Sightings for March 2007

March 31st

The biggest turnout of the year was thwarted by a strong northerly wind. Something that was made even more frustrating as these conditions looks set to continue for tomorrow, but will settle down just in time for Monday! A male Ring Ouzel briefly on the Barn Field, before heading Wickwards, was the only new passerine migrant for the day. In desperation, the sea was scoured and produced: a male Peregrine in-off, presumably from the mist obscured Isle of Wight, 6 Gannet and 2 Sandwich Tern. A Coal Tit was in the Wood, as were 2 Blackcap, while the Nuthatch, seen today, is now in its seventh month of residence. After lunch, Stanpit was visited and served up 7 Mediterranean Gull. A second-summer showing really well in Stanpit Bight, a first-winter on the HHC bar, with 3 more of those and an adult pair overhead. There were 4 Tufted Duck on the river just off the HHC, a pair of Pintail by Stanpit Bight, a pair of Shoveler on the Priory Marsh pools - if only the marsh was still irrigated sufficiently, they might be tempted to stay on - and 6 Bar-tailed Godwit from Crouch Hill.

March 30th

Another reasonably quiet day, with a Fieldfare over the HHC at dawn being the best of the migrants. The Wooden Bridge Whitethroat was again seen and, in consideration of the date and its apparent sex, is still thought to be the wintering bird that was in exactly that spot. Today's Mediterranean Gull count was 5, 3 east at sea and 2 in the harbour. Also at sea, a total of 18 Common Gull east, predominantly first-winter individuals, also 24 Common Scoter, 1 Pintail and 1 Shoveler in that direction. Sandwich Tern are now becoming more obvious - between 3 and 6 today - also a Gannet offshore. A Peregrine was over the Nursery and Barn Bight held a pair of Gadwall.

Additional news: a late, 6:00 visit to Stanpit in quite miserable conditions did manage to produce a Wheatear on Crouch Hill, also 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Black-tailed Godwit off South Marsh.

March 29th

Something of a contrast to yesterday in terms of numbers, no doubt due to the north-westerly wind direction; nevertheless, there is some quality to focus on. Just before lunch, an Osprey headed northwards over the harbour and earlier 3 Spoonbill came in off the sea and then headed east. A Ring Ouzel was in Wick Fields and a singing Whitethroat by the Barn definitely qualifies as a migrant. There was a very grey Chiffchaff in the North Scrubs, but unfortunately it remained silent, and the pair of Mistle Thrush were again present, today on Crouch Hill. Just 2 Mediterranean Gull to mention, a pair over Monkswell Green, while a Sandwich Tern over Mudeford Quay was only the second for the year, which given the date is remarkable. Sand Martin are now "well in", with around 30 about the area today, along with a single Swallow. Chiffchaff are also established and singing from just about all suitable habitat. There were very few Wheatear, probably less than 5, the most being 3 in the Barn Field; but around 100 Meadow Pipit were feeding up on both sides of the area. Still a good number of Shoveler about, possibly up to 8 birds, also a drake Tufted Duck in Parky Meade Rail. Brent Goose, on the other hand, are starting to drift away, just 67 on Stanpit today; also 2 of their unwelcome cousins, the Canada Goose. To conclude, there were 6 Bar-tailed Godwit in Stanpit Bight.

March 28th

Things definitely stepped up a gear today, with Wheatear providing the biggest spectacle. This morning, the Hengistbury count was 74 birds - at one time a flock of 12 appeared from the sky and each settled on a different stem of the Coastguards antenna, while the maximum on the Barn Field was 32. There was a further flurry on Stanpit this afternoon, when over 30 birds were estimated, but these were gone an hour or two later, However, there were over 100 grounded Meadow Pipit on the golf course and the earlier passage of these over Hengistbury consisted 650 birds, along with 4 White Wagtail. There were three firsts for the year, 2 Swallow, a Tree Pipit and 1 House Martin over Hengistbury. Meanwhile, the migrant status of a female-type Whitethroat on Wick, by the Wooden Bridge this evening, is certainly confused by the presence of bird in the winter, which was last recorded in early January. It was a good day for Merlin - a female that appeared at the end of the head, attempting to prey on incoming pipits, was almost immediately joined by a male, who then settled in the heather on the top of the head. Around the same sort of time, a male was also seen on the Barn Field devouring his kill. It is possible 3 birds were involved. After delivering a blank last spring, Priory Marsh returned to form and delivered a settled Little Ringed Plover that was watched throughout the afternoon. Back to the morning, and a small passage of finches was headed by a Redpoll over the Barn, also 85 Linnet and 65 Chaffinch. What is presumably a lingering Yellowhammer was around the Batters, as was a passing female Ring Ouzel, and more settled birds numbered 130 Chiffchaff, 24 Blackcap, 15 Goldcrest and 2 Willow Warbler spread across the head. There was a reasonably impressive Mediterranean Gull count of 15 birds west this morning, including a group of five, 1 adult and 4 first-winters; and this afternoon on Stanpit, pairs were seen on two occasions. Until today, Sand Martin have been alarmingly absent, so 27 over Hengistbury, with some prospecting, was very welcome, also several over Stanpit later on. Although not mentioned specifically yesterday, there was a small, westerly movement of our old friend, the Woodpigeon; today the same happened, with 165 counted, while corvid wanderers included single Jackdaw and Raven. Onto wildfowl, and the ever-changing duck selection included 2 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, up to 10 Shoveler and 4 Gadwall. Of less interest, but they have to be mentioned, were 7 Canada Goose and 3 Greylag Goose. At last, some wader dynamics, as 8 tired Black-tailed Godwit rested in Stanpit Bight this afternoon, before moving on; also 9 Dunlin and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit there.

Omission: 4 Redwing were over the HHC at dawn.

Additional news: a Fieldfare was in Wick Ditch this evening and then headed off towards Two Riversmeet.

March 27th

Another gorgeous day, but no quite so bird-filled as the previous period. At dawn, a Merlin that came up off the Barn Field may well have roosted there. Slightly later, one observer was treated to fairly lengthy views of a male Ring Ouzel, initially on top of the head, but then on the Barn Field. The Wheatear counts suggest birds were arriving all day. For example, just 5 were on Hengistbury by 10:00, however, by 5:00 tonight the figure had doubled to 10, plus 4 on Wick Fields. Much earlier on Wick, a female Yellowhammer flew north and a pair of Red-legged Partridge were in the Bobolink Field. The only other south-side interest was 2 Great-crested Grebe in Barn Bight. Across the water, a pair of Mediterranean Gull, the size difference between the sexes very marked, were over Fisherman's Bank in the morning; also the Spotted Redshank, 12 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone, 4 Bar-tailed and 10 Shoveler around Stanpit Bight. Please check back to yesterday for some good additional news.

March 26th

Today saw the cessation of the cold north/easterly winds that have crippled the spring migration so far; and, as might be expected, there was a quantum increase in birds present on Hengistbury. The most numerous were Chiffchaff with over 185 right across the head, while at least 30 Wheatear were spread from Whitepits to Warren Hill and 320 Meadow Pipit overflew. Firsts for the season comprised: a couple of singing Willow Warbler, a male Ring Ouzel accidentally flushed from behind the Barn, a Little Ringed Plover heading north and an Avocet arriving and appearing to go down onto Stanpit. Wildfowl interest came in the form of 7 Shoveler and 8 Pintail passing through, as well as 3 Greylag Goose. A female Yellowhammer was about Hengistbury and the Spotted Redshank was again in Barn Bight, as was a Great-crested Grebe. A pair of adult Mediterranean Gull went over and a single Fieldfare was seen coming off Wick Fields. The remaining 4 Bar-tailed Godwit were also noted.

Additional news from Stanpit: where a Siberian Chiffchaff was singing in the golf course pines. In Stanpit Bight, there were actually 2 Avocet and the Spotted Redshank was on East Marsh. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the HHC sandbar and the Great-spotted Woodpecker was drumming in the North Scrubs.

March 25th

The day again broke to a north-easterly wind, which, by late afternoon, had veered ninety degrees to the south-east. This morning, the sea failed to live up to yesterday's standards, but did manage: 5 Shoveler, 2 drakes and 3 ducks, 4 Gannet, 4 Common Gull and a pair of Common Scoter, all east in a 60 minute spell. There were also at least 3 Great-crested Grebe hanging around offshore and 1 of the Little Grebe pair could be seen in the Ironstone Quarry. The Spotted Redshank again favoured Barn Bight, the male Peregrine was, as usual, on The Priory tower and a Red-legged Partridge was seen on Wick Fields. Of note on Stanpit, a pair of Mistle Thrush seemed quite at home in the North Scrubs.

March 24th

Firstly, a big thank you to Peter Allen for last night's South Africa talk, which succeeded the AGM. Today's excitement was headed by the launch, tow and anchoring, in Parky Meade Rail, of the CHOG sponsored tern island, just in time for the birds' main arrival next month. More details and photographs to follow in a later post. The brisk north-easterly wind made for some action at sea, with 2 Great Skua passing east along with 2 Velvet Scoter, the latter later doubling back, and 48 Common Gull. A hint of Chaffinch passage over Hengistbury included 3 Brambling and a Siskin, while a Firecrest was decked at the end of the head and the regular bird was in the normal spot by the Nursery. Other migrants included just singles of Sand Martin and Sandwich Tern, but also an impressive quintet of Rook! On Wick, there was a Bullfinch, Great-spotted Woodpecker and 8 singing Chiffchaff. The Spotted Redshank was in Barn Bight, a Red-breasted Merganser was in the harbour and 3 Tufted Duck, 2 drakes and a duck, were in Parky Meade Rail. Wader numbers on Stanpit were again poor - 9 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit being the sum total. The male Peregrine was first over Hengistbury, but then spent the rest of the morning on The Priory Tower. An impromptu survey of Rock Pipit along the Beach suggested an encouraging increase of up to 7 pairs.

Additional news from the information services: the 2 Siberian Chiffchaff and a Water Pipit were at Stanpit.

Omission: 6 Canada Goose roosted in the harbour overnight, as did 2 Greylag Goose.

March 23rd

A dawn start at Hengistbury was rewarded with something of a duck-fest, headed by a drake Garganey seen in flight over the harbour, before it headed off north; while the supporting cast comprised 5 Shoveler, 3 Pintail, 3 Gadwall and 2 Tufted Duck. Passerine migrants were sparse, other than a brief, early flurry of 16 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap in the Wood, and a pair of Bullfinch and single Siskin that overflew. The best from the sea was a Red-throated Diver, a Great-northern Diver and 2 Common Scoter. The Firecrest was again in the Nursery, a male Peregrine was overhead and the pair of Little Grebe were noisily courting on the Ironstone Quarry pool.

March 22nd

At some point during the clear night, the cloud descended and brought about a light drizzle. The net effect was a marked arrival of Blackcap and Chiffchaff into the area. Around 25 and 35 of each respectively were across Stanpit, with more singing from adjoining gardens. The neater of the two Siberian Chiffchaff was confirmed today, as it called and attempted to sing on the golf course embankment. Also a Firecrest and a handful of Goldcrest in the pine clump. Following on from yesterday, the pair of Mistle Thrush were again seen, this time on Crouch Hill, while the first Sandwich Tern of the year passed west-east through the harbour. The best of the waders was a Jack Snipe flushed from the southern end of the North Scrubs, and also the reappearance of the Spotted Redshank. Otherwise, there were just 15 Dunlin, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover and 1 Black-tailed Godwit. A pair of Shoveler were in Stanpit Bight, where there are still around 200 Brent Goose. Finally, a Great-spotted Woodpecker was again drumming in the North Scrubs.

March 21st

A little more observer activity this morning and some interest to show for it - although, many of the records would be considered mundane outside of the recording area. Not least, a couple of Rook over the Nursery and 2 Mistle Thrush over Stanpit golf course. Perhaps of more widespread note, was a Firecrest in the Nursery, a single Wheatear on the Barn Field and 2 Raven over the Wood. A Peregrine was also seen, along with 4 Great-crested Grebe about the harbour interior. Meanwhile, the Stanpit wader situation worsens, just 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin and 1 Grey Plover this morning.

March 20th

No respite from the wind, which discouraged any concerted field effort today. Consequently, there is nothing to report.

March 19th

In a bitterly cold wind this morning, there was a touch of the exotic, as a Ring-necked Parakeet was seen over Wick Fields before settling for a few minutes on a bush along Wick Ditch. This represents the first harbour sighting for many years and actually ties in with a parakeet sp. record from last Friday, which, until now, had been carelessly mislaid. Elsewhere, it was hard-going, with a Wheatear on the cliff top, 3 Chiffchaff on Wick and a Little Grebe in Barn Bight. Despite at least an hour's attention, the northern portion of Stanpit could produce nothing at all of note. This wasn't helped by the equinoxal spring tide that made the major part of the marsh totally inaccessible. Stop press: at 5:30 things improved from Fisherman's Bank, with the Spotted Redshank being seen in a group of Redshank, also a Grey Plover.

March 18th

As forecast, the weather really turned, with yesterday's pleasantries replaced by a gusting north-westerly blow. There is strong evidence to suggest there are actually 2 Siberian Chiffchaff around Stanpit golf course. Firstly, the scruffy individual, photographed earlier this week and today, was feeding on the sheltered side of the golf course hedge. Then, a few moments later, a bird in near identical plumage, but far more groomed, showed well by the kissing gate at the northern end of the North Scrubs. This bird has probably been around quite a while, perhaps it is even the individual photographed in February, but so far it hasn't uttered a sound. There were also a couple of regulation Chiffchaff, some singing, in the same area, along with a White Wagtail on Priory Marsh; but unfortunately, a sudden, nasty rain shower curtailed scrutiny of the water/rock pipits in that area. On Hengistbury, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull was off the Beach Huts, with 3 Gannet east from there - the latter being currently something of a rarity. Also sparse right now are small waders, so 5 Ringed Plover, normally a winter resident, on Stanpit is well worthy of mention; also a single Dunlin and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit there, and a pair of Jackdaw on Crouch Hill. To conclude, there was a Great-crested Grebe in Barn Bight and a pair of Canada Goose this morning, while this afternoon, presumably the same couple were on Priory Marsh.

March 17th

The arrival of migrants still can't be described as anything more than a trickle. A single Wheatear was on the Barn Field by mid-morning and, later, a solitary Sand Martin passed north over Wick Fields. There was perhaps more interest from some of the winter regulars, including the Firecrest in the Wood, the Spotted Redshank seen over Stanpit and 3 Purple Sandpiper mid-way along the sandspit. Thrushes are starting to move around again, something that was highlighted by 3 Redwing on Wick and a Mistle Thrush about the area. The best from the sea was a rather indecisive Grey Plover that toured high over The Solent and Christchurch Bay a couple of times, without appearing to settle anywhere. Other than that, it was just 4 Common Scoter and 2 Great-crested Grebe. Finally, Red-legged Partridge were heard on Wick Fields and 7 Gadwall were seen from there; meanwhile, a very quiet Stanpit could only contribute 8 Bar-tailed Godwit to the day's post.

Additional news: the Nuthatch was again in the Wood, along with a Coal Tit.

March 16th

A much clearer morning that saw a Redwing in Wick Fields and 2 Wheatear on Hengistbury, one on the Barn Field, the other on the clifftop. There was a Great-crested Grebe on the sea and a Little Grebe in Barn Bight, along with 2 Canada Goose. Also, at least half a dozen Chiffchaff dotted about the place. Stanpit was quiet, save for 4 over-flying, adult Mediterranean Gull. Please check back to yesterday for some additional and further news.

Additional news: the DBC website again carries news of the Siberian Chiffchaff, however, no direct reports were received by CHOG.

Additional news: a species of parakeet was seen over the Nursery.

March 15th

A blanket of heavy fog kept field observations to a minimum this morning. From Hengistbury, it was just the Nuthatch in the Wood to report upon; while from Stanpit, the best were 3 drake Shoveler off Grimmery Bank.

Additional news: per DBC website, the Siberian Chiffchaff was again on Stanpit.

Further news: there were 3 Water Pipit on Priory Marsh and an adult Mediterranean Gull overhead there. Also the first notable Meadow Pipit arrival, with 62 north over Stanpit, as well as the 9 regular Bar-tailed Godwit in Stanpit Bight.

March 14th

The settled weather seems to be encouraging the early migrants - on Stanpit, the presumed Siberian Chiffchaff was joined by at least 25 collybita Chiffchaff, with a further 10 or more on the Barn Field, representing the first sizeable arrival this spring. Other migrants included 5 White Wagtail on Priory Marsh (where there was also a Water Pipit) and a couple of Blackcap also around the marsh. On Hengistbury, there were 2 Firecrest in the Woods/Nursery and 7 Wheatear on Barn Field around midday. A Bearded Tit was also heard near the HHC. Wader numbers remain abysmal, with the regular 11 Bar-tailed Godwit and a single Dunlin being all that Stanpit could muster this morning.

Additional news: from Stanpit in the afternoon, where there was a drake Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Shoveler, while the Dunlin had increased to a staggering 15.

March 13th

Another spring-like day, complemented by a gentle westerly breeze, which saw a light Meadow Pipit movement over Hengistbury. Local breeders, such as Skylark and Stonechat, were setting up their territories, while the wintering Wigeon and Teal are now declining in numbers. Over on Stanpit, around 150 Brent Goose were estimated to be on Grimmery Marsh, but 13 were seen to depart south during the course of the morning.

March 12th

The settled and pleasant weather continued, encouraging the tristis Chiffchaff to sing from the Stanpit golf course pines this morning. Local opinion, based on the accepted 2002 record, is that this bird has all the characteristics of the genuine article, including the song. There were also 5 regular Chiffchaff and 2 singing Blackcap. Other local interest came courtesy of a Fieldfare in the tall trees bordering the North Scrubs, 2 over-flying Pochard and some pinging Bearded Tit in the Wick reeds. Of more intense local notability, was a fine corvid fest - comprising a total of 5 Rook and 6 Raven, all heading northwards. Of equal intrigue, a Great-spotted Woodpecker is forming territory in the North Scrubs. Linnet continue to be conspicuous after their normal winter absence, with 11 birds on Crouch Hill today. To round off at Stanpit, the 11 Bar-tailed Godwit were on the HHC sandbar and 30 Turnstone were on Speller's Point. Late this afternoon, groyne S9 on the sandspit held 4 Purple Sandpiper.

March 11th

A really pleasant day of blue skies and light winds, which saw some expected migrant arrivals - more on those later. There was a very, very good candidate for tristis (Siberian) Chiffchaff on the golf course embankment that borders Priory Marsh. The bird is very grey and shows greenish edges to the primaries. It was also singing, and that sound was reminiscent of the proven bird from the winter of 2002. Close by, in the conifers, there was another grey-one, but not quite so convincing. More expectedly, there were a further 14 conventional Chiffchaff about Stanpit, as well as 4 Blackcap and a White Wagtail, the latter on Priory Marsh. Now to Hengistbury, where the previously mentioned arrivals comprised a couple of Wheatear on the Barn Field, with one being, surprisingly, a female. A Black-necked Grebe, in breeding plumage, was off Southborne briefly, but could be just made out from the extremity of the Point House Café. What could have been yesterday's Yellowhammer was over the Long Field, while the Nuthatch was in the usual spot and 2 Goldeneye were in Barn Bight, as was a Great-crested Grebe, with another on the sea off Double Dykes. The Stanpit waders remain sparse, other than the 11 Bar-tailed Godwit and the recent gathering of Turnstone - 29 today on Speller's Point - there were only 5 Dunlin to mention.

March 10th

With a stiff westerly blowing throughout, pickings were rather slim for the Saturday regulars. A female Yellowhammer was the best on offer, and token migration was suggested by a dozen Meadow Pipit arriving, 3 Chiffchaff, 50 Brent Goose east (some passing at sea, others entering into the Harbour) and an overflying Rook to the east. The remaining fare comprised a single Great-crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, the regular Nuthatch, a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Goldeneye, a single Purple Sandpiper and a Peregrine. A little later on, there was a singing Blackcap by the top end of Wick driving range; and 4 Jay were being hassled by Magpie in the Wood.

March 9th

Another fine day, which saw the Nuthatch again in the Wood. This comes after a recent blank period and it will be interesting to see if the bird sticks around for much longer, because, if it does, it won't have much luck. In Barn Bight, there was a single Little Grebe and a Kingfisher.

March 8th

The first real Linnet presence of the year was noted on an insect-ridden Stanpit this morning, as between 10 to 25 birds were on Crouch Hill, but little else on the marsh in terms of migrants. Hengistbury, however, produced a Rook and 2 Jackdaw, rarely recorded in spring, over the Nursery, where there was also a pair of courting Sparrowhawk. From the approach road to Mudeford Quay, a drake Red-breasted Merganser was seen on the mirror calm harbour water, as was a Great-crested Grebe, while there were 3 Little Grebe in Barn Bight with 2 more in Parky Meade Rail. Other interest came from a couple of Chiffchaff on Wick, a Kingfisher over Central Marsh, these will soon be gone, and at least 20 Turnstone off South Marsh this evening, along with 2 drake Gadwall in Stanpit Bight at that time. Finally, some welcome counts from Stanpit included: 264 Brent Goose, 253 Wigeon, 48 Redshank, 20 Shelduck and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit.

March 7th

Another rather pleasant morning that made going to work a bit of a chore. The bird of the day was a male Yellowhammer, first seen heading from Stanpit to Hengistbury, then returning shortly later to head off north. After their influx earlier in the week, the Chiffchaff numbers returned to their winter norm of 6 birds about Smithy's Field, including one grey individual. However, today it was the turn of Blackcap to move into that area, as up to 7 birds were recorded, all males, with 4 flycatching in the same tree . On Crouch Hill, in with the Meadow Pipit, there were again 3 littoralis Rock Pipit; and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit and a lone Dunlin were around Stanpit Bight. Hengistbury held less interest, the best being 2 Goldeneye and a single Little Grebe in Barn Bight. Please check back to yesterday for news of the first longer distant migrants.

March 6th

A pretty quiet day in terms of field activity, made even worse by a ghastly presence of 3 Canada Goose in Barn Bight! Only other news is of a Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Jay in the Wood, as well as a couple of conspicuous Dartford Warbler on Hengistbury.

Additional news: the first 3 Sand Martin were seen at 1:15 this afternoon, heading north over Ashtree Meadows.

March 5th

After yesterday's washout, there were some real signs of spring this morning. A couple of Firecrest were in the hedge bordering Smithy's Field and there was a marked increase in Chiffchaff, to 11, including 3 grey looking individuals. It is fair to assume that many of these were new birds, hence the first incoming migrants of the season. An overflying Siskin was new for the year list, and a female Merlin also passed overhead, to the north. The wintering Spotted Redshank was wandering around in the grass by Crouch Hill; and there were 3 littoralis Rock Pipit with the Meadow Pipit on the hill itself. Also on Stanpit, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin. On Hengistbury, after two successful years, a Little Grebe is back on the Ironstone Quarry Pool. It's interesting to speculate whether this has wintered locally, or has arrived from further afield? Also back "on the nest" were Mallard frequenting the Lily Ponds and a singing Skylark over West Field. Last, but certainly not least, is a really good count of Purple Sandpiper. At first, just one bird was on S10, but soon a further 15 came in from the east and settled on S11, making a total of 16.

March 4th

The forecast was right on cue. A day of almost constant, heavy rain, made to feel worse by a southerly gale. This, in conjunction with tomorrow's spring tide, made Stanpit completely inaccessible, even with gumboots, until the early afternoon. Therefore, today's WeBS count was somewhat fragmented. The best of a commendable, but very wet, early morning session on Hengistbury was 7 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S7, also 29 Dunlin on the sandspit. When the water receded and Stanpit could be traversed, there were still 2 littoralis Rock Pipit to be seen on Central Marsh. After a few weeks absence, it was good to see Grey Plover back in the harbour, 2 birds on East Marsh this afternoon, where there were also 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 26 Dunlin, another species that has been sparse all winter. Other selected counts from both sides of the area included: 220 Brent Goose, 315 Wigeon, 128 Redshank, 101 Teal, 68 Coot, these are now moving out rapidly, 27 Curlew, 14 Shelduck and 10 Little Egret.

March 3rd

The Kernow excursion went well for the deserters, but thanks to those that stayed put for today's gen. On Stanpit, there were 2 good Scandinavian Rock Pipit on Central Marsh, as well as a high count of 27 Turnstone from South Marsh. The regular 11 Bar-tailed Godwit were in the same spot and 3 Goldeneye were on the adjacent water. Meanwhile, the Brent Goose gathered together on East Marsh and were counted at 228. From Hengistbury, it was only Barn Bight that could produce some interest, this comprising of 3 Great-crested Grebe, one in almost complete breeding-plumage, and 4 Little Grebe.

March 2nd

Nearly all the reports this week have come from one stalwart observer. Thanks Dave. In fact, the head is likely to be ill attended again tomorrow, as a white falcon from Greenland has tempted even the most faithful to desert and head off to Cornwall. Consequently, any reports will be greatly appreciated. This morning, the Peregrine was causing havoc over Stanpit, while Bearded Tit were calling from the HHC reeds. Barn Bight was a little quieter today, with just 1 Great-crested Grebe and 1 Little Grebe. Of interest, but a few yards outside of the recording area, a garden nesting Robin now has 4 eggs, the first being laid on 19th of last month.

March 1st

A little more to report from Hengistbury this morning. A Red-legged Partridge was flushed from gorse by the Double Dykes - one of the Wick birds heading for the Barn Field perhaps? There was a Raven over the Nursery and a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the Wood, while Barn Bight held a total of 3 Great-crested Grebe. This afternoon, a female Peregrine was roosting on the eastern face of The Priory tower.

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