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Sightings for Month: June 2023

June 30th

A male Southern Hawker at Hengistbury – Ian Wigley

The weather was overcast with occasional light showers, becoming more frequent during the late afternoon, and a moderate south-westerly wind. Most of the reports come from Stanpit, where the first Greenshank for several weeks lingered for most of the day, with a supporting cast of 8 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpiper, 12 Redshank and 11 Dunlin. Two Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour, as were 5 Sandwich Tern, a total of 16 Mediterranean Gull and a good total of 42 Great Black-backed Gull, all of them adults. In addition, the first three juvenile Black-headed Gull of the summer were seen. Three Gadwall and 5 Shelduck were noted, but the latter did not include the family party that’s been present for the last couple of days. The only news from Hengistbury is of a Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry, though it is believed two birds were seen recently. Last, but not least, a late afternoon trip to Stanpit produced a Cattle Egret flying north over Fisherman’s Bank.

June 29th

It was quite cloudy but with sunny intervals, and there was a brisk north-westerly wind. Just over 100 Swift headed westover Hengistbury and Wick, and a flock of 40 Sand Martin also appeared to be on the move. At Stanpit, Common Sandpiper and Redshank numbers increased to four and 26 respectively, but the Curlew were down to six. Three Common Tern and 22 Sandwich Tern were inside the harbour, and the Shelduck family was still present. At Hengistbury, a Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry, single Mediterranean Gull and Gannet were off Hengistbury and a newly-fledged family of Stonechat was at Whitepits.

June 28th

The morning was overcast, but still bright and warm out of the brisk south-westerly wind. The cloud gradually cleared for a while during the afternoon. At Stanpit, a flock of 16 Black-tailed Godwit landed in the Bight briefly before continuing on its way, while a Little Tern and a/the Pale-bellied Brent Goose flew high east without stopping. Also present were 13 Lapwing, a Common Sandpiper, 10 Redshank, a Whimbrel and 10 Curlew, two of which flew west. There were 10 Sandwich Tern around the harbour as well as 7 Shelduck, six of which were a family party. The four juveniles were well-grown but hadn’t been reported in the harbour before today, so may well have been bred elsewhere.

June 27th

On a mainly overcast day, the only news is of 2 Curlew heading west over Wick, a Lesser Whitethroat still singing in Roebury Lane and a lone Gannet off Hengistbury.

June 26th

It was bright start to the morning, but it was cooler and cloudier than of late with a brisk westerly wind. The pick of the birds was undoubtedly the first Roseate Tern of the year, which flew east through the harbour. A Great White Egret and a Kingfisher were seen at Stanpit, while 8 Black-tailed Godwit and 14 Swift headed west. Six Mediterranean Gull and 2 Common Tern were also present. At Wick, a singing Lesser Whitethroat was in Roebury Lane, with a second bird near the Wooden Bridge, and the Buzzard remained faithful to the No Dogs Field.

June 25th

Lesser Whitethroat at Stanpit – Leo Pyke

One of the juvenile Stonechat on Crouch Hill – Leo Pyke

Red-eyed Damselfly on the CHOG Walk along the Mude Valley this morning – Robin Harley

The weather was unchanged today, but there was no sea mist to break up the sunshine. The moderate breeze varied from south-east to south-west. Once again, the main focus was on Stanpit, where 2 Grey Plover and 6 Curlew were on the mud at low tide, a lone Wigeon and a flock of 11 Gadwall were on the river, with a further three of the latter circling the harbour before departing to the south, and the Pale-bellied Brent Goose was on South Marsh. A Lesser Whitethroat was on Crouch Hill, as well as three juvenile Stonechat that were probably raised on the southern side of the harbour. The seemingly resident Buzzard was at Wick and, although not usually mentioned here, a family part of five Raven were around the marsh.

June 24th

Another warm, sunny day was only interrupted by a sea fret which shrouded the area for a while during the morning; there was a light, mainly southerly breeze. At Stanpit, a Red Kite drifted across the Marsh, a Garden Warbler was singing in Ashtree Meadow and 10 Curlew were about the Marsh. The only other news was of 18 Sandwich Tern fishing off The Run, a Turnstone on the Sandspit and confirmation that the Ringed Plover nest is still safe and sound.

June 23rd

Marbled White on Two Riversmeet Meadow, and this season’s particulary dense bramble blossom – Jackie Smith

The only news for the day is of 2 Little Tern at Stanpit in the evening, plus the continued well-being of the breeding Ringed Plover pair and its eggs.

June 22nd

Great White Egret – Leo Pyke

All the news comes from the morning at Stanpit, where 2 Great White Egret overflew. Meanwhile, returning waders were represented by: 11 Lapwing, the same number of Redshank and 9 Curlew. The intent of a Grey Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and a Turnstone is a little less clear, however. The only wildfowl interest was a pair of Gadwall flying upriver.

June 21st

It may be that some Common Tern are already on the return – this morning, a total of forty-one, in three flocks, all arrived from the east, settled briefly inside the harbour and then headed off west. Meanwhile, a further four were offshore with thirty or so Sandwich Tern. The Wood still holds the Garden Warbler and at least one Nuthatch, while a Grey Wagtail was about the Salt Hurns and a grey Cuckoo went over Holloway’s Dock. To finish, the Stanpit Lesser Whitethroat have now fledged two young.

Ringed Plover update: as of this evening, all is still well.

June 20th

Nuthatch feature again, with two birds in the Wood, along with a remarkable 15 Coal Tit. Meanwhile, a Manx Shearwater was offshore and reported waders were 2 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Curlew.

June 19th

Juvenile Peregrine, the moment he spots an incoming meal – Roger Tidball

Nuthatch – a scarcity in the area – were a feature of the morning; one was by the Viewing Platform on Wick, while, what was assumed to be another, was vocal by the Double Bends on Hengistbury.

June 18th

For the date, an interestingly plumaged and worn-looking Sandwich Tern – 2cy? – Alan Crockard

There was a little bit of variety around this morning, when: Stanpit hosted 2 Little Tern, the hepatic female Cuckoo, two 2cy Mediterranean Gull and a single Dunlin; Wick, meanwhile, returned a singing Willow Warbler and 2 Bullfinch along the central path; and 5 Swift were feeding over the Clay Pool. Later in the day, the marsh came up with the hrota Brent Goose and 2 Swallow. To finish, the Ringed Plover situation is still progressing nicely.

June 17th

The CHOG team for another successful Peregrine Day. Thanks to Paul Turton for organising.
The event, running from 10:00 until 4:00, was treated to a grand finale; when, with just five minutes before closing time, the elder juvenile, DK, made his maiden flight. Very impressive was the take-off and airborne moments – the landing being a little different, however, Although we don’t have coverage of that, he soon gained his composure.

The moment he went – Paul Dore

Coming back in – Paul Dore

As is often the case in June, there is no other news for the day; but to see how quickly a Peregrine grows in sixteen days, please check back to the post of June 1st.

Ringed Plover update: the nest was still safe this morning.

June 16th

All the news comes from Stanpit, where a couple of House Martin were the stand-out record for the date – with a least 12 Swift also about there. Also notable, 6 Common Tern and a remaining male Cuckoo. Meanwhile, the Crouch Hill Lesser Whitethroat have fledged one juvenile, with a singing bird in the North Scrubs adding a bit of intrigue. The best of the in-harbour waders were 2 Ringed Plover, but also 2 Curlew and 2 Redshank.

June 15th

Mute Swan with cygnets – Henk Nieuwenhuis

Starting with the Ringed Plover – this evening, the nest remains safe and sound, and is now known to have a clutch of three eggs. Otherwise, it’s just a couple of returning Curlew at Stanpit and the Buzzard on Wick to mention.

Although it’s not normal policy to mention out-of-recording-area sightings, the discovery of three, drumming Snipe in the Lower Avon Valley really does warrant some words. It’s thought the last breeding attempt was sometime around the turn of the century, so exciting stuff indeed.

June 14th

Top work by BCP Council in so quickly extending the fence for the benefit of the nesting Ringed Plover, the nest still safe this morning

The traditionally, late-breeding Little Grebe are back on the Ironstone Quarry – Dave Miller

…and three of four Raven at Stanpit – Jackie Smith

Other than that accompanying the photos, the only news is of 4 Mediterranean Gull – three adults and a 2cy – at Stanpit.

June 13th

Large Red Damselfly – Henk Nieuwenhuis

The pale-bellied Brent Goose was again on Blackberry Point during the morning, when Stanpit also held a Curlew, a Redshank and 6 Lapwing, as well as 2 Gadwall. Meanwhile, a Cuckoo remains on Wick and the pair of Peregrine was visible on the Priory.

June 12th

Three Cattle Egret and a Great White Egret at Stanpit yesterday evening – Scott Usher

The harbour is a summer-loafing ground for large, sub-adult gulls – this one a Herring Gull and reckoned to be in its fourth calendar-year, so will probably breed next season – Alan Crockard

A phalarope came up off the beach at Whitepits this morning and headed off towards the Long Groyne, where it unfortunately couldn’t be relocated. As interesting, from a local perspective that is, was a Nuthatch at the end of the head, apparently acting as if it may have young! Meanwhile, Mediterranean Gull were conspicuous – of a dozen or so returned, six were 2cy birds and one was a 3cy. The pale-bellied Brent Goose was again inside the harbour, on the Flats, and 2 Lapwing arrived late in the day.

Ringed Plover update: the certain nest is still being sat on, but suspicions remain there may be another. Unfortunately, there are occasional instances of people going into the the fenced area. So, if you see anyone in there, and feel comfortable in doing so, it would be appreciated if you could politely ask them to leave and explain why.

June 11th

There was a real miscellany of interest at Stanpit throughout the day, when the pale-bellied Brent Goose was noted on a few occasions – mostly with the c250-strong Mute Swan herd around Blackberry Point. This afternoon, the Hooded Crow was on South Marsh; while, a little later, 3 Cattle Egret were joined by a Great White Egret there. Also around the marsh, a drake Shoveler and 4 Gadwall. Over on Hengistbury, 15 Sanderling rested up as they head towards the Arctic, with 5 Razorbill east being an interesting record for the month, plus twenty or so lingering Gannet.

June 10th

On a day when there was the novelty of a few drops of rain; late in the afternoon, a tardy Whimbrel passed east over Mudeford Quay, while the pale-bellied Brent Goose was earlier seen on Blackberry Point.

June 9th

Sitting Ringed Plover – Robin Harley

…and watchful mate – Robin Harley

There is only one piece of news today, but it’s big! Yesterday evening, it was realised there is a Ringed Plover breeding attempt going on in the fenced area on the sandspit. The first such activity in the recording area since 1983! Prior to that, the species was a regular breeder, with, for example, six pairs raising fourteen young in 1976. Breeding ceased, however, due to human pressures – so it is particularly pleasing that habitat protected in 2020, originally to encourage oystercatchers, is hosting another ground-nesting wader. This afternoon, in addition to the sitting bird, there were two others – one clearly the mate, but is there perhaps another nest in there?

June 8th

Pale-bellied Brent Goose – Ian Wigley

The pale-bellied Brent Goose from Tuesday was on South Marsh, Stanpit, this afternoon, when a Grey Plover and a 2cy Mediterranean Gull were also there. Earlier, on the sandspit, 5 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin were seen; along with 6 Common Tern offshore and a further three ‘meds’ inside the harbour. The Garden Warbler continues to deliver its voice in the Nursery; singles of Buzzard were logged on Wick and dropping into the Wood – are there two birds on site(?); and the good season for Cuckoo heard a female on the head and a bird remaining on Wick.

June 7th

Cuckoo, last night on Crouch Hill – Jackie Smith

Peregrine – Roger Tidball

Unfortunately, no news has been received for the day.

June 6th

Other than a single, grey Cuckoo on Stanpit, the day’s news is of some unseasonable wildfowl. Bizarrely, a pale-bellied Brent Goose was feeding off the tip of the sandspit late in the afternoon, when it should have been in either Greenland or Svalbard; while up to 6 Teal arrived around Stanpit Bight.

June 5th

Cuckoo – David Faulkner

A strangely plumaged Mediterranean Gull – 2cy wing pattern, but adult breeding head – Jackie Smith

The best at Stanpit throughout the day were: 3 Grey Plover, 8 Redshank and 2 Shoveler; along with 2 Cuckoo, including the hepatic female. Meanwhile, what may be a further male was on Wick, where the Buzzard remains.

June 4th

This female Banded Demoiselle was noticed on a boat leaving Christchurch around 9:00 this morning. On returning from a three-hour, at times 20 knot+ journey to Dancing Ledge, it was realised the insect was still there and certainly looking none the worse for wear – Alan Crockard

Cream-spot Tiger Moth – Peter Boardman

Four-spotted Chaser – Peter Boardman

After some suspicions, it was confirmed there are currently 3 Cuckoo about Stanpit, with perhaps a further bird on Wick. The marsh also hosted a reasonable selection of June waders, including: an Avocet, a really nice total of 14 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin. Meanwhile the Buzzard was on Wick, with 4 Swift over there. To finish, a 2 Crossbill, a Hobby and 3 Spotted Flycatcher passed over very early on.

June 3rd

Whitethroat – Alan Crockard

The only news for the day is of the Cuckoo and Buzzard on Wick.

June 2nd

Hooded Crow – Jackie Smith

Recently fledged Great Tit – Alan Crockard

Cuckoo – Jackie Smith

The day’s only news comes from Stanpit, where both the Hooded Crow and hepatic, female Cuckoo were again present; along with at least one Ringed Plover.

June 1st

We are pleased to report the Priory Peregrine are raising two chicks this year, which were yesterday ringed under license. Both are males and will be known as DJ and DK. DK is the eldest at around 22 days and weighed in at 643g, while his brother is a couple of days younger and 640g. DNA swabs were also taken as there is a growing, illegal market for the theft of birds for sale to overseas falconers – Paul Turton

…and another raptor species potentially moving into the area, Buzzard – Peter Boardman

A Hooded Crow was again seen at Stanpit this morning, on Blackberry Point, while 2 Nuthatch in Ashtree Meadows were presumably the result of post-breeding dispersal from sites adjacent to the recording area. Otherwise, there were 12 Sanderling and 5 Ringed Plover in the bight and a Cuckoo on Crouch Hill. The consistency of the latter species being recorded on both the marsh and Wick may suggest there are actually two males around; with the final snippet being the Buzzard.


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