Sightings for May 2010

May 31st

With June just a few hours away, it seems as if the anticipation of mid-March was just last week. A Turtle Dove on Wick this morning saw out the season, which has anecdotally been less than average - but as populations of some previously common species continue to decline, it's hard to make instant judgement. Bits-and-pieces elsewhere included: a pair of Grey Wagtail, presumably the birds from the Bridge Street site, at Stanpit; a couple of Dunlin from Fisherman's Bank; a party of 10 Shelduck making some promising moves on Crouch Hill; and a Cuckoo singing around Ashtree Meadows.

May 30th

Once again, the lure of the Forest put paid to many of the regulars visiting the harbour today, so there is unfortunately nothing to report.

Additional news: a Grey Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Tern were off Fisherman's Bank.

May 29th

The strong wind moved from south-east to south-west throughout the morning, meaning shelter at the Beach Huts was patchy to say the least. However, this didn't prevent the earlier observers catching up with a dark phase Arctic Skua heading into The Solent, while a first-summer Little Gull left the harbour over the huts and then moved slowly west. Other than a Hobby and an adult Kittiwake, the rest was fairly routine and included: 54 Common Scoter in a variety of flock sizes and directions, so some duplication may be assumed, 4 Common Tern, 3 Sanderling, a Razorbill, several auk sp. and 7 Fulmar, some of the latter coming in very close indeed.

May 28th

Only by virtue of the date, today's best were a single Wheatear on the Barn Field, a Mistle Thrush leaving Hengistbury and a flock of 4 adult Rook east over Wick before it headed back again. Inside the harbour, waders were down to just 2 Grey Plover, both coming into plumage, and a Black-tailed Godwit; but the Mute Swan herd is starting to build in time for the mid-summer moult, with over 90 birds estimated.

May 27th

Some reasonably heavy morning rain saw off most of today's intended fieldwork. Nevertheless, a Hobby was seen coming in-off over Whitepits and then heading towards The Priory. From Fisherman's Bank, a rather sparse wader presence was made up off 4 Grey Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, a Lapwing and a Redshank.

Additional news: in the evening, a Cuckoo was singing in the North Scrubs at Stanpit and a Hobby passed over.

May 26th

There was more extensive coverage today, which resulted in a Turtle Dove being seen coming off the head, with then perhaps the same bird logged over Wick Fields and seeming ultimately to come down into the North Scrubs on Stanpit. A Cuckoo that toured Wick was also heard from Hengistbury, where there were 2 Spotted Flycatcher. A certain amount of time was spent looking at the sea - an activity that produced: over 40 Common Tern and 30 or so Gannet, as well as a Razorbill, 4 Guillemot and 3 Common Scoter all east. Waders for the day, noted from both sides of the harbour, comprised: 4 Grey Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Dunlin.

May 25th

Firstly, please check back to yesterday for some decent late-in-the-day news. For today, all the detail comes from Fisherman's Bank in the early afternoon, when a lone Brent Goose in Stanpit Bight was something of a surprise for the date. Also logged, 2 Grey Plover, 16 Dunlin, a Black-tailed Godwit and 26 resting Sandwich Tern. Meanwhile, on a more general note, the unprecedented number of large gulls, mostly non-breeding aged Herring Gull, constantly loafing around the harbour continues - something that has been going on for several weeks now - and is reckoned to involve 7-800 birds. Of butterfly interest, Orange Tip have been on the wing in small numbers since the weekend.

May 24th

It was another scorching day, but very little bird interest went with it. However, a Garden Warbler singing around the Old Council Depot was something of a surprise, while 3 Spotted Flycatcher - on the Barn Field, in the North Scrubs and in Smithy's Field - were perhaps more expected. Around Stanpit Bight and Fisherman's Bank, the vestigial wader passage comprised: 2 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover; but singles of Curlew and Lapwing, plus 4 Redshank, may be birds that have already given up their efforts on nearby breeding grounds. Also from Fisherman's Bank, a total of 5 Gadwall. In general, Hengistbury was very quiet, but a Coal Tit in the Wood adds to the suspicion that they may well be breeding on that side of the harbour.

Additional news: a Nightjar called, but didn't 'churr', and was seen briefly about the Ironstone Quarry at 22:00.

May 23rd

As has become the trend in recent times, as the migration period draws to an end, the attraction of the breeding birds now on territory in the New Forest tempt some of the regulars away from the confines of the harbour. Consequently, this morning saw little coverage and even less to write about. Actually, it took until the late afternoon before any real interest popped up, when a pale-phase Arctic Skua was watched haranguing terns off the Hengistbury beach. Incredibly, this is only the third record of this species for the year and underlines just how poor the spring has been for seabird passage. Earlier, the information services mentioned 2 Avocet on Stanpit, while 5 Grey Plover, 9 Redshank and a Lapwing were seen from Fisherman's Bank.

May 22nd

Nearly all the action came between 6:30 and 7:30 this morning, when a party of 3 Spoonbill passed east over the HHC and a Turtle Dove circled the northern part of Wick Fields. A couple of Spotted Flycatcher also passed over there, with a further bird in the Wood, while 2 Wheatear were on the Barn Field. To add to the recent intrigue, a party of Grey Heron, seemingly all adults, came in from the south over Poole Bay and another two birds moved off to the west. Also seen coming in over the water were at least 40 Swift, a single Great Crested Grebe and 8 Tufted Duck. On Stanpit, a small number of Dunlin and Ringed Plover were accompanied by three each of Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit, a pair of Shoveler was present and a Peregrine soared over the golf course.

May 21st

For the second time this week, a party of Grey Heron were seen heading out to sea. Around 6:45 this morning, a tight flock of 14 birds was very high over the harbour and moved directly south; then 15-minutes later, 5 birds, possibly from the original group, came back over northwards. Juveniles are now out of the nest, so presumably this is some form of post-breeding dispersal? Also seen early on at Hengistbury, 8 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, a pair of hunting Peregrine, 5 Common Tern and 3 Turnstone, the latter moving over Double Dykes. Given their declining status, it was nice to hear a Cuckoo singing from the HHC, while a Whinchat and 2 Wheatear were on the Barn Field, and the Willow Warbler, a species that has not bred in the area for some years, continues to sing in the Nursery. On Stanpit in the afternoon, a party of 6 Grey Plover, some of them extremely smart, was the best; but also a Whimbrel and 3 Black-tailed Godwit. Meanwhile, most of the small waders were on the inner side of Mudeford Quay, with day-totals coming to: a Sanderling, 33 Ringed Plover and 28 Dunlin.

May 20th

Only Stanpit received any visits today, where there were 10 Sanderling in the morning; then throughout the day: 3 Grey Plover, a Greenshank, 9 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin and 3 Redshank were all recorded from Fisherman's Bank. In terms of migrants, Crouch Hill hosted a couple of Wheatear, while 7 Common Tern and 12 Sandwich Tern rested in Stanpit Bight. To conclude this short post, varying degrees of wildfowl interest came from pairs of Shoveler, Gadwall and Canada Goose.

May 19th

It was a half-decent morning for incoming hirundines, not least House Martin, of which 130 were logged, which represents a really notable spring total; as well as 230 Swallow and, while strictly speaking not of the same category, 380 Swift. All these were in the two hours following 8:00 at Hengistbury. Also moving over the head, a Hobby and 4 Yellow Wagtail, but 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Garden Warbler, 2 Wheatear and a Willow Warbler were decked, as was a Grey Wagtail in the uncharacteristic location of Crouch Hill. Waders were passing or settled in quite some variety - 15 Sanderling, 5 Turnstone, a Knot, 3 Grey Plover and a Curlew, all went east; and a Common Sandpiper, 3 Sanderling, 2 Grey Plover, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Whimbrel, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover, 70 Dunlin and 3 Redshank, were nearly all around Stanpit. A nice flock of 26 Common Tern were feeding at sea and a further two were about Mudeford Quay for most of the day. Meanwhile, Stanpit Bight hosted pairs of Gadwall and Canada Goose.

May 18th

Other than a male Cuckoo that came in-off the sea and straight into a mist net by the HHC, there is very little to report for the day. A Garden Warbler was seen in Wick Ditch and a possibly new Reed Warbler was singing in the same area. On the morning low tide, 26 Sanderling fed on the exposed sand in The Run, while a further two were inside the harbour with 30 or so Dunlin. Later, at lunchtime, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 8 Black-tailed Godwit, all looking like first-summer birds, were off Fisherman's Bank and a Common Tern was on the river.

May 17th

One can't help feeling we're now in the wind down from what has been a pretty average spring migration. In windless conditions this morning, there was a small arrival of Spotted Flycatcher - 5 in the Wood and the Long Field, plus 2 in Smithy's Field - as well as Yellow Wagtail over Stanpit, a singing Sedge Warbler in the strange location of Crouch Hill, which was upsetting the incumbent Whitethroat, and a total of 4 Wheatear. Waders inside the harbour included: a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, over 80 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank and 3 Lapwing; while a minimum of 9 Turnstone were by Clarendon's Rocks on the sandspit and 2 Common Tern came in over The Run.

May 16th

A day of blustery south-west wind did nothing to encourage passage seabirds into local waters; but it did bring in some auks, presumably from Dorset breeding colonies. By far the best were 2 Puffin that passed close to the end of the head around lunchtime as they headed back towards the Purbecks. Also logged, up to 10 each of Guillemot and Razorbill, as well as: 20 or so Common Scoter, a first-summer Kittiwake, 3 Fulmar, 40 Common Tern, 3 Great Crested Grebe and an unidentified diver. Some mild passerine interest was provided by 3 Spotted Flycatcher, in the Nursery, in Stanpit Scrubs and close to the Wooden Bridge, plus 2 Whinchat and 4 Wheatear on the Barn Field. Passing waders included: 11 Sanderling, a Turnstone and a Ringed Plover; while 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Grey Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 19 Dunlin were counted around Stanpit Bight in the morning. A steady arrival of Swallow was noted throughout - a 2-hour sample from 11:30 producing 120 birds - with the remaining miscellany involving pairs of Gadwall and Canada Goose at Stanpit.

May 15th

An almost complete lack of wind gave a license to the biting insects this morning, which at times were bordering on the ferocious! Only the height of Coastguards offered any kind of sanctuary, so a few uncomfortable hours were spent looking at the sea from there. It wasn't time completely wasted, however, as a reasonable selection of moving waders included: 17 Turnstone, 13 Whimbrel, 2 Sanderling, 25 Black-tailed Godwit that arrived on Stanpit, at least 2 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin. Earlier, a party of 8 Grey Heron appeared from the north, seemed to lose one bird somewhere around Hengistbury and then coasted westward, while a Little Tern, a Kittiwake and 5 Common Tern moved in the opposite direction. Also seen at sea were pairs of Shoveler and Gadwall, as well as 5 Tufted Duck, and a steady incoming of Swallow, Swift and House Martin, in that order quantity wise. No reports have been received from Stanpit, so to mop up on Hengistbury: 2 young Rook were having a wander; 2 Peregrine were logged; 6 Greylag Goose were in the harbour early on; and 2 Willow Warbler continue to sing but there has so far been no evidence of any actual breeding.

Additional news: 2 Knot were at Stanpit, both in breeding plumage.

May 14th

After a night of onshore winds, it was all available hands to the sea this morning. However, in comparison to at least one neighbouring site, we seem to have fared rather badly. The best of the morning was an Arctic Skua and a Manx Shearwater from the Beach Huts, while a Little Tern, 6 Kittiwake and 10 Common Gull were logged from the Barn Field area. The period before lunch also saw the season's best total of Common Tern - 32 - of which 20 were feeding in a group around the Long Groyne. A 2-hour spell in the afternoon was less inspiring, but did involve an Arctic Tern, which lingered with Sandwich Tern and 2 Common Tern off the huts. Other totals for the water throughout the day include: around 50 Common Scoter, 60+ Gannet, 4 Fulmar, 10 Guillemot, 2 Razorbill, 20 auk sp. and 3 diver sp., as well as 11 Sanderling moving by. Little focus was put on passerines, nevertheless a Black Redstart was briefly on a fence bordering the Barn Field, a Garden Warbler was in the Nursery, where a Willow Warbler continues to sing, and 3 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill. Wader numbers inside the harbour have dropped back again: for example, just 2 Knot, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Whimbrel, 3 Sanderling, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, a Curlew and 15 Dunlin to enter into the records. To wrap up, a couple of Mediterranean Gull were off Fisherman's Bank and 4 Greylag Goose were on the HHC bar early on.

May 13th

The last couple of days have seen definite break in the wind to the more conventional south-west, with a force that has been slowly gathering strength all day. Passerine migrants were few and far between this morning, as only singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Yellow Wagtail moved over Stanpit, and a singing Garden Warbler remained on the Batters. The best of the waders were certainly 3 Common Sandpiper on the Wick river bank opposite Grimmery Point, while 4 Knot, 2 Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 11 Whimbrel, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 52 Dunlin were around Stanpit Bight. At least 100 Swift were feeding over Priory Marsh, which attracted a Hobby briefly, a House Martin went over Hengistbury and 3 Common Tern passed through. What was described as a quiet seawatch still mustered 3 Arctic Tern, never common in spring, as well as a single Fulmar.

May 12th

The clear, overnight skies produced the merest hint of frost across the recording area this morning, but a drop in the strength of the wind made it feel warmer than it might have otherwise been. These conditions meant that a few new, incoming migrants were around Hengistbury and Wick, including: 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Reed Warbler, 9 Willow Warbler, a Whinchat, 9 Wheatear and even a couple of late Chiffchaff; while 92 Swift and a Hobby passed over. Two second-summer Mediterranean Gull were seen from the head, and Stanpit held pairs of Shoveler and Canada Goose. The final wader totals for the day, both settled and moving, comprised: 14 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit leaving north; 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Sanderling, 10 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 49 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank and a Curlew were in the harbour at one time or another; and a single Turnstone was on the Long Groyne.

Omission: a Hobby was around Stanpit in the evening.

May 11th

The wind's excursion to the south-east yesterday lasted barely a few hours and this morning it was back to normal service, i.e. from the north-east. A 1.75-hour migration watch, which commenced 6:45 at Stanpit, contrasted starkly to yesterday; with just 35 Swift, a single Swallow and 5 drake Tufted Duck to see in the sky. Meanwhile, throughout the day, the peak wader numbers on the marsh were: 4 Knot, 6 Grey Plover, a Turnstone, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 45 Dunlin, a Redshank and a Curlew; while the only other migrants were a new Lesser Whitethroat by the HHC and 4 Wheatear on the Barn Field.

May 10th

Throughout the morning, the wind once again came from the north, but around lunchtime it did switch to the south-east giving rise to some renewed optimism for tomorrow. Nonetheless, there was still plenty to see today, not least during a 2-hour visible migration watch commencing 08:15 at Stanpit, which saw: a Marsh Harrier, a Hobby, 410 Swift, 135 Swallow, 78 House Martin, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 6 Yellow Wagtail, plus a further one and two respectively from Wick, all move over northbound. The marsh was also well worth a visit for the wader variety, namely: a Golden Plover in the grass on South Marsh, 8 Grey Plover, 3 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 3 Knot, a Turnstone, 12 Whimbrel, 54 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Ringed Plover and 56 Dunlin; nearly all of these in or around Stanpit Bight, but never all on show at the same time. A singing Cuckoo by the Nursery was a sound that is now heard all too seldom in the area and a further Spotted Flycatcher was by the Double Bends in the Wood, a single Fulmar and around 20 Gannet were recorded at sea, a single Peregrine was overhead and 7 Wheatear were on site.

May 9th

There were two events that vied for the title of most exciting for the day - firstly, a breakdown of the Noddy Train on Hengistbury, which required a replacement 'locomotive' to be sent out; or, secondly, a Roseate Tern that passed by the Coastguards! In addition to an impressive, contemporary figure of 8 Spotted Flycatcher on Wick, there was a clear influx of Swift today. Two counts were received - 500 in 2-hours over the Bobolink Field area and 360 in-off the sea from Coastguards - with duplication considered unlikely so resulting in a figure of over 800 birds. Inevitably, this brought in some Hobby, three in fact, as well as an attendant pair of Peregrine. Many of yesterday's waders were still present at Stanpit, including: 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 2 Turnstone, 3 Grey Plover, 41 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Whimbrel, 106 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover; while a further 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Sanderling moved by at sea, as did 20 or so Common Scoter. Other than the previously mentioned flycatchers, passerine migrants were again few and far between, but did involve 4 Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whinchat and 11 Wheatear, nearly of all of these on Hengistbury. Terns continue to be almost absent; for example, just 1 Common Tern and less than 10 Sandwich Tern recorded throughout the day, which also saw the hybrid carrion/hooded Crow back on site and bachelor duck in the shape of 2 Shoveler, a Tufted Duck and the regular Wigeon.

May 8th

In spite of the wind remaining in an offshore direction, instead of the apparently forecast south-east, the sea was given a bit of a bash this morning and did come up with one or two snippets of interest. All three divers were logged - singles of Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver headed into Poole Bay, while 2 Red-throated Diver went the opposite way - also 2 Eider west and a young Spoonbill east, although this was actually moving on a slightly inland course. A Hobby spent at least an hour attempting to prey on incoming migrants as they were still over the water. However, when it did eventually hit lucky, a pair of previously unseen Peregrine appeared from nowhere and promptly mugged the smaller bird of its kill! To complete the picture at sea, a total of 54 Common Scoter went a mixture of ways, 22 Swift, 4 Swallow and a Yellow Wagtail successfully avoided any falcons, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull and 15-20 Gannet were noted, a Sparrowhawk appeared to arrive and 14 Common Tern passed slowly by. Moving waders were once again a feature and totalled: a Knot, a Greenshank, 11 Sanderling, 4 Turnstone, 3 Grey Plover, 9 Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover and 27 Dunlin; with a surprising number of these seeming to prefer to travel in mixed flocks of four. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, there were 20+ Bar-tailed Godwit, a further 2 Knot, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 25 Dunlin. Other migrant interest came from a Whinchat on the Bobolink Field and 7 Wheatear generally about Hengistbury.

Additional news: a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Nursery during the morning.

May 7th

As the wind swung to the north-east, and hopefully veering even further by tomorrow, there did seem to be some improvement in the wader numbers at Stanpit. In total and listed as settled or moving east in that order were: 36 Bar-tailed Godwit plus 79, the largest flock being 60 birds; 16 Whimbrel plus 31; 4 Grey Plover, at least one of these in pristine breeding plumage, plus 12; 2 Turnstone plus 6; and 7 Dunlin plus 6; while 3 Curlew and 2 Black-tailed Godwit were lingering. Most of these were logged from Crouch Hill, where 3 Hobby, 2 Peregrine, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Tree Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail passed over, as well as 2 Mediterranean Gull there, with two more from the HHC. A Garden Warbler was briefly in song by the Civic Offices, 5 Wheatear and a Whinchat were on the Barn Field, and singles of each of the latter were also on Priory Marsh. Elsewhere, a Buzzard seemed to come in over the Barn Field, the drake Wigeon was in the adjacent bight, 5 Shoveler, 2 pairs and a single female, were in Stanpit Bight, 6 Willow Warbler were on Hengistbury and couple of Swift passed through, 3 Canada Goose were on East Marsh and 4 Greylag Goose were recorded.

May 6th

Today's murky start brought down a few migrants on Hengistbury this morning including a Wood Warbler by Holloway's Dock and a male Whinchat on the Barn Field, also seen were 20 Willow Warbler, half a dozen of which were singing, 17 Wheatear, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart and a Hobby that moved over. A summer plumaged Black-throated Diver was on the sea off the Beach Huts and there were 2 Great Crested Grebe off Double Dykes, while around 60 Sandwich Tern were offshore. Moving east at sea were 71 Whimbrel, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Common Tern and a Mediterranean Gull, also a Tufted Duck west. Another 2 Mediterranean Gull passed over Fisherman's Bank, where wader numbers were 18 Whimbrel, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and a Dunlin. Finally, the drake Wigeon was still in Barn Bight and the pair of Shoveler in Stanpit Bight.

May 5th

The year's first Spotted Flycatcher came in today, four birds in fact, all seen passing over Crouch Hill, Stanpit, this morning. Also from there, 7 Yellow Wagtail and 21 Swift, while a male Whinchat and 6 Wheatear were on the Barn Field, Hengistbury. In terms of numbers, there is currently very little wader-wise on Stanpit - 3 Greenshank, 2 Grey Plover, 15 Whimbrel, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Lapwing and 3 Curlew being the most notable, but nothing else smaller than the plover. A Peregrine went over the marsh, a pair of Shoveler spent most of the day in Stanpit Bight and the drake Wigeon remains on the other side of the harbour in Barn Bight.

May 4th

After a clear, still night, which saw a frost just a few miles inland from the harbour, there is very little to report; although a couple of Whinchat on the Barn Field do contribute significantly to the overall total for that species so far this season. Otherwise, it's just 3 Wheatear in the same location, an unseasonable Great Crested Grebe on the sea off Doubles Dykes, along with 3 Gannet and a Fulmar over the water.

May 3rd

The end of the Bank Holiday weekend was something of an anticlimax, the exception being a Marsh Harrier that was initially seen coming in-off the sea from Coastguards, before crossing the Barn Field and then passing north over Stanpit and into the Avon Valley. The strong north wind prompted an early comment that Swift may be on the move - this did prove to be the case, but wasn't really made in the context of just 5 birds incoming over Hengistbury! At Whitepits, a new singing Lesser Whitethroat was in position, while 4 Wheatear were in the Barn Field area and a Yellow Wagtail passed over the head. A number of terns moving reluctantly east along the sandspit included: 3 Arctic Tern, 15 Little Tern and 21 Common Tern, with other stuff at sea comprising: a Great Northern Diver, 4 Tufted Duck and 3 Gadwall, all west. There are no wader reports from Stanpit, but 7 Whimbrel were in Holloway's Dock and 8 Black-tailed Godwit were seen from the HHC. Meanwhile, the lone, drake Wigeon remains in Barn Bight and 5 Mediterranean Gull were logged.

Additional news: a Hobby was hunting hirundines over Wick in the evening, before heading north; also 5 Black-tailed Godwit headed in the same direction.

May 2nd

Firstly, thanks to all of those - members, guides and ringers - who made it to the members' morning at Hengistbury and also the wader walk on Stanpit today, despite the weather forecast! In the event we escaped with just a little rain but the northerly wind made it feel quite cold. Unfortunately, it remained fairly quiet although Swift were on the move in reasonable numbers with 112 logged, also 12 House Martin plus 6 Wheatear, 6 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler and a Hobby, the latter seen by the participants on the Stanpit walk. The Spotted Redshank and Greenshank were opposite Fisherman's Bank, while elsewhere in the harbour there were 42 Dunlin, 41 Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Whimbrel, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover and 2 Curlew. Another 40 Bar-tailed Godwit left the harbour during the morning. From the Coastguards, 9 Mediterranean Gull and 7 Common Tern headed east, 2 Fulmar west and a single Common Scoter was on the sea. Later, 6 Little Tern were feeding off Mudeford Quay and 5 Gannet moved into the Solent. Finally, the 2 Greylag Geese were once more on the river.

May 1st

A two hour watch from Crouch Hill this morning saw the best movement of Swift this spring with 235 moving through, also 90 Swallow, 56 House Martin, 30 Linnet, 12 Goldfinch, 11 Meadow Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail. On the other side of the harbour, another 30 Swift were seen plus 12 Swallow, a couple of House Martin, a Turtle Dove over Wick, the second Hobby of the year and a single Yellow Wagtail. There were just 4 Wheatear on the Barn Field with another on Crouch Hill, also both Grasshopper Warbler and Garden Warbler singing on Crouch Hill. There was also quite a bit of wader movement which included the year's first Wood Sandpiper, something of a spring rarity in the harbour; also 62 Dunlin, 14 Whimbrel, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Sanderling, 2 Knot and singles of Ringed Plover, Curlew, Grey Plover and Little Ringed Plover, the latter on East Marsh. On the sandspit there were 4 Sanderling today with 6 Turnstone and 3 Whimbrel while 2 Redshank were in Barn Bight. The sea was dire with nothing better than 10 Common Scoter, 4 Common Tern and 3 Gannet. Finally, 2 Greylag Geese toured the harbour before alighting in Barn Bight and later this afternoon 2 Brent Geese arrived and settled on the river not far from the HHC.

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