Sightings for July 2002

July 31st

An excellent day in the harbour. Stanpit upheld its fine Spotted Crake tradition with 2 adult birds in Parky Meade Rail this morning. Tides mean there will be very little exposed mud until tomorrow morning between 9:00 and 12:00. Best viewing will be from SY166922, that's 100m beyond the rusty boat. There was also a movement of seabird through the harbour this morning with 1 pale adult Arctic Skua, 2 Roseate and several Common Tern being seen. The Curlew Sandpiper was still present along with 4 Greenshank, 2 Knot and a Black-tailed Godwit, while over on the Hengistbury side 5 Common Sandpiper were in Barn Bight. Owls are always unusual in the harbour, so a Little Owl in the North Scrubs was a good record. The low tide sand bar off the HHC held 3 adult Yellow-legged and 1 juvenile Mediterranean Gull. Flyover migrants included 3 Yellow Wagtail and a westerly movement of Swift was evident early morning. Both Hobby and Peregrine were seen today, also a Kingfisher.

July 30th

A little livelier at Stanpit today with summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper being the best bird. Also seen were 160+ Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Common Sandpiper. Roosting Sandwich Tern numbered 17, while Little Egrets were counted at 25. A Hobby was seen flying towards Hengistbury in the morning and a Bar-tailed Godwit flew into the harbour this evening.

July 29th

A relatively quiet day at Stanpit with 161 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and now 2 Dartford Warbler.

July 28th

Early morning seemed particularly quiet from a passerine point of view and wader variety seems to have dropped off. In the harbour were 100+ Dunlin, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot and 1 Whimbrel, along with 27 roosting Sandwich Tern. Large ant hatches are occurring around the periphery of the harbour with large swarms of gulls and the occasional Hobby taking advantage.

July 27th

During a brief seawatch at Hengistbury 28 Common Scoter were seen heading west, around 50 Gannet were feeding offshore, some extremely close, and an adult Mediterranean Gull overflew the Common. Also noted was an increase in Sandwich and Common Tern numbers. On Stanpit were 150+ Dunlin, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Sandpiper, 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 2 Knot and 1 Whimbrel, while Dartford Warbler was seen on Crouch Hil, juvenile Water Rail in Mother Siller's Channel and 3 Lesser Whitethroat in the North Scrubs. Also seen around the harbour today were 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Kingfisher.

July 26th

Late morning there was a Nightingale calling in the North Scrubs along with 3 Lesser Whitethroat seen there. A Redstart was in Smithy's Field and a Kingfisher was around Priory Pool. Tidal conditions were poor for wader watching, but there are several Common Sandpiper present.

July 25th

Fly through migrants over Stanpit this morning included 2 Arctic Tern west and 1 Yellow Wagtail south. Waders were counted as 143 Dunlin, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Ringed Plover.

July 24th

Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler were seen in Smithy's Field this morning. The Stanpit Bight wader gathering included 100+ Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank and 1 Little Ringed Plover. Still plenty of Swift around, but today they seemed to be feeding rather than moving. Kingfisher were also seen around the harbour in the morning. The evening tide brought the Common Sandpiper day total to 6 and added a further two wader species in 3 Ringed Plover and 1 Sanderling. A second summer Yellow-legged Gull was also present.

July 23rd

During the early part of the morning there was a noticeable westerly movement of Swift. An evening wader watch produced 120+ Dunlin, 2 Knot, 1 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Common Sandpiper. The colour ringed Mediterranean Gull seen last week has been traced to one of three ringing projects this year, in either France, Belgium or Germany.

July 22nd

Bird of the day was a Pomarine Skua which flew west through the harbour at 5:15 this evening. Wader variety increased with 140 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 1 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 1 Greenshank and 1 Whimbrel. The Knot is a particularly bright individual. Further post breeding dispersal was evident with 1 adult and 1 juvenile Grey Wagtail on Priory Marsh this morning.

July 21st

The day started with Great-spotted Woodpecker and a family of Garden Warbler in Smithy's Field. A midday wader count totalled 131 Dunlin, along with a briefly staying summer plumaged Spotted Redshank. This evening's rising tide showed 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 1 Knot. There were also 8 Shoveler and 2 Yellow-legged Gull, adult and second summer. Terns were represented by 3 Little, 1 Common and 1 Sandwich, while Dartford Warbler was heard calling on Crouch Hill.

July 20th

Early morning on Stanpit produced 30 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank and 1 Common Sandpiper, plus a surprise 9 fly over Goosander which appeared from the valley and left the harbour eastwards. No doubt these birds are the result of local breeding. There is a steady westerly movement of Swift, and Sedge and Reed Warblers are appearing in some unlikely places. Later in the morning Nightingale, Bullfinch and Garden Warbler were in Smithy's Field, that's the area between the Recreation Ground and Purewell, and a Wood Sandpiper was heard over Priory Pools. Waders increased to 75+ Dunlin, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and 1 Whimbrel.

July 19th

Still similar numbers of waders in Stanpit Bight, around 75 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank and 5 Common Sandpiper. The best viewing conditions tomorrow will be around 4:00pm on the rising tide. Shelduck breeding success has been relatively poor this year, with just 2 duckling surviving thus far. The presence of Nightjar in the harbour was confirmed in the week.

July 18th

Early this morning there was a juvenile Mediterranean Gull on Stanpit golf course with Hobby and Snipe overhead. The gull was colour ringed green on its right leg, so it will be interesting to find its origin. Late afternoon in Stanpit Bight were at least 5 Common Sandpiper, while roosting waders included over 50 Dunlin, 1 adult summer Knot and 1 Whimbrel. 2 Shoveler were also roosting with the waders. Kingfisher are now being seen regularly around Stanpit.

July 17th

Today's highlight was a Red Kite passing west over Stanpit late morning , while a Great-spotted Woodpecker is a sign of post-breeding disperal from nearby woodland. Still noticeable numbers of Swift all over.

July 16th

On Stanpit this evening: 1 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Common Sandpiper. Little Egret numbers seem stable around 25 birds, while Swift passage seems underway with groups of birds feeding overhead. Earlier in the day, there was an eclipse/female Garganey on Parky Meade Rail and the first few returning Teal were seen around the harbour.

July 15th

Stanpit had a small selection of waders including 2 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. There was also an immaculately plumaged adult Mediterranean Gull present. The first returning Common Gull were also seen today. Over on Hengistbury, there were up to 5 Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight.

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