Sightings for August 2017

August 31st

There was a fair mix of birds at Stanpit this morning, including a Wood Sandpiper roosting on South Marsh, a Garganey in Parky Meade Rail and a White Wagtail on Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, a Garden Warbler and 2 Spotted Flycatcher were in the North Scrubs and a Whinchat, 5 Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtail were on the hill. On the other side of the area, a Redstart was in the Long Field, a Lesser Whitethroat was on Wick and a Whinchat was on the Barn Field, with commoner species coming to: the first obvious migrant Goldcrest of the season, 21 Willow Warbler, 17 Chiffchaff, 20 Blackcap, 10 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and 6 Wheatear; plus 2 Tree Pipit, a Grey Wagtail and 17 Yellow Wagtail over. More incoming wildfowl were logged – the best being 4 Pintail that circuited the area, but also 5 Shoveler and 6 Wigeon about. The adult, male Bar-tailed Godwit remains in Stanpit Bight, along with a Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel, 19 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin. The juvenile Bullfinch again fed on berries close to Long Field; 2 Kingfisher were around; and 2 Buzzard were over harbour airspace this afternoon.

August 30th

Nightjar, on the verge of the recording area in Rolls Drive – Chris Noyes

Cloud dominated all day, with showers late in the morning. The best came late on, when a Short-eared Owl alighted in the Barn Field after approaching from the Wick Hams direction. Earlier, the photographed Nightjar may have been visible from inside the recording area and a Spoonbill was seen briefly as it arrived from the west. A mild variety of passerines were at Stanpit, including a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat and 9 Wheatear, while a further Wheatear, 22 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail were returned from the other side of the river. The waders about the marsh were checked from Fisherman’s Bank and South Marsh, comprising: 2 Greenshank, 2 Knot, a Grey Plover, a Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Ringed Plover, 56 Dunlin and 3 Snipe. Finishing with wildfowl, the totals of winter duck came to: 2 Shoveler, 7 Wigeon and 5 Teal.

August 29th

Redstart – Leo Pyke
Greenshank – Alan Crockard

There was another Wood Sandpiper record this morning – a bird over the Wick meadows. Otherwise, it was once again relatively quiet. The pick of the passerines on Hengistbury and Wick were 3 Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher, but also 19 Blackcap, 19 Whitethroat and 3 Sedge Warbler. There were also 35 phylloscs logged – that term being used as there seemed to be a proportion of Chiffchaff in those that were grilled. Overhead, there were 3 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail, plus around 75 lingering House Martin. The Wigeon nudged up to three birds and at least 9 Teal arrived. Rook are now roosting again in the Nursery, with small numbers being logged on Crouch Hill, Stanpit, during the evening. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news.

August 28th

Stonechat – Clinton Whale

On another hot day, there seemed to be even fewer birds around than yesterday. Although there were around 35 Yellow Wagtail settled about Wick Meadows, just six passed over the more expected areas; while 3 Grey Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit did likewise. Other than 5 Wheatear and 10 Willow Warbler, there is little else worth mentioning in terms of settled passerines. A Firecrest was again seen, but today in the more characteristic location of the Wood, where it uttered some subdued song. It was actually a fair day for the less-common, freshwater waders – a couple of Wood Sandpiper passed over the No Dogs Field and a Green Sandpiper was seen from the viewing-platform on Wick. Also around, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, at least one Black-tailed Godwit, a dozen Ringed Plover, c20 Dunlin and 7 Snipe. The 2 Wigeon remain, plus 7 Teal and 3 Gadwall at Stanpit; two juvenile Mediterranean Gull were logged; Kingfisher were seen from the viewing-platform, on Wick Hams and in Barn Bight; and the Raven total was three. Please check back to the last couple of days for some added news.

Additional news: a Little Gull was at Stanpit in the evening, along with 5 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Whimbrel.

August 27th

A good few, collective hours on a warm Hengistbury and Wick this morning could have been spent more productively, to say the least. Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit came to 15 and seven respectively, while the best on the deck were a couple of Whinchat flycatching from a barbed-wire fence in Wick Hams, 5 Wheatear on the Barn Field and a calling Bullfinch on the Long Field, where a juvenile was seen yesterday. Meanwhile, a further Tree Pipit was in Stanpit Scrubs and up to 6 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill. A Swift went over, as did a mixture of martins but Swallow were the dominant hirundine. The only wader news from the morning was of 3 Sanderling by the Long Groyne, while this evening, on Stanpit, there were singles of Whimbrel, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit; plus around 35 Yellow Wagtail and an obliging Kingfisher in Mother Siller’s Channel. 

Omission: a Nuthatch was calling from the eastern side of the Driving Range in the morning.

August 26th

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher – Steve Hogan
Jay – Clinton Whale

Firstly, the news from Stanpit where there were 3 Wood Sandpiper, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Hobby. No further details are known, however. There was an August surprise on Wick – a migrant Firecrest at the western end of the fields, where 2 Garden Warbler and 3 Spotted Flycatcher were also present. A further Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat were in the No Dogs Field, while the Long Field hosted another Garden Warbler, a Redstart and 2 Spotted Flycatcher, with a Whinchat in the Barn Field. The Yellow Wagtail estimate for the west side of the river is a minimum of 70, including another high-flying, dawn flock, today around 30 birds, moving west; also 4 Tree Pipit and a Grey Wagtail. In the order of 100 Sand Martin quickly passed over the HHC, a Swift and a few House Martin were over Wick, and Swallow were ever present. A total of 13 Grey Heron headed into the Nursery at dawn, making one wonder if they had been feeding nocturnally; the Raven went one better with eight; 4 Shelduck left to the south west; and a couple of Kingfisher were seen – by the Wooden Bridge and in Barn Bight.

Additional news: 3 Spoonbill were at Stanpit in the evening.

August 25th

Raven – Leo Pyke

It was a reasonable day for large birds, not least Osprey. The first inkling there was at least one about came during a couple of periods of frenzy above the harbour; although a bird couldn’t be picked out, there was almost certainly a mullet-hawk around.  A little later, one coasted east and headed inland over Highcliffe, while one visited Stanpit just after 6:00 tonight. Just after first light, a flock of 5 Spoonbill headed west and a male Marsh Harrier, first seen on a post on Priory Marsh, later soared high and north. Looking at the plumage of that bird, it could well be the individual that has spent the last two winters here, but time will tell. Yellow Wagtail were again a feature – at least 45 over Hengistbury this morning, including a flock of 24 over Double Dykes in the gloaming, plus around ten on Stanpit with the ponies this afternoon – as well as 2 Grey Wagtail and a minimum of 18 Tree Pipit, but possibly more of those. Also over, a single Swift, several House Martin and a day-long trickle of Swallow. On the deck, there were: singles of Redstart and Grasshopper Warbler, 50 Willow Warbler, 25 Whitethroat, 10 Blackcap and 5 Wheatear, all on Hengistbury and Wick; with Stanpit adding 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler and a further 7 Wheatear, plus a few more each of Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap. Wader-wise, there were singles of Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper and Greenshank over the head; a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, around 20 Dunlin and 14 Snipe at Stanpit; and a further Whimbrel in Holloway’s Dock. A Pochard was the best of the duck, but also 2 Wigeon and 2 Teal at Stanpit; the Red-legged Partridge was on the Long Field; and, after being dismissed yesterday, the 2 Raven were joined by five more.

August 24th

Recently-fledged Swallow on Wick – Roger Howell
Lesser Whitethroat
Lesser Whitethroat – Gary Foyle

A fair morning saw a good number of Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit over many parts of the area. On the Hengistbury/Wick side of the river, 41 and 11 respectively were returned, while Stanpit came in with 28 and 7. Some duplication may have occurred, but it’s not easy to determine how much. Also over, 2 Swift, 2 House Martin and 90 Swallow. A decent selection of birds was also decked – the following from Wick and the western portion of Hengistbury: 4 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 20 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 5 Sedge Warbler, 25 Willow Warbler and 3 Chiffchaff, the latter all in song. Meanwhile, the only Wheatear for the day, six birds, were all on Crouch Hill, Stanpit. It seems little attention was given to waders, but four airborne wisps of Snipe numbering 2, 4, 5 and 8 were logged, as were 14 Greenshank, 12 of those over the Barn Field, a Common Sandpiper and 6 Black-tailed Godwit. Incoming wildfowl included 5 Shoveler north and 5 Teal in Parky Meade Rail; a Yellow-legged Gull was about; a Red-legged Partridge was vocal in the Nursery; and singles of Kingfisher and Shelduck were at Stanpit. The 2 Raven make their last entry as a website bird.

August 23rd

Sanderling – Clinton Whale
Little Egret
Little Egret – Roger Howell
Swallow – Leo Pyke

A juvenile Black Tern was seen at Stanpit this morning, as were 18 Common Sandpiper – those soon reducing to just two – a couple of Ruff and a Green Sandpiper. There were also two of the latter at Wick and a fine total of Greenshank – 11 west and three settled – was returned. In addition: a Knot, a Grey Plover, 5 Whimbrel and 50+ Dunlin were on the marsh; a further Knot and a Black-tailed Godwit were logged from Hengistbury; and 17 Sanderling and 14 Ringed Plover were on the sandspit. Warblers were at a real premium, however – all species in single figures – but there were 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, a Whinchat and 5 Wheatear, mainly on Hengistbury, plus 7 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Swift over. A group of 7 Common Tern moved west, while four rested in the harbour, as did a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull. It almost goes without saying, the 2 Raven were about.

August 22nd

Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher – Leo Pyke
Greenshank – Clinton Whale
...and Bullfinch - never an easy bird to see in the area – Leo Pyke
Once again, it seemed to take a while to get going this morning, but in the end a total of 9 Spotted Flycatcher was reached; spread between the Bobolink Field and the Nursery. There was also a Redstart on the Long Field, as well as 15 Blackcap, 15 Whitethroat and 13 Willow Warbler scattered about, plus a couple of Garden Warbler at Stanpit, and 2 Yellow Wagtail and a Swift over. There is no wader news from Stanpit, but a Grey Plover, 2 Greenshank and 5 Black-tailed Godwit moved east, while a further Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel were in the Holloway’s Dock area, and 2 Sanderling, 16 Ringed Plover and 10 Turnstone were on the sandspit. On Wick, 3 Bullfinch were a bit of a treat, at least 5 Water Rail were seen there – two of them from the viewing-platform – and the now expected 2 Raven make the post.

August 21st

Common Lizard
Common Lizard – Nick Whitehouse
Slow Worm
...and Slow Worm, both on Hengistbury today – Nick Whitehouse

Other than a sub-singing Reed Warbler in Double Dykes, 4 Sedge Warbler and a handful of Whitethroat, the first 90 minutes of daylight were a dead loss on Hengistbury. Things picked up a little later, however, not least on the Bobolink Field in the early afternoon, when a Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Redstart were present. In addition, between there and the Wood, a Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Whitethroat, 14 Blackcap, 11 Willow Warbler, a further out-of-reeds Reed Warbler and 2 Wheatear were noted. Overhead, mainly above Wick, there were: a Yellow Wagtail, 4 Swift, 200 House Martin, 50 Sand Martin and 75 Swallow; while a male Marsh Harrier, presumably a local bird, headed north over Two Riversmeet. A very modest, westbound movement of Common Tern was noted – 35 from Mudeford Quay and six through the harbour – with a juvenile Kittiwake tagging along. Keeping with terns, 21 Sandwich Tern were counted at Stanpit, but this evening over 70 were feeding off the quay, where a couple of Yellow-legged Gull were logged. Waders at Stanpit comprised: 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Whimbrel, 3 Sanderling, a Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin; the two Wigeon and at least one Shelduck were also there; a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams; and the 2 Raven again feature.

August 20th

Common Sandpiper
Adult Common Sandpiper, still with hints of breeding plumage – Clinton Whale
Grey Seal
It was around this time last year that a (the?) Grey Seal appeared
way upriver in the Clay Pool. Here's a record shot from this morning,
when the animal seemed quite unperturbed by the river traffic – Alan Crockard

There weren’t quite so many birds around today, although a total of 21 Yellow Wagtail on Wick is notable, as were the first two, returning-for-the-winter Wigeon on Stanpit. Moving back to the passerines, a further 3 Yellow Wagtail and 5 Tree Pipit were over Hengistbury, while 23 Willow Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 22 Sedge Warbler and 3 Wheatear were returned from across the area. Hirundine passage has yet to get going, but there were 10 or so House Martin lingering above Wick Fields. The only wader report from Stanpit involves the photographed Common Sandpiper; with 4 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and 6 Redshank seen to leave over the Barn Field. Juvenile Dartford Warbler are currently very, very conspicuous – suggesting a bumper season – the Barn and Long Fields being particularly good spots to catch up with them. Finishing up, a Peregrine hunted the area and the 2 Raven were logged.

Correction: there was a typo in the Wick Yellow Wagtail report as we received it - it should have read two.

August 19th

A Great White Egret was seen briefly this morning, when if flew up from behind the new viewing-platform on Wick and headed upriver. Despite the overnight westerly wind, there was a nice selection of migrants to be seen, including: a young male Redstart and Whinchat on the Barn Field, 2 Garden Warbler and a further Redstart on Wick, a Lesser Whitethroat in the Long Field, 28 Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatear, and 6 Tree Pipit and 9 Yellow Wagtail over. Also of interest, was a Bullfinch calling from somewhere on the Batters. A total of 3 Green Sandpiper was returned – two on Wick meadows and one over Barn Bight – and Kingfisher were seen in the bight and by the Wooden Bridge.

August 18th

A strong south-westerly wind meant passerines largely kept their heads down this morning, although there were 2 Tree Pipit over Wick, a Yellow Wagtail over Mudeford Quay and a Wheatear on the sandspit. Meanwhile, a Turtle Dove was at Stanpit. The sea was quiet, to say the least, with just singles of Common Scoter and Common Tern, plus an arriving Whimbrel and two westbound Greenshank, being logged in over two hours. The Stanpit waders included, throughout the day: a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 14 Sanderling, 7 Whimbrel, 22 Ringed Plover and 30 Dunlin; while 3 Greenshank were in Holloway’s Dock. Just one Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile, makes the post, a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight and a Raven croaked its way over the quay.

August 17th

Drizzle and a westerly wind started the day, but at least a couple of trips were made to Stanpit. The Wood Sandpiper again moved between South Marsh and Priory Marsh, and a couple of Green Sandpiper were returned. In addition, there were 7 Whimbrel, 11 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 23 Ringed Plover and 3 Snipe, while 3 Greenshank were in Barn Bight and a further Common Sandpiper was on the sandspit. Seawatching produced little more than 8 Common Scoter, a few Common Tern, a westerly trickle of Sandwich Tern and around 80 Gannet, those also westbound. A Yellow-legged Gull was on Mudeford Quay early on, a Kingfisher was in Barn Bight, 3 Wheatear were on Crouch Hill and the 2 Raven were about.

August 16th

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper – Clinton Whale
The Linnet flock on Stanpit now numbers around fifty – Clinton Whale

On a grey, still and insect-ridden morning, the Long Field on Hengistbury was the place to be. Passerines there included: a Pied Flycatcher, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler. Nearby, a Whinchat was on the Barn Field, while around 30 Whitethroat and 7 Willow Warber were across both areas. Overhead, single Tree Pipit passed over Wick and Stanpit, where 2 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail were also logged. The only sighting of the Wood Sandpiper was when it alighted in front of the photographer for 30 seconds at Stanpit, with further wader interest on the marsh coming from: a Grey Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit both in breeding plumage, 2 Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover and 22 Dunlin. Rounding up, a Yellow-legged Gull was on Blackberry Point, a Mediterranean Gull left the area and a couple of Kingfisher plus a Rook were at Stanpit.

Additional news: 17 Ringed Plover arrived late in the afternoon.

August 15th

Little Grebe
Little Grebe – Alan Crockard

There was a nice concentration of birds by the HHC for a while this morning, including 4 Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler. Close by, on Wick, there were 5 Willow Warbler and 8 Blackcap, 35 Whitethroat were reckoned across Hengistbury and 4 Wheatear were across the site. On Stanpit, as the tide ebbed during the morning, the Wood Sandpiper was again with the roosting waders along the southern edge of the bight, along with 3 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit. Otherwise though it’s just bits and pieces: Barn Bight hosted 5 Common Tern; a Swift, 40 House Martin 120 Sand Martin, 70 Swallow, 2 Tree Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail were overhead; Buzzard were conspicuous – two this morning and one this afternoon; 3 Teal were about; and the regular 2 Raven toured.

Later news from Stanpit: a total of 3 Garden Warbler and 12 Water Rail was returned.  

August 14th

Wheatear – Jean Southworth

After a series of flight-only records, a Wood Sandpiper was pinned down for about an hour this afternoon in Stanpit Bight, with the roosting Redshank and Dunlin, before it relocated to Priory Marsh. Other waders for the day, mostly in and around the bight, included: 4 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, plus 19 west, 21 Ringed Plover, 63 Dunlin and 2 Snipe. Migrant passerines were sparse to say the least; for example, just 3 Yellow Wagtail, those with ponies on Priory Marsh, 2 Tree Pipit, 4 Wheatear, 6 Willow Warbler, 10 Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler being the return for quite a bit effort. Overhead, at least 5 Swift moved through, but it was unclear as to whether a coming-and-going over hirundines over Wick constituted a movement. A couple of Mediterranean Gull were on South Marsh, a Raven passed over the North Scrubs and a Kingfisher fished from a buoy in Barn Bight.

Omission: 3 Yellow-legged Gull were at Mudeford Quay between 8:30 and 8:45, and a further bird flew over the HHC. All were juveniles.

August 13th

Goldfinch – Clinton Whale
Wheatear – Clinton Whale

There were a couple more Wood Sandpiper sightings today; firstly, one north over Ashtree Meadow, then one east off the HHC mudbar. Other waders included: a Knot in breeding plumage, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 10 Whimbrel, a Sanderling, the first two juvenile Black-tailed Godwit of the year, plus nine north, 7 Ringed Plover, 57 Dunlin and a Snipe. Moving to passerines: a Garden Warbler was in the North Scrubs, a couple of Lesser Whitethroat were by the HHC, at least 25 Willow Warbler were on site, some of them in song, and 3 Wheatear, 10 Blackcap, 15 Sedge Warbler and 10 or so Reed Warbler were spread about. The presumed resident of the latter still in song on Stanpit. Meanwhile, a couple of House Martin and 55 Swallow were logged overhead. Rounding up: at least 4 Teal were around, a young Shelduck remains, there were two similarly aged Mediterranean Gull, the Peregrine was on The Priory, two Raven passed over and just under 50 Sandwich Tern rested at Stanpit.

Omission: a Yellow Wagtail was at Stanpit.

August 12th

It took a while for the breeze to get going this morning and before it did the biting insects bordered on the intolerable. A two-toned crow feeding on the exposed mud in the harbour, firstly in Barn Bight and then on Blackberry Point, was considered to be good for Hooded Crow. Meanwhile, a Spoonbill headed south-west over Hengistbury. Otherwise, however, it was hard going – the best of the reported passerines being 2 Garden Warbler on Wick, 9 Willow Warbler and a Wheatear on Crouch Hill. Overhead, a couple of Swift moved through, as did 14 Black-tailed Godwit. At Stanpit, there were 2 Greenshank, uncounted Whimbrel, 7 Ringed Plover and 35 Dunlin. Contrasting the spring and autumn were a still-singing Reed Warbler by the Bailey Bridge, a drake Shoveler in eclipse and 3 Teal. At least 2 Kingfisher were about, but possibly more.

August 11th

After a still, clear start, by mid-afternoon an increasing south-westerly wind brought full cloud cover with it. Tringa sandpipers again featured at Stanpit, namely a Wood Sandpiper over Crouch Hill and appearing to come down on East Marsh this afternoon and a flock of 4 Green Sandpiper over Central Marsh and seemingly onto North Marsh in the morning. Meanwhile, other waders included: 14 Sanderling and 6 Turnstone on the sandspit; plus 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, several Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin around Stanpit Bight; and at least 40 Black-tailed Godwit moving through. The best of the settled passerines were 4 Garden Warbler – three at Stanpit and one on Wick – and a Lesser Whitethroat by the HHC. Otherwise, it was hard going; for example an hour by the HHC produced just 5 Willow Warbler coming off the head, with the final totals for the area west of the Wood and onto Wick being: a further 27 Willow Warbler, 19 Whitethroat, a couple in song, as was one of the uncounted Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 4 Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler. More ‘acros’ were ringed, however, with a higher proportion of ‘reeds’ than of late. Moving to the miscellany: the low spring tide meant a good count of Water Rail, 14; a Common Tern rested inside the harbour; a total of 4 Mediterranean Gull was logged; and 2 Raven passed over.

Omission: a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Tree Pipit went over Hengistbury and 2 Wheatear were on the sandspit.

August 10th

Kestrel – Matthew Barfield

Clear skies dominated, but early on gloves were actually a consideration in a less-than-warm, north-easterly breeze. A Nightingale was on Hengistbury, on the Long Field, plus 2 Cuckoo, 18 Wheatear, 25 Willow Warbler and 32 Whitethroat there. For a brief moment, when a Garden Warbler warmed itself in the North Scrubs, it looked as if there may be passerines at Stanpit; but 3 Wheatear, a Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat later those hopes vanished. The marsh again received good coverage, the wader maxima being: 2 Greenshank, 10 Whimbrel, 5 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, a Snipe, 40 Lapwing and a decent count of 132 Redshank. In addition: 3 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Tern and 5 Teal were at Stanpit; the Peregrine was on The Priory; and 2 Raven passed over.

Additional news: a couple of Swift lingered over Stanpit in the morning.

August 9th

Turnstone – Clinton Whale
Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale

During the course of a wet day, Stanpit was pretty well covered but it was the period 9:45-11:00 that produced all the action. The totals from that visit being: a Wood Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin; as well as 2 Raven.

August 8th

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail – Alan Crockard
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail – Alan Crockard
...and some of the 21 Sanderling on the sandspit – Clinton Whale

A light, north wind and on-and-off drizzle made things a little difficult today. At Stanpit this afternoon, a Wood Sandpiper came up from East Marsh and flew around for a few minutes, calling as it did so. Most of the other wader news came from Mudeford Quay and the sandspit, comprising: 21 Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, an arriving Curlew, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin and a Turnstone. Meanwhile, further offshore, a tern gathering attracted 3 Little Tern, 55 Common Tern and 28 Sandwich Tern, with 2 Teal, 15 Common Scoter and 3 Mediterranean Gull passing west. The regular, juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was about the quay and a Kingfisher was at Stanpit.

August 7th

A patch of water just off the northern end of the sandspit attracted a decent number of terns this morning - at least 40 Common Tern were estimated to come and go through it and a Roseate Tern lingered for over an hour. The gathering also interested an Arctic Skua enough to come very close to shore and deliberate the scene. All of this was watched from Mudeford Quay, which also saw 65 Common Scoter move by – both east and west – and a group of 3 Great Crested Grebe settled on the water. The breezy conditions meant passerines largely kept their heads down, but a Redstart was on the Long Field, where 14 Whitethroat and 7 Willow Warbler were counted. At Stanpit, there were 3 Greenshank, 11 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover, 25 Dunlin and a Snipe, while 3 Sanderling were about the sandspit. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was again hanging around the quay and 4 Mediterranean Gull were noted overall. Elsewhere, a Peregrine passed over the head, a couple of Kingfisher were by the Bailey Bridge, a party of 6 Shelduck – an adult and five juveniles – arrived and the three ‘Polish’ cygnets are still doing fine. 

August 6th

Common Tern Common Tern
Common Tern – Alan Crockard
Wheatear – Clinton Whale

It was much quieter this morning, although a Redstart, 2 Garden Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat were by the HHC, while a Tree Pipit was on the Long Field, around 25 Willow Warbler came off the head and a couple of Wheatear were on Stanpit. Green Sandpiper were again about, with two birds being recorded either side of the harbour, and the first two Snipe of the ‘winter’ toured. Other waders logged included: a Greenshank, 8 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin. Around 20 Sandwich Tern and 6 Common Tern rested in Holloway’s Dock, and the day-total for Mediterranean Gull was four – three adults and one juvenile. A couple of Teal were in Barn Bight and the Peregrine was on The Priory. 

Omission: a Marsh Harrier was seen from Wick and a Raven from Fisherman's Bank.

August 5th

Another view of the ringed Sparrowhawk that bred close to Mudeford sandspit;
this time doing something strange with its left leg– Simon Lee

There was a massive number of birds recorded by the HHC this morning, including: 300 Sedge Warbler, 170 Willow Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, a Redstart, 3 Tree Pipit, a Yellow Wagtail and 92 Common Tern. Over on Stanpit, during pretty much the same period it was quite a contrast, with just 2 Garden Warbler, an out-of-place Reed Warbler, a dozen Willow Warbler, 10 Sedge Warbler, a couple of Wheatear and 6 Common Tern logged. Meanwhile, one of the locally-fledged Marsh Harrier made perhaps its first foray to the harbour, where it received the unwelcome attention of the local corvids; singles of Green Sandpiper were seen on both sides of the area; and Bearded Tit were heard by the Rusty Boat. Overhead, on a couple of occasions very high Swift, up to 12 birds, and unidentified hirundines were seen slowly moving west, while 50 Swallow passed through Stanpit a ground level and 4 House Martin were over Wick. Also on the move were Black-tailed Godwit – around 50 heading generally west. On the deck, waders at Stanpit included: 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover, 13 Dunlin and 60 Lapwing, as well as 2 Mediterranean Gull and 80 Sandwich Tern. 

August 4th

Greenshank – Clinton Whale
Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit (rear) and Sandwich Tern – Gary Foyle
Sanderling – Clinton Whale

The raging weather of the last two days settled down a little, so it was perhaps unexpected that Arctic Skua would feature so strongly after a previous absence. In total, there was a minimum of five in Christchurch Bay this morning – at one time four were chasing a rather hapless Sandwich Tern – while one that passed west through the harbour may have been an additional bird. Wader variety continues to notch up with site-wide maxima coming to: 2 Greenshank, 2 Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Sanderling, 14 Whimbrel, 11 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Passerines were represented by a Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit over Hengistbury, a Lesser Whitethroat and 20 Willow Warbler on it, and 8 Blackcap in the North Scrubs, Stanpit. At least 2 Yellow-legged Gull, all juveniles, were about, as were 6 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Tern and 70 Sandwich Tern.

August 3rd

Fulmar – Roger Howell

The conditions meant more focus on the sea today – the morning at Mudeford Quay produced a shearwater, 2 Fulmar, 13 Common Scoter and 10 Sandwich Tern, while an hour in the afternoon at Hengistbury added a further 2 Common Tern and 42 Sandwich Tern. Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull again were a feature, with singles been turned in from the quay and Stanpit, where there were 2 Lesser Whitethroat, a Mediterranean Gull and a Common Tern. Moving to waders: the Long Groyne hosted 20 Sanderling; the quay saw 3 Whimbrel, 3 Sanderling and a Dunlin; and the marsh produced another Whimbrel and 10 Dunlin.

August 2nd

Yellow-legged Gull Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull,
including for the purists a nice shot detailing the tail-band pattern – Roger Howell

A south-westerly wind blew all day and from 9:00 the heavens were open. The sea was watched from Mudeford Quay for a continuous six hours and if it hadn’t been for a couple of lingering, juvenile Yellow-legged Gull to buoy the spirits! The remaining interest was provided by two shearwaters, probably manx, west, 23 Common Scoter, around 20 Common Tern, a Mediterranean Gull, a Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Dunlin and 3 Turnstone. Meanwhile, two groups of Swift, totalling 34 birds, headed in off the sea. Off mammal interest, when a seal was first spotted it was assumed to be the regular grey, but in fact turned out to be a Common Seal.

August 1st

Greenshank in Holloway's Dock – Clinton Whale
Sandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern, also in Holloway's Dock,
proving it's never too late in the season – Clinton Whale

A southerly breeze meant the birds in the reeds kept their heads down this morning, but the ringing efforts proved they were in there. From dawn to 8:30, around 80 birds were caught – over 60 of them Sedge Warbler, but also a handful of Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler, plus a single Blackcap. Meanwhile, on the Long Field around 20 Whitethroat and a dozen Willow Warbler were field recorded. At some point during the day, a Wood Sandpiper came up from South Marsh, Stanpit; with other waders on site including the two photographed Greenshank, 7 Whimbrel and 3 Turnstone. At sea, a couple of skuas briefly harried terns far off Mudeford Quay; also 14 Common Scoter and 6 Common Tern from there. To finish off, by far the best Sandwich Tern count – 74 – came on the afternoon low tide from Holloway’s Dock on and up to 3 Raven were about Hengistbury.

Sightings for earlier months can be found in our Sightings Archive.
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