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Sightings for Month: July 2024

July 24th

Ruddy Darter on the Lily Pond – only the area’s third record since the 1990s – Peter Boardman

Other than the photograph, no wildlife reports have been received for the day.

July 23rd

For reasons unknown, Sparrowhawk have been pretty much absent from the area since the early part of the year, at least. So, news of a male, perhaps two, about Hengistbury was very welcome. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, there were 2 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, just one Curlew and a Mediterranean Gull. Otherwise, a gathering of 100 or so juvenile Swallow and Sand Martin over the HHC, late in the afternoon, is the only other piece for the post.

July 22nd

The only news for the day is of a Roseate Tern moving west through the harbour.

July 21st

Two juvenile Kestrel at dawn – Scott Usher

Whimbrel – Clinton Whale

Juvenile Sedge Warbler – Scott Usher

As would be expected, the Sedge Warbler migration is now underway – at least eight birds around the Bailey Bridge early on; when 22 Little Egret were fishing as a co-operative around Lobs Hole. Slightly later, a Little Gull was settled on East Marsh; while the Mediterranean Gull return for the day is four. Moving to waders, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel and 10 Black-tailed Godwit were the best, all from Stanpit. Finishing with mammals, a Roe Deer was encountered on the Salt Hurns and a Grey Seal was, yesterday, inside the harbour. Finally for the post, thank you to Richard Cordery for organising today’s outdoor meeting at Wild Woodbury – what can happen in such a short period of re-wilding was an inspiration to hear about!

In Focus Optics Sale

The next In Focus event at the Pod, Stanpit Marsh, is August 4th. If you are interested in buying or renewing your optics, come along and test the possibilities in the field. A small percentage from each sale will be donated to CHOG.

July 20th

A Sedge Warbler in near full song on Crouch Hill, this afternoon, was a bit of a surprise; when a Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin were around Stanpit Bight; and, of at least 9 Mediterranean Gull inside the harbour, six were juveniles. Earlier, a Greenshank had been on the water meadows on Wick, where a Peregrine passed over.

July 19th

After some slight suspicions, it’s now confirmed the Ringed Plover pair on the sandspit are second-brooding. Thanks to the guardian Beach Hut owners and the BCP Countryside (East) team, the anti-predator cage has again been deployed – Jamie Palmer

There was a southbound Willow Warbler on Hengistbury this afternoon, when an Osprey passed east through the harbour. Otherwise, it’s just a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel and 2 Common Tern at Stanpit to mention.

July 18th

Meadow Brown – Peter Boardman

Emerald Damselfly – Barrie Taylor

Waders, as expected, are coming through now – the biggest numbers coming from 40 Redshank and 24 Curlew, one of those being colour-ringed but too distant for detail. Also, a Common Sandpiper and 5 Whimbrel. All those at Stanpit, while 2 Little Grebe chicks were seen on the Ironstone Quarry.

July 17th

There were an unprecedented 10 Silver-studded Blue butterflies on the eastern section of Hengistbury today – Peter Boardman

The first session of the autumn ringing resulted in a juvenile Redstart – a not-often-encountered plumage in the area. Meanwhile, Stanpit was also rather fruitful – a Sanderling, the 2 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 6 Gadwall being the pick.

July 16th

The only news is of 2 Greenshank at Stanpit.

July 15th

During a rare moment of clear sky, Kestrel at Stanpit – David Faulkner

As the photo caption suggests, it was a near wash-out. In fact, the only news for the day is of 3 Swallow and 2 Peregrine over Wick. We’ve previously rarely featured sound items, but this audio of a Water Rail by the Bailey Bridge bucks the trend.

July 14th

Over the weekend, an unprecedented 66 Pyramidal Orchid were recorded at the far west of Hengistbury, in an area that BCP are specifically managing to encourage spread – Robin Harley

Harebell Carpenter Bee – the ninety-third bee species to be recorded in the area – Robin Harley

Firstly, if you didn’t see Countryfile tonight, it’s well worth digging it out on iPlayer. If you’re a regular visitor to the Christchurch Harbour area, it’s shamefully easy to forget how beautiful it is. Now the days news, all from Stanpit, where: 2 Whimbrel were with 17 Curlew; a Common Sandpiper and a couple of Mediterranean Gull were on South Marsh; and a juvenile Peregrine went over Fisherman’ Bank. For obvious reasons, no further news is being accepted. Let’s hope it comes home!

July 13th

Female Emperor dragonfly – Janet Panter

Male Gatekeeper butterfly – Peter Boardman

…and one of the four juvenile Shelduck still about the area – Janet Panter

Two Siskin, which landed briefly on the saltmarsh habitat of South Marsh, before heading west, were definitely the surprise record of the day. Meanwhile, Black-headed Gull continued their dispersal from areas east of here – over one hundred through the harbour this morning, all of them aged as juveniles – with 6 Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile, a 2cy and four adults, settled. Wrapping up, 26 Black-tailed Godwit were moved on by one the day’s 2 Peregrine and a juvenile Water Rail was just north of the Bailey Bridge.

July 12th

Formerly Two Riversmeet golf course, Riversmeet Meadow is now an area of wild-growing vegetation, criss-crossed by easy-to-walk, mown paths, as well as an accessible, peripheral gravel path. It’s well worth a visit, this afternoon there was an abundance of butterflies; including at least one Marbled White – David Taylor

There was evidence of migration at Stanpit this afternoon, when 8 Swallow headed through, a steady flow of high-flying gulls, mainly Black-headed Gull, passed west – likewise an adult Mediterranean Gull – and 2 Whimbrel teamed up with the same number of Curlew. Meanwhile, a Lesser Whitethroat was about Crouch Hill.

July 11th

On what is a completely unexpected date, a Honey Buzzard passed low through Wick this morning. Meanwhile, Stanpit held 4 Whimbrel and at least 2 Kestrel fledged from somewhere around Riversmeet Meadow.

July 10th

Brown Hawker – Simon Coupe

Southern Hawker – Simon Coupe

…and Black-headed Gull resting in Holloway’s Dock – Barrie Taylor

No news has been received for the day.

July 9th

Eider – Leo Pyke

A Storm Petrel was seen a couple of times this morning – initially heading south along the sandspit and veering into Christchurch Bay, then later moving west past the Long Groyne. Meanwhile, a young drake Eider drifted slowly around the end of the head, with other bits and pieces offshore coming from: 4 Little Tern, 8 Common Tern, 9 Mediterranean Gull, 32 Common Scoter – including a 22-strong flock towards the Solent, a Whimbrel and 5 Curlew – the latter two species westbound. Inside the harbour, the best was 2 Common Sandpiper and 8 Dunlin; while a Peregrine passed over Wick.

July 8th

What is likely the largest flock of Little Ringed Plover recorded in the area – seven birds – was at a variously described location at Stanpit this morning. From the account heard of the plumages, the gathering would seem to have been a mixture of adults and juveniles, but in a ratio unaccounted. Meanwhile, the Ringed Plover family – two adults, one juvenile – remain at the end of the sandspit. Moving back to the marsh, there were also a Grey Plover, a Whimbrel and 6 Black-tailed Godwit. The first juveniles of Common Tern and Mediterranean Gull were about, amongst adults numbering fifteen and four respectively; while a Hobby was presumably attracted to Hengistbury by the young Sand Martin now on the wing. Moving back to yesterday and it’s now known the colour-ringed Curlew was processed in May this year as an adult female at Holmhill Bog in the New Forest.

July 7th

There are now plenty of juvenile Black-headed Gull around the site – Scott Usher

Curlew – with the ring combination and apparent radio tag, likely to be from the New Forest, but confirmation being sought – Jackie Smith

There is news from the sea for the first time in a while – all from Mudeford Quay – and involving an Eider, 6 Common Scoter to the west, 8 Little Tern and 7 Common Tern. Meanwhile, 16 Black-tailed Godwit passed over Wick, at least eight Mediterranean Gull, all adults, rested at Stanpit and a juvenile Peregrine toured the area.

July 6th

Common Sandpiper – Scott Usher

Juvenile Reed Warbler – Scott Usher

Common Tern – Scott Usher

An unseasonably cold early morning saw 4 Common Sandpiper at the southern end of Smuggler’s Ditch; with 2 Common Tern and the first juvenile Sandwich Tern of the season also at Stanpit.

July 5th

The near-constant drizzle discouraged summer-themed field activity – hence, nothing to report for this post.

July 4th

The only news for the day is of 2 Little Grebe chicks on the Ironstone Quarry.

July 3rd

Ling Runner moth – a nationally scarce species, found only where heathland meets sand dunes – Robin Harley

Inside the harbour, there were 2 Black-tailed Godwit, while the swan herd counted at 362. It’s also reported that juvenile Black-headed Gull are now about the area.

July 2nd

Wool Carder Bee – the 78th species of solitary bee, of around 250 occurring in the UK, to be recorded in an area of less than nine square kilometres – Robin Harley

Purple Hairstreak – normally a canopy-loving butterfly, on the Long Field – Peter Boardman

Comma – Clinton Whale

A Bullfinch was returned from Wick, where there was renewed burst of Chiffchaff song – at least five in action.

July 1st

In addition to a Little Gull high to the north over Stanpit, the marsh saw some return wader passage, including: a Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew and 11 Redshank. Also, about the area, a Cattle Egret and a Peregrine.

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