Lymington-Hurst Birds In March

The first half of March was fairly quiet but thing really picked up in the last two weeks. Bird of the month was a cracking male Lapland Bunting (27th) that was well on the way to developing full summer plumage. It even sat on a post and sang for several minutes. This bird is the latest spring record for the county (Hants) and surprisingly is the only one reported on the south coast so far this year. The other main highlight was a first-winter Caspian Gull (21st).

Other notable migrants included a male Firecrest, seen and heard singing briefly in the spring sunshine (7th) and a Little Ringed Plover flying over (27th). The first Sand Martins and Swallows
arrived on the same day as a pair of Garganey (28th), coinciding with a notable arrival of 30 Chiffchaffs. Wheatears arrived from 15th but no counts reached double figures. Other migrants included 30 Chaffinches grounded in wet weather (20th).

Visible migration included small numbers of Pied/White Wagtails and Linnets moving north, although Meadow Pipit passage was lighter than last year with peaks of 260 N (27th-28th) and 140 NE (30th). Long-tailed Tits are not normally thought of as migrants but a high-flying party of seven (22nd) were clearly on the move. Single Grey Herons moving high east (27th and 28th) were also probably migrants.

Sea-watching was fairly slow, with notable records of 40 Common Gulls E (14th), five Sandwich Terns (first on 21st), a flock of 21 Eiders E (30th), 14 Gannets E (30th) three Greylag Geese E (30th), 52 Common Gulls E (31st), 36 Common Scoters (31st) and a Red-throated Diver E
(31st). Other seabirds included a first-winter Pale-bellied Brent Goose (7th) and a peak of four Slavonian Grebes (22nd).

Waterbird counts included maxima of three Ruff, five Greenshank, six Spotshanks, eight Goldeneye, eight GCGrebes, 12 Little Egrets, 12 Eiders, 14 Coots, 17 Pochard, 19 Tufted Ducks, 21 Little Grebes, 28 Gadwall, 33 Mute Swans, 35 RBMergs, 40 Moorhens, 61 Shoveler, 62 Shelduck, 150 Golden Plover, 162 Pintail, 165 Mallards, 210 Blackwits, 565 Wigeon and 700 Teal.

Raptors were represented by regular Barn and Tawny Owls,one Little Owl (30th), up to four Buzzards, the regular pair of adult Peregrines, and a single Merlin (20th).

Other miscellaneous sightings included several Ravens (two on 6th, 14th and 28th with one on 27th), up to five Water Pipits and three Bearded Tits. The first Mallard brood emerged on 31st, a day later than last year.

Other's Lymington-Hurst Birds From January-March

Highlights that were not seen by the individual leader included a Bittern early in March, as well as couple of Black Redstarts. In Jan-Feb the other species seen that are not on my list include Black-throated Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Velvet Scoter, Hen Harrier, Purple Sandpiper and
Great Skua.

Totals on April 6th

Individual current patch total: 134
Group current patch total: 142

Information supplied by Russell Wynn

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