As the photo caption suggested, the morning was a complete wash-out – so news is sparse. This afternoon, however, the northern end of the North Scrubs held 3 Spotted Flycatcher; while and a couple of Yellow Wagtail, plus a Kingfisher, flew by there; with Crouch Hill hosting 6 Wheatear. The rest is waders, from Stanpit Bight, and comprises: 4 Knot, a Greenshank, 7 Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 5 Black-tailed Godwit.
Although not a surprise, given the numbers off the Isle of Wight yesterday, the highlight of the day was Balearic Shearwater – a total of fifty-two west, aggregated from twenty-nine, twenty-one and two singles – all before lunch. Meanwhile, the expected late-summer Osprey presence may now be upon us, with possibly two birds involved – sightings at 11:10, 12:00 and 12:20 around the recording area, but also elsewhere about Christchurch. Across the site, migrant passerines included: a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Redstart, 7 Whinchat, a White Wagtail, at least 30 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 30 Blackcap, 50 Whitethroat, 15 Sedge Warbler and 10 Goldcrest; while 15 Tree Pipit, 30 Meadow Pipit, 46 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Siskin passed over. Wader news is quite thin, but a Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 36 Black-tailed Godwit were returned. To finish, 7 Common Scoter headed towards the Solent and a Kingfisher was in Holloway’s Dock.
Two each of Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher were at the end of the head this morning, when 2 Redstart – one of them around the fenced area on the sandspit and a great Mudeford Quay sighting – a Whinchat, 12 Wheatear, 29 Willow Warbler, two singing Chiffchaff, 8 Tree Pipit, 20 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail were logged. The Nursery came up with a Nightjar and a Firecrest, while a Hobby moved over. Most of the wader news is of birds travelling west – 4 Knot, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Sanderling, 23 Turnstone and 3 Curlew – with a Green Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper and 35 Black-tailed Godwit more settled. Just before the late-afternoon rain set in, a flock of 7 Cattle Egret plummeted onto Blackberry Point, from the north, one of them a juvenile.
A Curlew Sandpiper was at Stanpit this afternoon, when 29 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in. Throughout the day, there were also 4 Knot, at least 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and 4 Sanderling about; with 85 Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin roosting in the fenced area on the sandspit. Crouch Hill again hosted most of the returned 13 Wheatear, along with the Whinchat, and, briefly, 5 Yellow Wagtail. Meanwhile, a Pied Flycatcher was by the Wooden Bridge on Wick and 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart and a Lesser Whitethroat were also on site. A trickle of hirundines carried a Swift, it’s starting to get late here for those now, and a Hobby. To finish, a Great White Egret was in Parky Meade Rail early on – it’s possible all three egrets are now roosting in the area.
There was, again, a nice selection of passerines about the place; with Crouch Hill, in particular, affording good views of one of the day’s 4 Whinchat and fifteen of the day’s 30 Wheatear – at least one of the latter on the hill, an adult that looked like it may have recently made an Atlantic crossing. For those interested, the other current hotspot for Wheatear is the fenced area on the northern tip of the Mudeford sandspit. Meanwhile, the morning flight included 5 Tree Pipit and at least 40 Yellow Wagtail; with a Spotted Flycatcher settled at Stanpit. A movement of 58 House Martin attracted a Hobby, while five each of Common Tern and Shoveler rested-up inside the harbour, and 3 Cattle Egret were around early on. To finish, the waders, which included, all around Stanpit Bight: 6 Knot, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, up to 100 Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin.
Other than 2 Goldcrest in the Stunted Oaks, so possibly migrants, and a Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight, all the news comes from Stanpit. Early on, a Wood Sandpiper was encountered, with other waders including: a Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel and 12 Black-tailed Godwit. A Whinchat was again on Crouch Hill, along with 6 Wheatear, while 4 Tree Pipit and 7 Yellow Wagtail passed over. Also over, a Hobby and 2 Cattle Egret; with the post finishing on a single Kingfisher.
Crouch Hill held a nice selection of birds, including, this evening, twenty of the day’s sixty or so Yellow Wagtail, the first-mentioned juvenile Pied Wagtail of the season, a Whinchat and up to 16 Wheatear. A further 23 Wheatear were on Hengistbury, along with 3 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and a Firecrest – that, in the strange location of the Barn Field – while a flock of 50 Willow Warbler on the Batters carried a Treecreeper. In what seems a good autumn for them, there was marked movement of Sand Martin – 500 estimated in the morning – with individuals trickling through after lunch, as well as thirty accompanying Swallow. Also over, 8 Tree Pipit and 2 Grey Wagtail. After a quiet couple of days, there was a nice wader selection: a Green Sandpiper was returned from Hengistbury; 3 Knot, 2 Greenshank, a Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 12 Black-tailed Godwit were around Stanpit Bight; with site totals of 5 Common Sandpiper, 120 Ringed Plover and 53 Dunlin. Wrapping up: an Osprey headed inland with a fish it had not been seen to catch inside the harbour; a Wigeon arrived to join a Teal and 6 Shelduck; and singles of Great Crested Grebe and Peregrine, plus 2 Kingfisher, were about.
On a day of mixed weather, a Stone Curlew headed inland this morning, when a Garganey headed west, at least one Great White Egret was about and a Cattle Egret passed over – likewise a Hobby and a Marsh Harrier. Yellow Wagtail put on a good show – of sixty-one logged, forty-five were in one flock seen heading towards Wick – while 7 Tree Pipit were also airborne; while, a Pied Flycatcher was in the No Dogs Field and 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warbler, 4 Whinchat, 17 Wheatear and 8 Willow Warbler were about. There isn’t much wader news – just, up to 5 Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel, in fact – with wildfowl interest coming from a redhead Goosander, 2 Shoveler, 7 Teal and 2 Wigeon.
It was another warm day, which saw a Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, 9 Knot, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 30 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Snipe at Stanpit. Meanwhile, a Pied Flycatcher was in Ashtree Meadow, Whinchat were at Whitepit and Crouch Hill; with a Garden Warbler, 8 Wheatear and a few Willow Warbler about; and 7 Tree Pipit, 8 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail over. Incoming wildfowl came to: a Tufted Duck, 3 Shoveler and 2 Teal; an adult and the two juvenile Peregrine were seen from Wick; and a couple of Kingfisher were on the marsh.
Starting with waders, which included 2 Green Sandpiper on the Hengistbury side; plus, a minimum of 9 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 5 Sanderling and 6 Whimbrel, mostly from Stanpit. A Whinchat on Crouch Hill, a Garden Warbler in Ashtree Meadow and 3 Yellow Wagtail over was the pick of the passerines; but also 3 Reed Warbler sub-singing from bracken, a Wheatear, several Willow Warbler, 7 Blackcap and at least 20 Whitethroat across the area.
This morning, a nice-looking, 1cy Caspian Gull was seen well on the low-tide-exposed sandbar off Mudeford Quay, before settling on the water as the tide flooded. Subject to acceptance by the Dorset Records Panel, this would be the second record of the species in the area. Meanwhile, at Stanpit, there were: 5 Sanderling, 3 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, over 85 Ringed Plover, 21 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. Also, a Wigeon, 3 Teal and 2 Common Tern; with a Garden Warbler in the Copse, 8 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a Yellow Wagtail; plus Kingfisher seen on four occasions.
This morning, a Garganey headed west, and 3 Wigeon were at Stanpit; as were: a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 25 Whitethroat, 45 Sedge Warbler and 6 Wheatear, with 3 Tree Pipit, 11 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail over. Later in the day, at least one, but possibly more, 1cy Yellow-legged Gull was around Stanpit Bight, along with a couple of Common Tern; while an Osprey fished the Speller’s Point area. There aren’t many wader reports, but a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank and 8 Whimbrel were on site. The afternoon also saw a several-hundred strong, westbound passage of Sand Martin through the northern part of the area. Interestingly, but rather obviously, they were stopping to feed in the more insect-rich sections – the marsh itself, but also the left-to-grow parts of the Recreation Ground – the mown parts clearly barren.
Nearly all the news comes from Stanpit, where 2 Sanderling were with the Ringed Plover and Dunlin on Blackberry Point, as well as 5 Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper. Other interest on the marsh came from 3 Little Tern, a Cattle Egret on Central Marsh and 13 Wigeon. Meanwhile, from Mudeford Quay, 3 Common Sandpiper could be seen on the end of the sandspit, along with another mix of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Also from there, a few Common Tern and six of the 13 Wigeon arriving.
In a brisk south-easterly, the sea was watched for three hours from 07:00, but wasn’t particularly spectacular. The combined lists being: a Fulmar, a Guillemot, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 68 Sandwich Tern, west; 8 Common Scoter, 5 Teal and 92 Gannet, east; with 11 Common Tern, a Grey Plover, 5 Sanderling and a Common Sandpiper also logged from the watch points. Sticking with waders and 4 Knot which arrived at Stanpit during the afternoon, when a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull was also around, with a Greenshank east over the Barn Field. Also above that area, during the morning, a Spoonbill heading west. Rounding up: a Pied Flycatcher, a Lesser Whitethroat and 8 Willow Warbler were on Hengistbury; 6 Wheatear were spread; and 2 Swift travelled east.
A nice wader selection was headed by a Little Stint – seen from both Hengistbury and Stanpit – 3 Ruff, an early juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper; while 4 Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel were in Holloway’s Dock, and 2 Common Sandpiper, plus 28 Black-tailed Godwit, were on site. Passerines were also nicely represented, mostly from Stanpit, with 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whinchat, 2 Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 4 Tree Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 7 Wheatear being the pick; with numbers each of Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat. In addition to 6 Swift, there was an easterly flow of hirundines – 216 Sand Martin, 117 Swallow and 66 House Martin. Meanwhile, 26 Mediterranean Gull, 14 Common Tern and 66 Sandwich headed in the opposite direction. Moving to wildfowl, a Wigeon, 9 Shoveler, 3 Teal, a Gadwall and a Tufted Duck make the post; raptor-wise, an Osprey came in-off, then headed inland, and 3 Peregrine were about; and, to finish, early on, a Great White Egret and 4 Cattle Egret headed towards the Avon Valley.
Starting with the passerines. A Pied Flycatcher was at Stanpit; 2 Redstart were logged, a male in the No Dogs Field and a female-type on Crouch Hill; 6 Tree Pipit and 3 Whinchat were on Hengistbury; up to 25 Wheatear were about; 6 Yellow Wagtail went over; and 5 Willow Warbler and 24 Whitethroat were reckoned. Some waders were seen arriving over Hengistbury – namely, 44 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and 2 Redshank – while Stanpit hosted a Green Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank and 12 Black-tailed Godwit. To finish, there were 6 Shoveler in Barn Bight.
Just after 8:00 this morning, there was an impressive sight of 31 Cattle Egret passing west over the harbour – after being seen an hour or so earlier off Titchfield Haven. Also heading in the same direction, a couple of Avocet. A nice passerine selection included: up to 2 Wood Warbler in the Wick area, 2 Redstart around the HHVC, a Whinchat again on Crouch Hill, plus two on the Barn Field, 7 Tree Pipit and 8 Yellow Wagtail over; and site-wide totals of: 10 Wheatear, 2 Garden Warbler, 30 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff and 30 Whitethroat – a few of the phylloscs in song. Around the same time as the egrets, an Osprey passed over. Meanwhile, the wader news is of a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 22 Black-tailed Godwit and 15 Ringed Plover in Stanpit Bight.
After a wet and blustery morning, this afternoon, a juvenile Little Gull rested inside the harbour on Blackberry Point. Earlier, a couple of hours of seawatching from Mudeford Quay had produced: a nice-for-the-month record of Fulmar, a Common Scoter, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 13 Common Tern, 84 Sandwich Tern and 6 Gannet, all west. A Whinchat was again on Crouch Hill, associating with the Stonechat, along with 5 Wheatear; while a Lesser Whitethroat was in the Old Council Depot and 6 Willow Warbler were on Wick; and a further Wheatear was on the Barn Field. The only wader news is of a Greenshank at Stanpit, where there were 4 Shoveler; the meadows adjacent to the Wooden Bridge; and 2 Peregrine went over the Batters. Last week, a colour-ringed Sandwich Tern was inside the harbour and we now know it was ringed in September 2015, as an adult, near Aberystwyth, Wales.
Today’s Cattle Egret was seven – all adjacent to the Wooden Bridge on Wick. Meanwhile, a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Wheatear were around Crouch Hill. Also on Stanpit, a Green Sandpiper, perhaps 2 Greenshank and several Whimbrel. This evening, a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull was seen from Mudeford Quay and, on the sandspit, the two juvenile Ringed Plover remain with a parent.
There are only two species to mention for this post – 2 Spoonbill which arrived from the east, after being spotted outside of the recording area past Highcliffe, and joining 5 Cattle Egret at Stanpit. All soon left to the north, however.
Once again, there were a good number of terns about the area – an Arctic Tern, 5 Common Tern and 34 Sandwich went west over or past Hengistbury, while at least 100 Sandwich Tern were settled inside the harbour. Also resting, a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull and up to 10 Mediterranean Gull – seven of those still in juvenile plumage. Just a single Willow Warbler was logged; as well as 6 Wheatear – mostly on Crouch Hill. Nearby, a Green Sandpiper was tucked away in the creeks, with 4 Common Sandpiper and at least 5 Whimbrel about Stanpit. The two juvenile Ringed Plover are now flying strongly, but remain around the fenced area with their male parent.
This morning, a flock of 6 Garganey, all female-types, spent some time in Stanpit Creek; while a Great White Egret was around for about an hour and 7 Spoonbill stopped by for thirty minutes before leaving to the east. Later in the day, 4 Avocet appeared in Stanpit Bight, where a Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 7 Whimbrel, 13 Ringed Plover and 14 Dunlin were also spending their time. In addition, the fenced are on the sandspit hosted a 60-strong mix of the latter two. This evening, there were 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 30 Willow Willow Warbler active – presumably ahead of an overnight departure – on Wick and Hengistbury; with 2 Garden Warbler, 4 Wheatear and few more Willow Warbler being logged in the morning. Rounding up, a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull and 110 Sandwich Tern were inside the harbour.
A Ruff in Mother Siller’s Channel this morning was the wader highlight, but also 2 Green Sandpiper over Wick and 3 Avocet west from the Barn Field. Moving back to Stanpit, where 2 Greenshank and 5 Whimbrel were settled, and 6 Ringed Plover passed west. The migrant passerines were headed by 2 Lesser Whitethroat and at least 28 Whitethroat on the Long Field and Barn Field respectively; while 15 Willow Warbler and 9 Wheatear were logged – eight of those on Crouch Hill. To finish, a Kingfisher was again around Parky Meade Rail and, contrary to yesterday’s speculation, the Ringed Plover family is still in residence.
This morning, the first southbound Spotted Flycatcher of the season was on Hengistbury, in the Wood, while 3 Wheatear and 2 Willow Warbler were also about. The best at Stanpit was a 1cy Common Gull, in juvenile plumage, something rarely seen here; but also 5 Common Tern, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and ten adult Dunlin on the marsh. At sea, a couple of female-type Common Scoter were off the Long Groyne and the juvenile Little Grebe remains safe on the Ironstone Quarry. This evening, in or around the fenced area on the sandspit, there were fifteen each of Ringed Plover and Turnstone, plus 4 Dunlin. The resident Ringed Plover family of four was seen just before lunch, but not this evening – have the birds perhaps left us?
For a change, let’s start with odonata and 2 Lesser Emperor Dragonfly around Hengistbury today, but never settled. The pick of the birds was a Green Woodpecker calling from Wick and a flock of 6 Cattle Egret that came in from the east and then headed inland, where they spent the rest of the day in the Avon Valley. Passerine-wise, a Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat at Stanpit were the best, while at least 7 Wheatear and 6 Willow Warbler were logged; with 3 Tree Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail passing – a further of the latter settled. Early on, 3 Green Sandpiper and 3 Greenshank were logged on the marsh, with other waders across the site including: a Common Sandpiper, at least 3 Whimbrel, ten arriving Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. Rounding up the post, the miscellany: 45 Swift and 16 Common Tern moved; 3 Teal headed east; the family of 3 Little Grebe remains on the Ironstone Quarry; a Peregrine was seen; a 2 Kingfisher were in Parky Meade Rail.
A Hawfinch south over Roebury Lane this morning is a truly remarkable record for the month; while there were 4 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a Willow Warbler by the Purewell Stream. This afternoon, the wader selection around Stanpit Bight included: a fly-over Little Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, at least 3 Whimbrel, 3 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin and a Turnstone; as well as a pair of Shoveler, and a trickle of Swallow and Sand Martin into the just-north-of-west breeze. Meanwhile, the sandspit Ringed Plover parents, with their two young, are remaining possessive to their patch of the fenced area – forcing the migrant birds, which numbered 10 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin, to roost elsewhere within it.
It may seem strange to be publishing odonata and lepidoptera photos on a day of quite awful weather, but there was a 15-minute window that produced all the above on Hengistbury. The more expected activity was, of course, seawatching and an 05:50-10:44 vigil from Mudeford Quay was richly rewarded with a Storm Petrel heading east at 08:15. Also from there, 18 Mediterranean Gull, 18 Common Tern and 57 Sandwich Tern, while 2 Shelduck headed in the opposite direction. A 45-minute effort in the afternoon, from the writer, produced just a single Mediterranean Gull and 2 Sandwich Tern, however.
Holloway’s Dock and the sandspit held a Greenshank, 8 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 7 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and 15 Turnstone; while another 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel and 8 Black-tailed Godwit, plus a further six each of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, were at Stanpit. Moving to migrant passerines and at least 9 Wheatear across the site, as well as 10 Willow Warbler and a couple of Blackcap; with around thirty each of Swift and Swallow passing through. Over 50 Common Tern were about, as were a couple of Mediterranean Gull; a cream-crowned Marsh Harrier and 2 Peregrine were logged; the single Little Grebe chick was on the Ironstone Quarry and, unfortunately, it is starting to look like the Ringed Plover young have dropped to two, which is a bit of a surprise given how far they got – but, on the upside, one of them is now capable of flight.
Starting with large, white, wading birds. A Great White Egret was about for the day, while 2 Cattle Egret were seen from Stanpit and 2 Spoonbill passed west. Meanwhile, 4 Garganey circuited and headed back inland and 9 Shoveler were logged. The afternoon saw a burst of overhead movement to the east – 250+ Swift, 150 Sand Martin and 3 Swallow – while 3 Yellow Wagtail had earlier moved through. The best of the waders was definitely a flock of 5 Golden Plover east – a great August record – but also a Little Ringed Plover, a Knot, up to 9 Common Sandpiper, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, seven transient Ringed Plover and 11 Dunlin. Migrating passerines were also around, the area’s non-breeders represented by at least 3 Wheatear and 7 Willow Warbler; with a Lesser Whitethroat being on Wick, where it’s not thought they have been resident this season. Finishing: although only 2 Ringed Plover young were confirmed, it’s very likely the third is still there; one Little Grebe chick remains on the Ironstone Quarry; two Peregrine were on the Priory; and a couple of Kingfisher make the post.
A minimum 4 Arctic Skua were off Hengistbury this morning, with potentially a further bird during the afternoon. These were best viewed from the Beach Huts, but could also be seen, at times, from Mudeford Quay. The attraction were terns – over 500 Sandwich Tern estimated, plus up to 10 Common Tern; while an adult Arctic Tern battled the wind over Barn Bight, before giving up and heading back into the harbour. In addition, two 1cy Kittiwake and seven westbound Common Scoter were logged. A Little Ringed Plover, seen to arrive from the quay, was the best of the waders, which also included 2 Common Sandpiper – those west at sea – and 12 Turnstone.
There were perhaps 4 Arctic Skua around during the morning, including the in-harbour, photographed bird – a really great record. Once again, on the afternoon low, there were two 1cy Yellow-legged Gull on the HHC mudbar, while a Common Sandpiper, 11 Whimbrel, a Dunlin and a Snipe were in Stanpit Bight. The remaining news is of passerines – a couple of Wheatear on the Hengistbury side and two Yellow Wagtail over the marsh.