Sightings for January 2011

January 31st

Little Egret with a lugworm - Jimmy Main
...and a pair of Pintail - Jimmy Main

A combination of the large sprat flock off Southbourne and an offshore wind that resulted in calm seas meant that large numbers of seabirds could be seen, estimated and counted this morning. There are some incredible totals for the area, not least 5000+ auks, presumably mainly Razorbill, which moved generally west, including 1500 in a 10-minute spell, and over 800 Gannet, these seeming to vaguely head east feeding as they did; also a couple of Great Skua joining in the melee and nabbing what they could. A Red-necked Grebe and a Goosander were settled on the water off Double Dykes for a short time, but they moved off towards Southbourne, while masses of Great Crested Grebe were viewable from the Point House Café, but it needed a short hop outside of the area to accurately count them at 415! On a more normal day, a Black-throated Diver east would have appeared further up the post, as may 9 Red-throated Diver in the same direction, 5 Eider and 3 Gadwall west, over 100 Common Gull and 9 Mediterranean Gull. Before moving away from the sea, there were once again around 500 Cormorant feeding in the bay, with some very large flocks commuting over harbour airspace. Inside the harbour, a party of five further Goosander circled Parky Meade Rail, where there also a Gadwall, before heading north, while the 6 Pintail remain in the Stanpit Bight area and 45 Canada Goose were seen to leave towards the Avon Valley. Only 5 Avocet were noted around Stanpit today, along with 11 Grey Plover, 4 Turnstone, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 80 or so Black-tailed Godwit, 28 Ringed Plover, 300 Dunlin, 92 Brent Goose and 28 Shelduck. Finally, at one point, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker shared a tree in the North Scrubs.

Additional news: all 12 Avocet were off Fisherman's Bank in the morning.

January 30th

Spotted Redshank - Alan Hayden
Avocet - Jimmy Main

The clear blue skies throughout were spoiled only by the continuing cold wind from the north-east, but conversely to yesterday it was Stanpit that saw most activity. Eight or nine Waxwing were seen briefly in Stanpit Scrubs before heading off towards the Minterne Road area, while around 24 Linnet in the same spot is almost as noteworthy, for the date that is. A fine Water Pipit was on Priory Marsh, from where 2 Golden Plover were seen to head north; with other wader quality coming from 2 Spotted Redshank along Fisherman's Bank, as well as the now regular 12 Avocet. Elsewhere on the marsh, there were: 6 Pintail, 9 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Grey Plover, 75 Black-tailed Godwit, 100 or so Dunlin, a Redwing, a Peregrine and 196 Teal. Regular visitors to the site will be aware of the phenomenal numbers of birds currently feeding in Poole Bay - today saw an incredible 403 Great Crested Grebe counted (exactly) from just a few hundred metres west of the recording area, but many of these, if not all, would have been visible from the Point House Café.

January 29th

Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter off Hengistbury - Alan Hayden

Despite the on-going, very chilly wind, there was a reasonable turnout on the Hengistbury/Wick side of the harbour this morning, when the best was a Woodlark north over Wick Fields. Meanwhile, whatever shoal of fish that is in Poole Bay was keeping several hundred auks, nearly all Razorbill, a similar number of Cormorant and 15+ Gannet happy, as well as an attendant Great Skua mixed in with the large gulls. Also over the water, 5 Red-throated Diver and 2 Common Scoter.

Omission: a party of 4 Raven headed east over the Double Dykes.

January 28th

Not much change from yesterday really, other than a Water Pipit on Stanpit, where there was also a second-winter Mediterranean Gull and 5 Pintail this afternoon. At Fisherman's Bank, the 12 Avocet and the Spotted Redshank were again present, as were 114 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Water Rail, a Kingfisher and a male Peregrine with prey.

January 27th

A very cold easterly wind brought the merest hint of snow for a couple of hours this morning. Once more, it's all from the Stanpit side, where the Spotted Redshank and 12 Avocet were in Stanpit Creek, while other wader counts included 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 115 Black-tailed Godwit and 355 Dunlin. A fine drake Red-breasted Merganser, never common inside the harbour, was fishing just off the Mudeford Quay slipway and 6 Pintail, along with 26 Shelduck, were around Stanpit Bight. This evening, the gull pre-roost seemed rather light, but did contain 9 Mediterranean Gull, 7 adults and 2 second-winters.

Additional news: at least 150 auks were feeding in Poole Bay, viewable from Double Dykes, with a gathering of Cormorant and gulls this afternoon.

January 26th

Grey Plover - Alan Hayden

Hengistbury seems somewhat neglected at the moment, so once again the bulk of the detail comes from Stanpit. In the late-afternoon gull roost, at least one Yellow-legged Gull was with 6 Mediterranean Gull, all adults save for a second-winter, and 252 Lesser Black-backed Gull. Earlier, the best of the waders were a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank and 10 Avocet, as well as 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Grey Plover, a Turnstone, 150 Black-tailed Godwit and 39 Ringed Plover. Meanwhile, other bits-and-pieces came from: a Raven over, 2 Jackdaw on the deck in the North Scrubs, 74 Brent Goose, 4 Pintail, 9 Shelduck, 21 Little Grebe spread about and a Kingfisher on Fisherman's Bank. Finally, a colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit update: the photo from yesterday shows a bird that was initially ringed during February 2006 at Seaton Marshes in Devon. Thanks to Steve Waite of the Axe Estuary Ringing Group for such prompt information.

January 25th

Colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit - Jimmy Main

Although the Black-tailed Godwit count was slightly reduced than of late, 94 birds in total, the main group of 70 on South Marsh contained no less than four colour-ringed individuals, three of them certainly new. Details are currently being sought. Also colour-ringed, with green on its left leg, was one of four adult Mediterranean Gull, but it unfortunately flew before the 'print' could be read; while a second-winter bird made it five of these for the day. To conclude the day's sightings, other counts from inside the harbour involved 48 Ringed Plover roosting on South Marsh, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 16 Shelduck. Continuing on the theme of marked birds, however, the radio-tagged Hen Harrier seen over Hengistbury in October and that we have been following ever since is still alive and well in Dorset, and has ventured as far east as Ferndown in the last couple of days.

January 24th

The bird of the day was undoubtedly an adult Ring-billed Gull that was seen from Fisherman's Bank at lunchtime, where there were also 12 Avocet and the Spotted Redshank. On Hengistbury, the Firecrest was again in the Wood, as were singles of Redwing and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Back on the marsh, at least 155 Black-tailed Godwit were present, as were 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 25 or so Ringed Plover, 7 Mediterranean Gull, all adults, 4 Pintail, 7 Shelduck and 5 Gadwall. In terms of the commoner passerines, it was good to hear of a female Stonechat on Stanpit, this being a species that has been completely absent since the cold; also a Dartford Warbler on the Long Field, while a party of 7 Linnet on the saltmarsh close to the Stanpit Visitor's Centre is a notable record for January.

January 23rd

Kingfisher - Mike Crockard

The best from this morning was a Firecrest in the Wood on Hengistbury, where there were also 5 Redwing, while 2 Raven passed over south and 5 Red-throated Diver were feeding offshore. This afternoon, at Stanpit, the wader counts included 4 Avocet, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, 17 Ringed Plover and 300 or so Dunlin. Meanwhile, the main wildfowl interest came from 5 Pintail, a drake and four ducks, and 2 Goldeneye, but there were reduced numbers of 6 Shelduck and 28 Brent Goose respectively. Also, a single Kingfisher about the marsh today, but up to four wintering individuals have now been identified, including a ringed bird.

January 22nd

Shelduck at Stanpit - Alan Hayden

Amongst the thousands of gulls at the high tide roost on Stanpit this morning were 12 Mediterranean Gull, 9 adult and three second-winter birds, also a locally significant count of 205 Lesser Black-backed Gull. The Spotted Redshank and 12 Avocet were on East Marsh, while more than 80 Black-tailed Godwit and 18 Grey Plover were also present. Shelduck numbers continue to increase with 31 today, also 115 Brent Geese, 2 Canada Geese and 4 Pintail.

Additional news: 150 Great Crested Grebe were on the sea just west of the Point House Cafe.

January 21st

The brisk northerly breeze made it feel quite raw this morning; nevertheless, visits were made to both sides of the harbour. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit on South Marsh was the 'first-of-the-year', while a Treecreeper in the Wood was the first on the Hengistbury side, where there were also 2 Redwing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. On Stanpit 12 Avocet were on East Marsh, together with 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Plover, 3 Pintail and 19 Shelduck.

January 20th

Last night's sharp frost must have deterred the morning regulars as the only reports received so far are of afternoon visits to the harbour. Firstly, a lunchtime walk at Hengistbury found 9 Avocet in Holloway's Dock, an adult Mediterranean Gull bathing in the harbour and a Kingfisher on Wick Hams. Later, the 9 Avocet were seen from Fisherman's Bank, together with 320 Dunlin, 138 Lapwing, 103 Brent Geese, the Spotted Redshank, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Black-tailed Godwit; many more of the latter were scattered over the wider harbour but uncounted.

January 19th

A few interesting snippets from Stanpit this morning, with a Waxwing heading in the general direction of Wick, 2-3 Water Pipit, a Golden Plover and 2 Ruff on Priory Marsh, a Firecrest around the fringes of the golf course and 6 Redwing in North Scrubs, whilst from Fishermans Bank the Tufted Duck flock, although not counted, appears to have reduced further (indeed, 8 birds were seen to depart upriver), and 2 Avocet, an adult Mediterranean Gull and the regular Spotted Redshank were noted.

January 18th

A bird-filled Stanpit Bight at low tide today - Mark Murfin

Stanpit was well-watched today, with a good variety of species recorded and some reasonable counts. The Tufted Duck flock has reduced to 63 birds, but there are plenty of other duck around, with 2 Pochard, 5 Pintail, 4 Gadwall and 25 Shelduck plus uncounted Teal and Wigeon, and 95 Brent Geese were noted. A count of Rock Pipit amassed 32 birds over the Marsh, and a single Dartford Warbler was in gorse near the Visitor Centre. An unseasonal Greenshank was present, along with the regular Spotted Redshank; 155 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Avocet, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and a single Knot were also present, and around 140 Dunlin, 80 Redshank and 100 Lapwing were seen in flight over the Marsh from the other side of the harbour. Hengistbury chipped in with an Avocet in Holloways Dock, 7 Turnstone flying downriver near the HHC and 7 Little Grebe in Barn Bight, and a Jackdaw was perched on a chimney pot on Mudeford Quay.

January 17th

Heavy rain at both ends of the day today, with no reports received thus far. Late news - Fisherman's Bank held 310 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 60 Dunlin and 2 Avocet at lunchtime today.

January 16th

Today was the monthly WeBS count, but with a very strong southerly wind persisting throughout the day, the sea warranted rather more attention than it received. A Great Northern Diver and a couple of Red-throated Diver were seen from Mudeford Quay first thing, with casual observations from a walk along the beach noting a large presence of Gannet, maybe 60+ birds, along with over 40 Kittiwake, 20 Auk sp., and a dozen or so Common Gull, all feeding in the rough waters of Poole and Christchurch Bays. Stanpit held the majority of the birds counted, with 220 Wigeon, 90 Tufted Duck, 33 Teal, 2 Scaup, 3 Pintail, 86 Brent Goose, 420 Lapwing, 12 Ruff, 60 Dunlin, 121 Black-tailed and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit amongst more routine fare; a Peregrine was also seen to harass the Lapwing and Ruff over Priory Marsh. Over on Hengistbury, 2 Gadwall and a Red-breasted Merganser were off Rushy Piece, 7 Avocet remained in Holloways Dock, 36 Turnstone and 14 Purple Sandpiper were near the tip of the Sandspit, and 39 Ringed Plover were on the beach. The only other news was a flock of 15 Redwing on Wick Fields.

January 15th

Avocet and Purple Sandpiper - Alan Hayden

As befits the weekend, all areas of the Harbour were visited today, but with a strong onshore wind it was the sea that received most attention. Single Great Skua, Fulmar and Mediterranean Gull were the pick of the sightings; good numbers of Kittiwake were recorded, mostly rather distant, with 145 noted, along with 45 Razorbill, 20 Guillemot and 80+ auk sp., a Great Crested Grebe, 6 Common Scoter, 28 Red-throated and a single Black-throated Diver, all west, plus a Red-breasted Merganser that initially went west but then returned to the east. Six Purple Sandpiper were seen from Mudeford early morning, matching the total seen by the Beach Huts somewhat later. At Whitepits were 20 Redwing and a Grey Wagtail, with 4 Shoveler over. Moving inland slightly, 7 Avocet were in Holloways Dock, the Woods held a Firecrest, 5 Goldcrest, a Mistle Thrush and 8 Redpoll, and there were two Dartford Warbler near the Nursery. Over on Stanpit, the Tufted Duck flock had reduced to 84 this morning, but with 2 Scaup today, also 3 Pintail, and a good count of 235 Black-tailed Godwit. Last, but not least, a Waxwing overflew the horse field on Wick early on, heading towards Southbourne; this species is frustrating several of the regulars' attempts to catch up with, as there seems to be little in the recording area itself to tempt them to linger.

January 14th

Tufted Duck flotilla - Alan Hayden

With rain persisting until lunchtime, the only morning report was of 9 Purple Sandpiper from Mudeford Quay, with a later, fleeting visit providing 3 Gannet west and a couple of Turnstone. All other records come from a midday sortie on Stanpit, where the Tufted Duck have decreased by one (to 91), still accompanied by the Scaup, Black-tailed Godwit numbered 137 (with a new colour-ringed bird amongst them), and other counts including 17 Grey Plover, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, 250 Dunlin, 25 Ringed Plover and 7 Shelduck, with just a single Avocet today. Late news - 9 Avocet in Holloways Dock, also still 41 Redshank.

January 13th

Curlew - Jimmy Main

On another very damp day, there was again a series of impressive counts for the area. In Stanpit Bight, the Tufted Duck increased to 92 and were joined by 2 drake Pochard, with the Scaup also mixed in to complete the set of native aythya duck. In the same area, the Bar-tailed Godwit figure was a notable 34 and Fisherman's Bank saw 130 Black-tailed Godwit. Also in Stanpit Creek, the Spotted Redshank and 2 Avocet, while singles of Golden Plover and Brambling went over the marsh, and a couple of Pintail were settled.

Late news: an afternoon visit to Hengistbury produced 37 Wigeon, 20 Mallard and 4 Little Grebe in Barn Bight, 7 Avocet and 41 Redshank in Holloways Dock, and 4 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit groynes.

January 12th

Adult Mediterranean Gull surrounded by Black-headed Gull on Stanpit yesterday - Jimmy Main

On a largely wet day, there was another remarkable gathering of Tufted Duck in Stanpit Bight. Conditions hampered counting, but 82 was reckoned to the final total, with once again nearly all of them adult drakes; also a/the Scaup in with them. Priory Marsh was similiarly full of birds, not least 12 Ruff and 125 Black-tailed Godwit, while 9 Avocet were in Holloway's Dock and 2 more were at Stanpit, as were 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and a decent, local figure of 28 Common Gull. This afternoon, 3 Purple Sandpiper were viewable from Mudeford Quay, on the northern extremity of the sandspit, where a single bird had earlier been seen at the southern end. The best at sea, in an hour-and-a-quarter this morning was a settled Black-throated Diver, with other snippets coming from a Great Crested Grebe and 14 Common Gull west, plus a raft of 20 Shag.

January 11th

Little Egret - Mike Davidson
Dunnock - John Harding

All the news effectively comes from one observer on Hengistbury this morning, where there were 3 Purple Sandpiper on groyne S3 and 8 Avocet in Holloway's Dock. A party of 9 Redpoll over the Batters is a decent mid-winter record, while the rest is made up 4 Redwing in the Wood, 2 Raven over there and a Peregrine above the Long Field. As it's quiet, it's a good moment for a brief update on the radio-tagged Hen Harrier that was featured last month. In the last couple of weeks, the young male headed 5km out to sea from Portland, but hastily backtracked, and has now taken up residence in an area south of Stourpaine, Dorset. A further statistic from this project, and one that has been exaggerated by the exceptional weather, is that only two of ten nestlings tagged last year have survived, the other spending the season in Spain.

January 10th

Waxwing on The Broadway - Chris Chapleo

Waxwing records from the western fringe of the area, and just beyond, dominate today's post. Firstly, a flock of 22 was perched in trees adjacent to St Catherine's School for a short time this morning, while a little later a party of 20+ passed overhead. It therefore seems likely that eight over Brightlands Avenue and fourteen briefly at the junction of Nugent Road and The Broadway, where the above photos were taken, are some of the same birds. At Stanpit, 20 Grey Plover arrived to join the 15 already on-site, with other wader numbers coming from 7 Avocet, a Spotted Redshank, 13 Knot, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit and around 300 Dunlin. Meanwhile, a couple of Brambling went over the marsh, where 6 Pintail and 7 Shelduck were settled. The only news from the sea involves 2 Red-throated Diver from Mudeford Quay.

January 9th

Bar-tailed Godwit - Alan Hayden

After a cold night, there was more than a hint of frost and blue skies remained throughout the day. This morning on Wick, a Goosander was feeding in the channel that the Wooden Bridge spans and 32 Greylag Goose passed over towards Stanpit; also 7 Fieldfare and 5 Redwing about the fields. Later in the day, on Stanpit, there was a Water Pipit with a few Rock Pipit by the Visitor's Centre, while 3 Avocet, a Knot, 19 Grey Plover, a few Bar-tailed Godwit and more Black-tailed Godwit were around the bight. Also, a brown-head Goldeneye, 4 Mediterranean Gull, an increased 120 Brent Goose, 6 Gadwall and 5 Shelduck on the marsh, the latter appearing to head off north to roost.

January 8th

On a remarkably mild morning, the harbour had a raptor highlight, as an adult male Hen Harrier was watched quartering the fields by the Wooden Bridge on Wick for a while. All the diving duck are pretty unusual within the area, so a flock of 72 Tufted Duck, 70 of them adult drakes, at Stanpit is quite remarkable; also the female Scaup and a Goldeneye hanging around in Barn Bight. The Stanpit side of the harbour saw 5 Ruff, a Spotted Redshank and 7 Avocet, while a further Spotted Redshank and 5 Avocet were in the Holloway's Dock area on Hengistbury, and singles of Redpoll and Linnet passed over there. The rest of the post comes from a fairly active sea, which up to 11:00, produced 2 Black-throated Diver and a minimum of 2 Great Northern Diver east; however the Red-throated Diver were more varied in their movements but probably came to at least 30 birds, also 5 distant diver sp. There were also 15 Kittiwake west, a couple of hundred bi-directional auks, mainly unidentified, but 23 Guillemot and 75 Razorbill were certain, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 east and 2 lingering, 63 Brent Goose purposefully east, 62 settled Shag, 20 Gannet, a Common Scoter, 25 Great Crested Grebe off Double Dykes and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Finally, thanks to Nick Tomlinson for an extremely interesting and very much appreciated talk last night.

January 7th

Once again, early rain, and the lure of an eagle a few miles down the road meant there was little going on in the harbour this morning, but a single Waxwing did over-fly Two Riversmeet. Close by, one each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff were on the feeders adjacent to RIBS Marine, while around 10 Redwing were about the golf course. At Mudeford Quay, at least 6 Red-throated Diver were still settled offshore.

January 6th

Brent Goose at a damp Stanpit - Mark Murfin

A fairly vile, wet morning limited field activity to the car on Mudeford Quay, where 6 Red-throated Diver passed by east. By mid-afternoon, things had dried, and by late-afternoon, 4:35 to be precise, a Bittern was seen in flight from the Wooden Bridge on Wick. Also seen going to roost were 11 Pheasant flying into their truly natural reedbed habitat. Earlier on Wick, there were 6 Fieldfare, up to 22 Redwing and a Grey Wagtail.

January 5th

Mediterranean Gull at Mudeford Quay - Alan Hayden
Mute Swan over Stanpit - Mark Murfin

A bitterly cold wind saw only the more hardy head out into the field today, but the reward was the second good grebe in succession, as a Black-necked Grebe was seen well off Mudeford Quay late in the morning. Also from there, a decent diver passage, with 3 Black-throated Diver, the year's first two Great Northern Diver and over 30 Red-throated Diver, while three of the latter also passed over the harbour itself. Other stuff at the quay included, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 12 Turnstone and a Mediterranean Gull. At Stanpit, there were 10 Knot, a Ruff, a Spotted Redshank and 11 Avocet, but the undoubted highlight was an Otter that was watched with prey for several minutes close to the Visitor's Centre.

January 4th

Dunlin - Alan Hayden

When we get round to kicking-off the 2011 year-list page, then it's going to have a few quality, early entrants - not least a Slavonian Grebe that was off the Beach Huts this morning. Also from the sandspit, a nice total of 12 Purple Sandpiper, as well as the Cormorant flock that had shifted into Christchurch Bay. Otherwise, the rest of the news is all from around the East Marsh area of Stanpit, which held: a Ruff, 13 Avocet, 2 Knot, plus 6 of those leaving north, a Turnstone and 5 Shelduck.

Omission: around 40 Redwing were on Stanpit golf course.

January 3rd

Grey Plover - Alan Hayden

The final day of the extended break didn't really add anything new to what has been a cracking couple of week's birding around the area. At Stanpit, single Ruff were seen around Stanpit Bight and flying downriver along Grimmery Bank; also the Spotted Redshank and 8 Avocet, with the other waders estimated to be similar in numbers to yesterday. From Wick early on, 3 Goosander were seen leaving their roost; while throughout the day, the Scaup was in Barn Bight, 3 Mediterranean Gull, singles of each available plumage, were at Stanpit, and small numbers of Fieldfare, Redwing and Goldcrest were noted on Hengistbury and Wick. On a quiet sea, from dawn to 9:30, a total of 15 Red-throated Diver, most of them east, 10 Red-breasted Merganser, seven of them west, a Common Scoter, 6 Gannet, 2 Razorbill and an auk sp. were all that could be rummaged up from Whitepits. Once again, hundreds of Cormorant were in Poole Bay, with 300 counted returning to the harbour in a series of flocks.

Additional news: a Green Sandpiper was on Ashtree Meadow today and yesterday.

January 2nd

One of at least four Dartford Warbler in the area that have survived the freeze
- Chris Chapleo
Brent Goose , which are becoming ever more confiding on Stanpit - John Harding
...and a portion of the Cormorant flock in Poole Bay - Alan Hayden

In very similar conditions to yesterday, the best bird came late on, when a Bittern was watched at 4.30 from Grimmery Bank working its way along the reeds on the opposite side of the river. However, a Crossbill over Wick and a Brambling in the North Scrubs, normally only recorded on autumn passage, are both also very good for the date. The sea again saw a good movement of Red-throated Diver, with 57 birds - 34 of them in one flock - moving west prior to 10:00; along with 2 further individuals, a Common Scoter, a Shelduck, 7 Wigeon and a Red-breasted Merganser, all east, plus a settled drake of the latter on the water off Double Dykes. Meanwhile, west of the area, but viewable from within, were 205 Great Crested Grebe and still hundreds of Cormorant in a tight flock. At least 2 Goosander roosted in the harbour overnight, where the Scaup remained in Barn Bight, along with 9 Little Grebe, 5 Pintail and 3 Shelduck. At Stanpit, a Water Pipit was present just beyond the Visitor's Centre and a detailed wader count came to: 7 Avocet, a Spotted Redshank, 23 Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Ringed Plover and 290 or so Dunlin. Also around South Marsh, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 2 adults and a second-winter, and 77 Brent Goose, while a small flock of Redwing were in Ashtree Meadow and a Grey Wagtail was about Wick.

January 1st

Adult White-fronted Goose - Alan Hayden
Avocet - Alan Hayden
...and with a Spotted Redshank - Alan Hayden
Kingfisher - Alan Crockard

Another mild and settled day saw a definite influx of White-fronted Goose. Around lunchtime, the three young birds at Wick were joined by 3 adults, while a few miles north of the area, a further 8 birds were around Winkton. Given this information, it's probably fair to assume that a skein of 7 grey geese moving east at sea were most likely of this species. Although there is not a lot of detail for the day, most of the target species for those who have an affinity for year-listing were present, plus a few extras. Not least, a Lapland Bunting that came up from Solent Meads golf course early on, a couple of Bittern that went over the path from there to the Wooden Bridge in the dawn half-light and a group of 9 Waxwing that headed from Wick towards The Broadway, over St Catherine's school, mid-morning. Meanwhile, the Scaup was again in Barn Bight and a Spotted Redshank, a Ruff, 12 Avocet, 3 Knot were at Stanpit, mainly from Fisherman's Bank, and 2 Water Pipit were on the marsh proper. Diver were again moving, with 2 Black-throated Diver and 39 Red-throated Diver all west, plus two of the latter east, in the period until 10:00, when there was little else save 3 Guillemot and the already mentioned geese. At dusk, a Goosander was seen to come in to roost, while earlier 5 Pintail, 5 Gadwall and 9 Turnstone were logged. Finally, Cormorant don't often get a mention, but there is currently an impressive gathering of at least 800 birds, mainly in the morning, somewhere off Bournemouth. Many of the birds originate from Christchurch or further east, with around 350 being counted returning from Poole Bay before 10:00 today.

Return to the Sightings Archive Index

View the full archive of photographs, which now contains over 250 species.

Here is the full archive of features that have previously appeared on the CHOG website.