Sightings for November 2019

October 31st

Adult male Marsh Harrier Jackie Smith

The wildfowl theme continues today. Starting at Stanpit, where the following were returned: 3 Scaup, a Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, two pale-bellied Brent Goose, fourteen juvenile Brent Goose amongst an undisclosed number of adults, 12 Shoveler, 8 Pintail, 6 Gadwall and 175 Teal. Meanwhile, at sea, passing east were: 2 Velvet Scoter, 58 Common Scoter, an Eider, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Tufted Duck, 119 Wigeon, 37 Teal and a Mallard, as well as 3 Red-throated Diver and an unidentified diver. Bucking the trend, a further Red-throated Diver and 8 Teal went west; while 3 Grey Heron came in-off. Gull-wise, it was less interesting than yesterday, although a Kittiwake and 12 Mediterranean Gull headed west and a further of the latter went in the opposite direction. Waders on the move included, 2 Knot and 7 Sanderling east offshore, with 3 Knot, a Golden Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 75 Black-tailed Godwit and 25 Snipe at Stanpit. As expected for the date, thrushes trickled over a Mistle Thrush, 5 Fieldfare, 18 Redwing and 2 Song Thrush being the detail and settled notables included 4 Firecrest in the Wood. Rounding up, a sign of the times is that a Great White Egret appears in the last sentence of the post, along with adults of Marsh Harrier, the male, and a Peregrine about, plus a Kingfisher on Wick Hams. 

October 30th

One of the recent Firecrest Samuel Levy

There was a good movement of wildfowl past Hengistbury this morning, including 8 Scaup, 3 Velvet Scoter, 3 Eider all adult drakes, so definitely not Solent birds, 2 Goosander, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall; all east, except for one of the scoter and the Gadwall. The fun hadnt finished by the afternoon, however, when 4 Velvet Scoter arrived from the east, and a Red-necked Grebe and 3 Red-breasted Merganser headed west. Meanwhile, a Goldeneye a brown-headed bird and nowadays a local scarcity was inside the harbour, as were 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall and a Shelduck. The morning also saw 9 Little Gull head west, including a flock of nine, plus a Kittiwake, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Merlin in the same direction; as well as 5 Golden Plover and a Grey Plover east. Later on, 110 Mediterranean Gull and 35 Common Gull were seen from the quay as they went to the Christchurch Bay roost, and a Great Skua was in amongst the feeding-flock that had been offshore all day. Just after dawn, a Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in the Long Field and a Bearded Tit did the same in Wick Hams. To finish this off, the in-harbour wader returns were: 3 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 55 Black-tailed Godwit; with 12 Skylark and 10 Swallow also being logged at Stanpit. 

October 29th

Knot Clinton Whale

The day saw a small arrival of fresh-in wildfowl, including 2 Pochard, a Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler and an increase to eleven juvenile Brent Goose; while a couple of Pintail may have been the same as yesterday. In addition to a Knot on the sandspit, there were 2 Grey Plover, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 70 Ringed Plover, 35 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone and 14 Snipe at Stanpit. Passerines, meanwhile, were lower than the previous period the numbers from Wick to the Wood being: a Firecrest, 10 Goldcrest, 7 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.

October 28th

The late afternoon saw an excellent gathering of gulls on the sandbar in the Run the best being a juvenile Sabines Gull that spent a few minutes there, before heading into Christchurch Bay; perhaps to roost? In addition, there were two first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, over 55 Mediterranean Gull and 65 Common Gull. Earlier, at least 36 Meds had been logged at Stanpit. Passerines also provided interest a Woodlark settled on Crouch Hill, a Yellow-browed Warbler calling on Wick Fields and 2 Bearded Tit in Wick Hams being the best. The support, however, came from a clear influx of Goldcrest, with an estimated forty across the southern side of area; as well as around 25 Chiffchaff spread about, a Water Pipit again on Stanpit, a total of 3 Mistle Thrush over and 3 Bullfinch settled. There was a hint of Woodpigeon passage 121 counted but finches were modest, although a single Redpoll is worthy of note this season. At sea, a Red-throated Diver and 6 Common Scoter headed east, while 2 Marsh Harrier a male and a female-type were hunting the reeds on both sides of the river. Rounding up a good day, there were: 2 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 32 Ringed Plover at Stanpit; plus two each of Tufted Duck and Pintail there; and a minimum of 3 Kingfisher were on site. 

October 27th

Drake Wigeon moulting from eclipse Clinton Whale
The regular Emperor Goose David Faulkner

It was a glorious, late-autumn day with little wind and largely clear, blue skies. A Black Redstart was at Stanpit this morning, on rooves adjacent to the Old Council Depot; while 3 Water Pipit were on Central Marsh, just north of Crouch Hill, and a Firecrest and 2 Bullfinch were also logged. During the afternoon, a male Marsh Harrier hunted the Wick side of the river, when a couple of Red-throated Diver, 3 Sandwich Tern and 9 Mediterranean Gull were seen from Mudeford Quay; the divers heading towards the Solent. 

October 26th

It was an extremely wet and windy day, which limited activity to seawatching from Mudeford Quay. It was all a bit of a disappointment, however, with over three hours producing just: 10 Common Scoter, a second-winter Mediterranean Gull and 15 Gannet; plus an arriving Shelduck and three, likewise Wigeon. 

October 25th

The first Brent Goose family of the season David Faulkner

On a blustery day, a Yellow-browed Warbler was by HHC during the morning, when a Long-tailed Duck passed east close to Mudeford Quay and a Little Gull was seen from the Beach Huts. Also seen from the huts, a reasonable movement of auks thought to be mainly Guillemot from those close enough to be identified with over 150 birds moving west. Despite the conditions, there were frequent charms of Goldfinch passing over the end of Hengistbury. 

October 24th

The area was given a good looking-over before the rain set in and there were certainly new birds about. A Water Pipit and a family party of Brent Goose with five young were at Stanpit; a Short-eared Owl, a Ring Ouzel and a calling Siberian Chiffchaff were on Hengistbury; a female-type Black Redstart was by the Beach House Caf on the Sandspit; and a reckoned influx of Robin was noted on Wick, where at least 50 birds were encountered, as well as a Redwing. In contrast, there seemed to have been a clear-out of Chiffchaff just six noted today but there were 2 Firecrest and 5 Goldcrest about. The only other news involves a commic Tern at Stanpit, where 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 35 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Shoveler were also logged. 

October 23rd

Water Rail David Faulkner
Fox Robert Gray

Other than a single Sandwich Tern off the sandspit and 3 Kingfisher at Stanpit, there is no news for the day. 

October 22nd

Wren Clinton Whale
Kingfisher Jackie Smith
...and Hengistbury sunrise Clinton Whale

There is a fair bit to mention today the highlights being: a Short-eared Owl that hunted Wick Fields mid-morning; a Ring Ouzel in an Argyle Road garden; 2 Marsh Harrier an adult male, a younger male and a juvenile, all at Stanpit; and 3 Jack Snipe around Crouch Hill. Meanwhile, the slightly-more-routine fare included: 2 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch on Wick; 3 Grey Plover, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit and 65 Black-tailed Godwit around Stanpit Bight; and the Emperor Goose with the canadas and greylags. Finally, the Kingfisher news birds seen in Parky Meade Rail and the north-west corner of Stanpit Bight. 

October 21st

Pochard Jackie Smith
Shoveler Jackie Smith
Stonechat Clinton Whale

Pochard is nowadays a very scarce bird in the area, so a flock of six five of them adult drakes resting in Stanpit Bight this evening was quite a surprise. Other wildfowl of interest there, included: a pair of Shoveler and just over 50 Brent Goose, of which all were adults. Meanwhile, the high tide made wader counting difficult, but there were 2 Avocet, which had arrived during the morning, a few Bar-tailed Godwit and around 40 Black-tailed Godwit. Also 3 Kingfisher about the marsh. 

October 20th

Sparrowhawk Scott Usher

There was a late Willow Warbler on Wick this morning, along with 10 Chiffchaff. At Stanpit, there were 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Kingfisher and the Emperor Goose with the ever-increasing, other trash geese.

October 19th

The hoped-for finch movement was rather disappointing given the conditions a moderate south-westerly wind and clear skies. In fact, it was probably Jackdaw that were there most numerous travelling passerine a total of 160 or so west, in two flocks. Of the smaller birds, the best were a Brambling, 2 Siskin, 11 Skylark, 100 Linnet, around 150 Goldfinch, a Grey Wagtail, 20 alba Wagtail, 4 House Martin and 9 Swallow, all but the latter east. Of those settled, a couple of Firecrest in the Wood were the pick, with other figures from across Hengistbury and Wick coming to: 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 9 Goldcrest and a further Grey Wagtail. Rounding off the post: a Sanderling and 23 Ringed Plover were on the sandspit; 3 Mediterranean Gull passed at sea; and 2 Bullfinch, 2 Buzzard and a Kingfisher were on Wick.

October 18th

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit Clinton Whale

There were lots of birds out at sea today mainly young, large gulls, but also up to 100 Gannet. The stand-out moment, however, was when a Long-tailed Duck passed close to the Beach Huts as it travelled west, as did two redhead Red-breasted Merganser and 7 Mediterranean Gull; plus a Razorbill and five unidentified auks. At least one Lapland Bunting lingered around Holloways Dock, but before that individual was nailed a couple of suspects had passed over the huts. Otherwise,it was just small numbers of Goldfinch, Linnet, Siskin, alba Wagtail, Swallow and House Martin attempting to move east.

October 17th

Grey Heron
Grey Heron Clinton Whale

There were concurrent seawatches this morning from Mudeford Quay and the Beach Huts. The former site saw a medium-sized grebe spp., 14 Mediterranean Gull, 16 Common Gull, 25 Common Scoter and 64 Brent Goose, all pass west; while the latter recorded a Roseate Tern a juvenile transitioning to first-winter a juvenile Pomarine Skua and a Common Tern. The other news concerns a Ring Ouzel moving north-west over Hengistbury and 170 Goldfinch doing something or other.

October 16th

Bearded Tit have not been encountered in the area for quite some time, so a male on Wick Hams that flew off towards Roebury Lane is a really nice record. Also in that area during the morning: a Ring Ouzel west, likewise a Redwing and twenty or so Song Thrush. Mediterranean Gull were also moving west a total of thirteen logged plus a bird of unspecified, non-adult age at Stanpit. Meanwhile, a total of 3 Firecrest was reached, but just 4 Goldcrest its not looking like a vintage year for the latter. Ruff were also about one flew west with 3 Black-tailed Godwit this morning while two were in Stanpit Bight at dusk. Rounding up, Kingfisher were again seen on both sides of the area.

October 15th

Teal Ray Scott

At last, the rain stopped! This morning, there were3 Blackcap and 10 Chiffchaff on Wick, plus a Peregrine over and a Kingfisher. Later in the day, a Common Sandpiper, a Grey Plover, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Snipe were at Stanpit, where at least 100 Goldfinch were flocking; and a further two and one of Kingfisher and Peregrine respectively were returned.

October 14th

Given the fact it again rained for the entire daylight period, it is unsurprising there is little to report. This morning, Wick produced a 11 Chiffchaff and 7 Skylark, the latter east; while the sandspit contributed 58 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin. This evening, a redhead Red-breasted Merganser flew around the Run.

October  13th

Wheatear Clinton Whale

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again heard to call today, while a Firecrest was in the Wood, as was a Brambling with a mixture of commoner finches, and a single Wheatear was on the Barn Field. Early in the day, a Red-throated Diver passed over Wick Fields; when a Grey Phalarope, a couple of Great Skua and a Little Stint were turned in from Mudeford Quay, but with no further details. Inside the harbour, the Spotted Redshank was about, along with: a Greenshank, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit and 22 Dunlin; although the counts were made during a difficult high tide. Other than that, its just 3 Mediterranean Gull and a Common Gull to mention.

October 12th

Little Stint
Little Stint Scott Usher
Grey Plover
Grey Plover Scott Usher

There was probably not a minute of the day when rain wasnt falling, in varying degrees of intensity. The complete lack of wind throughout, however, meant that conditions were perhaps not as uncomfortable as they might have been. This morning a Yellow-browed Warbler called three times in the same area as the bird seen on Thursday, while a Reed Warbler was by the Wooden Bridge and at least 15 Chiffchaff were along the riverside path. The afternoon at Stanpit was topped by an Osprey over, and a Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper amongst the waders; which also included a Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit and 18 Black-tailed Godwit. 

October 11th

Turnstone Clinton Whale

During a 3-hour watch this morning, the sea produced: a total of 3 Great Skua a couple that appeared to enter the harbour over the Beach Huts and one harrying a commic tern out in Christchurch Bay, 9 Kittiwake seven of them adults, 95 Gannet, 51 Sandwich Tern, a Meditteranean Gull, 5 Common Gull, 20 Common Scoter, 3 Razorbill and 29 unidentifiable auks; as well as around 40 Swallow moving over the waves. Later on in the day, Mudeford Quay turned up: a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, a distant skua that was probably an arctic but will go down as a spp., a young Kittiwake, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 40 Gannet which seemed to be lingering and 13 Common Scoter all west, other than a settled drake. The wader news is pretty much all from Stanpit, where the Curlew Sandpiper was still present, along with 3 Greenshank, 2 Knot, a Sanderling, 2 Grey Plover, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin; with a Knot and 12 Turnstone about the sandspit. Meanwhile, 3 Common Gull were inside the harbour and Kingfisher were seen in two locations. 

October 10th

An interesting-looking Jackdaw Olly Frampton
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail Ian Wigley
Red-veined Darter
Female Red-veined Darter - a particularly good record for the area Olly Frampton

The post will be split by area today. Firstly, Hengistbury and Wick, where a Yellow-browed Warbler was heard and then seen on the riverside path midway between the Viewing Platform and the HHC; also a Treecreeper in that spot. In the Wood, there was a total of 5 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest and 4 Coal Tit, while 34 Chiffchaff were spread about, but mainly on Wick. Overhead movement was modest, involving just 5 Siskin and 27 Goldfinch. At Stanpit, there was a very good candidate for Nordic Jackdaw monedula and further work is underway; and a Curlew Sandpiper was in Stanpit Bight. Other waders included: a Greenshank, a Grey Plover, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and 10 Dunlin; a Wheatear, a Grey Wagtail, 30 Meadow Pipit and 5 Stonechat were on Crouch Hill; and a Kingfisher was returned. Now, Mudeford Quay, where a Merlin was attracted by a steady passage of Meadow Pipit; and a Brambling and 6 Skylark headed west. Finally, a Red-veined Darter in the reedbed by the HHC is of massive odonata interest for the group.

October 9th

During a two-hour watch at Mudeford Quay from 8:00 onwards; a large feeding-flock of mainly non-adult Herring Gull, that drifted slowly west, contained: a first-winter Little Gull, 6 Kittiwake, 12 Common Tern, 25 Sandwich Tern and over 80 Gannet. Meanwhile, a total of 15 Common Scoter and 12 auks headed towards the Solent.

October 8th

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover Clinton Whale

On a fine morning, a Great White Egret arrived from the west and circled the area, possibly dropping in, but wasnt seen again. Earlier, a first-winter Ring Ouzel came off the Batters and left to the north-west with three other thrushes. A couple of Firecrest were again by the Nursery, while 34 Chiffchaff and 10 Blackcap were spread over Wick and Hengistbury. A Buzzard was in the Nursery, where one spent last winter, and 2 Kingfisher were around Barn Bight.

October 7th

A rather feisty-looking Sanderling Clinton Whale
Mediterranean Gull Mediterranean Gull
Adult Mediterranean Gull Jackie Smith
and Dunlin transitioning from juvenile to first-winter plumage Clinton Whale

Over the last couple of years or so, Little Gull has become quite a scarce bird in the area; so a first-winter resting with Sandwich Tern at Stanpit this morning was very welcome. Meanwhile, a couple of Mediterranean Gull loafed on the lawn at Mudeford Quay. There was a similar selection of waders inside the harbour including 2 Greenshank, 4 Knot, 6 Sanderling, a Whimbrel and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit while a couple of Grey Plover, a Sanderling, 65 Ringed Plover and 48 Dunlin roosted on the sandspit, mostly on groyne S9. A few Chiffchaff were dotted about and 2 Firecrest put on a good show behind the Nursery, where they seemed to be displaying to each other; but the only other settled passerine news involves 4 Wheatear on Stanpit and a Bullfinch on the Batters. The drizzle put paid to any real movement, but odd Swallow and Meadow Pipit moved through, as did a single charm of around 25 Goldfinch. A skein of 20 Brent Goose passed west at sea, with other wildfowl interest coming from 3 Pintail and a pair of Gadwall.

October 6th

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel - Jackie Smith

Snipe and Teal
Snipe and Teal - Clinton Whale

Birds of the day were Great White Egret on North Marsh this morning and a Ring Ouzel on Crouch Hill this afternoon. The waders at Stanpit included a Greenshank, 4 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Ringed Plover and 50 Dunlin. On Hengistbury, a Spotted Flycatcher was a good record for the date, while up to 40 Chiffchaff were spread across the recording area and Stanpit held a couple of Yellow Wagtail, over fifty grounded Meadow Pipit and 3 Wheatear. The settled Brent Goose, all adults, were around the thirty mark.

October 5th

Common Scoter Jackie Smith

The next week or so is when one might expect the largest overhead movements, particularly finches, of the season. Not this morning, however, when fog blanketed the area. Towards midday, when things cleared a little, there was some hint of migration; namely 50 Siskin in five flocks, 250 Swallow and 25 House Martin, all west, as well as 12 Snipe those in wisps of three and nine. Stanpit, meanwhile, fared a little better with a Ring Ouzel and 3 Redwing east. On the converse, grounded Chiffchaff were plentiful a minimum of sixty across Wick and Hengistbury along with 2 Firecrest, 10 Goldcrest, 8 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear and 22 Stonechat. Over on Stanpit, Crouch Hill head a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 8 Stonechat, 55 Meadow Pipit and 40 Linnet. Also seen on the marsh, a couple of Spoonbill, a Greenshank, a Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Common Gull and 2 Mediterranean Gull an adult and a first-winter. Brent Goose seemed to be arriving, at least sixty seen coming in from the Solent; ditto non-adult Mediterranean Gull a total of five, comprising two second-winters and three first-winters logged. A young Marsh Harrier moved over Wick Fields, a Common Sandpiper was in Barn Bight and a lone Common Scoter was close offshore. 

October 4th

Grey Wagtail Alan Crockard
Grey Plover Clinton Whale
Common Gull Scott Usher

A Curlew Sandpiper and what is now presumably the Spotted Redshank were at Stanpit, as were: a Greenshank, 5 Grey Plover, 6 Sanderling, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Ringed Plover and 60 Dunlin. A 90-minute seawatch from Mudeford Quay came up with 6 Common Gull, a Guillemot, a Common Scoter, 55 Sandwich Tern and 30 Gannet; all west. A further Common Gull was inside the harbour late in the day, as well as a couple of Kingfisher and up to 30 Brent Goose. 

October 3rd

Other than a Sanderling in Holloways Dock, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay. A Great Skua, 4 Common Tern, 8 Mediterranean Gull and at least 15 Gannet were logged, presumably going west; while an Arctic Tern of unreported age flew out of the harbour. Also from there, a total of 45 Brent Goose could be seen inside the harbour. 

October 2nd

Stonechat were very obvious today with at least forty-five reported from across the area; while other passerines included: a Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, a Garden Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 40 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap and an over-flying Siskin. A decent wader variety at Stanpit was headed by: a Golden Plover, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 9 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 45 Ringed Plover and 40 Dunlin; with 20 Turnstone on the sandspit finishing this section of the post. A getting-late Hobby also visited the marsh, as did a male Peregrine and 5 Buzzard. Tern numbers are dwindling, but an Arctic Tern was on site, as was a juvenile Common Tern and 35 Sandwich Tern. Three redhead Goosander fished in the shallow waters of Stanpit Bight, where a female-type Shoveler, 13 Brent Goose, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Gull an adult and a first-winter and a Kingfisher were logged. 

October 1st

Grey Phalarope Jackie Smith
Spoonbill Ian Wigley

On another wet day, the Grey Phalarope remained throughout at Stanpit, where 5 Spoonbill put in a brief appearance. The feeding-flock in Christchurch Bay attracted an Arctic Skua this seen from Mudeford Quay, over which a Hobby moved east and a redhead Goosander arrived. Also from there: a Common Tern, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 22 Common Scoter, those west, 10 Gannet and 5 Sandwich Tern. A Redstart on the Barn Field is a nice record for an October date and, at 3:55 this afternoon, an Osprey headed north-east over the area. A pair of Black Swan have now been around for week or so. 

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