Sightings for February 2019

February 28th

The fine weather ended today, with grey cloud and rain dominating instead. A seawatch from Mudeford Quay this morning produced: 4 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Common Scoter, 6 Common Gull and 2 Gannet west, and an arriving Brent Goose. Meanwhile, a couple of Chiffchaff were by the HHC, where there has not been birds all winter so perhaps suggesting an arrival, and a total of 3 Firecrest was in the Wood. 

February 27th

Stonechat Robert Gray

On yet another day of summer-like weather, a couple of Firecrest were again close to the Nursery, while a couple of Bullfinch were near to the Wooden Bridge on Wick. A total of 4 Mediterranean Gull heading east may have been early travellers to the Solent colonies, but other than 23 Black-tailed Godwit in Barn Bight there is nothing else to mention. 

February 26th

Song Thrush Robert Gray

On another unseasonably warm day, there were 2 Bullfinch along Roebury Lane, one of them briefly in song, while Great Spotted Woodpecker were drumming and Stonechat were also singing. Otherwise, its just 3 Black-tailed Godwit and a Snipe in Holloways Dock to remark upon. 

February 25th

Dunnock in full song in the sun Alan Crockard

There have been cooler days in June, such was the warmth of todays winter sun. A couple of Linnet over the Long Field were an indicator that Spring is just around the corner, while most of the usual suspects were turned in; namely, one or two Firecrest and a Treecreeper in the Wood, and a Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch on Wick. In Holloways Dock, there were 25 or so Black-tailed Godwit, along with 13 Dunlin. 

February 24th

It was a glorious day with barely a cloud throughout. On Hengistbury, a couple of Firecrest were in the Wood, while a drake Goosander was in Barn Bight. At sea, a diver was off the Coastguards, with a Great Crested Grebe close by. Meanwhile, a Chiffchaff and 3 Bullfinch were on Wick. The fine weather saw butterflies on the wing namely, Comma, Peacock and Red Admiral. 

February 23rd

The only news for today is of a variety of birds in song around Hengistbury, including Dartford Warbler, Song Thrush, Skylark, Stonechat, Greenfinch and Dunnock, as well as a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker. 

February 22nd

A Golden Plover, a Jack Snipe and the Spotted Redshan were the pick of the waders at Stanpit, but also 3 Grey Plover, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 175 Dunlin and 35 Snipe present. A Water Pipit was again on-site, as were 5 Scandinavian Rock Pipit; while a Pintail, 2 Shoveler and 14 Shelduck were the best of the wildfowl, which also included at least 100 Brent Goose. 

February 21st

Sand Martin, a trans-Saharan migrant, are normally expected to arrive during the first ten days of March, so one over Parky Meade Rail this morning was a real harbinger of spring. Also at Stanpit, a Water Pipit and 5 Scandinavian Rock Pipit. The only other news for the day, however, is of the now customary Bullfinch on Wick a return of three for this post. 

February 20th

Jay Clinton Whale
Salt Hurns on the high spring tide Colin Raymond

There were a couple of pieces of seabird interest this morning, when a first-winter Kittiwake headed out over the Barn Field and a Fulmar moved west past Mudeford Quay. In addition, a flock of 8 Shag, which is a good number these days, were fishing off the head. Meanwhile, 160 Dunlin roosted out the high tide on the sandspit and a couple of Bullfinch were again on Wick.

February 19th

Dartford Warbler Alan Crockard
Curlew Ray Scott
Brent Goose Jackie Smith

Other than around 100 Brent Goose at Stanpit, all the news is from Wick, where 4 Bullfinch were present again, mainly by the Viewing Platform. Also, a total of 3 Chiffchaff and a Peregrine over. 

February 18th

There was a pair of Goosander close to Mother Sillers Channel this evening, as well as 41 Dunlin on the marsh. Over on Wick, a Chiffchaff was near the Viewing Platform. 

February 17th

There is news from most areas today. A total of 3 Grey Plover, a single Black-tailed Godwit and 44 Brent Goose were at Stanpit, while a Chiffchaff was in the Wood on Hengistbury and a Kingfisher was around Wick.  

February 16th

The only news for today is a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull on the end of the sandspit, viewed from Mudeford Quay, while a single Red-throated Diver headed east. 

February 15th

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker Robert Gray (upper) & Tina Scott
Greenfinch Samuel Levy

It was a gloriously sunny morning, during which a Woodlark headed east over Coastguards. Also on Hengistbury, singles of Firecrest and Chiffchaff in the Wood; while at sea: 5 Red-throated Diver moved east, as did 19 Brent Goose; a further 6 Brent Goose headed the opposite way, as did a Common Gull; and 2 Great Crested Grebe were settled. A decent wader selection at Stanpit was headed with a Greenshank, something of a rarity here during the winter months, as well as: a calling Jack Snipe, perhaps an even rarer occurrence, an Avocet, 12 Grey Plover, 45 Ringed Plover and 175 Dunlin. Equally notable as a couple of the wader events were 18 Mediterranean Gull a really good, local return for the month. Meanwhile, 2 Water Pipit, 8 Scandinavian Rock Pipit, 4 Pintail and a Peregrine were about the marsh. 

February 14th

Firecrest Alan Crockard

It was a lovely, crisp day that produced a nice selection of birds. At Stanpit, between Stanpit Scrubs and the Pod, there was a Firecrest, a Water Pipit, 5 Scandinavian Rock Pipit and 4 Stonechat, as well as the Spotted Redshank. A further 2 Firecrest were in the Wood on Hengistbury, where the male Marsh Harrier hunted Wick Hams. At least 3 Bullfinch were on Wick, including a pair on Buckthorn adjacent to the Viewing Platform, and a couple of Common Gull were on the HHC mudbar. Finally, thanks to Shaun Robson for an enthralling talk about Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, last night. 

February 13th

Longtailed Tit Robert Gray

There have been no reports received for today.

February 12th

Reed Bunting one of the species in song today - Alan Crockard

It was a mild day throughout, which prompted some welcome song about the area. A Merlin over Wick was the best of the visuals, however; as well as a couple of Firecrest around the Double Bends, a Mistle Thrush over the Long Field and a Bullfinch on Wick. Meanwhile, an adult Mediterranean Gull was on Wick Hams and a Kingfisher was nearby. 

February 11th

The only news from a day of fine weather is of a Chiffchaff in the Nursery. 

February 10th

The only news from another, on-and-off wet day is of a Firecrest in the Wood by the Double Bends and a pair of Bullfinch on Roebury Lane. It was a WeBS count, but the consolidated figures are not to hand. 

February 9th

The strong and uncomfortable wind continued, making things difficult in the field. Nevertheless, the Spotted Redshank was at Stanpit, along with 80 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Dunlin, 4 Pintail and 28 Brent Goose; as well as six sinensis-looking Cormorant. Over on Wick, a Chiffchaff and 2 Bullfinch were present; while 90 minutes at Mudeford Quay proved the sea was pretty much birdless. Just singles of Mediterranean Gull an adult in almost full breeding attire Gannet and unidentified diver to remark upon. 

February 8th

On a stormy, very wet day, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay. This morning, a Kittiwake and 5 Sandwich Tern were resting on the lawn; while this afternoon 2 Kittiwake an adult and a first-winter passed west and a Sandwich Tern lingered. During the high-tide period, at least 4 Purple Sandpiper could be seen on the end of the sandspit. 

February 7th

Cormorant Samuel Levy

It was thankfully drier today, but rather a mixed bag in terms of reports. A couple of Mistle Thrush were on Wick Fields, while a Chiffchaff was in the Wood on Hengistbury. Otherwise, its just 7 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin on the sandspit to report upon, plus a pair of Pintail in Barn Bight. At dusk, however, an estimated 5000 Black-headed Gull were in the harbour and the offshore roost. 

February 6th

On the third wet day in succession, there have been reports received. 

February 5th

The best from another damp and miserable day is a Mistle Thrush east over Wick and a Kingfisher about there. 

February 4th

Given there was constant drizzle, which only really ceased towards dusk, it not surprising the only records come from late in the day. A pair of Goosander were in Barn Bight, presumably to roost, while a Buzzard went into the Nursery to perhaps do the same. 

February 3rd

It was a glorious, winters day as yesterdays wind chill had abated almost completely. Despite the conditions, however, there is little to report, with all the news coming from Wick. A female-type Marsh Harrier headed west over there, 40 Black-tailed Godwit left to the north and a Peregrine again hunted. 

February 2nd

Longtailed Tit - Alan Crockard
Sunrise from Hengistbury Alan Crockard

It was a bitterly cold day, courtesy of some overnight frost and a north-easterly wind. At least 3 Water Pipit were on Priory Marsh, while a further bird was in a pipit flock close to the Rusty Boat that contained a minimum of two littoralis Rock Pipit. There were far fewer Golden Plover and winter thrushes today an over-flying flock of Goldies was reported, but with no number against it, with Fieldfare and Redwing coming to three and eight respectively. The only Marsh Harrier sighting was a high-flying, cream-crowned bird that was presumed to be moving west, as opposed to being one of the local regulars, and a Peregrine unsuccessfully hunted feral pigeons around Wick. Finishing up, a Firecrest was in the Wood, 4 Bullfinch were on Wick and the south-side total for Goldcrest was eleven.

February 1st

Golden Plover Samuel Levy
Grey Plover Samuel Levy

The snow from yesterday evening remained in place throughout the day and brought a good number of displaced birds with it. Two Hawfinch passed east over Stanpit, while a Woodlark came up off the golf course there with 18 Fieldfare. Golden Plover were spectacular in addition to 65 which settled near the Hiker caf on Hengistbury, a total of 166 headed high south; as did ultimately the decked birds. Also on the move, in the same direction, were Lapwing 82 in total. Passerines, meanwhile, were coming in off the sea and included: 125 Skylark, 12 Meadow Pipit, 27 Redwing and 23 Fieldfare. There is a report of a Red-necked Grebe on the sea, somewhere off Hengistbury, but the location of the Eider is more exact off the Barn Field and 5 Red-throated Diver passed west. There is also news of all three species of diver off the head, but little else is known. A Water Pipit, 2 Scandinavian Rock Pipit and an undescribed Marsh Harrier were at Stanpit; as were 2 Jack Snipe, the Spotted Redshank, a Knot, 21 Grey Plover, 15 Ringed Plover and 125 Dunlin. The cold also pushed Common Gull our way ten inside the harbour and nine east with 4 Tufted Duck and 4 Gadwall being on site with them. A Firecrest was in the Wood, as was a Chiffchaff and a Treecreeper.  

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