsh. Also present were 127 Ringed Plover, 60 Dunlin, three each of Knot and Sanderling, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 9 Turnstone and 15 Snipe, including 1 over Wick Fields. Two Pintail were the first settled birds of the autumn, with the only other duck being 7 Teal and a single Shoveler. Terns are also on the wane, with just 10 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Tern logged. Osprey fished successfully three times today – around 08:40, 14:25 and 17:35 – thought to involve at least one adult and the ringed juvenile, 1H9. Late morning saw a small arrival of migrants at Hengistbury, including a Pied Flycatcher, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Blackcap, 12 Whitethroat, singles of Whinchat and Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Yellow Wagtail with a further four over Crouch Hill. Totals of other passerines across the site comprised 20 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff and 6 Wheatear, and a Kingfisher was at Parky Meade Rail. This evening, 2 Curlew Sandpiper were present.