Sightings for June 2011

June 30th

The Osprey put in at least two appearances today: firstly at 6:30, when it took a fish; and then later at around 2:30, when it was less successful. A Spoonbill seen from Hengistbury heading upriver returned to Stanpit a little later and spent an hour feeding off the tip of South Marsh, until around 9:00 when it took off, gained height and left the harbour. The 2 Whimbrel were still on Stanpit, as well as 2 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Gadwall and, this afternoon, 23 Mediterranean Gull. A Treecreeper was by the Information Centre on Stanpit, while a Bullfinch was on Wick.

Late news: a male Redstart was on Stanpit today.

More shots of the Osprey yesterday evening - Jimmy Main

June 29th

There were at least two, but possibly three, Osprey around today. The 'regular' bird made its first visit at 8:45, made its catch and left to the north. Shortly afterwards, that or another was seen low over the Nursery and then a little later a third bird moved high over the harbour heading due south. Waders today included: Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, 9 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel, plus counts of 51 Lapwing, 29 Curlew and 15 Redshank. The local Sand Martin colony has clearly enjoyed a successful breeding season as around 1000 birds were feeding over Whitepits this morning. Finally, a Cuckoo flew over Crouch Hill and 2 Shoveler were just off Blackberry Point.

Evening update: there were at least 17 Mediterranean Gull on Stanpit this evening and a Hobby moved north over East Marsh.

June 28th

Two shots of this morning's Osprey - Darren Hughes

The Osprey made at least two sorties into the harbour this morning. Its first visit, just after 8:00, lasted about 20-minutes before it was driven out by the local gulls. About an hour later, it reappeared and, despite the persistent attention of the gull flock, succeeded in catching a mullet before heading north. That apart, it was fairly quiet, certainly on Hengistbury where just 9 Swift and 7 Common Tern west were logged; also a Kingfisher by the Wooden Bridge on Wick. From Fisherman's Bank, there were 34 Lapwing, 32 Sandwich Tern, 10 Curlew, 9 Redshank, 4 Common Tern, 2 Whimbrel and 8 Mediterranean Gull. Later this afternoon, there were 10 Mediterranean Gull on Stanpit, including three very recently fledged young.

June 27th

An Osprey spent about 20-minutes over the harbour this morning before heading north with a mullet in its talons. In the resultant chaos, when all the birds in the harbour took to the sky, both Wood Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper were seen together, with 19 Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Dunlin. Much earlier, a Spoonbill passed west, while throughout the morning 56 Curlew and 2 Whimbrel also moved west. On Stanpit, there were 6 Common Sandpiper today and a good count, for the time of year, of 86 Oystercatcher. A second Green Sandpiper was seen to pitch in to the ditch by the Wooden Bridge on Wick. Back to Stanpit, where 52 Sandwich and 17 Common Tern were present, plus 7 Mediterranean Gull, only two of the latter being adults. By mid afternoon, however, the Mediterranean Gull numbers had increased to 27 birds. Off Mudeford Quay, a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea and 6 Common Scoter moved east past there. Finally, both Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail were by Parky Meade Rail, and singles of Bullfinch and Lesser Whitethroat were in the North Scrubs.

June 26th

Kestrel on Stanpit today - Leo Pyke

A Grey Plover on Stanpit today was clearly a new arrival, while 3 of yesterday's 4 Common Sandpiper were still in Mother Siller's Channel. Also on the marsh, 20 Sandwich Tern, 16 Lapwing, 5 Curlew and a Gadwall. Later, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 7 adults and a first-summer bird, were resting on the mud off South Marsh.

June 25th

From Mudeford Quay this morning 3 Arctic Skua were offshore, while 11Common Scoter were seen, 10 east and 1 west; also a Whimbrel and 5 Ringed Plover arrived. On Stanpit, 4 Common Sandpiper were in Mother Siller's Channel and 2 Little Tern were resting on the mud off South Marsh. Lapwing numbered 44, with 14 Redshank and 9 Curlew around the marsh. A pair of Tufted Duck was also in the harbour. Around lunchtime, an Arctic Skua was lingering off the Beach Huts at Hengistbury.

June 24th

Greenfinch - Jimmy Main

The wind died away almost completely overnight, thereby scuppering plans for a few hours seawatching this morning. In fact, despite some reasonable coverage of Hengistbury and Wick, the only snippets of interest came from a Hobby over the fields, a Common Sandpiper in Barn Bight and 3 Common Scoter at sea. Just received from the printers, the 2010 report looks a fine piece of work and thanks go once again to Leo Pyke for the many, many hours put into it.

June 23rd

Goldfinch - Alan Hayden

There was not much change in the conditions and, once again, there were a couple of birds on-site that would be more expected later in the year; namely a Snipe and a Grey Wagtail by the Wooden Bridge on Wick, along with a Siskin low over the fields. At sea, the recent Balearic Shearwater glut continues, as 3 birds passed east from the Beach Huts; while 3 Whimbrel and 3 Common Tern headed west, and a further of the latter was inside the harbour. This year's booming Sand Martin colony lost one this morning, when a juvenile Peregrine caught its breakfast at the end of the head.

June 22nd

Kingfisher at Wick - Jimmy Main

As the south-westerly wind and intermittent rain continues, the sea once again received the lion's share of attention. From the Gully, a couple of Storm Petrel and a Balearic Shearwater headed rapidly west, while a sighting of the latter from the Beach Huts almost certainly related to a second bird. More returning Curlew were logged, seven moving down the channel in all, as well as 19 Common Scoter, 9 Fulmar and 80 Gannet. Meanwhile, other southbound waders included 5 Common Sandpiper, three in Barn Bight and two in Stanpit Creek, on what is actually a rather early date. Finally, a first-summer Little Gull seen over the HHC was in much better condition than the recent, lingering individual, so might well be an additional bird, and a Kingfisher was hanging around Wick.

June 21st

The Fisherman's Bank Mute Swan family - Dave Cooke

A couple of hours at the Gully this morning produced a Great Skua, which was hassling a Herring Gull just offshore, before seeming to settle on the water off Coastguards. Also logged, 3 Curlew west, a couple of Common Tern feeding around the Long Groyne, a Razorbill on the sea and 26 Common Scoter, 20 west and 6 east. A Hobby was seen from Wick as it hunted over Priory Marsh, while 5 Curlew, a Redshank and 40 Lapwing were the best the rest of Stanpit could muster.

June 20th

The recent Little Gull over the river - Jimmy Main

An hour's sea watch from the Quay this morning yielded very little, just 1 Great Crested Grebe and 25 Gannet east plus around 20 Sandwich Tern and 6 Common Tern feeding offshore. Inside the harbour Stanpit held 34 Lapwing, another 20 Sandwich Tern, 6 Curlew and the drake Tufted Duck.

June 19th

After still being present on the HHC mudbar at dusk last night, the first-summer Little Gull was again there this morning. On Wick, by the Wooden Bridge a Kingfisher was a good June record, while a House Martin went over and a Lesser Whitethroat has taken up song again in the northern section. Although the conditions were near identical to yesterday, a trip to the New Forest saw most regulars off-site, so there is no news from the sea.

June 18th

Sedge Warbler - Jimmy Main

Despite a gusting south-westerly, the sea was, in general, pretty quiet; but did manage two or three moments of highlight. Prior to 9:00, the year's first Balearic Shearwater headed east; then around 11:00, a further four birds were seen going west from the end of Hengistbury. Also early on, an Arctic Skua moved into the wind and 4 Sanderling passed by. Inside the harbour, a first-summer Little Gull rested on the HHC mudbar, while a 3 Whimbrel, a Hobby and 25 Swift passed over.

Update: the lone seawatcher at the end of the head was just about to give up, but then started to get into a flurry of birds. Over the next 90-minutes, from around midday, a further 12 Balearic Shearwater were seen, 6 west and 6 east, as well as 2 Arctic Skua east. Gannet also suddenly became more apparent, with a total of 65 logged, these in addition to twenty or so earlier, along with 2 Common Tern, 2 Fulmar, 2 Curlew, 4 Guillemot, 3 Razorbill and 4 auk sp.

June 17th

A bird like this obviously requires a bit of attention, but we do reckon it's an
albino Herring Gull - Jimmy Main

Although rain dominated after lunch, there were some dry patches during the morning, but only Fisherman's Bank was the main source of the news. There, a group of 4 Sanderling are cutting it fine to get to their destination in time, while a single Whimbrel had probably been and come back. Also, 4 Curlew and the 3 Shelduck young.

Additional news: an Arctic Skua and 8 Guillemot were seen from the Long Groyne, where a Grey Seal was also present.

June 16th

Just before the heavens opened this morning, a Short-toed Lark was briefly seen calling from the ground in the field adjacent to the Wooden Bridge on Wick. This was around 6:30, but the bird subsequently remained elusive until things dried out around 10:00, when it was relocated and seen by a further three observers. However, after a Sparrowhawk buzzed the immediate area, it was not seen again, despite some good coverage. Assuming acceptance, this will be the fourth CHOG record, the previous ones occurring twice in 1991 and in 1995. Actually, there should be another, dating from 1990, but the archives report the submission was lost in the post to the BBRC and never re-sent! As a result of this local excitement, elsewhere received no coverage, so the only other news involves a pair of adult Mediterranean Gull over Wick late this afternoon.

June 15th

Pheasant on the Barn Field recently - Alan Crockard

Rather unexpectedly, the sea was covered for most of the morning and through until 1:30; when the best was singles of Manx Shearwater and Arctic Skua, but also a small westerly passage of Curlew, 7 in all, and the same number of Swift coming in-off. Additionally logged were: 2 Sanderling 154 Gannet, 53 Sandwich Tern, 3 Common Tern and 6 Guillemot, all west, while a Kittiwake and 2 Fulmar were rather aimless, and 12 distant auks headed into The Solent. Since the apparent demise of Raven in the Lower Avon Valley, sightings over the harbour have become a little sparse, so three over Wick this morning were more notable than they might have been 12-months ago. The only other interest comes from Stanpit, but that's just a single Bar-tailed Godwit.

June 14th

At high tide this morning, the Greenshank was in Stanpit Bight, also a Ringed Plover there and a Bar-tailed Godwit opposite Fisherman's Bank, while roosting on East Marsh were 21 Lapwing, 7 Curlew and 5 Redshank.

Additional news: the Nightjar on Hengistbury was hard work last night, in that it failed to utter a sound until 22:50! Firstly, west of the quarry, but then to the east.

June 13th

There was still some precipitation in the air until 9:00 this morning at least, but it was significantly less torrential than yesterday. With the wind remaining reasonably strong, a seawatch was undertaken at Hengistbury, where at least 5 Storm Petrel, 6 Manx Shearwater and an Arctic Skua moved past westward, the latter initially being seen sat on the water. Otherwise, there were just 18 Gannet and a Mediterranean Gull west, plus 4 Common Scoter east. Inside the harbour, the Fisherman's Bank Greenshank was again still present, along with singles of Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Curlew and the drake Tufted Duck. However, it's sad news regarding the Fisherman's Bank Mute Swan family - last night, all 8 cygnets were seen, but only one has been around for all of today. More positively though, the 3 fast-growing Shelduck duckling were all still present and correct.

Omission: a Mediterranean Gull was on Stanpit this evening.

June 12th

Well, today must have had a significant impact on the average rainfall figure for 2011! Once it started, just after dawn, it quite literally did not stop and was lashed across the area by a fierce southerly wind. Needless to say, information has been hard to come by, but an unseasonable Brent Goose, 4 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Fulmar moved west past Mudeford Quay this morning, when the lingering Greenshank was finding what shelter it could opposite Fisherman's Bank. Please also check back to yesterday for some decent additional news.

June 11th

A reasonably fine day, during which a westerly breeze gradually strengthened, saw a quickly changing variety of waders at Stanpit. Early on, a Curlew Sandpiper stopped very briefly with a Grey Plover, a Sanderling and 3 Dunlin, but all soon pushed off east. Then, a couple of Whimbrel were about, but one of those was seen to leave west in the company of a Curlew, while 3 Sanderling were more settled. This afternoon, a party of 7 Turnstone were in Stanpit Bight, where the Dunlin had risen to 19 birds and a single Ringed Plover was also present. Back to the early morning, when an adult and 2 juvenile Peregrine were very vocal over the area, as were 4 Mediterranean Gull. In terms of other movers, at least 20 Swift and 3 House Martin went into the wind, and a 3 Common Tern left the harbour over the Barn Field. On Wick, the Cuckoo was in voice for a short period this morning and the 3 Shelduck young remain intact at Stanpit.

Additional news: a male Nightjar was located towards the east of Hengistbury at 10:10 last night.

June 10th

Woodpigeon - Alan Hayden

There was a minor upturn in the number of waders present at Stanpit this morning, with the clear highlight being a breeding-plumaged Little Stint in amongst 3 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover and 26 Dunlin. Also, the Greenshank is still present along with 11 Curlew. In Smithy's Field, the pair of Lesser Whitethroat seem to have fledged young, while 3 juvenile and still tail-less Sedge Warbler were acting very naively on the boardwalk across Priory Marsh.

Additional news: a Serin was seen and heard several times on top of Hengistbury at around 6:00 in the morning.

June 9th

A couple of trips to Stanpit during the morning - one to Fisherman's Bank and one to Stanpit Bight - amassed: a Greenshank, 2 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin, 2 Curlew and 14 Redshank. Meanwhile, the Mute Swan and Shelduck broods are stable at eight and three respectively; and a pair of Oystercatcher seems to be sitting, but they are notorious for raising such hopes.

June 8th

Fisherman's Bank once again provided the only records today, with 3 Curlew and 7 Lapwing sheltering from the strong wind, and 5 Sandwich Tern also present.

June 7th

Back to normal service today, with just a single report from Fisherman's Bank, where there were 5 Curlew and a single Greenshank this morning, and the Shelduck and Mute Swan broods remain.

June 6th

A little more to report today. An early-rising male Peregrine successfully took a young Starling over Wick, where a male Bullfinch was at the same spot as the last sighting. Meanwhile, a couple of visits to Fisherman's Bank yielded 2 Curlew, single Greenshank and Dunlin, with 3 young Shelduck accompanying 31 adults, and 8 young Mute Swan also noted. Mudeford Quay was also visited, with 3 Sanderling, a solitary Ringed Plover and 16 Common Tern counted.

June 5th

Jay - Alan Hayden

The forecast rain didn't appear until the afternoon, when the reasonably brisk north-westerly breeze died away. Despite this, there was little field activity and the only sighting worthy of comment was confirmation that the Shelduck brood has been reduced to three.

June 4th

Whitethroat - Alan Hayden

Although the bulk of the wader passage has evaporated in the last 48-hours, today saw a tad of variety, albeit low in numbers. Inside the harbour, there were a Knot, a Turnstone and 6 Ringed Plover, while seen to arrive from Coastguards were 2 Greenshank and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Otherwise, in a north-westerly breeze and clear skies, it's just 30 or so incoming Swift, a skein of 13 Canada Goose surely west at sea, 11 Mediterranean Gull, these heading generally west, and around 15 Common Scoter, which pad out the post.

June 3rd

In terms of temperature, as high as 25C in parts of Christchurch, it certainly felt like June; and the lack of waders at Stanpit was also more in keeping with the month. A morning visit saw just 5 Sanderling, but no other 'smalls', while returning Lapwing numbered 37. Also there, 3 Gadwall and, this afternoon, a first-summer Mediterranean Gull was in Parky Meade Rail, while the juvenile Peregrine again hunted in vain over Stanpit Bight. Breeding update: a Lapwing has now been sat in exactly the same spot for 3-days, perhaps longer, so hopes are high for what could be described as a landmark event for the area.

June 2nd

The Stanpit waders were covered from two angles today, but it was Fisherman's Bank that raised the highest counts, with over 40 Sanderling and 220 Dunlin. Meanwhile, a Redshank was on-site, as was a Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Curlew; the latter never having been absent throughout the spring, which is not normally the case. Also of local interest at Stanpit, a couple of Little Tern, 3 Shoveler and 6 Mediterranean Gull. As always, the Cuckoo was in good voice on Wick.

June 1st

A count of 380 Dunlin at Stanpit would be worthy of a September day, rather than the first of the dreaded June, when the wader migration is normally considered long over. Also about the marsh, at least 50 Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 7 Ringed Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit; while a Red-throated Diver passed west over the harbour, as did a Mediterranean Gull. On Wick, the Cuckoo continues to sing in the area of the Wooden Bridge.

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