Sightings for November 2017

November 30th

Rock Pipit
Presumed littoralis (Scandinavian) Rock Pipit at Stanpit – Nick Whitehouse

At sea today, from Hengistbury, a couple of Great Northern Diver, 3 Red-throated Diver, 6 Pintail and a Tufted Duck headed west; while a Brambling, 2 Fieldfare and 10 Redwing moved inland from the head itself. On the deck, there were 4 Chiffchaff on the Stanpit golf course embankment and a further Wick. Also settled, but around Stanpit Bight were: 9 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 40+ Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin, as well as 6 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Duck, a Shelduck and 38 Brent Goose. Finishing up, a female-type Marsh Harrier was around Wick Hams, along with a Kingfisher.

November 29th

On a sunny but bitter cold day there were a few bits and pieces, a Hawfinch south over Roebury Lane being the pick. The Marsh Harrier was hunting over Central Marsh and Wick Hams while both Peregrine and Buzzard were seen from Stanpit. On the marsh five Pintail, all drakes, were present plus 4 Shoveler and 4 Bar-tailed Godwit. A late morning visit to Stanpit found at least eight, presumed 'Scandinavian' Rock Pipit on site. To round up, a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams, 12 Redwing headed north over Wick Fields and 2 Chiffchaff were about.

Additional news: at Stanpit, the Spoonbill was present, as were 2 Bearded Tit, and a total of 55 Redwing headed north; while a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was inside the harbour, seen from Mudeford Quay.

November 28th

Peregrine – Robert Gray
Grey Seal
Grey Seal in the Run today – Robert Gray

Despite the recent frosts, there are still some Chiffchaff hanging around – two at both Mudeford Quay and Wick today – while a Firecrest was at the eastern end of the Wood. Also, a couple each of Bullfinch and Redpoll on Wick. A couple of hours looking at the sea from Mudeford Quay came up with: a Sandwich Tern, a Great Crested Grebe, 28 Common Scoter and 18 Brent Goose; with the remaining news coming from a Mediterranean Gull arriving over the sandspit, the Marsh Harrier and 2 Kingfisher on Wick Hams. 

November 27th

Green Woodpecker, Jay & Stonechat
Green Woodpecker, Jay and Stonechat – Roger Tidball

After a wet and windy morning, save for 2 Purple Sandpiper on the groynes and 10 Black-tailed Godwits in Holloway’s Dock, all the news comes from the sea. From the Beach Huts, a redhead Red-breasted Merganser, a Mediterranean Gull and 16 Common Gull were seen passing west, while 10 Gannet and 35 Common Scoter lingered. Around the same time, Mudeford Quay mustered just a single Great Crested Grebe. 

November 26th

Kingfisher – Chris Chapleo

A clear, crisp morning meant near-perfect conditions for the well-attended members’ walk to the sandspit. There, a single Purple Sandpiper was obliging on a groyne at the southern end, while a Great Crested Grebe and the 30 Common Scoter were offshore, and a diver passed east. The bright sun encouraged a bit of Stock Dove song in the Wood, where a Treecreeper was heard, but little else, save for one or two Goldcrest, could be dug out. Nearby, a Greenshank was heard around the Holloway’s Dock. Meanwhile, a couple of Pintail ended up in Barn Bight, 4 Bullfinch and a Peregrine were logged from Wick and of 3 Kingfisher one spent time on the groyne beacons, as photographed, before the cormorants and gulls took over. 

November 25th

Turnstone – Clinton Whale

On a frosty morning, there was a good presence of Marsh Harrier around the area. The regular male was seen with an accompanying female-type bird on a number of occasions and once with two of the latter. Meanwhile, a Spoonbill was again on the tip of South Marsh. A good selection of waders was headed with the Spotted Redshank, a Ruff and an unseasonable Green Sandpiper, and complemented with a Knot, 14 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 43 Ringed Plover and 85 Dunlin. In-harbour wildfowl included 6 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 92 Brent Goose and 2 Shelduck, with the 30 Common Scoter again on the sea off Hengistbury. The pick of the passerines is nine flyover Fieldfare, along with 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch on Wick. A couple of adult Mediterranean Gull were at Stanpit, as were 2 Common Gull, and a Peregrine patrolled. 

November 24th

Purple Sandpiper
Purple Sandpiper – Clinton Whale
A Spoonbill was again at Stanpit, at the tip of South Marsh. Over on Hengistbury, there was just one Purple Sandpiper seen today – on a groyne adjacent to the Long Groyne – with other waders, all logged from Fisherman’s Bank, coming to: 12 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin. The sea came up with a Red-throated Diver and a peak of 5 Sandwich Tern, as well as a skua heading into the Solent, the 30-strong Common Scoter flock, a settled Guillemot and 3 Great Crested Grebe. The rest is bits and pieces, including: the male Marsh Harrier; a very vocal Chiffchaff on Mudeford Quay; a Brambling in the Nursery, 7 Goldcrest and a Kingfisher on Wick; a Peregrine over; and 3 Pintail plus 3 Shoveler inside the harbour. 

November 23rd

Despite a continued, overnight blow, the sea was a little quieter this morning. The news comes from the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay, with the aggregates being: a Black-throated Diver west, a Great Northern Fover on the sea, 7 Kittiwake and 2 Guillemot west, 6 Razorbill settled and the 30 Common Scoter. A Greenshank, along with half a dozen Black-tailed Godwit, was in Holloway’s Dock and the Marsh Harrier was hunting Wick Hams at 09:30.

November 22nd

Strong southerly winds had obviously pushed divers into Christchurch Bay – one of each species in fact. A Black-throated Diver and a Red-throated Diver were both seen from Mudeford Quay, making short flights after picking up from the choppy sea, while a Great Northern Diver lifted off and headed west past the Beach Huts. There was a good presence of Kittiwake – a total of 48 returned from the quay – as well as 4 Mediterranean Gull, 25 or so Common Scoter, 3 Razorbill and a few Gannet. A couple of Purple Sandpiper were on the groynes and 6 Black-tailed Godwit were in Holloway’s Dock.  

November 21st

Dunlin & Ringed Plover
Dunlin & Ringed Plover on the sandspit – Clinton Whale

An early session at Mudeford Quay produced around 6 Mediterranean Gull and singles of Guillemot and Razorbill west, plus 30 Common Scoter settled on the water. Later, a Black-throated Diver and 3 Red-throated Diver headed east, while at least 50 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Kittiwake and 60 Common Gull were in a large, offshore feeding flock, and a further Razorbill headed west. The sandspit held 53 Ringed Plover and 13 Dunlin, as well as the regular Kingfisher – today fishing from groynes as all the beacons were taken. Meanwhile, a Greenshank was again in Holloway’s Dock, 3 Bullfinch and Chiffchaff were on Wick, where there was another Kingfisher seen from the viewing platform. 

November 20th

Spoonbill in Holloway's Dock – Clinton Whale
Greenshank & Redshank
...and a nice comparison of Greenshank and Redshank
in the same location – Clinton Whale

There was a Spoonbill in Hollway’s Dock this morning, along with a Greenshank, while a nice selection of waders was on the sandspit, mostly around groyne S9 and included: 9 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, 65 Ringed Plover and 55 Dunlin. Later, inside the harbour at Stanpit, totals of 6 Grey Plover, presumably a further Greenshank, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Black-tailed Godwit were returned, along with an estimate of 200 Lapwing plus 2 Pintail. A 1.5-hour seawatch from Mudeford Quay saw a sharp increase of Gannet – to around 50 birds – with a Red-throated Diver and an unidentified diver east, an auk west, over 40 Common Scoter – 20 settled and the remainder mainly west – and 37 Cormorant in variously-sized flocks also west. In addition, a party of 6 Sandwich Tern were seen entering the harbour through the Run. The Marsh Harrier was logged on both sides of the area and a Kingfisher was in Holloway’s Dock.

November 19th

In the morning darkness, there were frequent calls of Redwing over the western portion of Hengistbury, but it would be folly to try and put a number on the amount of birds. The Nursery roost today held nothing out the ordinary, just the expected Little Egret, corvids, pigeons and doves. Wick fared better for passerines, with a Firecrest along Roebury Lane, by the soil dump, a Fieldfare and 4 Bullfinch; a further of the latter was heard at the eastern end of the head. The best from the WeBS count was 2 Greenshank, one of those on the Salt Hurns, 2 Purple Sandpiper on the Long Groyne, a Golden Plover on East Marsh and a Jack Snipe seen from Fisherman’s Bank. In addition, 29 Black-tailed Godwit, 53 Dunlin and 46 Dunlin were logged across the site; all of the plovers on the seashore of the sandspit. Meanwhile, the wildfowl weighed in with 6 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 45 Teal, 551 Wigeon and 146 Brent Goose, including now two juveniles. The Marsh Harrier was seen on a few occasions, but mainly around Wick Hams, a Peregrine was over Stanpit and perhaps as many a 6 Kingfisher were about the area. In fact, one of these has developed a habit of fishing along the seaward side of the sandspit, using the beacons as perches if they are not already taken by gulls or cormorants. 

November 18th

One of 5 Firecrest at the eastern end of Hengistbury – Alan Crockard

At dawn, a Hawfinch left the Wood on Hengistbury with a few Brambling and Redwing. A subsequent, 2.5-hour seawatch was pretty quiet, with just a Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe west, an unidentified diver and a Shelduck east, plus 3 Sandwich Tern, 30 Common Scoter and 2 Gannet; all logged from the Beach Huts. An offshore gull flock that peaked at around 400 birds was reckoned to contain a good few Mediterranean Gull, perhaps 40 individuals, as well as some Kittiwake – a reasonable estimate for them being 20. Later in the day, there were gulls pausing off Mudeford Quay before heading west, these included: 30 Mediterranean Gull, 75 Common Gull, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull and an argentatus Herring Gull. Moving back to passerines, there were 5 Firecrest in the holly by the steps at the eastern end of the head and a couple of Bullfinch were along Roebury Lane. A Greenshank remains in Holloway’s Dock and a flock of 7 Purple Sandpiper were about the sandspit. Meanwhile, the Marsh Harrier was seen at 8:00 and 9:30, hunting the Wick reeds, and a Kingfisher was by the new viewing platform.  

November 17th

A Marsh Harrier, a male of undetermined age, was seen at 8:15 this morning from Mudeford Quay as he came in off the sea, while an hour or so later the regular, third-calendar-year male was hunting the Wick reeds. Around the same time, a Golden Plover passed north over Stanpit and Bearded Tit were making a racket in the reeds by the stile to Priory Marsh. Later in the day, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit were logged in Stanpit Bight, as well as 10 Grey Plover, 50 Ringed Plover and 100 Dunlin; also 9 Black-tailed Godwit on North Marsh. Rounding up, 4 Pintail and 2 Common Gull were on the marsh.  

November 16th

Starling – Matthew Barfield

The Great White Egret was around again this morning, showing well in Stanpit Creek from Fisherman’s Bank. Also at Stanpit, a Ruff, a Knot and a couple of Tufted Duck. The Marsh Harrier was seen around the site, while a Redpoll and at least 4 Chiffchaff were in the North Scrubs, couple of Bullfinch and 3 Fieldfare were on Wick, and a Buzzard toured. At least one Greenshank remains in Holloway’s Dock and the sea, from the Beach Huts, came up with a first-winter Kittiwake west, 4 Sandwich Tern heading into the Solent and 20 settled Common Scoter. A Kingfisher was again on Wick Hams.  

November 15th

A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the North Scrubs this morning, but during a subsequent 45-minute search just a Bullfinch, 2 Redpoll, 2 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and a Coal Tit could be found. Earlier, a Great White Egret had flown across the harbour towards Stanpit and a Spoonbill was in Holloway’s Dock. There were 3 Black Redstart returned from Hengistbury, but details of only one – 200m from the southern end of the sandspit – are known. A seawatch produced a Black-throated Diver, a Northern Diver, 5 Red-throated Diver and 2 Common Gull west, plus 20 Common Scoter and 5 Gannet. In total, 6 Firecrest were on the head, as was a Fieldfare and a Bullfinch, while a female-type Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit. The only wader news involves a Greenshank and 6 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock, plus 7 Snipe flushed from Wick Hams. Kingfisher were by the Salt Hurns and along Fisherman’s Bank.

November 14th

Kestrel – Matthew Barfield (upper) & Jimmy Main

There was some variety to be seen on and off the sandspit this morning. At sea, a Great Northern Diver drifted close past the Beach Huts, a couple of Kittiwake headed west and a Sandwich Tern moved east; while 7 Purple Sandpiper were on the groynes. In addition to a Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock, a Jack Snipe came up from Central Marsh, Stanpit, where 6 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 24 Black-tailed Godwit were present. A Fieldfare was on the Long Field, Hengistbury, and two presumed littoralis Rock Pipit were on the Marsh, along with 10 Pintail, 6 Shoveler  and a Great Crested Grebe, the latter in the relatively shallow waters of Stanpit Creek. 

November 13th

Venus & JupiterVenus & Jupiter
Venus, Jupiter and some birds, just before dawn – Alan Crockard

It was another cold day in the continuing north wind, but the bright sun tempered things a little. The highlight was 5 Mandarin Duck – two drakes and three ducks – in Stanpit Creek this morning. Earlier, a two-hour seawatch from dawn at the Beach Huts produced very little; in fact, just: a Red-throated Diver west, an unidentified diver east, at least 15 Common Scoter, those largely settled, 2 Shelduck west and a Great Crested Grebe into the Solent. Also a gathering of up to 100 large gulls on the horizon, a Common Gull, 2 Gannet and a Kingfisher on the groynes. Overhead, finches could be heard moving, including Brambling, Redpoll, Siskin and Goldfinch. A further Brambling and 2 Redpoll were on Wick, where 4 Chiffchaff were by the HHC, and a Firecrest was seen in the Nursery. The Marsh Harrier was over Central Marsh around 9:30 and a Kingfisher was along Fisherman’s Bank.

Additional news: at Stanpit, there were: a Grey Plover, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, a Turnstone, 15 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin; plus 4 Pintail, 6 Shoveler, an estimated 400 Wigeon, 30 Brent Goose and a Shelduck. 

November 12th

Dartford Warbler
Dartford Warbler – Jimmy Main

It’s an early post today, so any additional news will follow tomorrow. A biting north-westerly deterred most efforts, other than a trip to the Beach Huts. From there, a Red-throated Diver, 3 Kittiwake, 5 Sandwich Tern and 12 Gannet were logged, while a Firecrest, 5 Chiffchaff and 2 Redpoll were on Wick. 

Additional new: 70 Ringed Plover were on the sandspit.

November 11th

Kingfisher – Alan Crockard
Fieldfare – Jimmy Main

During a wet morning and into the afternoon, there was some evidence of a small arrival of wildfowl. Early on, from Mudeford Quay, 4 Shoveler, 2 Brent Goose and 6 Shelduck came out of the Solent; then later, at Stanpit, the season’s first juvenile Brent Goose was seen, along with3 Pintail, 8 Shoveler and 2 Gadwall. Also on the marsh, 5 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Mediterranean Gull and 10 Common Gull. Back to the start of the day, when there were a couple of Fieldfare on Wick Fields.

November 10th

Purple SandpiperPurple Sandpiper
There were 11 Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit today – Clinton Whale
Great Black-backed Gull
This colour-ringed Great Black-backed Gull was also on the sandspit, but in October. We have just received details of its origin - ringed in the nest as a chick in Norway during July 2016 and previously seen at Minsmere, Suffolk, in March 2017 – Nick Whitehouse

A milder morning produced nothing of real interest, but there was a nice selection of birds to be had. The pale-bellied Brent Goose remains inside the harbour, as does the Spotted Redshank, while 3 Bullfinch were on Wick by the Wooden Bridge, a Firecrest was in the Wood and 2 Sandwich Tern fished off Mudeford Quay. As support, 4 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest were on Wick, at least 19 Black-tailed Godwit were around, 28 Ringed Plover, 44 Dunlin and 4 Shoveler were at Stanpit, a Kingfisher was watched from the Wick viewing platform and 440 Wigeon were counted in Barn Bight.

November 9th

Around 8:30, a Hen Harrier was seen from Hengistbury but no further details are available. Otherwise, from that side of the area, there were just 3 Bullfinch, 7 Redwing, a Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff and 10 Goldcrest. There were more waders than of late at Stanpit, not least the Spotted Redshank and 2 Snipe which were all flushed from East Marsh by more-than-the-agreed number of anglers in that spot. Also at Stanpit, a good count of 12 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 42 Ringed Plover and 75 Dunlin; as well as 9 Shoveler, 2 Pintail and 2 Common Gull. Finally, a Peregrine headed off north.

November 8th

On a frosty morning, the pale-bellied Brent Goose was again inside the harbour, as was the Marsh Harrier, a Firecrest was by the Wooden Bridge on Wick and 2 Bullfinch were present. In addition to 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, at least 30 Black-tailed Godwit were spread around, 9 Shelduck were on the marsh and 4 Great Crested Grebe were on the sea off Mudeford Quay.

November 7th

On a wet and windy day, the sea got most of the attention. Sometime during the morning, a Long-tailed Duck was seen from Mudeford Quay as it picked up off the water and appeared to come down somewhere off Steamer Point. Also during the morning, a Great Skua was seen from the Beach Huts, as it hassled Great Black-backed Gulls, while other birds from there and the quay included: a Red-breasted Merganser, 15 Kittiwake, 10 Common Scoter, a Grey Plover, 3 Dunlin and 6 Turnstone; all west. In addition, a couple of Sandwich Tern and a Bar-tailed Godwit headed in the same direction over the Barn Field; with other notable waders on site comprising a Purple Sandpiper on the sandspit and 2 Greenshank on Wick Hams. The most remarkable record from the Wood, where there was a Firecrest, was of 2 Treecreeper together by the Nursery, while a further Firecrest was by the Wooden Bridge on Wick, as was a Bearded Tit, and 5 Chiffchaff were on the fields. The Marsh Harrier was around in the early part of the day at least.

November 6th

It reached, or was extremely close to, zero degrees overnight and with a hint of fog. Bird-wise, it was very quiet – both in the bushes and overhead – the only airborne sounds over Hengistbury being a few Goldfinch and Chaffinch, plus the odd Redpoll; but 2 Siskin and 6 Redpoll were seen over Stanpit golf course. Meanwhile, the bushes around the western end of the head and onto Wick held just 5 Chiffchaff and 11 Goldcrest. The best of the waders was a Greenshank at Stanpit and a Sanderling on the Long Groyne, with 25 Dunlin and 50 Ringed Plover also on the marsh. The Marsh Harrier was again around, as were the 2 Pintail.

November 5th

A westerly wind at dawn had an uncharacteristic chill to it, but the accompanying clear skies failed to produce the hoped-for pigeon bonanza – just 3200 were logged moving west. A light finch passage, which was hard to get to grips with against the blue sky, contained one Brambling and 18 Redpoll, among higher numbers of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet; all moving west. Meanwhile, a couple of Firecrest were settled – one on Wick by the Wooden Bridge and one in the Wood – as were 11 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. Rounding up the morning, a young Sandwich Tern flew into the harbour over the Barn Field. This afternoon, there was some wildfowl interest; namely the pale-bellied Brent Goose in Stanpit Bight and a redhead Goosander that flew up river, as well as 2 Pintail and 3 Shoveler. The waders at Stanpit were headed by a Knot and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, but also 29 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Perhaps the rarest event of the day, for the season that is, was a calling Mediterranean Gull, an adult. Outside of the breeding period this species seems almost exclusively mute. The only Kingfisher of the post is one on Wick Hams.

November 4th

A night of torrential rain left a significant amount of standing water around the area as dawn broke. Early on, a Yellow-browed Warbler was calling alongside the path that runs from Solent Meads car park to the Wooden Bridge, while 7 Redwing headed north and 2 Bullfinch, 8 Redpoll, 4 Chiffchaff and 9 Goldcrest were also recorded on Wick. Later on, a Great Northern Diver moved east at sea off the Barn Field and an adult Mediterranean Gull, something of a winter rarity here, was by East Marsh. This afternoon, the pale-bellied Brent Goose, which we now understand is here for its fourth day, was with 115 of its conventional cousins and a Green Sandpiper, another seasonal rarity, was at Stanpit. In addition, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Ringed Plover and 18 Dunlin were inside the harbour, as was a Great Crested Grebe. A Sandwich Tern was offshore from Mudeford Quay and at least one Kingfisher was logged at Fisherman’s Bank.

November 3rd

Fog, once again, blighted the morning at Hengistbury, although a Lapland Bunting was over the Batters, Redpoll could be heard and at least 8 Firecrest, plus 20 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff, were in the Wood. Ducks on the river – a Goldeneye and 3 Tufted Duck – suggested an arrival, while a Ruff was at Stanpit, along with 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Black-tailed Godwit; with 40 Ringed Plover roosting on the sandspit. The North Scrubs held 4 Redpoll, the Marsh Harrier was about and a total of eight, presumed Scandinavian Rock Pipit were around the marsh, as was a Kingfisher. Meanwhile, Little Grebe are also trickling in for the winter – two off Wick Spires this afternoon.

Omission: a Sandwich Tern and 20 Common Scoter were seen from Mudeford Quay.

November 2nd

Peregrine at Stanpit recently – Jimmy Main

Thick fog enveloped the area until late morning at least. During that time, Hengistbury and Wick between them produced: 3 Bullfinch, 3 Brambling, some Redwing calls, 14 Goldcrest and 19 Chiffchaff; as well as a westbound Sandwich Tern. Slightly later, at Stanpit, there were 6 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover and an estimated 12 Dunlin; plus a pair of Pintail and 6 Common Gull.

November 1st

Black-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit – Alan Crockard
Grey Plover
Grey Plover – Clinton Whale

A relatively mild and still morning produced very little to write about. The best was a Yellowhammer over Stanpit golf course, likewise a Redpoll. Over on Wick, the Marsh Harrier was again seen, as were 11 Goldcrest, half a dozen Chiffchaff and a further 5 Redpoll. Meanwhile, the warm air even tempted a Goldcrest into song in the Stanpit car park pines.

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