Sightings for the current month

October 31st

There was clearly an influx of ‘crests’ overnight as 10 Firecrest were in the wood today and 25 Goldcrest were spread across Wick and Hengistbury.  The Treecreeper was by the lily pond and three late Swallow moved over, also logged were 15 Chiffchaff, 4 Mistle Thrush east, 2 Bearded Tit at Wick Hams, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher.  A Common Sandpiper was feeding along the inner shore by Mudeford Green while elsewhere, inside the habour, waders included 24 Ringed Plover, 10 Knot and 2 Snipe.  Offshore a Red-throated Diver, 40 Gannet and 3 Kittiwake moved west while a further Kittiwake moved east.  There were just 2 adult Mediterranean Gull on site today and 4 Pintail.

October 30th

The ring-tailed Hen Harrier that was seen and photographed on Stanpit yesterday afternoon was still present today, for most of the morning in fact.  It was watched hunting mainly over Priory Marsh but also on Wick.  Around lunchtime it appeared to leave high to the north but then reappeared hunting over Stanpit c3pm.  Elsewhere there was the unusual sight of 263 Coot on the sea off Mudeford Quay while a further 268 birds were inside the harbour, making 531 in all, also 4 Teal were on the sea.  Wildfowl included a group of 4 Egyptian Geese on Priory Marsh plus 8 Pintail and a Gadwall on Stanpit.  Hengistbury held 3 Firecrest and 2 Coal Tit today plus 13 Goldcrest while the site total for Chiffchaff was eight and there was a Blackcap on Wick.  There were again 5 Mediterranean Gull on the sandbar off the quay and later in the day four birds on South Marsh.  A Water Rail on the Upper Batters was another bird possibly seeking refuge from the cold.

October 29th

On another bitterly cold morning the sea was watched from Mudeford Quay for a while but the only sightings of note were a Black-throated Diver that moved east and 5 Mediterranean Gull settled on the sandbar, also 35 Brent Geese off the sandspit.  From Fisherman’s Bank the Knot was present plus 50 Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler and a pair of Pintail while 3 Snipe were in Ashtree Meadows.  On Hengistbury the wood held singles of Treecreeper and Coal Tit, also 2 Redwing headed north and site totals for Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were nine and five respectively.  Finally the Marsh Harrier was seen both early and late, at Wick in the morning and over Stanpit late afternoon.

October 28th

Highlights from this morning’s Wetland Bird Survey were a Jack Snipe on Priory Marsh and a Golden Plover on Stanpit, also a Merlin passed over the marsh.  An impressive 813 Wigeon were counted with 105 Brent Geese, 9 Pintail, 6 Gadwall and 4 Shoveler while wader numbers included 105 Dunlin, 93 Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Ringed Plover, 5 Grey Plover and a single Knot.  Later in the day an Avocet was on South Marsh.  The only passerine report was of 2 Firecrest in the wood at Hengistbury.

October 27th

The only reports received today were from the Hengistbury side of the harbour where the Marsh Harrier was again on view.  Otherwise there were just singles of Fieldfare and Blackcap together with 5 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest.

October 26th

The regular, male Marsh Harrier – Samuel Levy
Wigeon – Alan Crockard
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Roger Tidball

It was extremely quiet this morning, despite a good degree of coverage, with just 15 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest turned in from Wick. A walk of the entirety of Hengistbury failed to record single ‘Chiff’, however. 

October 25th

The male Marsh Harrier was seen pretty much throughout the day, which otherwise featured a modest number of late-autumn migrants. The totals from Hengistbury and Wick include: 6 Firecrest, all in the Wood, 17 Goldcrest, 24 Chiffchaff, a Brambling, 7 Siskin, a Fieldfare and a Grey Wagtail. The best of the wildfowl was a redhead Red-breasted Merganser west past the head, while 5 Pintail, 45+ Brent Goose and the Bar-headed Goose were inside the harbour.

October 24th

A Yellow-browed Warbler on the Wick riverside path, around 100m north of the Viewing Platform, was the highlight of the day, which otherwise saw: 11 Chiffchaff on Wick Fields, 4 Redpoll and a couple of Rook heading south-west. The male Marsh Harrier was just reported from Wick Hams, where he was seen at 9:15. 

October 23rd

The best record of the day, by far, is of 37 Mediterranean Gull loafing off Mudeford Quay just prior to dusk. Earlier, Hengistbury had seen a Firecrest, 7 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling, 3 Redpoll and 3 Redwing in or over the Wood. The male Marsh Harrier was again logged on more than one occasion. 

October 22nd

The adult, male Marsh Harrier was seen from both Stanpit and Wick during the morning, while the latter site hosted around 10 Chiiffchaff and saw 7 Redwing pass to the north. A Yellow-browed Warbler was on Hengistbury, to the east of the Lily Pond. 

October 21st

Short–eared Owl - Jackie Smith
Long–tailed Tit - Jackie Smith
Black Swan – Mark Murfin

On a day that was almost scorching, between 11:45 and 1:00 at Stanpit there were four sightings of Short-eared Owl. Of course, they may have all involved the same bird, but on each occasion the bird in question appeared to depart high to the west and three of the four pick-ups were of a bird coming from the east. There are now 60 Brent Goose on the marsh, but no more than two juveniles have so far been seen; while at least 10 Ringed Plover were about. There is a report from Wick, but the technical incompetence of this post’s author means it has been deleted without trace! 

October 20th

Male Marsh Harrier – Alan Crockard
Bar–headed Goose – Jackie Smith

On a glorious morning, hundreds of Goldfinch, Linnet and Meadow Pipit again travelled east over Hengistbury with smaller numbers of Siskin, Redpoll, alba Wagtail, Skylark and Starling accompanying them. Thrushes, meanwhile, took their traditional north-west bearing and included 2 Fieldfare and 3 Mistle Thrush. The only report of grounded migrants, however, was of 14 Chiffchaff across Wick. The male Marsh Harrier, after hunting around Stanpit, spent some time on a favoured fence post in Wick Hams. There was a Peregrine about the area and, at dusk, a Short-eared Owl also hunted the marsh.  

October 19th

Grey Seal in the Run this morning – Linda Fuller

A Water Pipit was again on Stanpit, as were three birds showing characteristics of ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit, littoralis. In addition, there were couple of Wheatear on Crouch Hill and around 15 Chiffchaff across the site, plus a single Blackcap. Dawn broke to a cold northerly breeze, which abated by mid-morning, and experienced some light visible-migration over Hengistbury, which included Brambling and Redpoll amongst the commoner species. There was also a Firecrest in the Wood, on the south side of the Nursery. A Golden Plover arrived and headed north early on and a Greenshank moved around a bit, while 11 Ringed Plover, 36 Dunlin and 28 Black-tailed Godwit were settled at Stanpit; as were 6 Pintail, 4 Shoveler, 36 Brent Goose, including the first juveniles of the year, and the Emperor Goose amongst 270 Canada Goose. The male Marsh Harrier, which is quite likely the bird returning for its fourth winter, was seen late in the day around the northern parts of the recording area. 

October 18th

Emperor Goose – Jackie Smith

It was by far the best day of the autumn for visible migration, with the following totals returned of eastbound birds over Hengistbury: a Lapland Bunting, a Hawfinch, 4 Woodlark, 9 Brambling, 135 Redpoll, 730 Chaffinch, 750 Siskin, 2800 Linnet, 3200 Goldfinch, 530 alba Wagtail, 1700 Meadow Pipit, 435 Skylark, 111 Starling. In addition, 3 Merlin, 4 Golden Plover and 4 Spoonbill moved likewise, while a male and female Marsh Harrier both headed high to the south. This afternoon, a Common Buzzard was watched coming in off the sea. Also after lunch, a total of Firecrest in the Wood, along with 2 Mistle Thrush and a Bullfinch in there. Over on Stanpit, the first Water Pipit of the winter was on Central Marsh, just north of Crouch Hill. 

October 17th

The highlights for the day were a Red-throated Diver on the sea off Mudeford Quay, the male Marsh Harrier hunting Stanpit and a Jack Snipe close to Mother Siller’s Channel. Elsewhere, a Firecrest and 25 Goldcrest were in the Wood; while the Chiffchaff total from the western portion of Hengistbury to Wick nudged 40 birds, as well as 6 Blackcap. Birds moving over were light, but did include a Redpoll, around 30 Siskin and a Grey Wagtail. Rounding up, a Wheatear was on Crouch Hill and 6 Sandwich Tern were off the quay.

October 16th

There was some reasonable, visible migration, almost entirely eastbound, over Hengistbury between 9:30 to 11:30 this morning, when the following totals were reckoned: 400 Linnet, 350 Goldfinch, 300 Meadow Pipit, 180 Siskin, 80 Chaffinch, 25 Skylark, 6 Reed Bunting, 6 alba Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail. A Crossbill was also over the Wood, while the first Brambling of the autumn and a Redwing descended into there. Meanwhile, around 40 Chiffchaff, 20 Blackcap, 25 Blackbird and 10 Song Thrush were settled across Wick and as far as the Wood. Over on Stanpit, there were 3 Wheatear, three Rock Pipit exhibiting characteristics of the race littoralis and over seventy settled Meadow Pipit. Waders were headed by a Green Sandpiper and an Avocet, but also 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 23 Black-tailed Godwit. Once again, the near-adult male Marsh Harrier was around the marsh, as was a Peregrine. 

October 15th

Short–eared Owl – Paul Turton

A cloudy day, during which the wind dropped away to almost nothing, saw a Ring Ouzel on the Batters, as well as 45 Chiffchaff and 8 Blackcap spread across Hengistbury and Wick. A Golden Plover moved over the head, while a Jack Snipe was again seen on Stanpit, where a Grey Plover, a Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, a Knot, a Sanderling, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 85 Ringed Plover and 65 Dunlin were also present. Moving back to passerines, a couple of Wheatear were on the marsh, along with flocks of 80 and 20 of Goldfinch and Linnet respectively. A female-type Marsh Harrier was around late in the day, while the pick of the wildfowl was 21 Brent Goose and 5 Pintail.

Stop press: a Short-eared Owl was at Stanpit around 4:20, a further Wheatear was on the sandspit and 3 Swallow were logged. 

October 14th

A variety of Pintail plumages – Ian Wigley

Heavy rain during the morning and a chilling, northerly wind made things quite uncomfortable around the harbour today. The best returns were a Marsh Harrier and a Jack Snipe at Stanpit, the latter coming up off South Marsh. Also there, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 75 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Pintail, 33 Brent Goose and 6 Common Gull. A couple of Swallow were also logged – no doubt finding it difficult to seek out sustenance. 

October 13th

Mediterranean Gull at dawn – Jackie Smith

Despite the strong wind, there was a decent number of Chiffchaff returned from the southern side of the site – 36 birds, all but one on Wick – as well as a Blackcap, a Mistle Thrush and 2 Grey Wagtail there. There were also some overhead migration counts, which included 30 Meadow Pipit, 31 Goldfinch, a Siskin and 7 Reed Bunting, all east over Hengistbury. The sea was largely quiet, but did offer 16 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern and 2 Brent Goose, all west; as well as four settled Brent Goose and five aimless Gannet. Moving to Stanpit and the afternoon, a Rock Pipit showing characteristics of littoralis was by the Pod and a Common Tern was present. The male Marsh Harrier was seen from both sides of the river, a sickly-looking, first-winter Mediterranean Gull was inside the harbour, 29 Little Egret were counted coming out of roost and the Collared Dove total on Wick came to 42.

October 12th

A very windy day saw the blow shift from south to south-west and some early, heavy rain. As such, Mudeford Quay was watched on and off throughout and produced, all west: a juvenile Common Tern, 6 Kittiwake, 10 Mediterranean Gull of all three of the currently available plumages and 2 Common Scoter; as well as two – an adult and a juvenile – lingering Sandwich Tern.  

October 11th

There were some moments of quality this morning – not least an Iceland Gull west past Mudeford Quay and a Great White Egret on East Marsh, Stanpit. Also seen from the quay: a Red-throated Diver east and a Golden Plover west; while, later in the day, 5 Kittiwake headed towards the Solent.  The only other news comes from Wick, where there were 7 Chiffchaff and fourteen passing Siskin.

October 10th

There was a good, but unquantified, movement of birds over Hengistbury this morning which involved several Redpoll, a few Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Reed Bunting and 10 Swallow. Meanwhile, other birds on the head included: a Cattle Egret leaving the Nursery roost; a Merlin south over the sandspit; a late Willow Warbler, 3 Firecrest and 3 Goldcrest in the Wood; and at least 14 Mediterranean Gull east. Elsewhere, a Green Sandpiper was on Wick meadows and at a minimum of 8 Chiffchaff were about the site.

October 9th

Other than eight Chiffchaff on the Batters, the only news for the day is of some modest, visible migration over Hengistbury this morning. In the first two hours of daylight, the following headed east: 70 Linnet, 65 Goldfinch, 46 Meadow Pipit, 28 alba Wagtail, 3 Reed Bunting and 2 Swallow, while Siskin were heard on eight occasions.

October 8th

Stonechat – Alan Crockard

The morning saw around 10 Chiffchaff on Wick and 14 Blackcap at Stanpit, as well as over 55 Meadow Pipit settled on Crouch Hill. Wildfowl inside the harbour,meanwhile, included 22 Brent Goose, 5 Pintail and a Bar-headed Goose.  

October 7th

Chiffchaff – Ray Scott

Despite a fine morning, when it seems inevitable there must have been a decent movement of birds over Hengistbury early on, there are no reports to back up the conjecture. However, a flock of 15 Skylark into the north-easterly wind over Stanpit at 11:00 did lend weight to the theory; as did a few more high-up calls and the frequent sound of travelling Meadow Pipit. An acrocephalus warbler by the Viewing Platform on Wick caused some late-afternoon activity; but, after a good degree of scrutiny, Reed Warbler seems the likely outcome. The only other news involves 10 Brent Goose, which rested at Stanpit before continuing on the final stages of their long journey from Siberia. 

October 6th

Turtle Dove on Wick yesterday – Samuel Levy

With the entire area being enveloped in a dense fog until the rain started, it is somewhat inevitable there is nothing to report for today. 

October 5th

Buzzard over Priory Marsh – Paul Turton
Meadow Pipit – Alan Crockard

The bird of the day was easily a Turtle Dove with the Collared Dove in the horse paddock at the northern end of Wick Field; but almost as equally welcome was the first Brent Goose, a single bird at Stanpit, of the winter. The first hour of daylight enjoyed a degree of overhead passage at Hengistbury, but a thick mist soon stifled that completely. In the Wood, however, there were at least two settled Firecrest. A couple of Spoonbill were at Stanpit, as were 3 Wheatear and 230 Wigeon. Meanwhile, a first-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull was on the lawn at Mudeford Quay.

October 4th

There are no reports for the day, unfortunately.

October 3rd

The first, four reported Redpoll of the autumn passed over Hengistbury this morning, where there was a hint of Linnet movement as two flocks totalled around 60 birds. All the other news comes from Stanpit, where the sub-adult, male Marsh Harrier was again present, as was a first-calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull. Meanwhile, passerine migrants there included a Whinchat, 4 Wheatear a Yellow Wagtail and 6 Chiffchaff. Overhead, there was a modest passage of Swallow, comprising 25 or so birds. No small waders were returned, but a Whimbrel, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 23 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Snipe do make the post. 

October 2nd

The only news from a grey and blustery day comes from Stanpit, where the best was a couple of Marsh Harrier – the regular, sub-adult male and an older female. Also there: 2 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 33 Black-tailed Godwit, a Peregrine and a Kingfisher. 

October 1st

Wren – Robert Gray

As this autumn to forget continues, it was once again incredibly hard work on Hengistbury this morning. Other than a very modest number of Meadow Pipit, alba Wagtail and Reed Bunting working their way along the top, there were just 10 or so Chiffchaff to be seen or heard. Meanwhile, the sea is almost devoid of birds! At Stanpit, there was a Curlew Sandpiper, a Grey Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, up to 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover and c20 Dunlin; as well as 6 Wheatear and a similar number of Stonechat. 

September 30th

Marsh Harrier – Martin Lewis

The 2 Cattle Egret were around again today – on Priory Marsh early on before leaving north – as was a Marsh Harrier. Slightly later, a couple of Curlew Sandpiper were seen from Fisherman’s Bank on the rising tide, while other waders from all areas of the harbour included: 9 Grey Plover, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 52 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Snipe, 95 Ringed Plover and 70 Dunlin. A couple of Wheatear were on Stanpit, along with a handful of Chiffchaff and Blackcap but a further fifteen and five respectively were west of the Wood on Hengistbury. It was the first WeBS count of the winter and some of the numbers involved: 3 Pintail, 230 Wigeon, 22 Teal, 219 Mute Swan, 220 Canada Goose, 21 Grey Heron, 38 Little Egret and 486 Coot!

September 29th

Chiffchaff – Martin Lewis
Goldfinch – Alan Crockard

The morning, which was sunny but chilled by a northerly breeze, saw a light flow of Meadow Pipit, alba Wagtail, Swallow and Linnet to the east, plus a few Siskin and a couple of Tree Pipit.  Also before lunch, a Little Ringed Plover came up from Grimmery Bank, a Marsh Harrier and a Reed Warbler were at Stanpit, and at least 8 Yellow Wagtail came out of local roosts; while, later in the day, 2 Cattle Egret were with the ponies on Central Marsh. Around 25 Chiffchaff were logged between Wick and the Wood in the afternoon, as were 7 Blackcap, with the site-wide Wheatear total coming to around a dozen. Waders were thin on the ground, but did include 14 Black-tailed Godwit and 29 Dunlin; a Mediterranean Gull passed west; and 5 Pintail were at Stanpit, as were 2 Little Grebe, a Kingfisher and 208 Canada Goose accompanied by the now-familiar Emperor Goose. 

September 28th

A Whinchat on the Barn Field was the pick of this morning’s migrants at Hengistbury, also there were 2 Siskin and 10 Chiffchaff while on Stanpit 4 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail were on Crouch Hill and a couple of Sedge Warbler were in Parky Meade Rail; 3 Kingfisher were also on the marsh.  Hirundines were on the move with 300 House Martin and 300 Swallow moving through the harbour.  Waders on Stanpit were 35 Dunlin, 30 Ringed Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe and singles of Whimbrel, Sanderling and Turnstone.  The immature male Marsh Harrier was around Stanpit and a couple of Little Grebe were on the river, also 15 Teal and 3 Pintail were logged.

Evening update: a Cattle Egret landed towards the tip of South Marsh just after 6pm.

September 27th

With no reports received from Hengistbury it’s all about Stanpit today.  Crouch Hill held 5 Wheatear plus singles of Lesser Whitethroat and Yellow Wagtail while 4 Blackcap and just 3 Chiffchaff were in the North Scrubs.  Waders were counted as 28 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Ringed Plover and one each of Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Dunlin.  Two of yesterday’s three Pintail were in Stanpit Bight where 3 Shoveler were also present.

September 26th

On a warm and sunny late September day there was plenty to see around the harbour.  A Hawfinch flew east over Wick Fields this morning but otherwise overhead movers were just 4 Yellow Wagtail and a few Meadow Pipit.  Hirundines were also thin on the ground until c9am when the Swallow passage began.  However no counts were made.  At lunchtime the information services reported a Red-rumped Swallow south-east over Hengistbury but no further details were given.  The same source also reported 2 Firecrest on the head. Migrants on the Hengistbury side of the harbour were 20 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap and a Whitethroat while on Stanpit there were another 12 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Siskin, the latter in the North Scrubs.  On Priory Marsh late morning a small crake, probably a Spotted Crake, was inadvertently flushed but not seen again.  The Marsh Harrier was around Stanpit and a Peregrine passed over Wick.  The number of Coot using the harbour continues to increase as a sample count from Fisherman’s Bank today produced 457 birds, also 163 Wigeon and 3 Pintail.

September 25th

After another very cold start the temperature rose rapidly to 17C by lunchtime today.  A light south-easterly breeze encouraged hirundines, in particular Swallow, to move through on a broad front.  An hour’s watch over the Barn Field saw well in excess of a thousand birds heading into the wind, also a few House Martin and a couple of Sand Martin plus 6 Yellow Wagtail.  Grounded migrants were few across the area;  Hengistbury held a Reed Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 9 Blackcap and 23 Chiffchaff while on Stanpit there were 5 Wheatear, 8 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcap.  The male Marsh Harrier hunted over Priory Marsh and Wick Hams, also a Common Buzzard was over the recreation ground and a couple of Raven were on Stanpit.

September 24th

It was one of the better days of the autumn for Wheatear – Alan Hayden
There were also clearly more Stonechat around today – Jackie Smith
Kestrel – Robert Gray

A cold northerly breeze gave rise to another four-figure Meadow Pipit morning, when around 1000 were estimated to have travelled west over Hengistbury. Siskin were also frequently heard, but, as always, frustratingly difficult to see, meaning reckoning the numbers is hit and miss to say the least. There must have been in excess of 30 birds, however; as well as a constant flow of House Martin and Swallow, plus 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 10 alba Wagtail, 5 Skylark and 4 Reed Bunting. Singles of Whinchat were decked on Crouch Hill and Hengistbury, the latter site also hosting a Spotted Flycatcher, while the former held 11 Wheatear, a White Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail around the middle of the morning. Later on, at least 6 Yellow Wagtail were about the marsh and a Reed Warbler was in Parky Meade Rail. Back to the morning and Wick, where there were 2 Willow Warbler, 22 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap; in addition, the western portion of the head contained 30 Yellow Wagtail, which were flushed by a Merlin from the Barn Field, 20 Chiffchaff and 5 Blackcap. The remaining interest comes from 2 Mistle Thrush north over the Barn and a Hobby above Stanpit. 

September 23rd

Cattle Egret – Jackie Smith

There was incessant rain until around 13:00 and a north-easterly breeze throughout. At some point in the day, Crouch Hill held quite a number of passerine migrants, including: a Grasshopper Warbler, a Whinchat, 8 Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, a Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Stonechat; while, nearby, 11 Blackcap were in the North Scrubs. Across the entire recording area, House Martin were a feature all day – a steady flow moving into the wind that must have involved thousands of birds in total. Swallow were also mixed in, but in a relatively low proportion. As an example, a one-hour sample at Mudeford Quay came up with 250 and 50 respectively. During the afternoon, a Cattle Egret came out of Central Marsh and joined the ponies on Priory Marsh, and a Buzzard settled on North Marsh after being hassled by Carrion Crow. The pick of the waders were a juvenile Ruff and an adult, perhaps ‘the’, Spotted Redshank in Mother Siller’s Channel, along with 2 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 102 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ringed Plover and 34 Dunlin about the marsh, plus 3 Sanderling on the sandspit. Finishing off, a lone Shoveler was at Stanpit, 4 Water Rail were around Parky Meade Rail and a Kingfisher was logged.

September 22nd

A lessening in the wind and low cloud brought on a decent movement of Meadow Pipit – as many as 4000 moved west over the whole area in the period up to 10:30, along with a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, 19 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Grey Wagtail, at least 600 Swallow and 40 House Martin. Meanwhile, a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Firecrest were settled on Hengistbury, and 5 Wheatear were spread about. Early on, a Cattle Egret passed north over Parky Meade Rail, presumably one of the birds which have been frequenting the Avon Valley leaving roost, and Marsh Harrier were seen at Stanpit on two occasions. The sea was very quiet this morning, other than for a Black Tern west past Hengistbury, 5 Mediterranean Gull and a couple of Common Scoter. Later on, a juvenile Arctic Tern was seen from Mudeford Quay, as were a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Grey Plover and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit. Waders inside the harbour included 2 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper and 18 Black-tailed Godwit. 

September 21st

Leach's Petrel at Stanpit! – Ray Scott

More more strong winds meant the sea garnered a good deal of attention – the best seabird was encountered inside the harbour, however, at Stanpit, where a wrecked Leach’s Petrel was present late this afternoon! The seawatching itself produced an Arctic Skua west past the Beach Huts this morning and a juvenile Arctic Tern this afternoon. Earlier, a similarly-aged Arctic Tern had been inside the harbour. During the morning, just six or so Chiffchaff could be located on Hengistbury, where a Merlin trailed a steady westward passage of Meadow Pipit; the latter also being experienced at Stanpit where there was a single Wheatear. The head also turned in a couple of Common Sandpiper, while the marsh held an unidentified stint, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 45 Black-tailed Godwit. Finally, a Teal had a lucky escape over Parky Meade Rail after being caught by a Peregrine – for the fortunate duck, a couple of Carrion Crow decided to harry the falcon so causing it to drop its prey, which seemed none the worse for wear for the experience; and the familiar Emperor Goose from last winter put in a reappearance.

September 20th

Linnet battling the storm – Jackie Smith

The fringes of Storm Ali made for a very windy day indeed. Other than a Manx Shearwater west past the Beach Huts and a bird-of-the-year Kittiwake over Mudeford Quay, however, the hoped-for seabird bonanza failed to materialise. There were very few waders at Stanpit, but the sandspit fared better with a Curlew Sandpiper, 7 Sanderling, 25 Ringed Plover and around 100 Dunlin contributing to the post. On the marsh itself, meanwhile, there were 18 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Snipe. Despite the conditions, hirundines attempted to travel – 40 and 150 of House Martin and Swallow respectively – a couple of juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were again on the Mudeford Quay lawn and a pair of Pintail were inside the harbour, where the Coot were counted at 350 and the Wigeon remain at the thirty mark. 

September 19th

The only news from a stormy day is of an Arctic Tern coming into the harbour over the sandspit. 

September 18th

Long–tailed Tit - Clinton Whale

The only news from a blustery and, at times, wet day is of 4 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin and around 250 Swallow, all west, past the Beach Huts.  

September 17th

A few Clouded Yellow were about Hengistbury today – Clinton Whale

Hengistbury was deathly quiet for the early part of the morning – just a couple of Wheatear and some unseen Yellow Wagtail being worthy of website copy. Later on, five first-winter Mediterranean Gull moved west over the head and some hirundines started to coast – the estimates being 400 Swallow and 100 House Martin. 

September 16th

On another warm, late-summer’s day there is not much to report; but there are some snippets of quality nonetheless. A Pied Flycatcher was on the golf course embankment at Stanpit, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was in Stanpit Bight, a Spotted Redshank was in Mother Siller’s Channel and a young, male Marsh Harrier headed south early on. In addition to those waders already mentioned, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, around 30 Black-tailed Godwit and 20 Dunlin on the marsh, where an adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Pintail, a drake Gadwall and at least 30 Wigeon were also present. The dreadful season for passerines continues, with just a Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warbler being returned. 

September 15th

Dunlin – Ian Wigley
Sanderling – Gary Foyle
Wheatear – Alan Crockard

The Wood Sandpiper was around again this morning, commuting between Wick water meadows and Parky Meade Rail, while an adult Spotted Redshank was in Brewer’s Creek. Passerines were very thin on the ground indeed – the best being a Redstart on Priory Marsh – as well as a Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap and 5 Whitethroat on Wick. Meadow Pipit trickled into the westerly breeze on a broad front all morning – an hour at Coastguard producing a sample of 50; but the overall number will be into the hundreds, at least. Also singles of Yellow Wagtail and Grey Wagtail over, along with a small amount of Swallow and martins. The only other interest comes from 2 Kingfisher in Parky Meade Rail and an adult, male Peregrine over there. 

September 14th

Ringed Plover – Clinton Whale
Sanderling – Clinton Whale

Settled passerines were fewer than yesterday, but did include a Whinchat, 44 Chiffchaff, 15 Willow Warbler, 35 Blackcap and 3 Whitethroat across Hengistbury and Wick; as well as 2 Wheatear on Stanpit. Meanwhile, a Tree Pipit. 97 Meadow Pipit, 37 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Siskin and a single pulse of 60 House Martin moved over the head. The pick of the waders was certainly a Wood Sandpiper in Parky Meade Rail during the mid-morning low tide, with other highlights being a couple of juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at Stanpit and a Spotted Redshank in Brewer’s Creek. A Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 32 Black-tailed Godwit and 55 Dunlin were also inside the harbour, while the bulk of the Ringed Plover – 45 birds – were on the sandspit. A mixture of wildfowl included 2 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, 25 Wigeon, a few Teal and 5 Shelduck; a Kingfisher was again around Mudeford Quay; and a Peregrine was around.

September 13th

There was a lot more to be seen today – the best being a Tree Sparrow u-turning and heading back west over the Nursery. Also over, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail, as well as low hundreds of Swallow and House Martin. Meanwhile, on the deck, across Hengistbury and Wick, there were an estimated 100 phylloscs, with those identified to species suggesting a 4:1 ratio in favour of Willow Warbler over Chiffchaff; plus 4 Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, up to 30 Blackcap and 12 Whitethroat. A Whinchat was on Stanpit and the site-wide Wheatear total came to 20 – the largest concentration being 11 on the sandspit. A fair wader selection was centred around Stanpit, although it’s not certain whether 8 Knot east over Hengistbury were some of the nine logged there, where there were also: a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 6 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Black-tailed Godwit and 65 Dunlin. In addition, a couple of Greenshank were in Holloway’s Dock and 6 Snipe were on Wick. A tired-looking Tufted Duck spent the day in Stanpit Bight, twenty-five Wigeon in Barn Bight were a sure sign of the changing season, and a Shoveler and 4 Shelduck were present. To finish the post, a Marsh Harrier was seen at Stanpit on a couple of occasions and 2 Kingfisher were returned. 

September 12th

There were four species of falcon recorded in the area today. A female Merlin headed east over Mudeford Quay, while at least 2 Hobby were about the sandspit. In addition, a male Peregrine was over Priory Marsh and, of course, a few Kestrel were around . The other highlights included a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull again on the lawn at the quay, the Spoonbill at Stanpit and 3 Goosander in Barn Bight. Other than a Wheatear on the marsh, all the passerine news comes from Hengistbury where a Spotted Flycatcher, up to 21 Yellow Wagtail and 10 Blackcap were logged. Waders seemed sparse, with a Greenshank, 2 Sanderling west, a few Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Dunlin being the only returns. Rounding up, a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea and a Kingfisher was around the quay. 

September 11th

After a night of south-westerly blow, Mudeford Quay was watched from the four hours after 6:15, with the following being logged heading west: a Balearic Shearwater, 3 Mediterranean Gull - all first-winter birds, 15 Common Scoter, 12 Gannet and 57 Sandwich Tern. Also from the quay, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull on the lawn and a Whimbrel that arrived from the east. Inside the harbour, the Spoonbill was still present, along with a Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a further Mediterranean Gull, while a Hobby passed over. Over on Wick, there was a single Whimbrel, 5 Blackcap and 8 Teal. 

September 10th

A Marsh Harrier headed north over Wick this morning, while the Spoonbill was on Stanpit. Also on the marsh: a Spotted Redshank, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin. Passerines on Hengistbury were sparse, with just a Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat and a couple of phylloscs being turned in. 

September 9th

Around thirty members turned up for this morning’s activities. As always the ringing demonstration proved popular although the blustery conditions weren’t favourable.  In all twenty-two birds were trapped and ringed, the most numerous being Reed Warbler and Blackcap with five of each. Migrant totals, including those ringed, but otherwise mainly from Wick, were 11 Blackcap, 10 Willow Warbler, 7 Reed Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler and a Garden Warbler. Elsewhere the sea was watched from Mudeford Quay for two hours and produced 3 Mediterranean Gull, two adult and a first winter, plus 25 Sandwich Tern, 7 Gannet and 6 Turnstone.  On Stanpit the Spoonbill remained.

September 8th

With the exception of a modest movement of hirundines passerine migration had almost ground to a halt today. There was, however, plenty of interest; in particular this afternoon, when around 4:30pm, 2 Cattle Egret were on South Marsh.  The first bird flushed from the tip of South Marsh and left the harbour heading north while the second bird was settled amongst the horses, also on South Marsh. Earlier a party of 4 Avocet arrived in Stanpit Bight and 5 Greenshank were in Mother Siller’s Channel. The long staying Spoonbill and the Spotted Redshank were both still present. Wader numbers were 31 Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover, 14 Snipe on Wick, 2 Sanderling, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot and 1 Whimbrel. Hirundines were estimated as 350 House Martin and 50 Swallow but otherwise there were just 12 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Wheatear, the latter on Stanpit.  The Wigeon count was 37 and the 2 Pintail remained.

September 7th

Migration was similar to yesterday with a smattering of birds on both sides of the harbour. Totals for the site were 11 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Reed Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whinchat and singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Wheatear. The Spoonbill and the Spotted Redshank were on Stanpit. Wader totals, mainly from Stanpit were 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin, 10 Snipe over Wick, 5 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. A Peregrine made a pass over Stanpit this morning while 2 Pintail were present, also 32 Sandwich Tern and an adult Mediterranean Gull. 

September 6th

The golf course bank on Stanpit held singles of Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart plus 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler and 2 Whitethroat while 3 Wheatear and 2 Whinchat were on Crouch Hill. Willow Warbler passage seems to have dried up with just one bird on Hengistbury today, also 5 Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler and 4 Chiffchaff. The Spoonbill was on Stanpit where wader counts were 63 Dunlin, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Ringed Plover, 3 Snipe, 2 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel. Also on the marsh were 16 Wigeon, 14 Teal and 4 Common Tern. Finally Kingfisher were seen on both sides of the harbour.

September 5th

A group of 5 Spoonbill flew south-west over the HHC around 9:30am this morning while the semi-resident bird remained on Stanpit. Singles of Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Knot, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit were also on the marsh together with 40 Dunlin, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover and 5 Sanderling. Migrants, mainly on Hengistbury, were 19 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Sedge Warbler, 7 Whitethroat, 5 Wheatear, 3 Tree Pipit and 2 Spotted Flycatcher; another 2 Wheatear were on Stanpit.

September 4th

A Wryneck was seen again this morning; the bird flew the length of North Paddock towards the wooden bridge on Wick. There were two sightings of Marsh Harrier, firstly a female south-east over Wick Water Meadows just after 7am then another female high over Stanpit mid morning. Waders today included the Spotted Redshank heard over Hengistbury and on Stanpit 86 Dunlin, 75 Ringed Plover, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Snipe, these on Priory Marsh, 4 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. Only 9 Sedge Warbler were trapped and ringed by the HHC this morning but elsewhere there was a reasonable spread of migrants with 10 Yellow Wagtail, 7 Willow Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Grey Wagtail and on Stanpit 2 Whinchat and a Wheatear. Overhead at Hengistbury 430 House Martin were counted, also 200 Sand Martin over Whitepits and a couple of dozen Swallow. There are now 60 Teal on Stanpit, also 14 Shelduck and 5 Wigeon.  There was a Kingfisher again today and a couple of Raven.  This evening a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 4 Common Tern were off Mudeford Quay, also 20 Knot were on the sandspit.

September 3rd

On another fine morning migrants were again hard to come by although a harbour count of 13 Wheatear was the best for some time. A Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Lesser Whitethroat, the latter on Wick, were the pick of the rest, the totals being 10 Whitethroat, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Blackcap, 4 Grey Wagtail, 4 Willow Warbler and 3 Reed Warbler; also 200 Swallow south while a Hobby headed north over Hengistbury.  From Stanpit there were singles of Greenshank and Whimbrel, 17 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Snipe, another 4 Snipe were on the water meadows at Wick..  There are now 14 Wigeon, 9 Shelduck, 5 Teal and a Shoveler on the marsh. To round up a Kingfisher was on the Bailey Bridge at Stanpit, 4 Mediterranean Gull were logged, the in harbour count of Sandwich Tern was 49 this afternoon and Coot totalled 334 on Stanpit.

September 2nd

There was another Wryneck this morning on Wick Fields by the horse paddocks, also a female Redstart by the wooden bridge.  Elsewhere on Wick were 13 Willow Warbler, 12 Whitethroat, 11 Blackcap, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail while on Stanpit there was a Wheatear on Crouch Hill plus 6 Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat in the North Scrubs.  Once again there was a hint of hirundine movement with 300 Swallow and 150 Sand Martin logged through the harbour.  Waders weren’t counted today but the 12 Black-tailed Godwit were still in Mother Siller’s Channel, also 1 Whimbrel and a couple of Common Sandpiper were noted.  Finally the Spoonbill was on Stanpit and 2 Raven were around.

September 1st

Around 7:30am this morning a Great White Egret arrived in the harbour, on Blackberry Point.  Unfortunately the bird only stayed for a couple of minutes before heading off north.  A couple of hours later the first Wryneck of the autumn was on the Long Field at Hengistbury and the regular Spoonbill was feeding opposite Fisherman’s Bank.  The Spotted Redshank was heard only while there were 4 Greenshank  today, one on Wick Water Meadows and three on Stanpit, also a Green Sandpiper left Wick Hams and headed south.  Wader counts from Stanpit were 142 Ringed Plover,95 Dunlin, 13 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Sanderling..  Migrants included 19 Blackcap, four of which were on Stanpit, 18 Yellow Wagtail, mainly on Wick, 7 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler plus a Wheatear on Stanpit.  There were 2 Kingfisher, 2 first winter Mediterranean Gull and 2 Teal around Stanpit, also a party of 10 Wigeon and 2 Teal circled the harbour and left.

LATE NEWS: A Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail was trapped and ringed at the HHC wagtail roost yesterday evening, also 50 Yellow Wagtail.

August 31st

The first hint of autumn Swallow movement occurred this morning when over three hundred birds headed south over Hengistbury, these before 9am.  Just after dawn 28 Yellow Wagtail left the reed bed roost on Wick while a further sixteen moved over the Head thus the morning’s total was 44; also 2 Grey Wagtail and a Tree Pipit.  Over the area there were singles of  Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler plus 18 Blackcap, 12 Willow Warbler, 11 Whitethroat, 9 Sedge Warbler, 8 ‘phylloscs’, 5 Chiffchaff  and two each of Whinchat and Wheatear.  The Spotted Redshank was in Brewer’s Creek while a Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper and 3 Snipe were in Parky Meade Rail.  A group of 5 Black-tailed Godwit headed south-west over the HHC while another ten were on Stanpit.  To round up the Spoonbill remained in situ and 3 Kingfisher were around the harbour.

August 30th

At Hengistbury this morning a total of 45 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Grey Wagtail passed overhead while on the ground were 6 Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatear; also 20 Sedge Warbler, 6 Reed Warbler, 2 Cetti’s Warbler and 1 Whitethroat were trapped and ringed.  Stanpit had singles of Garden Warbler and Whitethroat plus, this afternoon, 3 Spotted Flycatcher in North Scrubs.  The Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank were in Parky Meade Rail and a Wood Sandpiper was heard from the direction of Wick.  Wader counts were 65 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, 11 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Whimbrel one of which left to the south.  The Spoonbill was commuting between Mother Siller’s Channel and Blackberry Point.  The miscellany included 2 Raven, a Kingfisher and the male Wigeon.

August 29th

Migrants were hard to come by this morning with just 13 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Whitethroat and 7 Willow Warbler logged at Hengistbury, also a single Wheatear on Stanpit.  The numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin using the harbour showed another slight increase with counts of 94 and 54 respectively, also 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe, 3 Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel.  The Spoonbill was feeding in Mother Siller’s Channel while 5 Gadwall, 3 Teal and 2 Wigeon were on Stanpit.

August 28th

This morning’s highlights included a Wood Sandpiper over the water meadows on Wick, a party of 19 Ruff that headed west, low over the HHC, the Spoonbill on Stanpit and the first appearance of the Spotted Redshank for some time, seen from Fisherman’s Bank.  Migrants on Hengistbury were 2 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 10 Willow Warbler, 17 Whitethroat and overhead, a Tree Pipit, 2 Swift and 40 Swallow, also a Yellow Wagtail on Stanpit.  Wader counts, mainly from Stanpit, were 71 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, a further 2 Ruff and 2 Common Sandpiper while 7 Whimbrel and 3 Black-tailed Godwit moved overhead.  On Stanpit 4 Teal, 2 Shoveler and a drake Wigeon were present but only 21 Sandwich Tern today.  Of the more common species 190 Coot were in Stanpit Bight and there were 19 Water Rail around the marsh.  Late afternoon, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was at Mudeford Quay.

August 27th

Although the wind had eased off somewhat this morning Mudeford Quay was again the focus of interest. However things were quiet until a couple of Arctic Skua headed into The Solent followed by another bird a few minutes later.  Otherwise it was fairly standard fare with 70 Sandwich Tern, 8 Common Scoter, 6 Gannet, 3 Common Tern, 2 juvenile/first year Mediterranean Gull and a single Ringed Plover, all these west.  Waders inside the harbour were sparse with just 8 Black-tailed Godwit, two each of Dunlin and Whimbrel plus a flyover Green Sandpiper.  Migrants on Stanpit included a Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Willow Warbler and 4 Wheatear; there was a further Wheatear on the sandspit.  The Spoonbill was again on Stanpit. 

August 26th

As the rain eased off an afternoon visit to Mudeford Quay was rewarded with a harbour first, a Great Shearwater that moved west around 4:30pm, also a couple of juvenile Yellow-legged Gull off there.  Earlier birding activity was restricted to just a couple of hours before the deluge with most of the attention given to  Mudeford Quay but the morning’s highlights were elsewhere.  The first Little Stint of the autumn was on the tip of South Marsh while also on Stanpit the regular Spoonbill was joined by three more birds that arrived from the west.  From the Quay 103 Sandwich Tern were logged plus 13 Mediterranean Gull, all but two being juvenile/first winter birds, also 6 Gannet, 3 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover and a lone Fulmar, all these headed west.  The only other sighting of note was of a Hobby over the water meadows at Wick.

August 25th

Two and a half hours on Hengistbury this morning produced a bit of variety with a Lesser Whitethroat, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 each of Whinchat, Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail plus 9 Blackcap and 23 Whitethroat.  Waders today included 3 flyover Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock and, on Stanpit 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper.  Once again the Spoonbill was feeding in Mother Siller’s Channel.

August 24th

A group of 3 Little Tern feeding off Mudeford  Quay this morning was a good local record for late August; also offshore from there were 8 Common Tern, 7 Gannet and an adult Mediterranean Gull.  On the other side of the harbour 3 Green Sandpiper headed south over Wick Water Meadows.   Passerines across Hengistbury were few with just a single Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat and 6 Willow Warbler logged.   Finally the Spoonbill was present on Stanpit.

August 23rd

Kestrel – Steve Hogan

The morning was blighted by some quite heavy drizzle; nonetheless, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Tree Pipit were noted over Hengistbury, as was a Peregrine. Later on, when things had dried at least 3 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank and 4 Black-tailed Godwit were about Stanpit. Meanwhile, the young Spoonbill showed really well in Mother Siller’s Channel, where it fed frantically for the duration of the low tide, and up to 9 Teal slept it out in Stanpit Bight. Please note, for the next two weeks, we will be unable to post photos on the site. Please do continue to send them in, however, for the archive we keep. 

August 22nd

There were some isolated elements of passerine interest today; namely, a Redstart on the Stanpit golf course embankment, a Spotted Flycatcher on Wick, a Garden Warbler, that also on Wick, and 4 Yellow Wagtail about Stanpit. In addition, 16 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, a Whitethroat and 2 Wheatear were around the area, while a getting-late Swift went over. A Green Sandpiper was visible from the viewing platform at Wick, and Stanpit held: a Knot, 6 Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Ringed Plover, a few Dunlin, 2 Turnstone and 2 Snipe. Rounding things up, a single juvenile-to-first-winter Mediterranean Gull was logged, 3 Teal were inside the harbour and a Bullfinch was at Solent Meads. 

August 21st

Sanderling – Clinton Whale

The weather seems to be, once again, hotting-up each day. This morning, the Spoonbill was on Stanpit, as were a Gadwall and 3 Teal, while a Peregrine bolted through. The passerine returns come from throughout the day and comprise: 2 Whinchat on the Barn Field, a Wheatear by the Black House, a Yellow Wagtail and Garden Warbler on Wick, 16 Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 10 Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff. The sandspit hosted 17 Sanderling and Holloway’s Dock again 3 Greenshank; a Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry; and the Starling estimate around the West Field came to 480. 

August 20th

Greenshank – Clinton Whale
Whimbrel – Alan Crockard

Although numbers were poor, there was a selection of passerines on Hengistbury and Wick this morning. In addition to 7 Tree Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail over, there were singles of settled Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Whinchat, 25 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiifchaff, 12 Whitethroat and a couple of Blackcap. For the second day in succession, no wheatear were on site!!! Also moving over were ten or so Swift, a single flock of 25 House Martin and a trickle of outbound Swallow. The received wader reports come to: 3 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock, up to 10 Whimbrel at Stanpit, several unseen Ringed Plover and Dunlin arriving over the head, and 2 Snipe on Wick Hams. 

August 19th

Sandwich Tern – David Faulkner

Despite the conditions, the sea gave up very little. A Fulmar was seen from Mudeford Quay, while the Beach Huts yielded just 4 Mediterranean Gull – two adults and two juveniles – 18 Sandwich Tern and 18 Gannet, all west. Meanwhile, a Spoonbill again toured, 2 Greenshank were in Holloway’s Dock, 5 Black-tailed Godwit headed south and a further 37 Sandwich Tern were in the harbour. 

August 18th

Linnet – Clinton Whale

The only news for the day comes from Stanpit, which hosted: a Spoonbill, at least 5 Whimbrel, 13 Sanderling and a similar number of Dunlin, plus 4 Teal and a Whitethroat.

August 17th

Spoonbill – Martin Lewis
Juvenile Knot – Clinton Whale
Common Blue – Clinton Whale

A fine day in terms of weather saw a good selection of waders about the place. A couple of Curlew Sandpiper were at Stanpit during the early part of the morning, along with a Sanderling, a juvenile Knot, 2 Common Sandpiper, 13 Whimbrel, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin. Elsewhere, a Green Sandpiper was turned in from the Wooden Bridge at Wick. The pick of the passerines was a Redstart on the Barn Field, 2 Tree Pipit over the Barn and a Grey Wagtail over the Long Field. Meanwhile, settled birds from Wick to the Wood comprised: 18 Willow Warbler, 20 Whitethroat and 10 Blackcap. A couple of Swift moved through and the two Spoonbill wandered around. Please check back to yesterday for some additional news. 

August 16th

The only report from a largely wet day is of 2 Greenshank, a Whimbrel, 10 Ringed Plover and 19 Dunlin in Holloway’s Dock.

Additional news: the sea was watched from both the Beach Huts and Mudeford Quay, with the combined totals being: a juvenile Little Gull, 10 Mediterranean Gull, 6 Fulmar, 2 Common Scoter, 78 Common Tern and 94 Sandwich Tern, all west; plus a Razorbill on the see. A flock of 12 Sanderling were on the sandspit, while a Greenshank was in Holloway’s Dock. Passerines on the head included, a Reed Warbler, 7 Willow Warbler, 6 Blackcap and 10 Whitethroat, while a single Spoonbill was at Stanpit.

August 15th

Kestrel – Jackie Smith

There were terns a plenty this morning – the most impressive return being from an hour’s seawatch at the Gulley that resulted in 250 Sandwich Tern and 65 Common Tern west. Also during that spell, an Arctic Skua west and 4 Common Scoter east. Inside the harbour, the maximum figure received for Sandwich Tern was 200, as well as 28 Common Tern, and a single Black Tern left at around 6:30. Waders were scattered about, with the totals coming to: 3 Greenshank, a Whimbrel, 11 Sanderling, a Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone and 7 Snipe. Passerines continue to confound and are almost completely absent – the totals from across the entire area being just 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 2 Garden Warbler, 6 Willow Warbler and 15 Whitethroat! It would seem Mediterranean Gull have run their course – only one today, a juvenile – while an argentatus-type Herring Gull was in Barn Bight. 

August 14th

Greenshank – Clinton Whale
There are still some young Sand Martin in nest holes – Clinton Whale

Early on, there was a fair bit of activity around the HHC where the ringing session produced 20 Willow Warbler and 12 Whitethroat, but only four and one of Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler respectively. The best of the waders was a Spotted Redshank at Stanpit and 3 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock, as well as returns of a single Whimbrel and 10 Dunlin. The 2 Spoonbill were again around as were above-average numbers of terns, including two juvenile Arctic Tern off Mudeford Quay tonight, where there was also a similarly-aged Yellow-legged Gull. 

August 13th

Oystercatcher – David Faulkner

The reports are rather varied today and headed by 2 Spoonbill, which after initially being seen from Fisherman’s Bank relocated to Wick Hams. Between Whitepits and the Wood, there was a modest presence of passerines, the most numerous being Whitethroat at 15, as well as 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff and 5 Sedge Warbler. Back to Stanpit and the waders, which included: 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Whimbrel, singles of both Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit, a Ringed Plover, 24 Dunlin and 4 Snipe.  

August 12th

On a wet and windy day, the sea was watched from Mudeford Quay for the entirety of the morning. An Arctic Skua was harrying terns at 8:45, while an adult Arctic Tern, a juvenile Kittiwake and 4 Fulmar headed west amongst steady passage of mainly Sandwich Tern. In addition, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was present throughout and 5 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and a few Turnstone lingered about the sandspit. The only other news for the day involves a Green Sandpiper over Wick Hams. 

August 11th

Sanderling – Clinton Whale
Snipe – Alan Crockard
Although I don't think we can identify it as an individual bird, we should be able to find out where this Wheatear originated

All the news for the day comes from Stanpit, where a modest number of migrant passerines were dotted about. The pick was a juvenile Redstart on the golf course embankment, but also a Wheatear on Crouch Hill and a few each of Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat. The Sedge Warbler were all feeding in brambles alongside seemingly empty reedbeds, so suggesting a void of aphids in the phragmites this season. Wader-wise, there were flight views of Ruff, Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit and 5 Snipe, while around five each of Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plover and ten or so Dunlin were settled. The in-harbour Sandwich Tern again surpassed the 100-mark, but only one Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile, was obvious. There was also plenty of Common Tern, at one time being chased by a Peregrine, but no number was put on them. 

August 10th

The wind gathered some real pace just after dawn, meaning the sea was watched for most of the morning. The best was a couple of Arctic Skua haranguing terns off the sandspit, 5 Manx Shearwater and three, to-far-out-to-identify shearwaters. The support came from: 8 Common Scoter, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 6 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover and 7 Dunlin. Meanwhile, a Green Sandpiper passed over Wick Fields. The conditions were not great for dealing with passerines, but a total of 20 Whitethroat, 15 Willow Warbler and a Wheatear was reckoned for Hengistbury and Wick. 

August 9th

Wing patterns of waders. Black–tailed Godwit (upper) – David Faulkner, and Common Sandpiper - Jackie Smith

On a cloudy and breezy day, there was a good selection of migrant passerines across Hengistbury and Wick early on, with the best being 2 Whinchat in the Barn Field and a Lesser Whitethroat. Others included: 25 Willow Warbler and 27 Whitethroat and an out-of-habitat Sedge Warbler; in addition, a Wheatear was at Stanpit. More generally, 3 Tree Pipit, a Yellow Wagtail, a flock of 30 Swift and 36 Black-tailed Godwit, those also in a single group, moved over. There is limited wader news, but a Green Sandpiper was on Wick, while Stanpit held at least 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Snipe were airborne about the area. A total of 25 Common Tern fed offshore and a Little Grebe was on the Ironstone Quarry.

August 8th

Juvenile Sandwich Tern – Scott Usher
Adult Common Tern – Scott Usher

The wind gathered pace during the day and once again there was a good tern presence inside the harbour, which was headed by a Black Tern as well as 85 Common Tern and 210 Sandwich Tern. Meanwhile, a two-hour seawatch from Mudeford Quay yielded 18 Common Tern, 10 Sanderling, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone and a patrolling Peregrine. Waders settled around Stanpit included: singles of adult Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit, the first juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, a Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper, a Ringed Plover and 15 Dunlin; in addition, a couple of Mediterranean Gull were around. Early in the day, 2 Yellow Wagtail were on Wick water meadows, 21 Willow Warbler were spread around there and a pair of Bullfinch was on Roebury Lane. 

August 7th

Hengistbury and Wick experienced a good arrival of common migrants this morning, including: a Yellow Wagtail, a Garden Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 35 Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap and 25 Willow Warbler. Meanwhile, 5 Common Tern and 3 Ringed Plover headed west past the head. Once more, the pair of Black Swan were around the northern part of the recording area. 

August 6th

SandwichTernSandwich Tern
Sandwich Tern – Alan Crockard

A Ruff and a Green Sandpiper passed over Stanpit early on, while the Curlew Sandpiper wandered all over the place. Other waders there included: 7 Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and 92 Dunlin. Singles of Marsh Harrier, a cream-crowned bird, and Hobby were also logged from the marsh, as was again a Spoonbill. At least 5 Yellow Wagtail passed over, and a small number of Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler – ten and five respectively – were around Parky Meade Rail. The first returning Wigeon, two birds, were on site, as were: 200+ Sandwich Tern, 7 Common Tern and 4 Mediterranean Gull. Finally, a Peregrine came in-off-the-sea by the Double Dykes. 

August 5th

Common Sandpiper – Leo Pyke

There was more than a hint of passerine migration this morning, with a Pied Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler and 15 Sedge Warbler on the Stanpit golf course embankment, plus 9 Yellow Wagtail over. Also overhead, a total of 8 House Martin to the south-east. There was another good wader selection, including: a Curlew Sandpiper, an Avocet, 3 Knot, a Sanderling, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, a Turnstone, 14 Ringed Plover and 82 Dunlin; the vast majority of these from Fisherman’s Bank on the morning low. Wildfowl also held some interest, such as 12 Shoveler – three settled and nine east – and 11 Gadwall east. The first returning Common Gull was on site, as were 10 Mediterranean Gull. 

August 4th

Common Tern – Alan Crockard
Spoonbill – Martin Lewis

On yet another scorching day, other than a Red Kite over Wick and a Spoonbill around Stanpit Bight, waders topped the bill. From Fisherman’s Bank this morning, there were: a Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Avocet, 3 Knot, a Grey Plover, a Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 43 Dunlin; while 3 Common Sandpiper were logged elsewhere. The in-harbour terns were estimated at 40 Common Tern and 120 Sandwich Tern; along with ten or so Mediterranean Gull.

August 3rd

Black Swan – Sophie Yarwood

The day’s waders were headed by a moulting, adult Curlew Sandpiper that was first seen from Fisherman’s Bank and later from Mudeford Quay. In addition, there were at least 5 Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 12 Whimbrel, an adult Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, a Turnstone, a Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin about the harbour; as well as a Spoonbill. There were again plenty of terns – 45 Common Tern and 175 Sandwich Tern – around Stanpit, plus 30 or so Mediterranean Gull. At least 50 Swift fed over Wick and the wildfowl included 2 Shoveler and a Teal. 

August 2nd

There were a couple of Spoonbill about the area today – one on the HHC mudbar, the other in Mother Siller’s Channel. Some waders of local quality passed over Hengistbury and Wick; namely, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Ruff and a Spotted Redshank, but the only other such news is of 2 Greenshank in Holloway’s Dock plus a Common Sandpiper and 8 Whimbrel at Stanpit. The day-total for Sandwich Tern was returned at 375, made up of: over 200 resting on various mudbars and around 175 in flight. In addition, across the area, around 60 Common Tern were logged as well as 8 Mediterranean Gull. Swift were also conspicuous – around 60 seeming to drift south – and a similar number of Sand Martin perhaps doing the same. Rounding up, a couple of Shoveler were in Barn Bight and 4 Willow Warbler were on Wick. 

August 1st

Greenshank – Colin Raymond

An Arctic Tern was seen from Fisherman’s Bank this morning amongst 10 Common Tern and 105 Sandwich Tern. Also from there, a Knot, 18 Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 25 Dunlin. Meanwhile, 2 Greenshank and a further Whimbrel were in Holloway’s Dock. Some modest overhead movement included 4 House Martin and 7 Swift  above Wick, with a Willlow Warbler settled in the No Dogs Field. Finishing off, the only Mediterranean Gull for the day was a colour-ringed juvenile in Holloway’s Dock and a Kingfisher was by the Viewing Platform. 

Sightings for earlier months can be found in our Sightings Archive.
Return to the Sightings Archive Index

View the full archive of photographs, which now contains over 250 species.

Here is the full archive of features that have previously appeared on the CHOG website.