Sightings for the current month

November 30th

Peregrine over Stanpit Bight Roger Tidball

An almost completely dry day meant it far more pleasant to be out and about in the harbour. The only news from Hengistbury is of a low-flying Lapland Bunting, but there are no further details. Meanwhile, a female-type, probably an adult, Marsh Harrier hunted Stanpit, as did a Peregrine, where at least seven each of Shoveler and Pintail were present. Singles of Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit were also on the marsh, along with 208 Black-tailed Godwit, at least one Ringed Plover and 84 Dunlin. In addition to the Canadas and greylags, the plastic wildfowl contained one each of Emperor Goose, Bar-headed Goose and Black Swan. One hardly knows where to look nowadays!

November 29th

Grey Phalarope Roger Howell (upper) & Jackie Smith
Pintail Jackie Smith

The wind blasted the area all day, moving from south to south-west as it did so. A Grey Phalarope was discovered at Stanpit in the early afternoon, on East Marsh, while an earlier seawatch from the varying shelter of the Beach Huts produced: a Slavonian Grebe with the 50 or so Common Scoter on the sea, a Great Skua, 45 Kittiwake and a Red-throated Diver all west, and a single Mediterranean Gull. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, there were 80 Dunlin and 6 Pintail, plus a Kingfisher on Wick.

November 28th

Eider Samuel Levy

Despite the quite atrocious, all-day conditions, there is a fair bit to report on; with wildfowl and divers heading the bill. The female-type Eider that was first discovered last week was today in Barn Bight, where there were 5 Goosander a drake and four redheads. Meanwhile, the White-fronted Goose was again at Stanpit, as were 7 Pintail. At 8:15, a Red-throated Diver headed west past Hengistbury, very close inshore, and 15 minutes later a Great Northern Diver passed high over the top of the head and towards the Solent. The Wood again held crests a single Firecrest and 10 Goldcrest as well as at least 2 Redwing. Moving back to the marsh, there were 35 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover arrived, 73 Dunlin and over 200 Lapwing. 

November 27th

The rain started just after 9:00 and then persisted until nightfall. The only news comes from Hengistbury and Wick, where a Firecrest and 8 Goldcrest were in the Wood, while 3 Chiffchaff were on Wick. A juvenile Gannet was just off the end of the head and the Common Scoter flock increased to 15 birds. 

November 26th

Whitefronted Goose Paul Turton (upper two) & Jackie Smith

Only yesterday, it was remarked the only possible benefit of having so many Greylag Goose on site was they may attract something more interesting and today it came to pass. An adult White-fronted Goose the first settled bird in the area since early 2011 was on North Marsh. At around 15:45, it headed off on the now-expected roost flight to the east, with the Pennington Marsh complex presumably being the destination. Earlier, a Short-eared Owl had passed over Hengistbury and a Buzzard in the Wood there was something of an oddity. On Wick, a Water Pipit was by the Veiwing Platform, while 3 Redpoll passed over. From Mudeford Quay this morning, there were 2 Red-throated Diver and 12 Common Scoter settled on the water, as well as 15 Brent Goose seen travelling west. Moving back to the head, a couple of Firecrest were again in the Wood, as were 2 Redwing. Chiffchaff are still loitering, a total of six across the area today; a Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit in the morning; and a Peregrine was about.

November 25th

An extremely high, spring tide more than hampered this mornings WeBS count, as did the continuing easterly wind. The best of the census was a Green Sandpiper quite a rarity in these parts in winter as well as singles of Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit, 53 Black-tailed Godwit, 36 Ringed Plover and 32 Dunlin. Meanwhile, the calm seas off Mudeford Quay revealed 3 Red-throated Diver, a small grebe and 3 Razorbill, all settled, with six unidentified auks moving east. Marsh Harrier were seen on a few occasions, but the only age return is of a sub-adult male over Wick, where there were 5 Chiffchaff and 7 Goldcrest. To finish, some further WeBS numbers, in ascending order: Bar-headed Goose 1, Shoveler 3, Kingfisher 3, Pintail 7, Little Grebe 5, Brent Goose 62, Teal 75, Mallard 220, Greylag Goose 367, Canada Goose 417, Coot 538 and Wigeon 799. Some real quality stuff in there! Finally, it's understood the members' trip to Weymouth today enjoyed some really good scarce and rare species. 

November 24th

Given that it rained for pretty much every minute of the daylight hours, its amazing to get any records at all. A couple of Firecrest were in the Nursery, while on Wick there were 2 Brambling, 4 Chiffchaff and an over-flying Fieldfare. The Goldcrest total there and onto Hengistbury came to around 20 birds. 

November 23rd

Goldfinch Jackie Smith

Interest at Stanpit is picking up with a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank and a Jack Snipe heading the increasing number of waders, which also included: 12 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and a contemporarily significant 175 Dunlin. The most impressive record from there, however, was of a female-type Eider inside the harbour close to Blackberry Point. Meanwhile, out at sea from the Beach Huts, a Red-throated Diver and 24 Common Scoter were settled. This afternoon, there were three individual Marsh Harrier seen at Stanpit the regular adult male, a young male most likely a first-calendar-year bird and a female of indeterminate age. In addition, 6 Pintail and 4 Shoveler were on the marsh. 

November 22nd

The sun was out for much of the day, but still the wind was cruel and from the east. A party of 6 Eider headed east past the Beach Huts at 12:30, while a total of 12 Common Scoter were settled on the water off there. That hour also saw a reasonable movement of gulls towards the Solent, comprising: 4 Kittiwake, 4 Mediterranean Gull all adults, 30 Common Gull, 80 Herring Gull and 25 Black-headed Gull. Nearby, singles of Brambling and Siskin, as well as a couple of Redpoll, were in the bushes. Elsewhere, a male Bullfinch was by the HHC and 3 Chiffchaff plus 5 Goldcrest were on Wick. Rounding up, a Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry. 

November 21st

Kestrel David Faulkner
...and too many feral geese David Faulkner

It was a wet and windy morning, during which the sea was watched from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts. A total of 6 Kittiwake and 4 Mediterranean Gull moved east past the quay, while a Red-throated Diver west and 6 Common Scoter were returned from the huts. Meanwhile, the Wood held a Firecrest and 15 Goldcrest. 

November 20th

In conditions similar to yesterday, there were 2 Firecrest in Wood along with 12 Goldcrest and a Coal Tit. Nearby, there were a couple of Redpoll around Holloways Dock, where 5 Black-tailed Godwit fed. At Stanpit, the best were 3 Tufted Duck a drake and two ducks in Stanpit Bight, while the male Marsh Harrier hunted to entire area.

November 19th

Teal Alan Crockard

The north-easterly wind gathered pace throughout the morning, creating conditions nothing short of Baltic! A Marsh Harrier attempted to hunt at Stanpit, as did a Peregrine, while 3 Egyptian Goose headed over Wick towards the marsh. A Firecrest was glimpsed briefly by the Ironstone Quarry and 7 Chiffchaff plus 3 Goldcrest were settled on Wick, where a Kingfisher was watched hovering by the Viewing Platform.

November 18th

Sparrowhawk Jackie Smith
Reed Bunting Ray Scott

There was still a cruel, easterly wind this morning, but a strong sun tempered some of the discomfort. A Red-necked Grebe was on the sea off Mudeford Quay for a while this morning, where 2 Red-breasted Merganser east, 5 Sandwich Tern, 6 Mediterranean Gull and an arriving Snipe were also logged. There was again some finch movement, into the wind, over Hengistbury; which included: a flock of 10 Brambling, 160 Chaffinch, 300 Goldfinch and a couple of Siskin. An adult male Marsh Harrier also left high to the east, while a younger bird was hunting inside the harbour. The only wader news is of a Knot at Stanpit and a 7 Dunlin checking-in over the Barn Field. 

November 17th

Snow Bunting Nick Whitehouse

A Snow Bunting was discovered mid-morning and then stayed settled at the base of the cliffs between the Long Groyne and the eastern tip of Hengistbury until around 12:30. Meanwhile, further highlights for the morning came courtesy of a Grey Phalarope west past the head, a Ring Ouzel lifting up from the Batters, a Woodcock over there and a Merlin. Despite the cold, easterly wind and the relatively late date, there was some overhead migration which included: low hundreds of Goldfinch, several Siskin and a few Chaffinch, a couple of Fieldfare and up to 10 Redwing. There was also a trickle of waders into the wind, mostly over the water and made up mainly of Dunlin, Snipe and Lapwing. Also seen moving, a flock of just over 30 Pintail south and a Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe and a sawbill species east. Two Marsh Harrier were around the regular adult male and a female-type that was probably also a male. During the afternoon, the Snow Bunting was searched for but couldnt be found, although a Water Pipit did come in over the Beach Huts and further additions to the days list included: 3 Kittiwake all adults, 2 Pintail and 11 Black-tailed Godwit east; 7 Red-breasted Merganser six east and one west; three settled Common Scoter; 4 Brambling over Redpoll Alley and a Firecrest in the Wood. 

November 16th

Great Crested Grebe Barrie Taylor
Cormorant Roger Tidball

A Firecrest was the best on Hengistbury today, while seven each of Goldcrest and Chiffchaff were spread across there and Wick. A Guillemot in Barn Bight was likely an injured bird and follows a report from yesterday of a dead auk on the sandspit. The most notable wader news is that the Lapwing are currently as many as 500 birds, with 22 Black-tailed Godwit, an estimated 75 Dunlin and 7 Turnstone also using the area. The ever-burgeoning feral goose presence was today furthered by 14 Egyptian Goose. 

November 15th

Emperor Goose Alan Crockard
Barheaded Goose Ray Scott

There was reportedly a good movement of birds early on, but it stopped quite early. That said, a flock of 18 Brambling did come in off the sea over Warren Hill at 11:25. What is known about the early part of the day, however, includes: a Lapland Bunting east, 2 Cattle Egret leaving the Nursery, a Woodcock arriving with some Woodpigeon, as did 3 Snipe, a Black-throated Diver east and a Great Northern Diver on the sea. Also settled on the water off Hengistbury, at least 2 Razorbill and up to 9 Common Scoter, while 25 Gannet fished, 9 Mediterranean Gull passed by and a Great Crested Grebe moved east. There was also evidence of thrush arrival, with at least 28 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 8 Song Thrush and 10 Blackbird around the head. The only wader news involves 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin and 57 Redshank in Holloways Dock. Meanwhile, the only wild bird news from Stanpit involves 3 Rock Pipit, but the alarming and sudden influx of feral water fowl into the area was today topped by 540 Greylag Goose, as well as lots of Canada Goose, a Bar-headed Goose, the Emperor Goose and 2 Black Swan. One really does hope there is still room for the truly wild and far-more-welcome Brents!

November 14th

Stonechat Samual Levy
Oystercatcher Samuel Levy

The only news from a fine day comes from Wick, over which 4 Fieldfare headed north and where a single Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 5 Goldcrest were settled.

November 13th

Kingfisher Diarmuid Murphy
Blacktailed Godwit - Diarmuid Murphy

The Spotted Redshank was in Stanpit Creek, off Fisherman's Bank, this morning; while a Peregrine passed over, a Kingfisher was in Mother Siller's Channel and at least 3 Little Grebe were inside the harbour. 

November 12th

Firecrest Alan Crockard

A Brambling and 2 Mistle Thrush passed over Hengistbury this morning, while a Firecrest, around 15 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff were spread about there. On Wick, a Kingfisher was by the Viewing Platform. With respect to the notices below, Colin Raymond will be bringing the remaining books he has to the meeting on Wednesday. This will be the last opportunity to purchase before they are sent to the BTO. 

November 11th

A Water Pipit was logged again today, but this time on Wick water meadows. Close by, there were 3 Chiffchaff and 5 Goldcrest - the latter a real scarcity this autumn - while 4 Redwing headed north. The Marsh Harrier was seen throughout the day and at least one Jack Snipe was at Stanpit. Also on the marsh, one of the Bar-headed Goose with more than plenty of Canada Goose and Greylag Goose. 

November 10th

No details of today's visible migration have yet been received although the fact that 3 Woodlark passed over Couch Hill suggests that something must have been happening.  A Water Pipit was again on Central Marsh while 5 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest were on Wick Fields.  A Sandwich Tern off the quay was something of a surprise on such a late date although one or two have overwintered in recent years, also from the quay were 3 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver east plus a Great Crested Grebe on the sea.  Back to Stanpit where the Spotted Redshank was present together with 225 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Plover and 6 Pintail.

November 9th

There were 3 Firecrest on Hengistbury this morning but no other passerines reported.  The sandspit held 2 Purple Sandpiper, 10 Ringed Plover and 22 Dunlin.  The only excitement at Mudeford Quay occurred when the regular Marsh Harrier came in high from the direction of Highcliffe then drifted over The Run and into the harbour,

November 8th

Another morning of strong winds coupled with a very high tide meant that the quay was the preferred option once again.  It was something of a surprise however that the highlights didn't involve sea birds!  Firstly a Woodcock landed briefly on the gravel area behind the hut before flying off through the buildings towards Hengistbury.  Then an hour or so later a Woodlark came in off the sea from the east and headed inland.  Otherwise the vigil produced a Peregrine flying across the bay, a first winter Mediterranean Gull and 25 Kittiwake while inside the harbour there was a Great Crested Grebe.  A flock of 400 Canada Geese flew over Wick Fields where just 3 Chiffchaff were logged.

November 7th

The mixture of heavy showers, 40mph gusts of wind and a huge tide at Mudeford Quay raised the level of optimism this morning but there was very little.  Singles of Black-throated Diver and Mediterranean Gull plus a steady trickle of Kittiwake was the sum total of a two hours watch.  On Wick a Peregrine passed low to the south and 2 Kingfisher were seen, also 5 Goldcrest, 2 Siskin and a Bullfinch.

November 6th

Today's highlights were a Water Pipit and 3 'Scandinavian' type Rock Pipit on Stanpit, 2 Firecrest in the wood at Hengistbury and the Spotted Redshank, also on Stanpit.  Much of the marsh was under water due to this morning's very high tide so many of the birds were struggling to find a roost.  Counts made were 65 Dunlin, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Knot plus 14 Snipe on the Salt Hurns.  The numbers of geese using the marsh increased again today with 310 Canada Geese, 235 Greylag Geese, 98 Brent Geese and the 2 Bar-headed Geese.  The Red-breasted Merganser was still inside the harbour together with 8 Pintail and 2 Great Crested Grebe, another of these was on the sea.  A Grey Wagtail was on Wick and a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams while 14 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff were logged.  Finally the Marsh Harrier made its usual foray into the harbour.

November 5th

A first year Yellow-legged Gull was on Stanpit this morning together with a Red-breasted Merganser and the regular Marsh Harrier.  There was also a Ruff plus 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Dunlin, 35 Ringed Plover, 11 Turnstone including birds on the Mudeford Sandspit, 8 Grey Plover and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit.  The marsh also held 12 'Scandinavian' type Rock Pipit while 4 Firecrest were in the wood at Hengistbury, also on the head were 2 Redwing, a Redpoll and a Bullfinch.  Site-wide totals for Goldcrest and Chiffchaff were 29 and 11 respectively.  Back to Stanpit where the Greylag Goose flock has now reached 131, also 13 Pintail and 4 Shoveler there.

November 4th

Given this morning's heavy rain the focus of attention was again the quay where there was a decent movement of Mediterranean Gull with 25 logged heading west.  A first winter Kittiwake was seen plus 2 Common Gull and a Great Crested Grebe, also a Grey Seal in The Run.  In much improved conditions this afternoon waders on Stanpit were 80 Dunlin, 52 Ringed Plover and 10 Grey Plover.  There are now two Bar-headed Geese visiting Stanpit and the Greylag Goose flock has increased to 112.  To summarise 2 Little Grebe were on the river off Grimmery and the usual Marsh Harrier was around, also 2 Raven present.

November 3rd

The sea was watched for a couple of hours this morning from Mudeford Quay with very little to show for it, just a couple of adult Mediterranean Gull arrived and three each of Gannet and Kittiwake moved west.  Later a Great Northern Diver came in from the west and landed on the sea.

November 2nd

The Spotted Redshank made a welcome return this morning; the bird was in its favoured spot in Stanpit Creek opposite Fisherman's Bank.  On Priory Marsh 2 Jack Snipe were inadvertently flushed by the boardwalk while elsewhere on Stanpit there were 75 Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plover, 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Grey Plover and 3 Turnstone.  The 66 Brent Geese were outnumbered by their 'plastic' cousins with 170 Canada Geese, 84 Greylag Geese, the Emperor Goose and the Bar-headed Goose!  A Firecrest was in the wood at Hengistbury where 2 Fieldfare, 3 Brambling and 5 Redpoll were logged while site totals for Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were twelve and ten respectively, also 2 Siskin were on the Stanpit golf course bank.  A single adult Mediterranean Gull was on Stanpit and a Kingfisher was around the marsh.

November 1st

This morning's rain must have dampened the enthusiasm as there is very little to report!  On Wick Fields there were 10 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest while a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea off the quay and 19 Greylag Geese left the harbour to the north.

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