Sightings for June 2003

June 30th

Last day of an unspectacular month, but we suspected that from the outset. Commendably, despite a soaking and just 9 Curlew first time, a harbour stalwart visited Stanpit twice today. The second visit was more productive with 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Common Tern and 8 Sandwich Tern being noted.

June 29th

Another warm day which by early evening was experiencing a strong easterly. No reports from the harbour, but at least 120 Lapwing were seen to leave it around 7:00pm.

June 28th

This morning saw a significant westerly movement of Swift with 470 birds noted in the first couple of hours after dawn - also moving west through the Harbour were 32 Sandwich and 8 Common Tern. On East Marsh there were 11 Curlew and 2 Common Sandpiper plus 3 Teal, a very unusual record for June. The Lesser Whitethroat was again singing in North Scrubs which also held two family parties of Green Woodpecker totalling 6 birds in all. Other species noted were 2 Hobby, a Kingfisher and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker. The Harbour count of Little Egret has now reached 34.

June 27th

There was a little more evidence of wader movement this morning with a Whimbrel on East Marsh and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit feeding off Blackberry although only 1 Common Sandpiper was seen.

June 26th

Things did pick up a little today with 4 Common Sandpiper around Stanpit this evening. Late spring or early autumn birds? Also seen was a third-year Yellow-legged Gull and 3 Little Tern. At least 7 Curlew are still present along with over 27 Little Egret.

June 25th

Another seasonally typical day. Only birds of interest were a build up of 7 Curlew on Stanpit. Please bear with us it will get better.

June 24th

A bizarre sight this evening as a group of travellers were setting up camp adjacent to Double Dykes to the close attention of the local constabulary. Let's hope the imposition is short. The main objective of the visit was Nightjar with a bird churring adjacent to, then seen over, the Ironstone Quarry at just after 10:00.

June 23rd

After a night of constant rain the day turned out to be rather pleasant. Off Hengistbury, 9 Common Scoter were settled on the sea and 1 Whimbrel passed west. While in the harbour a Mediterranean Gull was present. Never an easy bird to catch up with in the area, a Pheasant was calling around Holloway's Dock.

June 22nd

Dawn broke to heavy thunder, showers and a easterly breeze; but by late afternoon, the wind dropped, the humidity rose and Stanpit was very unpleasant thanks to the insects. On an otherwise uninspiring marsh, a single Knot was a good late June record. Just before dusk, a Hobby was hunting over the north-east corner of Stanpit.

June 21st

Another warm day with a light north-easterly. From the Beach Huts this morning 1 Storm Petrel was seen briefly, along with 15 or so Gannet. Given the date, a reasonable selection of waders were on offer; 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and 1 Grey Plover arrived from the west and settled on the falling tide, while 1 Bar-tailed Godwit was already present. Early morning also saw the arrival of a flock of 11 Little Tern over the Sandspit and a lone Shoveler flew upriver. A Hobby was over the HHC and 1 Bearded Tit was again seen there, and in Barn Bight one of the drake Wigeon was conspicuous.

June 20th

There were another couple of late Dunlin on Stanpit this afternoon, while the Shelduck brood remains at 7 young.

June 19th

Despite some reasonable coverage this morning, Stanpit could only produce a brief 5 Dunlin all in breeding plumage, obviously in a desperate rush to get further north.

June 18th

A good harbour record was of Tawny Owl heard calling on Hengistbury this morning close to post 20 on the main path through the Wood. Judging by the calls of Crow and Magpie, the bird was getting a hard time. Other than that, all was pretty quiet except for 1 Hobby and 2 Ringed Plover over Stanpit. There are now 3 settled Curlew, but a further 12 moved through west.

June 17th

A warm day with a moderate south-westerly, perhaps the sea would have been worth watching. The 2 drake Wigeon look intent on spending the summer in Barn Bight and remain in breeding plumage. The first juvenile Black-headed Gull of the year was on Stanpit this evening. Other sightings from the marsh include 2 Canada Goose, 2 Common Tern and 3 Curlew. In the last 2 days, Natterjack toadlets have been trans-located from their pools on Crouch Hill.

June 16th

The return of non-breeding waders is theme in the harbour right now, Lapwing have reached 78, Redshank 22 and probably 5 Curlew; there is also 1 Bar-tailed Godwit still present. The Shelduck family remains at 7 young, however, with evidence of Mink on the marsh their future is likely to be hazardous, certainly Mallard are suffering.

June 15th

Only reports today are 2 adult Mediterranean Gull, an unseasonal first-summer Common Gull and 1 Dunlinon Stanpit. Over on Wick Fields, a late Spotted Flycatcher was noted.

June 14th

The usual weekend increase in observers meant reports were far more abundant. For most of the morning there was a light passage of Swift over Hengistbury, over 50 birds moved east between 7:00 and 10:00. A seawatch produced 11 Common Scoter, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Curlew east, while small numbers of Fulmar and Gannet were always around. A couple of Bearded Tit were in the HHC reeds and an early returning Kingfisher overflew there. In the same area, a Lesser Whitethroat was calling in Wick Ditch. In recent days Sand Martin and Rock Pipit have fledged. In Barn Bight, 1 drake Wigeon was present. A visit to Stanpit this evening showed the Shelduckling to still number 7, while, very interestingly, a Snipe was seen in brief display flight over Central Marsh. Also seen at Stanpit, but slightly later, was 1 Roseate Tern passing through the harbour, a Hobby overhead; and 1 Greenshank, 1 Dunlin and 1 Ringed Plover in Stanpit Bight.

June 13th

A high tide visit to Stanpit was almost a complete non-event, the only noteworthy record was a doubling of the Curlew presence to 2 birds.

June 12th

Again Stanpit filed the only reports. Sandwich Tern were counted at 72 and there was a total of 18 Little Egret feeding in Stanpit Bight at low tide. The Bar-tailed Godwit flock seems to have departed, but there were 7 Dunlin present instead. At the risk of sounding desperate, there were still 2 Canada Goose present.

June 11th

Not much to report today, just 7 Bar-tailed Godwit lingering in Stanpit Bight along with 44 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Tern. The returning, non-breeding waders are building up in numbers; today there were 63 Lapwing and the first Curlew for a few weeks.

June 10th

There was very little activity in the Harbour today with just 7 Bar-tailed Godwit and around 20 Sandwich Tern being noted on Stanpit. It was a little better this evening on Stanpit where a female Gadwall was present. The Shelduck brood now seems to have reduced to 7 birds.

June 9th

A glorious sunny day but the brisk south-westerly still made it feel quite cool off the water. On Stanpit this morning a summer plumaged Little Stint and 2 Whimbrel provided evidence that birds are still on the move - also present were 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, a first-summer Mediterranean Gull and 13 Sandwich Tern. Already 50 Lapwing and 30 Redshank have returned to the Marsh - these are presumably birds whose breeding attempts have failed. It was also a good day for raptors particularly around lunchtime when 4 Hobby, a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier were seen from Stanpit. At lunchtime 3 Little Tern were feeding off Mudeford Quay.

June 8th

A mixed bag of sunshine and cloud, but with a strong westerly blowing all day. A beach walk and impromptu seawatch from the Beach Huts gave distant views of a feeding flock of Gannet and Manx Shearwater out towards The Needles. At least 50 of the former and 10 of the latter were counted, but there were probably far more. Despite the weekend beach activity at least 25 Sanderling were seen on the Sandspit and a Fulmar passed close by. The 2 drake Wigeon remain faithful to Barn Bight. An early evening visit to Stanpit saw the Bar-tailed Godwit count drop to 5 - this is in stark contrast to this time last year when over 50 birds were present for a few weeks. An evening seawatch off the Beach Huts also proved fruitful with 2 Roseate Tern feeding close inshore plus more than 40 Manx Shearwater and a single Balearic Shearwater.

June 7th

The day started cloudy with a mist over Stanpit, but improved noticeably by mid-afternoon. The highlights today from Stanpit being a first summer Mediterranean Gull, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Little Tern and about 20 Dunlin. Another Bar-tailed Godwit has joined the others making a total of 6 on the marsh now.

June 6th

There were no reports today. Probably due to the inclement weather .

June 5th

A late afternoon visit to Stanpit today only produced 5 Bar Tailed Godwits, a handfull of Redshank and good numbers of Oystercatcher. The resident cuckoo was noted being harrassed by a tight flock of about 100 starlings. Another quiet day.

June 4th

More cloud and a southerly breeze with some heavy rain late afternoon. Unfortunately, there is nothing to report so far.

June 3rd

A moderate southerly with intermittent showers marked an uneventful day. A couple of late Whimbrel feeding in Stanpit Bight being the only worthy sightings so far.

June 2nd

The day started cloudy but improved noticeably by mid-afternoon. As would be expected as we enter the birding doldrums of June, passage birds are few and far between. On Hengistbury, 9 Sanderling and 3 Dunlin were on the beach at the western end of Whitepits. In the harbour, birds of note were 12 Dunlin and 9 Bar-tailed Godwit on Spellers Point, while 12 Shelduck duckling were counted off Fisherman's Bank. The injured Canada Goose is still present.

June 1st

A warm, humid day with showers mid-morning. Only reports were from a quiet Stanpit where a the day was salvaged by an Avocet that arrived in Barn Bight as the tide fell off in the late afternoon. Other passage waders were a paltry 12 Dunlin and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit.

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