Sightings for January 2018

December 31st

Little Grebe Little Grebe Little Grebe Little Grebe
Little Grebe on the pool overlooked by the Viewing Platform on Wick Brian Wadie
The location of the Viewing Platform has just been added to the Interactive Map

In a strong, south-westerly breeze, there was a hint of wildfowl movement off Mudeford Quay this morning, namely: a flock of 56 Wigeon west and 4 Brent Goose three u-turning, west then east, and one arriving.  Also from the quay, a Razorbill and a Great Crested Grebe, while late in the afternoon a brutish-looking, first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was on the lawn alongside the approach road. The only other news involves 3 Purple Sandpiper with 45 Dunlin on groyne S8 and 2 Bullfinch by the Wooden Bridge on Wick.

December 30th

Spoonbill Spoonbill
Spoonbill Nick Whitehouse

The only bird news comes from Stanpit, where at one point 2 Spoonbill were present. Also a Marsh Harrier there. A 90-minute seawatch from Mudeford Quay provided nothing at all of note.

December 29th

Stanpit Marsh Dunlin
Heavy rain and high tide this morning resulted in an inundated Stanpit,
meaning waders, such as these Dunlin, sought refuge on the sandspit Clinton Whale
Mudeford Quay HSC Dinghy Park HSC Dinghy Park
Earlier, the Highcliffe Sailing Club anemometer recorded a gust of 97 knots, which by our reckoning is around 111mph! Their video-cam also seems to show a mini tornado sweeping through the dinghy park at just after 8:00 Jackie Smith (upper two) & Jean Southworth

Despite several hours of south-westerly blow, there was not a single storm-blown seabird off Mudeford Quay this morning; not even a gannet! From there, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Great Crested Grebe and 9 Common Scoter were all that made the notebook. Other than the news of the Dunlin and Ringed Plover sitting things out on the sandspit, there is nothing else to report.

December 28th

Curlew in the sun at Stanpit Mike Lyons

Yesterdays cruel wind had abated almost completely and it was pleasant to be in the field today. The Spoonbill was present at Stanpit during the afternoon, as were seven presumed littoralis Rock Pipit, while the regular male Marsh Harrier was around in the morning. Also about the marsh: 14 Grey Plover, 67 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Ringed Plover and around 120 Dunlin; as well as a good count of 32 Pintail, but a dismal 7 Brent Goose. In addition, singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher were logged, and a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea.

December 27th

Song Thrush
Song Thrush Robert Gray

A very uncomfortable day, as a blasting north-westerly added further chill to the already, low-single-figure temperatures. Mudeford Quay this morning produced just a Great Crested Grebe and the Common Scoter flock; while, after a few weeks absence, the Emperor Goose, of more-than-suspect origin, was with canadas off Fishermans Bank.

December 26th

Lapwing Robert Gray

There is little to report for this Boxing Day: just the Spoonbill in flight over the harbour and an adult Mediterranean Gull, 20 Pintail and 3 Shoveler, all females, in Stanpit Bight.

Additional news: a Red-throated Diver, a Razorbill, 7 Gannet and 2 Brent Goose moved west past Mudeford Quay, a Great Crested Grebe headed in the opposite direction and around 30 Common Scoter were settled. 

December 25th

Christmas Robin
Normally one of the photographers sends us an image to use,
but this year we've had to improvise...

With the wind picking up from the west overnight, the sea produced a modicum of interest. A Great Skua, 8 Kittiwake and around 100 Gannet moved west past Hengistbury, while a Guillemot fished in the Run mid-morning. Elsewhere, the Spoonbill spent some time in Stanpit Creek, as did the Spotted Redshank, with other birds returned from Fishermans Bank including: 4 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 116 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Pintail and 10 Shoveler. Over on Wick, singles of Chiffchaff and Bullfinch were logged. 

December 24th

The only news for Christmas Eve comes from Mudeford Quay, over which a Sandwich Tern and a flock of 6 Shoveler arrived; while two female-type Common Scoter and a single Great Crested Grebe were offshore. 

  December 23rd

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker Robert Gray

There were lots of bird viewable from Fishermans Bank early this morning, including: a redhead Goosander in Stanpit Creek, 18 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Pintail and 4 Mediterranean Gull two adults and two first-winter birds. Also from the bank, but at times unknown, the Spoonbill on Blackberry Point and a Common Sandpiper. Over on Hengistbury, a Firecrest was behind the Nursery, while a Chiffchaff, a Grey Wagtail and 3 Redwing were returned, and a couple of Bullfinch were by the HHC. Offshore, a Red-throated Diver passed west and 9 Common Scoter were settled, as were 2 Great Crested Grebe. Rounding up, the regular Marsh Harrier was about Wick Hams and a Yellow-legged Gull, an adult, was inside the harbour by Mudeford Quay.

December 22nd

Redshank Robert Gray

Another mild and windless day saw the Spoonbill still off Fishermans Bank, plus the Marsh Harrier from there, and 2 Sandwich Tern again around Mudeford Quay. Also inside the harbour, 12 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit and, continuing their strong showing, 36 Pintail.

December 21st

Its hard to believe its mid-winter already, not least with temperatures tipping 12C today! The only news, however, concerns 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Redwing at Wick, plus 2 Sandwich Tern off Mudeford Quay.

December 20th

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper Clinton Whale
Kestrel Robert Gray
Blue Tit
Blue Tit Clinton Whale

The harbour was covered in quite dense fog this morning, hence there isn't a great deal to report. A Goosander was in Barn Bight and 3 Sandwich Tern were seen, one at Hengistbury and two off Mudeford Quay, while 2 Purple Sandpiper were on the Long Groyne. There was also a Grey Seal in the Run.

December 19th

Grey Plover
Grey Plover Clinton Whale
Fox Clinton Whale

After a frosty start, there was a good selection of birds at Stanpit, including: the Spoonbill, seen from Fishermans Bank; a Water Pipit on Central Marsh; two Marsh Harrier the third-calendar-year male and a female-type; and a drake Pochard with 3 Tufted Duck. Meanwhile, the Spotted Redshank went for a day out after passing high over the North Scrubs it was later encountered outside of the recording area in the Lower Avon Valley. Commoner wader numbers involved: 12 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Black-tailed Godwit and around 70 Dunlin. A couple of Great Crested Grebe were inside the harbour, as were 31 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, a couple of Shelduck and 6 Common Gull. 

December 18th

Marsh Harrier Marsh Harrier Marsh Harrier Marsh Harrier
Some recent images of Marsh Harrier. The lower two show the regular, male bird,
reckoned to be in its third winter, while the upper two are presumed
to be of a younger male. Comments very welcome
Jimmy Main (upper two) & Robert Gray
Today saw a Firecrest and a Treecreeper in the Wood on Hengistbury, as well as a Chiffchaff and Bullfinch on Wick. Elsewhere, 2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Common Scoter were off Mudeford Quay. 

December 17th

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover on the sandspit Clinton Whale
Grey Heron
Grey Heron Roger Tidball

The WeBS counters experienced a frosty start, but things warmed up as the morning wore on and by lunchtime rain had set in. The pick of the wildfowl was a redhead Goosander south over Stanpit, but also an excellent return of 25 Pintail, as well as 5 Shoveler, a Shelduck, 96 Teal, 799 Wigeon and 36 Brent Goose. Meanwhile, the waders came in at: 17 Grey Plover, that also a good number, 70 Black-tailed Godwit, 82 Ringed Plover and 65 Dunlin. Off Mudeford Quay, a Black-throated Diver moved into the Solent and a flock of 6 Red-throated Diver headed the other way. The male Marsh Harrier was again over Wick Hams, while singles of Peregrine and Kingfisher were logged.  

Omission: the Spoonbill was at Stanpit.

December 16th

A Firecrest was in the Wood this morning, when a Sandwich Tern, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 32 Common Scoter were seen from the Beach Huts. Meanwhile, a female-type Marsh Harrier was over the Wick reeds and 3 Bullfinch were on the adjacent fields. At Stanpit, a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 55 Dunlin were logged from Fishermans Bank. This afternoon, a Hooded Crow was on the beach at Mudeford Quay, a Marsh Harrier went east and a Red-throated Diver west.

December 15th

Kingfisher from the viewing platform on Wick Paul Turton

A cold day gave up little of significance, save for the Spoonbill which was seen on North Marsh. It does at last seem we may have a bird that is lingering around the area. Otherwise the news is: a Red-throated Diver and a Red-breasted Merganser west past Hengistbury, along with a Sandwich Tern, 33 Common Scoter and six auks off there. Meanwhile, 120 Dunlin, 6 Pintail and 4 Shoveler were inside the harbour at Stanpit.

December 14th

Little Egret
Little Egret Jimmy Main

Once again, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay; where, just before a 11:00, an Arctic Skua lingered before moving off west, a Black-throated Diver and 2 Red-throated Diver were at sea, and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was on the inner harbour shore.

December 13th

Sparrowhawk Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk Jimmy Main

The only news from a damp day is of 2 Sandwich Tern at Mudeford Quay.

December 12th

Jay Clinton Whale

After a relatively heavy, for the location that is, overnight frost, there was some evidence of cold-weather movement, when a flock of 7 Goosander left the harbour to the west just after first light. Also around that time, a couple of Redwing over and 4 Bullfinch settled in the No Dogs Field. The icy conditions brought Snipe close to the paths on Stanpit, while a Grey Wagtail and 4 Turnstone were on Mudeford Quay.

December 11th

Dunlin seeing out the high tide on the sandspit Clinton Whale

On a bitterly cold morning, brought about by a northerly wind and accompanying sleet, expectations of birds displaced from snow-covered areas of the country proved nothing more than fanciful. A 2-hour seawatch from Mudeford Quay producing just: a Red-throated Diver, a Sandwich Tern, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 21 Common Scoter, 2 Pintail, 3 Knot, 3 Ringed Plover and 125 Dunlin.

December 10th

Spoonbill Roger Tidball
Grey Heron
Grey Heron Jimmy Main
Mudeford QuayMudeford Quay Clinton Whale

As forecast, the morning was blighted with strong, westerly wind and frequent showers. From Mudeford Quay, a Black-throated Diver was seen heading into the Solent, a Great Northern Diver moved in the opposite direction and a redhead Goosander fished in the Run before flying into the harbour.

The swallow that was on Hengistbury Head yesterday had moved to Avon Beach today, just outside of the recording area, where it seemed to be somehow picking insects from the air.

December 9th

Redwing Jimmy Main

The biggest surprise of a frosty morning was a Swallow on Hengistbury! The bird was first seen over the Barn Field around 10:00 and then spent time hawking for precious insects around the eastern end of the head. Meanwhile, Black-throated Diver continue to be recorded two west and one east as well as 21 Red-throated Diver, those all west. In addition, 35 Common Scoter, 67 Brent Goose, 5 Great Crested Grebe and 9 Wigeon were settled on a calm sea. The Spoonbill was reported from Holloways Dock and seen in Stanpit Creek, where a local, winter rarity, a Greenshank, was also present. Other birds inside the harbour included: the Spotted Redshank, 12 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Ringed Plover, 116 Dunlin, 15 Pintail and 6 Shelduck; while 3 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. The Marsh Harrier again makes the post, as do 2 Chiffchaff at Stanpit, a Grey Wagtail at Mudeford Quay and a Kingfisher in Holloways Dock.

December 8th

There certainly seems to a Black-throated Diver lingering around the area, with this morning producing one west very close inshore off Double Dykes. A first-winter Spoonbill touched down briefly in Barn Bight before being spooked by the regular, male Marsh Harrier and then heading off towards Fishermans Bank. A redhead Goosander was also in Barn Bight; while from the sandspit, a Sandwich Tern, 24 Common Scoter and 4 Shag were returned. Elsewhere, a couple of Bullfinch were on Wick.

December 7th

The day started to wind and driving rain. So much so that poor visibility hampered any meaningful seawatching from Mudeford Quay, although a Black-throated Diver flew into the harbour over the Run. The only other news comes from the information services and involves a Spoonbill at Stanpit. 

December 6th

Drake Shoveler Clinton Whale

There was just one diver logged today a Black-throated Diver west past Mudeford Quay this morning, when a Great Crested Grebe and 25 Common Scoter were also present. Interest on Wick continues, with a Firecrest, a Chiffchaff and 2 Bullfinch, while the male Marsh Harrier again seen on at least two occasions. 

December 5th

This male Peregrine, as seen in a photo last week, carries a ring 'Black 62'. As such, we now know it was ringed as a chick, along with his two sisters, in May 2015 on Chichester Cathedral. Since then he has been seen on Hayling Island in August 2015, at Hurst Spit during October of the same year and then at Durlston in April 2016 Jimmy Main

There were more divers this morning. A Black-throated Diver was seen from Hengistbury heading east over the harbour and a Great Northern Diver moved into the Solent past Mudeford Quay. Earlier, a great-northern had passed west over the Barn Field and one travelled east with a Red-throated Diver, with a further of the latter going in the same direction as a singleton. The Purple Sandpiper count from the sandspit came to 8 birds and, once more, there were 4 Bullfinch on Wick. Meanwhile, 16 Redwing were in the Wood and the male Marsh Harrier hunting Wick Hams at 8:45 may have been the bird seen from the quay arriving from the east. Finishing off, at least 15 Common Scoter were settled in the usual spot.  

December 4th

Great Northern Diver
Great Northern Diver off the sandspit Clinton Whale
Common Scoter
...and the Common Scoter flock Clinton Whale

Another largely windless day produced a good haul of divers. This morning, a Black-throated Diver and 16 Red-throated Diver moved west past Mudeford Quay, while a further of the latter was on the water. This afternoon, a couple of Great Northern Diver were settled off the sandspit, with a Black-throated Diver seen heading into the Solent and 2 Red-throated Diver west. Also at sea during the morning: 4 Sandwich Tern, a Shag, seven auks, 6 Gannet, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 23 Common Scoter, 3 Teal, two adult Mediterranean Gull and 10 Common Gull. Meanwhile, a maximum of 5 Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. Over on Wick, at least one Firecrest was present, as well as 4 Bullfinch, an over-flying Fieldfare and 3 Chiffchaff, with a further of those on the quay. At Stanpit, on the afternoon ebb tide, the counts included: 12 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 37 Ringed Plover and 103 Dunlin, along with 9 Pintail and at least one Shoveler. Moving back to earlier, the Marsh Harrier again hunted Wick Hams and a couple of Kingfisher made the post.  

December 3rd

Drake Wigeon in today's sunshine Clinton Whale
Sunset from Mudeford
Sunset from Mudeford Quay Clinton Whale
Moon over Stanpit
...and the supermoon from Stanpit Clinton Whale

After some colder days, this mornings temperature was several degrees above freezing. Wick was particularly productive, hosting: a Firecrest in the No Dogs Field, a Brambling, 3 Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch; the latter all in the Bobolink Field. Meanwhile, an hour at Mudeford Quay yielded: 6 Red-throated Diver four west and two east, 3 Great Crested Grebe west and a total of 40 Common Scoter five west, 15 east and 20 settled. 

December 2nd

One of the Bullfinch which are being regularly seen on Wick Jimmy Main

Late in the morning, from Hengistbury, the following were seen moving west at sea: a Red-necked Grebe, a Great Northern Diver, 32 Red-throated Diver, a Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Pintail, 17 Teal and 54 Wigeon. Earlier, from Mudeford Quay, just 3 Red-throated Diver were logged, but a couple of female-type Eider, the 30 or so Common Scoter, as many as 20 Great Crested Grebe and a Gadwall were settled on the water in Christchurch Bay, which also hosted a couple  of Sandwich Tern. Inside the harbour, there was evidence of an arrival of birds, presumably pushed south by falling temperatures further north, including: 32 Pintail, 12 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and 75 Teal, as well as 16 Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 45 Ringed Plover and 180 Dunlin. Elsewhere, 3 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, a Bullfinch, 4 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing were on Wick, a Mistle Thrush was on the Long Field, a further Firecrest was in the Wood and the male Marsh Harrier frequented Wick Hams.

December 1st

Coal Tit
Coal Tit - not a straightforward bird in the recording area Jimmy Main
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker by the Pod at Stanpit Robert Gray

Despite a clear night, there was little frost presumably as a result of a northerly breeze drying the air. A couple of Velvet Scoter moved west past Hengistbury this morning, while a Black-throated Diver and 5 Red-throated Diver headed into the Solent; also on their way west were 15 Grey Plover. Other than a Marsh Harrier arriving and 23 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloways Dock, the remaining news involves winter passerines; of which 5 Brambling, a Fieldfare and 8 Redwing make the post.

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