Sightings for March 2020

February 29th

Redbreasted Merganser off Fisherman's Bank recently - Jimmy Main
Peregrine Jimmy Main

A Sandwich Tern east past Mudeford Quay this afternoon would seem a good candidate for an early migrant, while an unidentified skua headed in the same direction. In between the showers, which were nowhere near as bad as forecast, Stanpit produced a Ruff, the Spotted Redshank, 16 Pintail and 3 littoralis Rock Pipit. Across the river, a female Bullfinch and 7 Stonechat were on Wick. 

February 28th

It was a quite awful day with heavy rain and a strong wind throughout. Nevertheless, Stanpit received at least one visit and produced: a pale-bellied Brent Goose, a Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Pintail and a couple of Gadwall. The high water levels made waders difficult, but 3 Grey Plover and 80 Dunlin were returned.

February 27th

Chiffchaff Jackie Smith

A Chiffchaff behind the Pod this afternoon, where none have wintered, was potentially an incoming bird from the south for the spring. Nearby, a Water Pipit and ten Rock Pipit, all presumed littoralis, were on the approach to Crouch Hill. The only other news is of a Peregrine over Wick in the morning. 

February 26th

Great Spotted Woodpecker Livi Almond

There were a couple of Firecrest in the Wood this morning, one of them in song, plus the single bird by the Wooden Bridge on Wick; where two male Bullfinch were present. At Stanpit, a total of 12 Stonechat underlines the return of birds to these shores for the breeding season, while two Scandinavian Rock Pipit, both acquiring their breeding plumage, will soon be on their way. Also on the marsh, the Spotted Redshank. 

February 25th

A total of 3 Firecrest was in the Wood today, while an Avocet was nearby on the Salt Hurns before being moved on by a Black-headed Gull towards Stanpit. Before the weather turned colder later in the day, a couple of Skylark were in song over the Barn Field. 

February 24th

A strong, south-westerly blew up overnight and meant there were some things to see from Mudeford Quay this morning. The best was an unidentified skua on the sea that was seen a couple of times, but not well enough to clinch the identification. Also on the watch, 3 Fulmar, 2 Gannet and a Red-breasted Merganser, all at sea, while a couple of Purple Sandpiper were on the sandspit. 

February 23rd

Bullfinch Robert Gray

Other than the photographed Bullfinch, the news is from Mudeford Quay; where a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was logged, as well as a Red-breasted Merganser, a Tufted Duck and 3 Great Crested Grebe the latter three species all inside the harbour.  

February 22nd

Little Egret David Faulkner

The day - a mixture of sun and showers, but with the constant of a cruel, south-westerly wind - saw: a Water Pipit on Central Marsh, just beyond the Bailey Bridge, and the Spotted Redshank showing well on North Marsh; while a concentration of 7 Stonechat at the southern end of the Bobolink Fields could represent a spring arrival. To finish, once again, 2 Bullfinch were on Wick Fields. 

February 21st

The day's only news is of at least 5 Purple Sandpiper, again on groyne S9. 

February 20th

Treecreeper Ian Wigley

Purple Sandpiper returned to the area today five birds on the sandspit groyne S9 along with 75 roosting Dunlin there. Elsewhere, a Treecreeper was immediately behind the Pod at Stanpit. 

February 19th

A sign of the impending spring was 3 Cettis Warbler in song around Wick Meadows this morning; when a pair of Bullfinch was by the Viewing Platform, an area that now presents an excellent chance of connecting with the seldom-heard song of the species. Off Mudeford Quay, there were three settled Shag and a Pintail passed west, while 25 Wigeon came in-off. Off mammal interest, the Grey Seal was again in the Run. 

February 18th

The only news from a reasonable day of weather, save for a chilly south-westerly wind, is of 2 Common Scoter and a Shag off Hengistbury around lunchtime. 

February 17th

Pied Wagtail David Faulkner

The only news is of a Redwing by the HHC and 3 Bullfinch on Wick one male and two females by the Viewing Platform. 

February 16th

Storm Dennis brought winds and persistent, heavy rain today.  The only news concerns the Spotted Redshank, which was on East Marsh at Stanpit. 

February 15th

A little bit of news crept in ahead of the rain. A couple of Kittiwake sheared west past Mudeford Quay this morning, when a Grey Wagtail and 3 Bullfinch were on Wick. 

February 14th

The Garganey that was at Stanpit earlier in the week David Faulkner
Jay David Faulkner

All the news comes from Stanpit, where the best was an adult Yellow-legged Gull on South Marsh and, now, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser. There was a fine count of Pintail 38 birds as well as 3 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 8 Shelduck. Of eight presumed Scandinavian Rock Pipit on Grimmery Bank, one was starting to show a hint of breeding plumage.  

February 13th

Unfortunately, no reports have been received for today. 

February 12th

Blackheaded Gull Roger Tidball

This morning, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was seen from Fishermans Bank, as were: 22 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 165 Brent Goose and 4 Great Crested Grebe. Later on, the redhead Red-breasted Merganser was inside the harbour and a couple of Mediterranean Gull were about. 

February 11th

Firecrest Jackie Smith
Ringed Plover Clinton Whale
Longtailed Tit - Jackie Smith

The best for today was a drake Garganey, at least, on Stanpit presumably the second-calendar-year bird that has spent the winter in the Avon Valley as well as a Firecrest and Mistle Thrush on Wick. Otherwise, its just a Bullfinch and Kingfisher, again on Wick, to mention. 

February 10th

An estimated 200 gulls preroosted in the harbour this evening - Clinton Whale
...and this morning's view of Stanpit from the top of Hengistbury Clinton Whale

There are few reports from another blustery  day. A party of 7 Purple Sandpiper was on the sandspit this morning, on groyne S7, while around 100 Dunlin were nearby. A two-hour look at the sea produced nothing, but a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour. 

February 9th

Storm Ciara hit with a vengeance, but the area seems to have come through largely unscathed. This morning, a flock of 90 Black-tailed Godwit were seen off Whitepits as the battled vainly against the wind over Poole Bay. Reports from just the other side of Bournemouth of birds doing the same suggests a departure from perhaps the Pennington complex to Poole Harbour? In addition, an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen from Mudeford Quay and a Peregrine was again on the Priory Tower. This afternoon, a Great Northern Diver was on the sea just off the Beach Huts, while 4 Mediterranean Gull headed towards the Solent and a first-winter Common Gull travelled in the opposite direction. The final entry for the post is a Great Crested Grebe in Barn Bight. 

February 8th

Spotted Redshank Jimmy Main
Great Spotted Woodpecker Jackie Smith

Other than a Peregrine which hunted Stanpit, all the news is from the monthly WeBS count that was conducted a day early in anticipation of Storm Ciara. Starting with the waders, the Spotted Redshank was on North Marsh, while 12 Snipe and 170 Dunlin were also logged. Notable by their absence, however, were both the expected plovers and godwit. Pintail put in a good number of 16 birds and 13 Shelduck show these are coming back after their traditional mid-winter paucity. Also making the book, a Tufted Duck, 81 Teal, 672 Wigeon and a Great Crested Grebe. Meanwhile, a maximum of 4 Kingfisher was reckoned two either side of the harbour. 

February 7th

The only news for the day is of 5 Bullfinch on Wick, around the Viewing Platform. 

February 6th

Chaffinch Robert Gray

It was a lovely, crisp day, when a Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit, along with: the Spotted Redshank, 12 Grey Plover, a Tufted Duck, 14 Pintail, 4 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and 9 Shelduck. Meanwhile, Wick again produced Bullfinch a once-scare species in the area with a pair by the Wooden Bridge.  

February 5th

Presumed sinensis, 'Continental' Cormorant, looking just about as good as a cormorant can Jackie Smith 

On a fine day, singles of Firecrest were in the Wood and by the Wooden Bridge on Wick. Also on Wick, an unseasonable Siskin and the now-obligatory Bullfinch three today, one of them a male. The last couple of days have seen Great Spotted Woodpecker gathering together ahead of their season, the maximum being four in the Wood; while around 250 dabbling duck almost all Wigeon, but a few Pintail and Teal spent most of the daylight hours on the sea off Mudeford Quay, presumably displaced by shooting just inland. In addition, a single Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Common Scoter were returned from the quay. Rounding up, a Kingfisher was on Wick Hams. 

February 4th

Despite some reasonable weather, there are no reports for today.

February 3rd

Yesterdays comments about attention to detail seem to have prompted some very-welcome counts of sometimes, taken-for-granted species. At Stanpit, 23 Lesser Black-backed Gull, all adults, would, anecdotally-speaking, seem to be a good number for the area; while the same could be said of 37 Collared Dove close to the Wooden Bridge. Now, back to the more-expected species to be posted: a couple of Firecrest and 10 Redwing were in the Wood; a Fulmar, a Guillemot, an auk spp. and 8 Wigeon travelled west at sea; and a Common Scoter and 8 Shag were settled offshore. Meanwhile, the effect of tide on the visibility of Snipe is underlined by just eight being seen on a fairly dry Salt Hurns this morning. Over on Stanpit, the Spotted Redshank, 12 Grey Plover and 110 Dunlin were logged from Fishermans Bank, as were 12 Pintail and 3 Gadwall. Finishing up, Kingfisher were encountered on Wick Hams and in Holloways Dock. 

February 2nd

Little Grebe Scott Usher

All the days news comes from Stanpit, where there was some commendable attention to detail. The pre-roost of gulls, before they head out to the sea off Steamer Point, was counted as 5 Mediterranean Gill, 710 Black-headed Gull and 240 Herring Gull. As has long been the suspicion, but not quite the dedication, author included, there has to be something better in there from time to time. The Spotted Redshank was again present, as were 55 Dunlin and 7 Turnstone; while the wildfowl involved: 14 Pintail, 470 Wigeon, 46 Teal, 132 Brent Goose and 14 Canada Goose. Another decent count was 17 Pied Wagtail on Crouch Hill, while a single Great Crested Grebe was in the harbour and a Peregrine hunted. 

February 1st

Reed Bunting Jimmy Main
Snipe Alan Crockard

The Bullfinch hot-spot, i.e. the Viewing Platform on Wick, continues to deliver seven birds there this morning, four of them males; also a couple of Goldcrest nearby. Meanwhile, Mudeford Quay produced: a Red-throated Diver, 2 diver spp. and a single Common Scoter, all west. 

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