Sightings for January 2009

January 31st

The brisk south-easterly wind contributed towards a bumper seawatch this morning, with the highlight being an immature Little Gull east, but there were also impressive numbers of the more regular species (all moving east except where indicated) - 91 Red-throated Diver (and 5 west), 300+ unidentified auk sp., plus 50 Razorbill and 25 Guillemot, 270 Common Gull, 320 Brent Geese, 300+ Cormorant (it would appear that a flock of this size is touring the Bay this winter), 17 Kittiwake (plus 1 west), 14 Gannet, 17 Great Crested Grebe (drifting east on the sea) and single Mediterranean Gull, Pintail, Common Scoter, Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver. A group of 28 Canada Geese went west, and the only land-based record was of 7 Raven. Over on Stanpit, the Spotted Redshank was still present off Fisherman's Bank this morning, and there were good counts of up to 800 Wigeon, 83 Teal and 9 Curlew, with 3 Grey Plover, 25 Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of Pintail amongst the usual species; the recent Avocet were notable by their absence.

January 30th

On another bracing day, it looks like the only news will be a note to check back to yesterday for an omitted report of good numbers of Great Crested Grebe off Whitepits.

Additional news: a walk along the beach saw 3 Red-throated Diver pass by, as well as 45 Ringed Plover by the Long Groyne. There was also a cetacean corpse, considered to be a Harbour Porpoise, washed up halfway between the groyne and Double Dykes.

January 29th

A keen south-easterly wind throughout made decent birding pretty difficult. I guess the best of the day goes to a couple of gulls: an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on South Marsh early afternoon, when an adult Kittiwake was seen to enter the harbour via Mudeford Quay. A walk around Stanpit saw at least 3 Scandinavian-looking Rock Pipit, but very little else other than a single Grey Plover and a handful of Ringed Plover adjacent to Mother Siller's Channel. A late afternoon check from Fisherman's Bank saw the Spotted Redshank, while a Peregrine allowed around 130 Dunlin to be estimated, as well as a many hundreds, perhaps more, of Lapwing.

January 28th

A really gloomy day that saw visibility stifled thanks to a mixture of damp mist and rain. As a result, three individuals took the easy option of Fisherman's Bank, where the car is never far away. The Spotted Redshank was seen at lunch and mid-afternoon, but not later on. However, around 800 Lapwing had arrived to roost and there was a good count of 280 or so Dunlin. Earlier, there were also good totals for Black-tailed Godwit and Brent Goose, 250+ and 90 of each, plus couples of Pintail and Shelduck.

January 27th

Very little to mention today, with the best being a Pochard upriver past the HHC. At sea, 7 Red-throated Diver were seen, all but one east, also a couple of Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, albeit it outside of the recording area, the Southbourne grebe flock has now risen to 208 birds!

Additional news: the 3 Avocet were off Fisherman's Bank, along with 140 Dunlin, 85 Redshank and 29 Black-tailed Godwit.

January 26th

The day started well when a group of large gulls over Whitepits, which were being inspected for yesterday's goodie, was found to contain a Pomarine Skua. This bird, a spoon-less adult, could well be the individual that was lingering off Branksome yesterday, assuming the plumage matches. Later, around 1:15, it was seen again: this time, sat on the beach with Herring Gull between Whitepits car park and the Point House Café. As a result of the excessive floodwater that is being carried into the harbour by the rivers Avon and Stour, there is barely any mud at even the lowest of tides. In fact, this morning, Stanpit was largely inaccessible, but an alternative trip to Smithy's Field produced 2 Bullfinch and a Mistle Thrush. Late in the afternoon, from the dry of Fisherman's Bank, 3 Avocet were in their favoured spot, also 3 Shoveler, one of them a drake, a Grey Plover and around 145 Dunlin. There was also a reasonable count of 110 Redshank, while the Brent Goose also turned in a respectable total, by this season's standard that is, of 80 birds.

January 25th

There was not much going on this morning, but around noon a phone call from Marc Moody at Milford-on-Sea changed all that. A couple of Glaucous Gull had just passed and were heading our way! Sure enough, around 25 minutes later, as a couple of regulars were tripping over an incredibly tame 11 Purple Sandpiper by Mudeford Quay, one appeared overhead. It was then watched heading north beyond the Avonmouth Hotel and seeming to come down. However, subsequent searches of local gull haunts failed to turn it up again. The bird, although only really seen from the underside, appeared to be almost entirely white, which according to literature can mean a faded first-winter or second-winter. With only 3 records in the last 14 years, this is a much sought after species in the area, so it was no surprise that a careful examination of the late afternoon gull roost from the HHC ensued - and although the main quarry wasn't seen, 2 Yellow-legged Gull and a Kittiwake, all adults, were in the harbour. Also seen going to roost were 13 Little Egret into the Nursery and over 1000 Lapwing arriving from the Burton fields onto Stanpit. Unfortunately, a slightly earlier visit to Stanpit was largely ruined by a couple of kitesurfers roaming all over South Marsh! Nevertheless, 3 Avocet, 2 Grey Plover, 219 Dunlin and 78 Brent Goose were able to be recorded, along with trios of Shoveler in Stanpit Bight and Parky Meade Rail.

January 24th

A calm and clear morning saw another westerly fly past of Red-throated Diver from the Beach Huts. In all, 53 went by, including one group of 15 and two of 6. Also, a further 4 birds east, along with a Black-throated Diver. Other bits and pieces during what was a generally quiet watch, divers excepted of course, were 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Kittiwake, 3 Common Scoter and 2 Razorbill, while 3 Purple Sandpiper were about the sandspit. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on South Marsh, Stanpit, as were the 4 Avocet and 24 Ringed Plover, plus a locally high count of 25 Common Gull. On East Marsh, there were 5 Shoveler and around 15 Black-tailed Godwit, but Dunlin were spread all over and difficult to estimate. Meanwhile, a couple of brownhead Goldeneye were in Stanpit Bight, a Chiffchaff and Grey Wagtail were by Parky Meade Rail and well over 50 Brent Goose were on Central Marsh.

January 23rd

Rain in the morning, then a viciously cold north-west wind around lunchtime forced observations to a minimum. Consequently, the only reports filed are of 4 Avocet on the tip of South Marsh and around 70 Brent Goose by Crouch Hill. While it's quiet, it's worth remarking on the numbers of Black-headed Gull about the area. The last few days have seen many hundreds, perhaps even thousands, resting up in the harbour throughout the day. Boding well for the weekend, the day did finish relatively calm and clear.

January 22nd

The forecast of quite awful weather encouraged some regulars to make alternative plans for the morning; so when it turned out to be actually rather nice, there was barely any field coverage. However, at least 10 Purple Sandpiper on the tip of the sandspit, viewed from Mudeford Quay, were good value, while 2 Red-throated Diver passed by. At lunchtime, the best Fisherman's Bank could offer was 2 Avocet.

January 21st

It was clear overnight meaning the harbour experienced some light ice in parts, but the sun soon dominated and gave rise to a very pleasant morning. On Stanpit, the 2 Bearded Tit were found to be still showing extremely confidingly in the favoured spot by Parky Meade Rail. Note, Saturday's birds were quite some way away, so there could be at least 4 in the area. The wintering Avocet flock grew by one today, with 5 being seen off Fisherman's Bank, as well as the Spotted Redshank, and over 200 Dunlin and 125 Black-tailed Godwit were spread across the marsh. There has also clearly been an arrival of Rock Pipit and some of the 8-10 birds by the Visitor's Centre were looking very Nordic indeed; while also new-in , were a pair of Bullfinch in Smithy's Field. From Hengistbury, a Tufted Duck was seen touring the harbour and 2 Red-throated Diver moved past east. The sprat shoal in Poole Bay is still attracting large numbers of birds; for example, a flock of 140 Cormorant left their feeding and arrived in the recording area, but 108 Great Crested Grebe remained 'out of bounds'. Also on the head: a party of 36 Ringed Plover on the sandspit, 2 Coal Tit in the Wood and a Great Spotted Woodpecker over the HHC, as well as 10 Little Grebe in Barn Bight. Finally, of local interest, a party of 6 Crossbill went south over The Priory and may well have hit CHOG airspace.


January 20th

The sea saw another good showing of Red-throated Diver today, with 33 in total, 28 west and 5 east, plus the bonus of a Black-throated Diver, also up channel. A couple of Eider, the first of the year, were a nice record; but an oiled Guillemot on the Long Groyne was less welcome, in the context of the bird's condition that is. The 4 Avocet were again picked out from Fisherman's Bank in the morning, as were a pair of Shoveler, while lunchtime produced 90ish Dunlin and 10 Black-tailed Godwit.

January 19th

The only real activity came from Fisherman's Bank, where the Spotted Redshank and 2 Avocet were adjacent, while the other 2 Avocet were further off about South Marsh. The Dunlin flock seems to have settled back to 90 birds and only 40 Black-tailed Godwit were around today. To complete a rather short post, a Peregrine made brief pass from the north before zapping over Stanpit Village, flushing Teal and Redshank as it did so.

January 18th

The 4 Avocet and the Spotted Redshank were off Fisherman's Bank, as well as 3 each of Pintail, Shoveler and Shelduck in Stanpit Bight, and a good count of 3 Grey Wagtail on Priory Marsh. Red-throated Diver were again plentiful from the Beach Huts, with 35 being recorded this morning, also 3 Kittiwake and a single Common Scoter, the latter on the water not far from shore; while the 4 Redpoll were in alders by Holloway's Dock. It was the month's WeBS count day and the more interesting totals from Stanpit included: 495 Wigeon, 196 Coot, 187 Teal, 133 Redshank, 91 Dunlin, 78 Black-tailed Godwit and, a more respectable than of late, 76 Brent Goose.

January 17th

After last night's blow, most of the regulars made a bee-line for the Beach Huts full of anticipation as the skies cleared. However, apart from what must be a record count of Red-throated Diver, it was disappointingly quiet. Between 8:00 and 10:00, 85 Red-throated Diver, a number unprecedented in recent times, were logged. Approximately 80% of the birds headed east. The supporting cast was meagre to say the least with just 1 Black-throated Diver, also east, and a Kittiwake, together with a handful of auks heading west. On Stanpit, 5 Pintail remained, while another 6 birds flew directly out to sea. The 2 Purple Sandpiper were on groynes S8 and S9, while further down the sandspit were 15 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin and a Sanderling. A flock of 49 Snipe alighted in the marshy area at the western end of Holloway's Dock before flying off west. Many of the birds on Stanpit were constantly being put to flight with a Peregrine, seen earlier, possibly the culprit. This activity allowed the Black-tailed Godwit flock to be estimated at 120; also on Stanpit the information services reported both Jack Snipe and Spotted Redshank. Finally, a single female Goldeneye remains in the harbour.

Additional news: a pair of Bearded Tit were in reeds by the Bailey Bridge and an adult Mediterranean Gull was around Stanpit Bight.

January 16th

Another fairly quiet day, when the poor visibility at sea produced just 4 Red-throated Diver east, a Guillemot on the sea and over 30 Shag off the Beach Huts. Also, a couple of Purple Sandpiper on the groynes in that area. At Whitepits, there was a small group of 6 Linnet and up to 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker were in the Wood. Finally, don't forget the meeting tonight and to bring some spare cash for those annual subscriptions.

January 15th

A southerly wind provided plenty of updraught for a pair of Raven to hang in front of the Coastguards this morning, but allowed little shelter to be sought for seawatching. Consequently, the only marine records involve a party of 3 Red-throated Diver from the east, which then settled on the water, and a Kittiwake to the east. On a generally quiet day, there is little else to report, save for 4 Redpoll over the Wood and a drake Pintail in Barn Bight.

January 14th

On a glorious spring-like morning, the wintering flock of Great Crested Grebe was on the sea between Point House Cafe and Double Dykes, from where 144 birds were counted. Further west, off Southbourne, a few birds remained so the flock is clearly larger than originally thought. Another impressive sight was of a single flock of 296 Cormorant fishing off Whitepits; also logged were a single Purple Sandpiper and 7 Red-throated Diver, 2 of the latter moved east while the remaining 5 were on the sea. In the harbour were 10 Pintail, 7 drakes and 2 duck in Stanpit Bight and the final drake in Barn Bight. Waders on Stanpit included: 120 Dunlin, 40 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Avocet and the Spotted Redshank. Finally, 9 Little Grebe were on the river and a Kingfisher was in Barn Bight.

January 13th

On this morning's spring tide, a Ruff was seen amongst the 40 Black-tailed Godwit on South Marsh, where even the Cormorant had moved from their normal Blackberry Point roost; also on Stanpit were 40 Brent Geese, 3 drake Pintail and 3 Shoveler. Earlier, a sea watch from Double Dykes found up to 50 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mediterranean Gull and a single Guillemot on the sea, and 3 Red-throated Diver heading east. A Buzzard arriving from the south was an unusual sight. while The Priory tower Peregrine made a pass over the harbour. To round up, a Grey Wagtail was on the Argyle Road slipway and a Treecreeper was at the top end of Stanpit.

January 12th

There was just enough time before the rain set in for the day to allow for a fine record of a pair of Scaup on the river around 250m north of the HHC. These are particularly rare inside the harbour, with the majority of records being fly-bys at sea. The only other news concerns a Redwing on Wick. Tomorrow's mid-morning high-tide is a 1.9m spring, so wellingtons will be essential for a trip around Stanpit.

January 11th

Firstly, the news on the Dorset Bird Race and it's not good. The CHOG team were convincingly placed as runners-up by a massive 127 to 119. While some bad misses on the day played a part, it's clear the preparation and experience of birding wider Dorset that the winners exhibited will mean a major strategic rethink is required, if we are to ever seriously challenge again. Well done to the winners Roger Howell, James Phillips, Terry Elborn and Euan Brodie - after almost 20 years, they've still got it! Overnight, the wind shifted south and clouds came over meaning the ice was melting even during the hours of darkness. This resulted in the Bearded Tit pair being slightly more reclusive, as they could now retreat to their preferred reedbed habitat. Having said that, they were showing well early morning, at least. A couple of morning seawatches saw another good Red-throated Diver total - 29 in all - with the biggest flock being 9 east; also 2 Fulmar, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 11 Kittiwake, 8 Razorbill, 2 Guillemot, a Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Common Scoter, with the dominant direction of travel for all being east. As per earlier in the week, there was a large gathering off gulls offshore, with at least 70 Common Gull mixed-in, while a group of 3 Purple Sandpiper were on the groynes by the Beach Huts. The 3 Goldeneye were again in Barn Bight, where they were joined by 3 Tufted Duck and a Great Crested Grebe; also 9 Little Grebe counted in that area. Meanwhile, the 4 Avocet were still on Stanpit, as were 9 Pintail and 25 Black-tailed Godwit, and a Redwing was briefly in trees by the car park.

Omisson: a Jack Snipe was with several Snipe on the Salterns.

January 10th

The existing frost and ice was bolstered by another night of sub-zero temperatures. Nevertheless, the 2 Bearded Tit continued to delight around the Parky Meade Rail area, while the Little Stint also showed well again, presumably on Grimmery Marsh. Mid-afternoon, a couple of Slavonian Grebe on the sea off the Beach Huts may well have been the birds seen earlier in the week, and represent another really good record for the area. Back to Stanpit, where the 4 Avocet, the Spotted Redshank and single Knot remained intact, along with 3 Turnstone, 5 Grey Plover, 20 Ringed Plover and 6 Pintail. Also sticking around, are the 3 Goldeneye, seen today from Hengistbury, where a party of 4 Redpoll headed north; also single Shoveler and Gadwall in Barn Bight. Just outside the area, the Southbourne Great Crested Grebe gathering has now reached 137 birds!

Omissions: a female Dartford Warbler was on Crouch Hill, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on Stanpit Bight, at least 30 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Water Rail were about the marsh, as were 6 Shoveler and a Kingfisher.

Further omission: a Little Owl was heard from Solent Meads at 5:00am.

January 9th

Not wishing to be outdone by the pair of Bearded Tit, which were again giving a stunning performance, the Little Stint that was first seen on Monday, but not since, was found showing well on Grimmery Marsh. Its favoured spot this afternoon was around and on the far end of the path that leads to the bench that is positioned the other side of the river from the HHC. However, it was also seen 100m north by the pool on Grimmery Point. More exact directions for this and the Bearded Tit will be given at the end of this post. Off Fisherman's Bank, there were 4 Avocet early in the afternoon, as well as the Spotted Redshank; also 6 Grey Plover, a Grey Wagtail and a Buzzard seen from there. The iced up reedbeds are proving what an under-recorded species Moorhen is in the harbour, as they are forced to feed out in the open. A typical WeBS count figure for the entire harbour is 4 or 5 - today, 17 were counted on a walk around Stanpit! There were also at least 6 visible Water Rail, while this also represents one of the best opportunities to see Cetti's Warbler, particularly in the reeds by the Rusty Boat. Remaining counts from Stanpit included: 172 Dunlin, 57 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Snipe, 7 Ringed Plover, 5 Shoveler and 4 Pintail, as well as a single Linnet over the North Scrubs. On the other side of the river, 3 Gadwall were resting on the HHC slip and there was a further, lone Linnet. At sea, there was clearly some kind of fish shoal that attracted around 100 gorging Cormorant and many hundreds of gulls.

Bearded Tit and Little Stint directions - Park in the Stanpit car park and enter the marsh via the kissing gate at the north-west corner of the recreation ground. The Bearded Tit are 300m on, in the area just before where the reeds come closest to the path. They tend to feed on the open ground, rather than in the reeds, so look for some rodent like movements. Water Rail may also be in the open slightly further along. Carry on and meet the river and then walk 100m south to the small bench. As the gravel path cuts back away from the river, check the salt marsh for the Little Stint. Needless to say, that whilst the birds are confiding, please let them come to you, rather than straying from the path - there really is no need to.

January 8th

Some cloud overnight coupled with a few hours of morning sunshine raised the temperature a little, although it looks set to plunge again overnight. Even with the reduced reedbed ice, the 2 Bearded Tit put on a great show for much of the day. If you are going to look for them, don't necessarily expect them to be in the reeds; more often than not they're in the sedges closer to the path. Around 10 Redwing in the Wood and Wick Fields, along with 16 Turnstone by the Black House, brought the year-list to 100 - a few days sooner than last year. Poor visibility made for a quiet seawatch, the exceptions being: a couple of drake Eider, a flock of 23 Great Crested Grebe of the Bournemouth groyne 49 and 3 close Red-throated Diver. Duck were less numerous today, but did comprise: 10 Pintail, 8 Pochard, 9 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, the 3 Goldeneye and 2 Shoveler; also 18 Brent Goose. On Stanpit, the 2 Avocet were off Fisherman's Bank, the Bar-tailed Godwit was in Mother Siller's Channel, 30 Black-tailed Godwit were on South Marsh and around 100 or so Dunlin were estimated, while the sandspit held a further 49 birds as well as 20 Ringed Plover. Finally, the 4 wintering Linnet were again close to the Black House, a Peregrine was about Stanpit and Water Rail were in the open in both Brewer's Creek and Parky Meade Rail.

Additional new: the year-list actually nudged past the 100 mark courtesy of 10 Canada Goose on the river by the HHC in the early morning.

One final note: if you are looking for the Bearded Tit, please do stay on the path as straying from it may disturb other birds.

January 7th

A little warmer this morning, but still lots of birds about, making it difficult to know where to start. As the photograph above suggests, the pair of Bearded Tit were still putting on a show in the same spot as yesterday - that's on the ground around 200m west of the Rusty Boat. Record of the day, however, goes to a couple of Slavonian Grebe that sat on the sea for a good time off the Beach Huts, but a party of 5 Scaup west and a redhead Goosander behind the HHC are close challengers. Some species were around in exceptional numbers, including the commoner diving duck. For example, a party of 14 Tufted Duck and 9 Pochard circled the harbour this morning, but subsequent groups increased the respective day totals to 19 and a ridiculous 74! The same can be said of Red-throated Diver, which weighed in with an absolute minimum of 56 west, with one flock numbering 17; birds were also seen heading east but for the sake of conservatism were not counted. Also, 2 Great Northern Diver west and 9 diver sp. Meanwhile, a stroll across the Salterns found the area stuffed with Snipe, not least 6 Jack Snipe along with 35 of their commoner cousins. Sometime earlier: 4 Mistle Thrush and a single Fieldfare headed over the HHC, 3 Goldeneye were in the harbour and 2 passed west, a Purple Sandpiper was on the groynes, a Chiffchaff was by Holloway's Dock; and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Shelduck and a single Razorbill were at sea. The more unusual dabbling duck were also around in above average numbers: for example, 95 Gadwall, 27 Shoveler, 21 of these west, and 9 Pintail; while a (the?) Spotted Redshank came up from Fisherman's Bank and may well have left the area high to the west. To finish the day's list, a Grey Wagtail was close to the 'beardies', a Kingfisher was about Fisherman's Bank and the Southbourne Great Crested Grebe flock, which is not in the recording area but the numbers warrant a mention, is up to 80 individuals. Finally, the cold is certainly taking its toll with many sluggish looking birds in the area, most notably Moorhen, Meadow Pipit and Snipe. Please do try and be extra vigilant in trying not to disturb them.

Additional news: the Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit were at Stanpit, as were 9 Grey Plover, 25 Ringed Plover and a single Linnet.

January 6th

Even colder today, with temperatures around Stanpit village at -5.5C overnight. This is probably the coldest the area has seen since the winter of 97/98. These conditions were no doubt the reason that a Bittern sat on the edge of the reeds 300m north of the HHC for almost the entire day, allowing many regulars to get a locally rare bird onto their harbour life-lists. Not quite so rare, but arguably more impressive, were an obvious pair of Bearded Tit feeding alongside the path 200m beyond the Rusty Boat at Stanpit. At times, they mutually preened and then cuddled up against each other on a reed stem - quite cute, in fact. Also no doubt brought in by the freeze was a redhead Goosander north up the river this afternoon, when an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the HHC bar. As may be expected, duck were prevalent, in particular Wigeon; but also 10 Shoveler, 2 Pintail and a Pochard noted. The 2 Avocet were again logged, as was the Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Grey Wagtail. Please do also take note of the cold weather disturbance appeal.

Additional news: this afternoon, there were 3 Avocet off East Marsh, while the 4 wintering Linnet had earlier been seen on the sandspit.

January 5th

A real winter rarity today, in the form of a Little Stint, looking to be a first-winter bird, in Brewer's Creek around lunchtime. This is a species that normally puts in cameo appearances during the migration periods, particularly the autumn, so it's a real bonus to get it onto a year-list so soon. Meanwhile, over on Stanpit, the 2 Avocet and single Spotted Redshank remain, as does the Knot, 6 Grey Plover, over 225 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover and 18 Black-tailed Godwit. There was also a couple of good passerine encounters - Bearded Tit could be heard pinging in the Great Spires, and a couple of Bullfinch were along the path by RIBS Marine; while a Grey Wagtail on the Argyll Road slip is also worth a mention. The marsh is currently holding a good number of Wigeon, perhaps as many as 600, with other ducks there today including 6 Pintail, 4 Tufted Duck, a Shoveler and a Gadwall.

January 4th

Certainly the coldest overnight temperatures of the winter and the ice around the harbour bore testament to that. On Stanpit, the 2 Avocet were still in the channel off Fisherman's Bank, close to the Tutton's Well end. Also seen from there: a Knot, around 300 Dunlin, 55 Brent Goose, 7 Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher; while the information services report there are now 2 Spotted Redshank about Stanpit. At sea, good numbers of Red-throated Diver were again flying around past Hengistbury - today's total being 24, mostly west - along with a close, flyby Black-throated Diver. Other stuff at sea included a couple of Common Scoter and 5 settled Great Crested Grebe. A pair of Raven were also over Hengistbury, a Blackcap calling in the Wood is a good winter record for that spot and the 2 Goldeneye remain inside the harbour.

January 3rd

Clear skies overnight saw a heavy frost over the greater part of the recording. Again, the beach offered shelter from the north-easterly breeze and resulted in a good tally of 29 Red-throated Diver, almost exclusively east and including two groups of 6, one of 5 and two of 3. Also, a settled bird off Whitepits for over 30-minutes. A party of 5 Pochard that arrived high from the south comprised 4 drakes and a duck, while 6 Shoveler that left southward were made up of 2 adult drakes with the rest being indeterminate. Other bits and pieces were provided by 7 Common Scoter, a touring Great Crested Grebe and a 3 auk sp. The only other news is from Stanpit, where a Jack Snipe came up off Central Marsh.

January 2nd

The wader miscellany was again at Stanpit, with the 2 Avocet and Knot in Stanpit Bight, the Spotted Redshank on North Marsh, most of the 17 Grey Plover on Blackberry Point and the Bar-tailed Godwit turning up in the uncharacteristic spot of Grimmery Marsh. The Dunlin still totalled around 300, but one of their number fell to a Peregrine that seemed to start tucking-in before it had even settled. Inside the harbour, the 2 Goldeneye remained, despite a shortsighted canoeist. Well, one can only assume that has to be the case as he must have been unable to see the four, fairly large yellow buoys moored in Barn Bight! There were still 4 Shoveler off South Marsh and a further drake moved at sea, as did 3 Red-throated Diver, while a Guillemot was on the water off Double Dykes. This evening at Stanpit, in addition to the morning's news, there were 56 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Snipe.

January 1st

There was a nice selection of waders on Stanpit to see in the New Year. As well as the regular 2 Avocet and single Spotted Redshank, there was also a Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and an influx of 17 Grey Plover. All of the latter can be presumed 'new-in', perhaps due to the recent cold weather, as can some of the 310 Dunlin and 42 Ringed Plover that were about the marsh. There was also a maximum of 28 Black-tailed Godwit, but 18 soon left northwards toward the valley. The Pintail crept up to 8 birds, split evenly between the sexes, as were 6 Shoveler. The 2 Goldeneye could be seen from both sides of the harbour, while a Chiffchaff hangs on by the HHC. The sea was largely disappointing, producing just 4 Red-throated Diver east and 3 Great Crested Grebe settled off Whitepits. Meanwhile, the river by the HHC held 2 more Great Crested Grebe and 9 Little Grebe.

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