Sightings for February 2018

February 28th

On another bitterly cold day, the only news so far is of a Bittern that flew south through the harbour just after 8:00 and the Stilt Sandpiper off Fisherman's Bank.

February 27th

Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale
Teal – Colin Raymond
...and snow clouds massing over the Priory – Colin Raymond

There were some exceptional records today, presumably related to the cold weather; namely, 2 Black-necked Grebe in Parky Meade Rail and 2 Sanderling on the path near the Bailey Bridge. Meanwhile, also related to the conditions, a Cetti’s Warbler was feeding out in the open on Wick. Actually, with the wind dropping somewhat overnight, it felt nowhere near as cold as it might, despite the odd snow flurry. As such, the other news comprises: a Marsh Harrier heading high to the north over Stanpit, plus a Grey Plover and 16 Ringed Plover – twelve of those on the sandspit shore. 

February 26th

Stilt Sandpiper – Alan Hayden

The Stilt Sandpiper spent the morning and lunchtime on either North Marsh or off Fisherman’s Bank, but by late afternoon it had moved out of the area to Coward’s Marsh. The only other news from a truly Baltic day was 4 Linnet near the Double Dyke, plus a Common Gull and Kingfisher in Stanpit Creek. 

February 25th

Turnstone – Ray Scott

The biting wind continues and looks set to do so for the next few days. Today, the Stilt Sandpiper spent some time on Priory Marsh with 4 Black-tailed Godwit, but with only one more of the latter returned it seems there may have been something of a departure. The Spoonbill was seen at Stanpit and at very short distance in Barn Bight, while the drake Goldeneye remains on station off the same-named point and the Spotted Redshank was off Fisherman’s Bank. Also from the bank, a Knot, a Ringed Plover, around 180 Dunlin, a Mediterranean Gull and a Peregrine. Finishing up, a Firecrest was in the Nursery and, despite the near-Arctic conditions, at least one Cetti’s Warbler was in song. 

February 24th

Spotted Redshank – Leo Pyke
Rock Pipit – Roger Tidball

Fisherman’s Bank provided some vital solace from the fierce easterly wind, with the Stilt Sandpiper, the Spoonbill, 70 Black-tailed Godwit and 140 Dunlin being seen from there. The information services also reported the Spotted Redshank. At Hengistbury, a Firecrest was in the Nursery; while a total a 5 Bullfinch were logged on Wick – three of them by the Viewing Platform

February 23rd

Greenfinch – Clinton Whale
Tonight's waxing crescent moon from Stanpit – Clinton Whale

A bitterly cold day, thanks to a not-insignificant easterly breeze, saw little in terms of direct reports – just 2 Bullfinch on Wick and 123 Black-tailed Godwit in Holloway’s Dock, in fact. The information services, however, did report the Stilt Sandpiper, the Spoonbill and the Spotted Redshank at Stanpit. 

February 22nd

Brent Goose – Clinton Whale
Black–tailed Godwit - Alan Hayden
Lesser Black–backed Gull - Ray Scott

As per yesterday, the Stilt Sandpiper was off Fisherman’s Bank where it was alongside the Spotted Redshank, which later moved onto the main part of the marsh. The Spoonbill also remains, as do 320 Black-tailed Godwit, a healthy figure of 190 Dunlin, 6 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 5 Brent Goose and 5 Shelduck. Across the water, a Firecrest was by the HHC – that’s two successive days of birds in unexpected places, so it seems they’re on the move – 3 Bullfinch were on Wick and 6 Redpoll were on Hengistbury. At sea, a Red-throated Diver and couple of Common Scoter were logged from Mudeford Quay; while a skein of 4 Egyptian Goose headed north over Wick. Finally, there is a report of a ‘probable’ glossy ibis near Strides boatyard on Fisherman’s Bank that is worth checking-out. 

February 21st

Water Rail – Paul Turton
Dartford Warbler – Simon Coupe
Grey Heron – Roger Tidball

The now-again regular Marsh Harrier – the third-calendar-year male – was around Wick Hams at 7:25 this morning, while the Spoonbill was nearby before moving over to Stanpit. Also at Stanpit, a Firecrest on Crouch Hill, from wherethe drake Goldeneye could be seen. Another good Black-tailed Godwit count returned 350 birds, with the Spotted Redshank, 130 Dunlin, 14 Pintail and a Peregrine also present. 

February 20th

There is plenty of Skylark song about the area right now – Clinton Whale
Little Egret – Alan Crockard

The Stilt Sandpiper was again off Fisherman’s Bank, as were 67 Black-tailed Godwit and 150 Dunlin; and a further 29 godwit were in Holloway’s Dock. Elsewhere, a Firecrest was by the Double Bends, a Treecreeper was at the eastern end of the Wood and 10 Common Scoter were settled off the end of the head. 

February 19th

Peregrine on the Priory tower – Clinton Whale

The day started with drizzle and although it did stop the sun made no appearance whatsoever. After an absence of a couple of weeks, the last few days have seen Marsh Harrier records make a welcome return – one quartering Wick Hams around 1:30 today. Other regulars included the Spoonbill at Stanpit and a Firecrest in the Wood, while the recently-arrived, drake Goldeneye was again off Goldeneye Point. Rounding up, around 40 Black-tailed Godwit were on the Hengistbury side of the area and a Kingfisher was about Barn Bight. 

February 18th

Spoonbill – Ray Scott

The Stilt Sandpiper was off Fisherman’s Bank this morning and the Spoonbill flitted between South and North Marshes. Almost as rare nowadays, however, are Goldeneye – so a drake off its namesake point was good value. It was WeBS count day, but before those numbers mention of 2 Bullfinch on Wick. Moving to the figures, there were: 425 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ringed Plover, 168 Dunlin, 14 Pintail, 61 Teal, 644 Wigeon, 72 Brent Goose, 14 Shelduck and a Kingfisher. 

February 17th

Dunlin – Alan Crockard
Shelduck – Clinton Whale

The information services again reported the Stilt Sandpiper from Fisherman’s Bank, while direct returns from Stanpit included the Spoonbill and a Water Pipit. A Firecrest was again in the Wood, as was a Treecreeper and two pairs of Great Spotted Woodpecker. There are a decent number of birds using the harbour right now, such as 420 Black-tailed Godwit, at least four of those colour-ringed, and 120 Dunlin. In addition, a Grey Plover, 17 Pintail and 73 Brent Goose were counted, and a Water Rail was around Crouch Hill. 

February 16th

Some of the 300 or so Black–tailed Godwit currently in the harbour - Clinton Whale
Lapwing, aka green plover – Clinton Whale

On a gloriously, clear and blue day, there were again 2 Firecrest by the Double Bends in the Wood, while 6 Bullfinch were logged on Wick. The only other news, however, concerns 60 Dunlin and 6 Shelduck at Stanpit, plus a couple of Little Grebe in Barn Bight. 

February 15th

It was all a bit drier today, which saw the Spoonbill on Wick Hams, a male Merlin head north over Wick water meadows and a Water Pipit at Stanpit. In addition, a couple of Firecrest were in the Wood by the Double Bends and a Bullfinch was by the Wooden Bridge. At Stanpit, the Black-tailed Godwit numbered 370, while a Grey Plover, 90 Dunlin, 19 Pintail and 49 Brent Goose were on site. 

February 14th

With the forecast rain arriving on schedule, around 9:00, and staying with us for the whole day, there is very little to report.  The Spoonbill was on Wick Hams, a Grey Wagtail was by the Wooden Bridge and 2 Bullfinch were in the No Dogs Field.

February 13th

Tonight's sunset – Clinton Whale

Much of the day was blighted by strong winds and heavy rain, but we did received news of the Spoonbill and a Spotted Redshank off Fisherman's Bank. 

February 12th

Sparrowhawk – Paul Turton
The Black–headed Gull are starting to acquire their breeding plumage - Clinton Whale

Although the wind had lessened, the air temperature still made things pretty chilly. The Spoonbill was on Wick Hams, while a Jack Snipe fed in Brewer’s Creek, a Spotted Redshank was on the Salt Hurns and a Water Rail was on the fringes of Barn Bight. Over in Stanpit Creek, there were 30 Ringed Plover, 125 Dunlin, ‘lots of’ Black-tailed Godwit and the information services reported the Stilt Sandpiper. Rounding off, a total of 58 Brent Goose was on site. 

February 11th

Kestrel – Clinton Whale
Blue Tit – Alan Crockard

Despite clear, blue skies, a north-westerly wind ensured it was bitterly cold today. Nevertheless, there was a decent bit of field activity. For the first time in a while, there is some news from the sea; namely, 2 Red-throated Diver, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull and a Great Crested Grebe. At the end of the head, there were 4 Redpoll and 3 Bullfinch – a further six of the latter on Wick meaning there are at least nine birds currently using the area. At Stanpit, the Stilt Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 260 Black-tailed Godwit and 45 Dunlin were off Fisherman’s Bank at midday. Raven haven’t been getting a mention for some time, but as many as eight breaks that convention.

Additional news: there were 12 Grey Plover at Stanpit.

February 10th

There was a whole load more rain today, from around 9:30 until dark. Despite the conditions, there was an excellent local record of a Hawfinch – flying east over Roebury Lane towards Hengistbury, while 5 Bullfinch were around the adjacent Wick Fields. Elsewhere, the Stilt Sandpiper was off Fisherman's Bank early on, while a first-winter Shag, something of an onshore rarity, posed on the groyne at the northern end of Mudeford Quay. 

February 9th

In addition to the small, wintering flock at Stanpit, there were 5 Linnet on the Barn Field which may be birds returning to breed – Clinton Whale
Wigeon – Trevor Wilkinson

As well as the Stilt Sandpiper, there were 2 Spotted Redshank off Fisherman’s Bank today, plus a Bar-tailed Godwit, 217 Black-tailed Godwit and 35 Dunlin. Meanwhile, the Spoonbill remains on the marsh and a Rook overflew. 

February 8th

Long–tailed Tit - Robert Gray
Rock Pipit – Alan Crockard
Dunnock – Tina Scott

The Stilt Sandpiper was again present and correct off Fisherman's Bank, but the only other news involves 7 Bullfinch on Wick and a Water Rail seen a couple of times at Stanpit.

February 7th

Lesser Black–backed Gull – Alan Crockard

More of the same weather-wise, i.e. blue skies and a north-east breeze = cold! The Stilt Sandpiper was in Stanpit Creek during the morning, as were 170 Black-tailed Godwit and 31 Dunlin. Despite the chill, many birds were in song, including Greenfinch. 

February 6th

Mallard of all variations are starting to get amorous – Alan Crockard

Another cold day, but there is a lot more to report. The Stilt Sandpiper was in Mother Siller’s Channel mid-morning, while a couple of Water Pipit were on Central Marsh. Also about Stanpit: 3 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 91 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and around 180 Dunlin, plus 19 Pintail and 37 Brent Goose; with passerine interest coming in the form of 7 Linnet and 6 Skylark. On the other side of the river, the Bullfinch glut continues – two pairs in the Nursery and a pair on Roebury Lane – with a Firecrest also in the former site. As yesterday, a Sandwich Tern fed off Mudeford Quay and remaining interest comes from a Water Rail by the Viewing Platform and a Cetti’s Warbler in song on Stanpit. 

February 5th

There remains little to report, which is probably more down to coverage than lack of birds. The Stilt Sandpiper was seen, however; showing well off Fisherman's Bank on the morning's low tide, where it's now understood it was yesterday as well. Otherwise, it's just 5 Redpoll on the eastern Batters, a Water Rail by the Viewing Platform and a Kingfisher in Holloway's Dock to remark upon.

Additional news: a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was by Mudeford Quay.

February 4th

Chaffinch – Robert Gray
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Robert Gray

The chill of a gradually, strengthening north-east wind was tempered a little by bright sunshine throughout. A group of 3 Sandwich Tern fished all over the harbour, while 5 Bullfinch were around Wick – a pair on Roebury Lane and three females by the Wooden Bridge – and a single Great Crested Grebe was off the Black House. 

February 3rd

Goldcrest – Alan Crockard
Brent Goose – Tina Scott

On a mainly wet day, the only news is of the Spoonbill at Stanpit, 3 Bullfinch on Wick and 2 Great Crested Grebe inside the harbour.

February 2nd

This Water Rail was pushed out of the reeds by the Bailey Bridge on the rising tide, when it appeared to be quite happy out in the open, even chasing off a Moorhen – Dale Vile

Still little to report. A Treecreeper was in the Wood on Hengistbury, as were a pair of Bullfinch. At Stanpit, the small flock of Linnet – 10 birds – was in the North Scrubs and a Peregrine teared across the area. Birds in song this morning included: Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Song Thrush and Greenfinch; plus a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker by the Pod, Stanpit. 

February 1st

Kingfisher by the Viewing Platform – Paul Turton
Meadow Pipit – Robert Gray
Turnstone – Roger Tidball

Another day of thin pickings. A couple of female Bullfinch were on Roebury Lane, while singles of Kingfisher, perhaps one of the same, were about the Wick reeds and a siege of 7 Grey Heron loitered around Barn Bight. 

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