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Sightings for Month: January 2023

January 31st

The on-sea, dabbling-duck mystery continues – at least 20 Pintail seen coming in-off this morning, with up to 100 Wigeon. Meanwhile, a Red-throated Diver passed west and a single Great Crested Grebe was settled. The wader news from Stanpit is of 5 Grey Plover, plus sixty each of Ringed Plover and Dunlin; while six individual Marsh Harrier were confirmed, but very probably seven.

January 30th

Turnstone – Dave Miller

Rock Pipit – Dave Miller

Starting with the Marsh Harrier for a change and at least three individuals, while Bullfinch were conspicuous about the site – a total of five, four on Wick and one over the Wood. The latter area also produced 2 Firecrest and 8 Redwing. Over at Stanpit, it was fairly standard stuff and included: 4 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and 210 Dunlin; plus, a drake Pintail and 35 Brent Goose. Finishing with the sea, which was rather quiet and offered just: four distant divers heading towards the Solent, 2 Gannet, a Wigeon and 3 Great Crested Grebe.

January 29th

All three divers were seen today – a Black-throated Diver and 5 Red-throated Diver passed east, along with 6 Great Crested Grebe, while a couple of Great Northern Diver were settled. Also seen on the calm, offshore waters, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Pintail, a Teal and 82 Wigeon – the presence of diving duck being something of a mystery, as it’s normally shooting in the Avon Valley which causes that; but there is no shooting on a Sunday. Reflecting the now warmer temperatures, there were 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker in drum in the Wood.

January 28th

The sea off Hengistbury this morning saw a drake Eider and 2 Red-throated Diver pass east, plus two each of settled Common Scoter and Razorbill. Meanwhile, 10 Great Crested Grebe were likewise, seen from Mudeford Quay. To finish this short report, the day-total for Marsh Harrier was three.

January 27th

All the news comes from late in the day, when the 2 Avocet arrived in Holloway’s Dock and 84 Ringed Plover, 125 Dunlin and 21 Turnstone were on the sandspit. Otherwise, it was commented that numbers at Stanpit were similar to yesterday.

January 26th

After a mildish close to the previous day, frost returned overnight and a northerly breeze made it feel cold once more. An adult Yellow-legged Gull on Central Marsh was something of a surprise; with an adult Mediterranean Gull also at Stanpit, plus a Cattle Egret on North Marsh. In fact, all the other news also comes from the marsh and comprises: 2 Avocet, 3 Grey Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and 95 Dunlin; a pair of Pintail and 64 Brent Goose; and at least one Marsh Harrier. Of mammal interest, a Stoat was seen twice in the same area.

January 25th

It was a cold, dreary day with fog lingering over the area from early morning, and no reports were received.

January 24th

Ringed Plover – Alan Hayden

2cy – see the rear chevrons – Brent Goose – Alan Hayden

Although the dawn was frost-free, the air temperature still chilled the bones. A lot of the post comes from the sea, mainly the Beach Huts, where: 10 Red-throated Diver, 490 auks, 2 Common Scoter, 11 Gannet and 5 Common Gull nearly all passed east. Mudeford Quay, however, came up with a settled Great Northern Diver and five, likewise, Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, the Wood held some nice variety, namely: a Redpoll over, a Firecrest, 3 Redwing and a Treecreeper; with a couple of Avocet in Holloway’s Dock and a single Purple Sandpiper about the end of the head. Summing up, the Marsh Harrier were a minimum of three.

January 23rd

Kingfisher – Dave Miller

This Great Spotted Woodpecker is carrying a ring – Dave Miller

Curlew at dusk – Roger Tidball

The Green-winged Teal appeared elusive today – being seen just once, around lunchtime, immediately west of the Rusty Boat. Earlier, a single Cattle Egret, that from Fisherman’s Bank, a Golden Plover, that a flyover, and 2 Avocet were about the marsh; with a flock of 70 Black-tailed Godwit plummeting out of the sky during the afternoon. To finish a short post: the Marsh Harrier total was four; the Brent Goose were counted at 108; and there were 7 Little Grebe on the River.

Drake Green-winged Teal – the bird with the white vertical breast stripe – in the low, dusk light, amongst Wigeon – Scott Usher

Although the results of the calendar-year’s first WeBS count are still being collated, the discovery of a Green-winged Teal in Mother Siller’s Channel late this afternoon gives enough to write about. As such, it constitutes the area’s third record of this North American species and the first for around twenty years. Other snippets throughout the day included: two Avocet, a single Cattle Egret in the morning and to roost at dusk, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Common Gull. To finish, the Marsh Harrier total was four individuals.

January 21st

Jay – David Faulkner

The only news for the day is of 16 Pintail east over Stanpit.

January 20th

A Weasel on Wick – Peter Boardman

This colour-ringed Redshank, photographed yesterday at Stanpit, was ringed as a chick in the Avon Valley in 2021 by Waders for Real, and has previously been seen on the marsh in January and May 2022 – Jackie Smith

Kestrel – Roger Tidball

The only news from another day of sunshine is of an intermedius-race Lesser Black-backed Gull, with the expected graellsii birds, inside the harbour from Mudeford Quay; while the Marsh Harrier total was three.

January 19th

Grey Plover – Alan Hayden

Goldcrest – Dave Miller

Marsh Harrier – Peter Boardman

Buzzard – Dave Miller

All the news from a day of winter sunshine comes from Stanpit, where: 7 Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover and 270 Dunlin were the pick of the waders; while 90 Brent Goose and 7 Common Gull provided the support. The day’s Marsh Harrier total was four and the photographed Buzzard passed through.

January 18th

Presumably due to the Baltic-like conditions, no reports have been received for the day.

January 17th

A very bleak-looking North Marsh, Stanpit – David Taylor

After a very cold night, there was little fieldwork today. It was, however, confirmed that at least seven individual Marsh Harrier visited the area, while a Kingfisher put on a good display around the Bailey Bridge.

January 16th

Before the temperature plummeted at dusk, these two Redshank were duped into thinking Spring was just around the corner – Simon Coupe

There was a confirmed six Marsh Harrier seen today – but not one of them an adult male, so there may have been more. Other news is light; in fact, just 2 Avocet and three pairs of Pintail at Stanpit.

January 15th

Curlew at Stanpit – George Garland

The phrase used to sum-up the morning seawatch at Hengistbury was, ‘I should have had a lie-in!’ Just 2 Common Scoter east, plus 5 Gannet and 2 Common Gull in the opposite direction, to report upon. The 2 Avocet were again in Holloway’s Dock, however. Over at Stanpit, there were: 12 Grey Plover, a single Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Ringed Plover, 120 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone; along with 77 Brent Goose.

January 14th

After a quite awful morning of weather, all the news come from lunchtime onwards. A total of 15 Purple Sandpiper were up and down the sandspit, with a pair of Red-breasted Merganser west past the Beach Huts. Meanwhile, 2 Sandwich Tern, a Red-throated Diver, a Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Gull and two eastbound Grey Plover were logged from Mudeford Quay. Returning the sandspit and other settled waders, which included 56 Ringed Plover and 77 Dunlin; with an Avocet nearby on the Salt Hurns. To finish, many thanks to the twenty or so who braved the elements for the Outdoor Meeting at Longham Lake – it was, remarkably, quite an enjoyable experience.

January 13th

On a much nicer day of weather, the 2 Avocet continue to enjoy Holloway’s Dock, as did a Grey Plover; while singles of Red-throated Diver and Kittiwake passed at sea. The afternoon at Stanpit, meanwhile, came up with: an adult Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Gull – one each of the currently available plumages; 13 Grey Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and around 230 Dunlin; 9 Pintail and 68 Brent Goose; plus a Kingfisher around Stanpit Bight.

January 12th

From yet another day of near-constant rain, most of the news comes from quiet sea, although it did produce a Fulmar and 127 Gannet. In addition, however, there were just 5 Kittiwake, 2 Guillemot and four unidentified auks. Those, all across a couple of sporadic watches from the Beach Huts. Moving away from the water, the once-wader-desert of Holloway’s Dock again hosted the 2 Avocet, while the same number of Purple Sandpiper were on the end of the sandspit, viewed from Mudeford Quay.

January 11th

Avocet – Leo Pyke

It was a reasonable morning of weather, which encouraged Song Thrush to do their stuff; but the afternoon, almost inevitably, turned to rain. Starting at dawn, when of thirteen egrets leaving the roost at least one was a Cattle Egret. Record of the day, however, came a little later, as 6 Linnet – a species largely absent from November to February – landed briefly by Holloway’s Dock, before heading of east. Meanwhile, the photographed 2 Avocet were in the dock itself, 3 Bullfinch were on Wick and 2 Marsh Harrier toured. The remainder of the news is from an hour’s seawatch at the Beach Huts, which produced just: a Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, 10 Gannet, four auks and a Brent Goose.

January 10th

All the news from another, most of the time, wet day is from the afternoon at Stanpit; when an Avocet, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 180 Dunlin, 6 Turnstone, 11 Pintail, a Common Gull and a Kingfisher were logged.

January 9th

White-tailed Eagle – The lower with a Marsh Harrier, so showing the size of the eagle. Also visible, the radio transmitter – Peter Boardman

This adult male Black Redstart is in an area near the Priory for its third winter and can occasionally be seen from the northern limit of the recording area – Alan Crockard

As seen in the photos, a White-tailed Eagle from the Isle of Wight reintroduction project visited today – settling briefly at Stanpit before leaving to the north. Also courtesy of the images, a Marsh Harrier. Earlier, a brief seawatch yielded a Black-throated Diver west, 3 Common Scoter and six auks; with other news involving: 2 Bullfinch and a Kingfisher from the Viewing Platform, plus a Grey Wagtail on Priory Marsh.

January 8th

A 3cy Kittiwake in plumage not often seen here – Matthew Barfield

2cy Common Gull – Matthew Barfield

Avocet – Scott Usher

…and what may be male Peregrine, VA, at Stanpit – Scott Usher

During the period 08:00 to 11:30, in very rainy conditions, the sea was watched from the same two spots as yesterday, and produced: a Black-throated Diver, a Red-breasted Merganser, 32 Kittiwake, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Gull, 140 Gannet and around eight auks, all west. Meanwhile, a further 4 Kittiwake were inside the harbour around Mudeford Quay, along with a 2cy Yellow-legged Gull, and a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea; where a Grey Seal was in the Run. On the sandspit itself, there were at least 20 Purple Sandpiper, with 2 Avocet, 12 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Turnstone. Also about the marsh, 3 Pintail, a Shelduck, 54 Brent Goose, a couple of Marsh Harrier and 6 Common Gull. To finish, 2 Redwing were in the Wood and 4 Bullfinch were on Wick.

January 7th

Little Gull – a fine example of the dark underwings – Matthew Barfield

Kittiwake – Matthew Barfield

Mediterranean Gull – the first passing at sea, the lower inside the harbour and carrying a Belgian ring – Matthew Barfield (upper) & Scott Usher

A stormy night continued into a stormy day – the sea being watched from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts, on an aggregate, from 07:45 to 12:00. The best being a Little Gull through the Run and at least 32 Kittiwake past, but also a Black-throated Diver, 4 Red-throated Diver, an unidentified diver, 2 Common Scoter, a Razorbill amongst sixty or so thought-to-be-the-same, 2 Common Scoter, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Gull, 35 Gannet, 5 Wigeon and 28 Black-tailed Godwit, predominantly west; plus, a bizarre record of a Coot riding the waves off the Long Groyne. Meanwhile, a flock of 22 Pintail left over the quay, with a further four heading towards the Solent. Later in the day, on a flooded Stanpit, 3 Mediterranean Gull were with around 600 Black-headed Gull and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit. Wrapping up, a female-type Marsh Harrier was seen from Wick and 3 Purple Sandpiper were on the tip of the sandspit.

January 6th

Marsh Harrier – Dave Miller

Sparrowhawk – Alan Crockard

Shelduck and Sheldrake – Dave Miller

Before the rain set in, there are a few reports from the morning, when a female-type Black Redstart was in the original dinghy park on Mudeford Quay and a Great Northern Diver went in over there. Additionally, a Red-throated Diver was in the Run with 2 Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, a couple of Marsh Harrier were at Stanpit, along with an Avocet and 4 Shelduck.

January 5th

Just about all the news comes from another reasonable seawatch, today’s, spanning just over two hours from 08:30 at the Beach Huts. All west, unless mentioned, went: a Black-throated Diver, 36 Red-throated Diver, including a flock of twelve, one with an unidentified diver, 73 Kittiwake, 2 Mediterranean Gull, a Common Scoter, 215 auks – the majority of those put-to-species being Razorbill, 75 Gannet, a Great Crested Grebe, 3 Wigeon and 15 Brent Goose. Otherwise, it’s just an Avocet at Stanpit and a wisp of 10 Snipe over Hengistbury.

January 4th

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dave Miller

The Yellow-legged Gull was again around Mudeford Quay – seen mid-afternoon, when an adult Kittiwake lingered in the Run. Earlier, a 3.75-hour seawatch from the Beach Huts produced: an adult Little Gull east; a Black-throated Diver, 9 Red-throated Diver, an unidentified diver, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Gadwall, 27 Kittiwake, 85 Razorbill, 43 Guillemot, 97 auk spp. and 90 Gannet, all west; plus, a further Common Scoter and at least 16 Shag settled. Picking up on waders and 4 Purple Sandpiper were on the tip of the sandspit, seen from Mudeford Quay, while 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Ringed Plover and 130 Dunlin were returned from Stanpit. Other bits from the marsh include two pairs of Pintail, a pair of Gadwall and 54 Brent Goose.

January 3rd

A 5cy Yellow-legged Gull on Mudeford Quay – Alan Hayden

A really grim day of weather saw a 5cy Yellow-legged Gull loafing around Mudeford Quay, where it would come to bread. Earlier, at dawn, a Woodcock left the Nursery and a couple of subsequent seawatches saw an adult Little Gull head west, likewise a Black-throated Diver, 18 Red-throated Diver, 2 Common Scoter and 2 Razorbill. Moving back to the gulls on the quay, the colour-ringed Black-headed Gull, VTC, was seen for the first time in a while – it has spent several winters in the area, after being ringed in Denmark in 2008.

January 2nd

Bar-tailed Godwit with prey – Scott Usher

Adult and 2cy Oystercatcher – Scott Usher

Despite a marathon, 4.5-hour stint overlooking Stanpit Bight this afternoon, there isn’t a lot to report from there – although a total of 16 Grey Plover is nice, along with 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, around 40 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and 220 Dunlin, plus 5 Common Gull. Earlier, the best at sea was a couple of Red-throated Diver, while at least 3 Chiffchaff at Stanpit and 5 Goldcrest on Wick perhaps suggest an influx? Otherwise, it’s just a female-type Marsh Harrier from Wick and 2 Great Crested Grebe in Lobs Hole to mention.

January 1st

Happy New Year!
The Great Northern Diver was again inside the harbour – today, off the Salt Hurns. Meanwhile, a couple each of Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter were at sea, as were 37 Gannet and around thirty, passing Black-tailed Godwit. Sticking with waders and those at Stanpit included a Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 130 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Ringed Plover, 160 Dunlin and a Turnstone, with 3 Pintail and 31 Brent Goose also logged. Rounding up, the rest of the news involves at least 2 Marsh Harrier about the area, a Bullfinch on Wick by the Wooden Bridge and a Kingfisher along Grimmery Bank.


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