Sightings for March 2006
Conditions are still not conducive for a big migrant arrival. Today saw a strong southerly wind, punctuated with showers. Having being away for nearly two weeks, from the water on the ground, it is clear there has been much rainfall. Thanks to Ian for covering in my recently, all too frequent absences. The only new year bird today was House Martin, with 2 being seen over Hengistbury, also 6 Swallow over there and further 3 over Stanpit, mobbing a Sparrowhawk, this afternoon. Around the same time, a Willow Warbler was in the North Scrubs, while a single morning Wheatear on the Barn Field and 2 on the sandspit were supplemented by at least 5 more on Crouch Hill later in the day. Switching back to earlier, a total of 3 Red-legged Partridge were on Wick Fields, a female Bullfinch was in the Barn Field, at least one pair of Raven visited the head and 2 Canada Goose were recorded. The 3 Gadwall were on the floods by Brewer's Creek, 4 Little Grebe were in Barn Bight and a pair of Shoveler were on Stanpit. Later in the day, as the waters subsided, the marsh received some attention, producing 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Sanderling and 9 Turnstone; also, 4 Jackdaw uncharacteristically using the area to feed. Sandwich Tern now seem to be "well in", with 10-15 birds today, so unless something exceptional happens they won't get any more mention. Remaining winter bird counts included 140 Brent Goose, with a gaggle of 67 containing 25 birds still clearly identifiable as youngsters, and 48 Black-tailed Godwit.
News just in: a male Ring Ouzel was settled in the field by the HHC this evening. Certainly worth looking for at first light.
Additional news: some good totals from the sandspit included 11 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S9 and 10 Sanderling at the extreme point.
On another day of strong south-westerlies, the sea was watched for two hours this morning from both Mudeford Quay and Hengistbury, but produced very little. An immature Kittiwake and 2 Fulmar went west with 5 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Scoter east. A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea with another one inside the harbour, while a drake Red-breasted Merganser flew through the Run into the harbour. On the groynes were 5 Purple Sandpiper and 27 Turnstone. The only evidence of migration was the presence of 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill and 2 on the beach near the long groyne, together with a couple of Blackcap on Stanpit. A Bullfinch was in the Nursery - was it one of the Wick birds or a migrant? This afternoon, Stanpit held 122 Brent Geese, 18 Ringed Plover and 12 Sandwich Tern. On Wick, 2 Redwing were in the trees by the village pond and 5 Canada Geese were on the driving range.
On a fine morning both sides of the harbour received coverage, but only a scattering of migrants were found. A Firecrest was in the scrub bordering the Stanpit golf course, and a Black Redstart and 2 Siskin were in the same area; also seen were 16 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler and 2 Blackcap, the latter being the first of the spring. Elsewhere in the harbour, 20 Wheatear, 10 Sand Martin and 7 Swallow were counted. The flooded fields at the far end of Wick attracted 20 Black-tailed Godwit, whilst 2 Red-legged Partridge were near the wooden bridge. Corvids were in evidence today with 3 Raven over Stanpit, and 2 each of Rook and Jackdaw over Wick. Other oddities today included a Kingfisher, a first-year Mediterranean Gull over Barn Bight and a Peregrine over the Nursery. On the sea, a Red-throated Diver was settled, 3 Sandwich Tern lingered off the Beach Huts and a Common Scoter went west. Finally, a single Water Pipit was on Priory Marsh.
Late afternoon report from Hengistbury - 4 Wheatear (3 Barn Field, 1 Whitepits Field) and a Swallow, plus Barn Owl along Wick Ditch at 5.30 then on the fence by the driving range at 5.50. There was a drake Red-breasted Merganser off the Knoll, a Great Crested Grebe in Barn Bight, 34 Turnstone on the harbour shore and 5 Sandwich Tern were seen.
The first Willow Warbler of the year, two in fact were in the woodland by the Nursery this morning together with a stunning Firecrest. A second Firecrest was seen later in the afternoon, also in the woodland. Wheatear numbered 26 today, 8 on the Barn Field, 9 on the groynes and a further 9 on Crouch Hill; also 10 Sand Martin, 4 Chiffchaff and 3 Swallow were noted. Wick Ditch held 3 Bullfinch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew towards the HHC and 3 Rook circled the Barn Field before moving off west.
Late news from Stanpit: At 7pm there were still 5 Wheatear on Crouch Hill; also a Sandwich Tern on the tip of South Marsh, 7 Little Grebe in Parky Mead and 25 Black-tailed Godwit present.
On a morning of strong south-westerlies and heavy showers a few migrants made it across the channel. At least 20 Wheatear were on Hengistbury, 19 on the beach and 1 on the West Field. A handful of Meadow Pipit struggled in off the sea, just 28 birds, during a one hour sea watch in poor visibility; also seen were 7 Sandwich Tern, 3 Gannet, an unidentified diver and 1 Common Scoter all west plus 3 Kittiwake and 2 Fulmar east. There were 10 Turnstone on the harbour shore, 5 Purple Sandpiper on the groynes, 3 Gadwall still in Barn Bight and a Great Crested Grebe in the harbour.
Today again started dull and overcast gradually worsening by mid morning when Hengistbury was enveloped in low cloud and mist giving almost nil visibility. Before the gloom descended there were 6 Wheatear, 4 on the Barn Field and 2 on the old pitch & putt course and a Chiffchaff was singing on Wick. A drake Gadwall was in Barn Bight and 2 Sandwich Tern were in the harbour.
In dull and overcast conditions migration picked up this morning with 23 Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin and, on the Hengistbury golf course, the first Black Redstart of the spring. There was also a reasonable movement of 630 Meadow Pipit and 32 alba Wagtail, plus 10 Linnet heading north. A first-year Mediterranean Gull was seen from Stanpit, while 2 adults flew over the HHC and into the harbour. From the Beach Huts, 2 Purple Sandpiper were on groyne S7, 2 Goldeneye were on the sea and 16 Common Scoter went west, with just 3 Gannet east; also 6 Sandwich Tern lingered off the groynes with another 5 on the tip of South Marsh. A Water Pipit was at the far end of Wick and the 3 Bullfinch were near the HHC. The 2 Gadwall flew up river where the presence of 4 Little Grebe at this time of year is notable. Finally, on Priory Marsh, there were 10 Common Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe, 1 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail and a littoralis Rock Pipit amongst the pipit flock.
Additional news: at 11:15, there were 7 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S9 and 4 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway's Dock.
At long last it was much warmer today, as the wind moved round to the south bringing some much needed rain. The first Swallow of the year flew over the Stanpit golf course late this afternoon. Hopefully, a promise of things to come! There were also 10 Wheatear today, 7 on the Barn Field and 3 on the Salt Hurns. The Green Sandpiper remained on Priory Marsh, where up to 5 Water Pipit were also present. The sea was again quiet with 9 Common Scoter east, plus 2 west, and a flock of 50 Brent Geese, 1 Fulmar and 1 Sanderling also moved east. This afternoon, 4 Purple Sandpiper were on groyne S4 and on the beach/harbour shore were 21 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone and 1 Grey Plover. A Red-breasted Merganser was off the Knoll, while 3 Gadwall and 2 Great Crested Grebe were in Barn Bight.
The wind had moved round to east-south-east today and strengthened throughout the morning, making it feel very cold. There was a steady movement of Meadow Pipit and alba Wagtail, 272 and 16 respectively; but the highlight was a Lapland Bunting, which flew over the harbour in a westerly direction. The sea produced the first Velvet Scoter of the year, when 2 birds moved east, but there was very little else. A Yellowhammer was in the dunes by the Beach Huts before flying off west and 3 Purple Sandpiper were on their favoured groyne S10. The Peregrine wasn't on the Priory, but a bird was seen heading west along the cliffs. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew over the HHC just after dawn, 3 Rook were over the Head and a single Knot arrived in the harbour. The 3 Gadwall were still in Barn Bight and the 3 Bullfinch remained faithful to the first field on Wick. An afternoon visit to the Mudeford sandspit saw an increase in Purple Sandpiper, with 4 on groyne S7, plus 41 Ringed Plover, 24 Turnstone and 11 Dunlin.
A Wheatear on the cliff path was the only migrant reported today. Having yesterday described Red-legged Partridge as an unusual visitor, there were two more this morning - one near the HHC and one on Stanpit on South Marsh. On Priory Marsh this morning, a mixed flock of pipits held up to 10 Water Pipit and 1 or 2 possible littoralis Rock Pipit. A single Purple Sandpiper was pushed off the groynes by the incoming tide and the sea produced just 7 Common Scoter and 1 Razorbill moving east. The Peregrine was on its usual perch on the Priory tower and the Bullfinch on Wick numbered 3 today. Counts from Stanpit this afternoon included 100+ Dunlin, 69 Brent Geese, 44 Black-tailed Godwit, 22 Grey Plover and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit while the Green Sandpiper was again on Priory Marsh. To round off the day, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on the tip of South Marsh this evening.
Two Wheatear were on the Barn Field around lunchtime today (check yesterday for late news of the first one of the year). A Grey Wagtail east over the common soon after dawn was the only other possible migrant. Off Double Dykes, 5 Common Scoter and 2 Great Crested Grebe moved east, and in Barn Bight, 3 Gadwall were present today. On Priory Marsh this afternoon, just below the golf course, were 11 Water Pipit and 1 White Wagtail, also on there was a Green Sandpiper. On the golf course itself, a Red-legged Partridge was an unusual visitor to the harbour.
The Barn Owl was seen again this afternoon; the bird was hunting over Wick near the driving range around 4:20pm. This morning the first Sand Martin of the year was over Central Marsh, but apart from one or two small flocks of Meadow Pipit, other migrants were few and far between. Two adult Mediterranean Gull flew over the HHC into the harbour, while a second-year bird was on the tip of South Marsh on Stanpit this afternoon. There were still 87 Brent Geese on the marsh along with 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Grey Plover and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. A pair of Gadwall was in Barn Bight and 2 pairs of Shoveler were on the river, where 4 Little Grebe and 2 Canada Geese were also present. The Peregrine was on the Priory tower again today and the regular pair of Bullfinch in the first field on Wick.
Late news: the first Wheatear of the year was on the Barn Field fence at around 3:30pm today.
Although dominated by the persistent north-easterly breeze, it was slightly warmer today, but there were still no migrants. There were 2 Peregrine, presumably a pair, one on each gargoyle on the south facing side of the Priory tower this morning. On Stanpit, 2 Water Pipit were on Central Marsh near the iron boat and a Bullfinch was heard nearby; and another 2 Bullfinch were on Wick close to the HHC. A sea watch produced a Fulmar, 8 Gannet and just 1 Common Scoter, all moving east. Other sightings included a Purple Sandpiper on groyne S10, 16 Black-tailed Godwit in Barn Bight, a Mediterranean Gull over the river and, finally, 2 Raven being mobbed by corvids overhead.
There was very little change in the unseasonally cold weather today, so with most of the Saturday regulars having migrated to Spain for the weekend, only one or two brave souls ventured out. The sea produced the first Arctic Skua of the year, plus 2 Eider and 4 Gannet, all birds heading east, with another 6 Gannet moving west, whilst a Fulmar was lingering off the long groyne. In the harbour, a group of duck proved to be 2 pairs each of Pintail and Shoveler. There were 25 Ringed Plover on the Mudeford sandspit and 26 Black-tailed Godwit in Barn Bight, with a further 23 Black-tailed Godwit on Stanpit; also on Stanpit were 71 Brent Geese. Finally, a Tufted Duck flew through the harbour towards the run and a Raven was over the Nursery.
The wind strengthened today and moved slightly north to an east north-easterly direction making it feel even colder. It's no wonder that the few reported migrants in the last couple of days have mainly been well to the west of us. Hengistbury was once again a migrant free zone! In the harbour were 2 Gadwall with just 1 Great Crested Grebe, while on the Mudeford sandspit a mixed flock of waders included 45 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover and a single Purple Sandpiper. On Stanpit, a single Water Pipit was on Central Marsh. Counts from there included 365 Wigeon, 126 Brent Geese, 80+ Dunlin and 29 Black-tailed Godwit.
Hengistbury wasn't for the faint-hearted this morning as a biting easterly wind made it feel very cold. Migration is more or less still on hold with the only indicators being a few Meadow Pipit and 2 Linnet on the Barn Field, plus 4 White Wagtail on Priory Marsh; also on Priory Marsh were 2 Water Pipit and the Peregrine was seen hunting over there, apparently without any success! On Wick, 3 Bullfinch were near the HHC, a Buzzard soared overhead and a Golden Plover passed over. Finally, the drake Goldeneye was again in the harbour.
In apparently suitable conditions, there were still no sub-Saharan migrant arrivals - but there was plenty of variety of species more normally considered as autumn travellers. Over Hengistbury this morning, single Brambling, Redpoll, Yellowhammer and Redwing were recorded, along with 5 Siskin. Seen arriving off the sea was a group of 7 Song Thrush, also 48 Meadow Pipit and 7 alba Wagtail heading north. On the deck, there were 6 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff; and other movers included 31 Stock Dove, 2 Rook and 1 Jackdaw. At sea, 2 Red-throated Diver and 1 Great-northern Diver headed west; and 4 Sandwich Tern, 7 Pintail and 3 Mediterranean Gull went east; while a couple of auk sp. were on the water. The sandspit still has 6 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S10 and there are now 2 Little Grebe on the Ironstone Quarry pool. Other morning interest comes from a Peregrine over the head, a Sparrowhawk moving out to sea and 3 Great-crested Grebe in the harbour. The improving weather encouraged some Dartford Warbler activity, with at least 5 birds being very obvious. An afternoon trip to Stanpit produced the strangest record for a while - an adult Gannet flying up the river and then circling over Parky Meade Rail. A skein of 6 Canada Goose were also seen touring the area. Casual counts from Stanpit include 200+ Dunlin, 16 Black-tailed Godwit and 12 Ringed Plover. In conclusion, there are now an alarming number of Pheasant about the recording area!
Far more pleasant today, with the wind having dropped significantly. This didn't, however, inspire a migrant arrival, and it wasn't until this evening that an above average bird was noted. This was a Green Sandpiper, normally a scarce, late summer visitor, which was flushed from Priory Pools by a Sparrowhawk. Also new in today were single drakes of Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser, both inside the harbour throughout the day; also within the confines were the 4 Great-crested Grebe. The last couple of days have seen something of a Turnstone influx and this was underlined by a count of 27 on the Hengistbury harbour shore this afternoon. On the sandspit around lunchtime, there was 1, possibly 2, Purple Sandpiper; while on Wick this evening, the Buzzard was again loitering. Following the last two years' successes, a Little Grebe was seen on the Ironstone Quarry, hopefully meaning a third year for this recent addition to the area's breeders. Counts from Stanpit include 250+ Wigeon, 80+ Brent Goose, 14 Grey Plover and 12 Black-tailed Godwit.
The biting wind persisted, although there may have been a slight directional shift to the south. An hour's watch from the Beach Huts was not as lively as yesterday, but did produce a distant skua, which was unfortunately too far away to identify positively. Also seen were 4 Common Scoter and 2 Kittiwake east, and 1 Red-throated Diver west. The 4 Great-crested Grebe were still in the harbour and a single Little Grebe was in Barn Bight.
The wind again shifted overnight, this time to a chilly south-east that brought a light dusting of snow. Despite the unpleasant conditions, there were a good few hours spent in the field. Lunchtime at Stanpit produced a Kingfisher over Central Marsh, good numbers of Turnstone and Ringed Plover roosting on South Marsh and a reasonable charm of Goldfinch in the North Scrubs. A late morning, two hour seawatch was particularly fruitful and comprised: 11 Red-throated Diver, including a flock of 9 birds, 4 Eider, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Great-crested Grebe, all of these headed east, while a single Great-northern Diver went west. Common Scoter have been notable by their absence this winter, but today saw 39 going into the wind and a further 16 settled on the water. Also at sea, a single Kittiwake, 7 Fulmar and 5 Gannet. Inside the harbour, there were 4 Great-crested Grebe, in two apparent pairs, in Barn Bight and 3 Little Grebe on the river. Only wader records were of 8 Ringed Plover in the unusual location of Holloway's Dock and around 30-40 Black-tailed Godwit over Stanpit, these perhaps flushed by the Peregine, which had been on The Priory tower just before 6:30 this morning. Late this afternoon, a total of 27 Skylark were on Solent Meads golf course. At this time of year it's difficult to separate the migrants from the residents, who are already in song.
Firstly, thanks to Alan Hayden for a great talk on California after last night's AGM. The wind had swung to a light north-westerly overnight, but the breeze strengthened as the morning wore on. The first Sandwich Tern of the year was seen off Hengistbury this morning, heading west towards Southborne. March is a prime month for the area's few annual Yellowhammer records and a female bird in Wick Ditch did not disappoint. Spring Siskin are uncommon, but one was over the end of the head, while 3 Bullfinch and a House Sparrow were around the HHC; meanwhile, the season's first incoming Meadow Pipit passed overhead, 17 birds in total, also 10+ Linnet. A party of 3 Rook headed east and 2 Jackdaw went west, this may seem mundane but there are only a handful of records each year in Hengistbury airspace and almost exclusively in the passage periods. Also interesting (well, for me!), was an almost constant presence of high-flying Magpie. First casually noted yesterday, but only really recorded today, was a steady passage of Black-headed Gull to the east. Around 500 were estimated in a three hour spell, most moving in close groups of 20 or so birds. There were also a few Common Gull and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull mixed in; and a further 1 or 2 adults of the latter were lingering off the head. Other snippets at sea were single Fulmar, Gannet, Common Scoter and a diver sp. A party of 8 Purple Sandpiper was on the sandspit and the Peregrine was on its favourite gargoyle. Looking across to Stanpit, over 100 Brent Goose could be seen.
Additional news: a Mistle Thrush was in song by the Wick Village pond late this afternoon and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull flew downriver. Earlier, a group of 30 Meadow Pipit, presumably migrant birds, had been feeding up in the fields.
Although the day started promisingly, an increasing westerly wind and some rain showers by mid-morning put paid to hopes of any incoming diurnal migration. As it was, the only sign of movement was a rather confused Rook, seen moving in both directions over Hengistbury. Inside the harbour, the Great-crested Grebe count had increased to 4 birds, but a 30 minute look at the sea produced absolutely nothing of interest. The Priory Peregrine was sensibly sheltering on the eastern facing side of the tower this morning. On Stanpit, amongst the more usual suspects, were a showy Goldcrest and just over 10 Black-tailed Godwit, but the Brent Goose were well down on yesterday.
On a reasonably fine morning the undoubted highlight was the first genuine migrant of the spring, a male Ring Ouzel; the bird was first heard from the edge of the Stanpit golf course before being seen in flight heading towards Smithy's Field. The wintering Common Sandpiper was also seen today flying across the harbour . Continuing with the wader theme, Stanpit held 43 Black-tailed Godwit and 17 Grey Plover, while on the Mudeford Sandspit there were 3 Purple Sandpiper. The Brent Geese are on the increase again with over 100 being present today. On the main river were 3 Great Crested Grebe plus the female Goldeneye. Around lunchtime, the Buzzard flew from Wick to the Nursery, causing a degree of panic in the heronry. Finally, just 2 Bullfinch were on Wick. Check Tuesday's posting for some late news
Another murky day when fortunately the rain held off until lunchtime. With the wind from the south-west the sea seemed a reasonable choice but an hour's vigil produced just 2 Common Scoter heading west and a pair of Fulmar lingering off the Head. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was again in the Nursery whilst on Wick 2 Bullfinch and a Chiffchaff were seen. Only a single Goldeneye, a female was on the river. On Stanpit 48 Black-tailed Godwit were resting on the tip of South Marsh as the tide turned. This afternoon the Peregrine was on its usual perch on the Priory tower and the Buzzard was on Wick but there was no sign of the Barn Owl.
The weather took a distinct backward step today with heavy rain persisting for most of the day. So far no reports have been received. On Sunday I omitted to mention 3 Canada Geese over Wick in the evening, the first of the year!
Late News: A Little Owl was on a post on the fence adjacent to the driving range on Wick around 6pm.
A distinct improvement in the weather today, with very little wind the warm sunshine made it feel like spring at long last. This morning the Peregrine was on its usual perch on the Priory tower while 2 Common Buzzard were soaring high over the north-east end of the harbour. Barn Bight held 18 Black-tailed Godwit but there were still just 5 Goldeneye on the river. On Wick 2 Bullfinch were again visiting the feeders; a Great Spotted Woodpecker was also on Wick with either the same bird or another one calling from the Nursery a little later. Finally there was a Purple Sandpiper on groyne S5.
Although the emphasis today was on the monthly WEBScount, the final one of the season, a few other snippets were reported. The Peregrine was on the Priory tower at 7:30am with possibly the same bird hunting over Wick in the late afternoon. A Water Pipit was on Central Marsh by the main footpath whilst a Jack Snipe was flushed from Priory Marsh. On Hengistbury 7 Raven moved overhead; also 2 Mistle Thrush and a Fieldfare. The 5 Ruff made their first appearance for several days, on the HHC mudbar. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was in the harbour where only 5 Goldeneye were present. Selected WEBScount totals were 457 Wigeon, 136 Teal, 81 Brent Geese, 280 Dunlin, 93 Black-tailed Godwit, 22 Grey Plover, 14 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone and a very modest 58 Coot. The latter a good indication that many of the wintering birds have already left for their breeding sites. The Barn Owl showed well again this evening around 5pm when it was seen to catch and eat prey. Earlier the Buzzard was again in trees on Wick.
Stop Press: The Common Sandpiper returned to Fisherman's Bank today, it was seen just after lunch.
There seems to be no respite from this cold weather, it was -2°C at Hengistbury at 7:30am this morning. Three hardy souls opted to seawatch from the gulley, but there was precious little reward for their efforts, just 3 Red-breasted Merganser, a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and a Red-throated Diver heading east, with 2 more Red-throated Diver moving in the opposite direction. Another Mediterranean Gull, an adult, was in the harbour, where the Goldeneye complement was back up to 10. A single Jackdaw was again over the Barn Field whilst on Wick there were 6 Bullfinch, 4 of which were males. This afternoon a pair of Buzzard was displaying over Wick and a little later one of the birds was in trees by the lower footpath. Also on Wick, 3 Fieldfare is a good record, as this species is normally associated with autumn migration. The Barn Owl was out hunting even earlier at 4:15pm by the driving range. At dusk the Peregrine was roosting on the Priory tower.
On a crisp clear morning on Hengistbury 2 Chiffchaff were keeping low in the brambles near Brewer's Creek. Very early migrants or birds that have been wintering locally? In similar vein a White Wagtail on the flooded field on Wick this evening was possibly an early migrant. Another pointer that spring is on the way was the sound of Skylark, Linnet and Reed Bunting all in full song on the Head today. On Stanpit another very high tide pushed the Brent Geese onto Priory Marsh, also over there were a couple of dozen Black-tailed Godwit. Only 7 Goldeneye were present today, just off Barn Bight. Having disappeared for a few days the Barn Owl returned this evening from 4.45 to 5pm it was hunting on Wick between the lower footpath and the reedbeds, then at 5.30 it was on fenceposts by the Driving Range.
After another cold night much of Stanpit was frozen this morning. Hence the flock of 200 Dunlin were on the grass of East Marsh in a desperate search for food. They weren't helped by the local Peregrine and Sparrowhawk both of which put them to flight within the space of about ten minutes! As the tide rose much of the marsh became inaccessible as one harbour regular 'got it wrong' and had to wade back from Crouch Hill. The flock of 80 Brent Geese were over by Parky Mead Rail. On the river the 11 Goldeneye and 2 Little Grebe were present, a Kingfisher was behind the HHC and a single Purple Sandpiper was on the groynes. On Wick 2 Bullfinch were visiting the feeders.
The biting northerly wind once again curtailed this morning's birding activity. The Peregrine was sheltering on the south-facing side of the Priory tower and the 11 Goldeneye were over towards the Avonmouth Hotel also seeking respite from the unforgiving wind. A walk over Priory Marsh produced 15 Black-tailed Godwit but there was no sign of any Water Pipit.