Sightings for June 2014

June 30th

Gatekeeper – Clinton Whale

The day's only news involves the Glossy Ibis and Little Gull at Stanpit in the early morning, as well as a Greenshank and 4 Black-tailed Godwit there. Please check back to yesterday for some additional diver news. 

June 29th

Cinnabar Moth
Cinnabar Moth – Clinton Whale

After an evening of rain yesterday, conditions were more settled this morning when a Red-throated Diver, in non-breeding-plumage, was off Mudeford Quay early on before the jet skis took to the water. Meanwhile, there was a hint of wader movement at Stanpit, with singles of Greenshank and Whimbrel on the deck; plus fifteen airborne Black-tailed Godwit - two seeming to arrive from the east and the rest straight over eastbound - all apparently first-summer birds. The Glossy Ibis and first-summer Little Gull again both put in appearances, while 3 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Teal rested up around Stanpit Bight. 

Additional news: the Red-throated Diver was in Stanpit Creek, just off Fisherman's Bank, at sunset.

June 28th

Most of the weekend regulars chose to spend the morning away from the harbour, so there is very little to report. In fact, the post comprises only of the Glossy Ibis seen early on from Fisherman's Bank. 

June 27th

The Glossy Ibis and first-summer Little Gull were again seen from Fisherman’s Bank very early on, when a Whimbrel was present with 12 Curlew. Otherwise, the only other news is of 5 Mediterranean Gull inside the harbour. If the events of last year are to be repeated, then the next month or so could see a few hundred ‘Meds’ stopping off to benefit from the pig fields in the Lower Avon Valley.

June 26th

Looking at today’s Glossy Ibis schedule, one has to wonder if there are indeed still two birds around the Christchurch area. Early in the morning, one was seen to leave the harbour towards the Avon Valley, where slightly later Coward’s Marsh held an individual. However, at 10:00, there was a sighting of one landing in the Salt Hurns on Hengistbury, but a bird was again at Coward’s in the early afternoon. Of course, it’s possible that an individual is shuttling back-and-forth, but as there were two originally it’s perhaps worth keeping an open mind. Inside the harbour during the morning, the Little Gull was again present, as were 3 Tufted Duck, two drakes and one duck, 2 Common Tern, a Turnstone and a Black-tailed Godwit. This afternoon, the waders were joined by a Grey Plover and 15 Mediterranean Gull were resting up at Stanpit. 

June 25th

This wild flower meadow, which is an excellent initiative by Bournemouth Borough Council, borders the northern fringe of the recording area at Wick, and is currently playing host to a mass of butterflies, bees and insects  – Clinton Whale

There was a fair bit of interest today, not least a Wood Sandpiper that flew around Stanpit Bight with a couple of Common Sandpiper just after 8:30 this morning. Earlier, the Glossy Ibis, which appeared to come down on Central Marsh, and the first-summer Little Gull had been logged from Fisherman’s Bank. Then later in the day, what was presumably the same redhead Goosander as seen at the weekend was fishing in the river just downstream from the HHC, viewable from Grimmery Bank. In addition to a couple of first-summer Common Tern settled inside the harbour, there was a trickle of nine birds to the west; likewise, 21 Mediterranean Gull and 17 Curlew. A juvenile Peregrine sat in the poplars bordering the North Scrubs was something of a surprise, while waders about the area included: a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Ringed Plover, 16 Redshank and 11 Curlew. 

June 24th

The Glossy Ibis and first-summer Little Gull adhered to their routine this morning - the former on South Marsh until 06:30 and the latter appearing in Stanpit Bight some time later. Meanwhile, the no-doubt, feral Barnacle Goose that is seen on-and-off in the Avon Valley was on South Marsh for a short period with 2 Canada Goose. The rest, in approximate order of interest, included: a Mediterranean Gull, a Common Tern and 2 Black-tailed Godwit at Stanpit, plus Raven over there, and 8 Redshank, 6 Curlew and 9 Sandwich Tern dotted about. 

June 23rd

Raven and Gull
A Raven suffering the attention of a young gull – Alan Crockard

Adult Mediterranean Gull, presumably failed breeders, are now trickling back westward - this morning saw a flock of six, one of them actually a second-summer bird, and then a pair pass over Stanpit; while 6 Little Tern feeding off Mudeford Quay late this afternoon may be in the same situation. Otherwise, it’s just a couple of juvenile Bearded Tit on Wick, singles of Dunlin and Ringed Plover on South Marsh, 7 Redshank, 9 Curlew and 2 Raven over to remark upon. 

June 22nd

Mute Swan
The Mute Swan family around Stanpit Bight now has just one remaining cygnet,
to which the parents are paying close attention – Alan Crockard
Comma – Clinton Whale

More of the same weather-wise; ditto the Glossy Ibis, which was again on South Marsh until around 6:00 this morning. Over on Wick, a Cuckoo was again seen around the northern meadows and there was a gathering of juvenile Reed Warbler around the Wooden Bridge. In fact, in this prolonged, fine weather many birds are still in full song and it’s looking good for second brooding to be attempted. 

Additional news: a redhead Goosander was on the river close to Speller's Point at 9:30 this morning.

June 21st

Whitethroat – Clinton Whale
Glossy Ibis
The Glossy Ibis in Holloway's Dock yesterday – Ann Parramore

Midsummer's sunrise saw quite a crowd on top of Hengistbury to witness the dawn of the longest day, when the Glossy Ibis again left its roost and settled onto South Marsh, remaining there until 06:50 before making its now customary short trip to the north. Meanwhile, the similarly aged Little Gull, a second calendar-year bird, was around Stanpit Bight for most of the morning and a local highlight came when a Mandarin in female-type plumage flew up the Stour in the company of 2 Mallard. Otherwise, there was little else to be seen despite a 5-hour stint on Crouch Hill, with just a Cuckoo, 12 Mediterranean Gull, drakes of Tufted Duck and Gadwall, a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Heron east and a Raven to liven things a little. Over on the other side, it was notable that 3 Lesser Whitethroat are still in song.

June 20th

The settled weather continues unabated and it was another warm day around the area. The pick of the post is certainly a Corn Bunting, which sang for couple of minutes from a bush on Solent Meads this morning before appearing to head off towards Wick. At Stanpit, the Glossy Ibis was true to form - firstly seen leaving the Nursery roost and seeming to come down in Holloway’s Dock, then at 05:56 heading over the marsh and into the valley. The first-summer Little Gull was again around Stanpit Bight, where 3 Dunlin were the only waders of note. Kingfisher in June are almost unheard of, so a bird whizzing across the harbour this morning was a real bonus. To finish up, around 20 Common Tern, a Fulmar and 15 Common Scoter were logged at sea off Hengistbury. 

June 19th

Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit – Alan Crockard
Coastal Work
...and a typical scene in The Run right now at low tide,
as last winter's longshore drift is cleared away – Alan Crockard

As has been a theme this week, the early bird bags the ibis. This morning, the ringed bird was on the tip of South Marsh before heading towards the valley at 05:56. Additionally, the first-summer Little Gull was around Stanpit early on and 12 Mediterranean Gull were logged throughout the morning. The early part of the day also saw a reasonable wader selection about the marsh, comprising: a Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin and 9 Curlew. A total of 5 Shoveler is notable for the date, with a drake Tufted Duck and 12 Shelduck also making the records.

June 18th

Sand Martin
Sand Martin at Hengistbury – Alan Crockard

A Glossy Ibis, presumably the Coward's Marsh bird, was feeding off the tip of South Marsh at 5:00 this morning. However, after about half-an-hour, the bird took off and joined a group of 4 Little Egret as they headed out of the harbour towards the Avon Valley. The first-summer Little Gull was also in the harbour mid-morning. Waders today included a breeding-plumaged Grey Plover, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Curlew and 9 Redshank, while drakes of Pintail, Teal and Shoveler were present.

June 17th

The first-summer Little Gull was again in the harbour this morning, on the mud in Stanpit Creek, while 4 Mediterranean Gull passed over Crouch Hill; also a Common Tern through. A diver and a couple of shearwater, all too distant to be sure of the species, moved east past Mudeford Quay. Returning waders are steadily increasing in numbers with 41 Lapwing, 10 Redshank and 5 Curlew around today. Numbers-wise, it's a similar story with corvids, although probably not quite as welcome, as 104 Carrion Crow on the marsh peaked at 104 birds.

June 16th

Before moving to species that may have wider appeal, there is what surely must be a local record count to get out of the way - namely, 23 Collard Dove perched in trees bordering the meadows at the northern extremity of Wick Fields. Now to the news that may be of more widespread interest: a first-summer Little Gull was on the exposed mud of Stanpit Bight this morning; while a Marsh Harrier, a Hobby and a Little Ringed Plover passed overflew the marsh. Over on Hengistbury, a Raven was seen above the Wood. 

Additional news: a female Wigeon passed Mudeford Quay.

June 15th

Peacock Caterpillar
There seems to be a mass of Peacock butterfly caterpillars on food plants right now, suggesting it could be a bumper season for this species at least – Clinton Whale

A brisk easterly wind blew for most of the day, but it had settled down a little by late afternoon. Once again, news is sparse and what we have is all from Stanpit and Mudeford Quay prior to 9:00 this morning. Inside the harbour, the Bar-tailed Godwit was still present,  along with 4 Mediterranean Gull and a single Redshank, plus increases to twenty and six of Lapwing and Curlew respectively. Meanwhile, up to 5 Common Tern were lingering off the quay and a further bird was on the marsh. 

June 14th

A good number of the weekend regulars made the traditional, mid-summer excursions to local heaths and chalk downland, so meaning coverage was a little lighter than normal. As a consequence, the day’s only news comes from Fisherman’s Bank, where a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin, 3 Curlew and 14 Shelduck were counted. Also, 6 Swift moving over there.

June 13th

Sand Martin
Recently fledged Sand Martin – Clinton Whale
...and adult Swallow – Clinton Whale

On another hot and settled day, a first-summer Little Gull was inside the harbour along with an adult pair of Mediterranean Gull. Singles of Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit were the best of the waders; while those that breed in the UK and presumably now on the return continue to creep up in numbers - 3 Curlew and 5 Lapwing on-site today. 

June 12th

All the news comes from Stanpit, where an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Common Tern and up to 45 Sandwich Tern were present this morning; along with 3 female-plumaged Pintail, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 3 Redshank and a Lapwing. 

June 11th

As the month of June wears on, quite typically the news gets slower and slower. However, what we do have today is an update that the Bearded Tit which are breeding on the west side of the river, and using the recently managed reedbeds as a rich source of food, are still very active in feeding their young. Meanwhile, the best from Stanpit was that the lame Redshank is still present, as was a single Curlew. While it's quiet bird-wise, it seems a good opportunity for some moth updates: firstly, a Rosy Marbled was trapped by the rangers on Hengistbury and is believed to be the first Dorset record since 2011; secondly, a Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth was watched feeding on Red Campion in the Nursery.

June 10th

The only news for today involves: a Mistle Thrush by the Wooden Bridge on Wick; a Whimbrel at Stanpit; and 2 Raven over Hengistbury. 

June 9th

This male Stonechat on Hengistbury has a recently fledged brood... – Clinton Whale
Small Heath
...all of which seem partial to recently emerged Small Heath butterfly – Clinton Whale

It was another fine day, but with only isolated moments of interest. On Hengistbury, a Mistle Thrush was on the Long Field, while at Stanpit the pick were a breeding-plumaged Knot and a drake Shoveler amongst a settled group of 12 Gadwall, 4 Canada Goose and a few Mallard. A brood of Bearded Tit were being fed in Central Marsh, and singles of Peregrine and Raven passed over the area.

June 8th

Reed Bunting
Singing, male Reed Bunting – Clinton Whale
Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly – Chris Chapleo

The pick of a scorchingly hot day was a Stone Curlew that flew low and north across Central Marsh at 05:15 this morning. Othewise, it’s just a selection of wildfowl, some more iffy than others, that make the post - namely, a Barnacle Goose, 15 Greylag Goose, 11 Canada Goose and 2 Gadwall, all at Stanpit. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news. 

June 7th

Grey Plover
It's difficult to imagine a finer example of a breeding-plumaged Grey Plover – Chris Chapleo
Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin
...and a mixed flock of Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin – Chris Chapleo

The morning started to humidity and then a brief thunderstorm, but that event soon cleared the air and a more traditional sea breeze and blue sky set in. As part of the Christchurch BioBlitz, Stanpit was covered for almost the entirety of day, but the rather short list of records from there hopefully reflects the date rather than the alertness of the observers involved (myself included). The best moment was in the mid-afternoon, when a mixed flock of 6 Knot, 6 Grey Plover and 4 Dunlin arrived in Stanpit Bight, but they soon moved off to the east - the lure of the Arctic summer presumably driving them on. Meanwhile, a further Grey Plover, that in fine breeding-plumage, and 2 Dunlin were around for a little longer. The only other bird of note at Stanpit was a Cuckoo, which was seen/heard on several occasions throughout the day. Earlier, a seawatch from Mudeford Quay came up with: 2 Little Tern, 4 Common Tern, 45+ Common Scoter, 38 Gannet and an unidentified auk. 

Additional news: just before midnight, a Green Sandpiper and a Greenshank were heard calling from the Priory Marsh area. On Hengsitbury, 2 Nightjar were very active around the Ironstone Quarry between 22:00 and 22:45.

June 6th

Shelduck – Clinton Whale

The sea off the Beach Huts this morning produced a remarkable 270 Common Scoter, the birds being described as aimless but no details of flock composition are known. In addition, a Fulmar, 35 Gannet, 25 Sandwich Tern and a settled Guillemot were logged; as well as 8 Turnstone moving east. Also from Hengistbury, a singing Cuckoo that was in the Wood for most of early part of the day. Around 9:30, a flock of thirteen adult Grey Heron arrived high from the east, picked up another bird from within the harbour and headed north-west towards the Stour Valley. Otherwise, there are just 2 Gadwall and a single Curlew inside the harbour to report upon. 

June 5th

Common Toad
Hairy Dragonfly
Common Toad and Hairy Dragonfly,
neither of which a particularly common about the area – Chris Chapleo

A south-westerly wind whipped up overnight and brought with it a real surprise - in the form a Red-necked Phalarope, which sat on the water off the Beach Huts between 09:40 and 10:05 before moving off east. Also seen from the huts, two but possibly three Storm Petrel and thirty-five settled Common Scoter. In addition, the morning saw some late passerine migrants; namely, a Turtle Dove and 2 Cuckoo, one of them very vocal, in the North Scrubs, plus a Sedge Warbler singing away in Central Marsh. Around Stanpit Bight, there was a collection of northbound waders, including 25 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel and 10 Dunlin, while a Black-tailed Godwit, a Curlew and a Redshank were a little less predictable in their intent. A total of 8 Mediterranean Gull, made up of four adult pairs, moving over Stanpit were presumably birds that have perhaps failed to breed elsewhere along the south coast. Meanwhile, a party of 4 Pochard circled the area and 2 Raven were logged. 

June 4th

After a wet start, all the day’s news comes from the mid-morning at Stanpit. Migrant waders there were represented by 2 Whimbrel and 11 Sanderling, but the rest of the news involves birds that are more settled. Although there are still numbers of Shelduck around - for example, sixteen today - they have so far not produced any young this season; however, with 82 Carrion Crow and 16 Jackdaw scattered about the area that may not be overly surprising. Meanwhile, a couple of Canada Goose are still hanging around. 

June 3rd

Another early start came up with the unexpected, when between 04:25 and 05:15 a Spotted Crake could be heard almost constantly ‘whiplashing’ from somewhere on Stanpit. Otherwise, however, there is relatively little to report: a Cuckoo was in the Nursery and a Raven went over there; 32 Common Scoter and 15 Gannet lingered offshore; and 3 Whimbrel were logged. 

June 2nd

Low Tide
Looking towards the sandspit at low tide – Clinton Whale

It was a quite day with the only reports coming from Hengistbury and mainly from the sea, where a Roseate Tern drifted east in the company of 3 Common Tern and around 20 Sandwich Tern. Also over the water, a good count of 115 Common Scoter into The Solent, while 4 Sanderling were on the sandspit.

Additional news: the ringed Glossy Ibis again roosted last night at Hengistbury and descended into Parky Meade Rail shortly after first light.

June 1st

Little Egret
Little Egret – Clinton Whale
Bearded Tit
A couple of Bearded Tit siblings – Alan Crockard
The recent glut of young Bearded Tit around the area has enlightened some of us that it's possible to separate male and female at this age, although this exercise hasn't always been straightforward. Current thinking is that both of the above are males,
but as always comments would be very welcome.

Given the attractions of an Arctic gull in Devon and the eagle just the other side of Poole, the harbour was always going to struggle for coverage today. As such, all of the news comes from the morning and some of it very early indeed. At 4:10, a Nightjar was sat in full view as it churred on Warren Hill; then at 04:40, a single Glossy Ibis was seen to leave the Hengistbury roost. A little later, a pair of Garganey were off Fisherman's Bank and a Cuckoo was encountered on two occasions, while singles of Grey Plover, Whimbrel and Curlew were seen from Crouch Hill. 

Additional news: 2 Nightjar were in song on Warren Hill at 9:40 tonight.

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