Sightings for February 2020

January 31st

The best from an awful day of weather a heavy, wind-blasted drizzle was a Firecrest in the Wood, over 100 Snipe of the Salt Hurns, around 150 Black-tailed Godwit which left to the west and a Peregrine again on the Priory tower.

January 30th

The Spotted Redshank was again on Stanpit this afternnon together with 134 Brent Geese, 120 Dunlin, 5 Mediterranean Gull, a drake Shoveler and a single Turnstone.  The only other report is of 2 Bullfinch on Wick.

January 29th

Snipe on the Salt Hurns Leo Pyke

In complete contrast to yesterday it was a glorious spring like day when the temperature just about reached double figures.  A count of 230 Brent Geese on Stanpit today is easily the highest of the winter; also counted on that side of the harbour were 120 Dunlin, 8 Pintail, 4 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover and the Spotted Redshank.  At Hengistbury, despite much lower water levels, well over one hundred Snipe were still on the Salt Hurns.  A sea watch from the beach huts was fairly unrewarding with just 7 Common Gull, 6 Pintail, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Wigeon and 1 Common Scoter, all west, plus 2 Sanderling east.  A Firecrest and 12 Redwing were in the wood, a Kingfisher and 2 Bullfinch were on Wick and the Grey Wagtail was again on Mudeford Quay while 12 Skylark and 2 Raven were at Stanpit.

January 28th

Stonechat Clinton Whale

Lots of sunshine this morning but the keen westerly wind made it feel very cold.  A count of 148 Snipe on the Salt Hurns is unprecedented, certainly in modern times, and must be a twenty-first century harbour record for this species.  A Firecrest and 11 Redwing were in the wood at Hengistbury, a pair of Bullfinch was on Wick and 2 Kingfisher were seen.  A couple of Great Crested Grebe were on the sea while 7 Grey Plover and 6 Pintail were at Stanpit.

January 27th

Dunlin on the sandspit Clinton Whale

After a downpour around dawn the harbour was visited before the onset of further rain. From Fishermans Bank the Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 5 Grey Plover and 6 Pintail were seen plus a couple of Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier. The strengthening wind prompted a one hour watch from Mudeford Quay but this yielded just a Black-throated Diver and a Guillemot, both west, also a Grey Wagtail was by the culvert at the entrance to the quay. The only reports from the other side of the harbour were of a Firecrest near the wooden bridge on Wick and of 52 Dunlin on the sandspit.

January 26th

Peregrine on the Priory Clinton Whale

After 11:00 this morning, the day was a complete wash-out. Beforehand, however, there was a good mix of reports. A Black-throated Diver and three unidentified divers headed towards the Solent off Mudeford Quay, from where 2 Common Scoter were logged travelling west, and a Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Wigeon were seen to arrive. Meanwhile, the Spotted Redshank and a Marsh Harrier were at Stanpit, as were 2 Grey Plover, 15 Pintail, 19 Shoveler and 3 Gadwall so it does seem wildfowl were on the move; plus 9 Rock Pipit and 7 Skylark about the marsh. A Peregine on the Priory was noted to be carrying a blue colour-ring. 

January 25th

Firecrest Jimmy Main
Bullfinch Jimmy Main

It was another murky day, but this time with an easterly wind that brought an uncomfortable chill with it. A couple of Firecrest enjoyed the shelter of the Wood, by the Double Bends; while 4 Bullfinch seemingly two pairs were on Wick Fields, the area around the Viewing Platform being particularly productive for these of late. The Red-breasted Merganser was again seen from Fishermans Bank, as were: a Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 6 Pintail, 3 Shoveler and 11 Greylag Goose seven of the latter carrying metal rings, so presumed to be from the Poole-based project. Early on, a Marsh Harrier hunted at Stanpit, at least 14 Snipe were on the Salt Hurns and a Kingfisher was about Wick Hams for much of the morning. 

Today's Hengistbury Head Big Bird Watch was a great success. We had around 35 people join us, thank you, and a number of those visited the feeders in the garden of the Visitor Center afterwards. Thanks to the staff there being so accommodating. The list of birds seen is below and has been provided by Angie Edwards - thanks Angie! Thirty-nine different species were recorded, not bad for a 2-hour walk in January.

Mute Swan, Stonechat, Little Egret, Heron, Wigeon, Mallard, Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Firecrest,  Goldcrest, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Cormorant, House Sparrow, Snipe,  Redshank, Carrion Crow, Starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Magpie, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Little Grebe, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Kingfisher, Robin, Pheasant, Song Thrush, Red-throated Diver, Cettis Warbler, Green Woodpecker and Jay.

January 24th

Cetti's Warbler Jimmy Main
Song Thrush Clinton Whale

It was another dampish, cloudy day that never saw the sun. All the reports are from Stanpit, where: the Spotted Redshank, 8 Grey Plover, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Ringed Plover and 145 Dunlin were the best of the waders; while the wildfowl were headed by the Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Pintail. 

January 23rd

A Merlin was seen from Fishermans Bank this morning, along with: the Red-breasted Merganser, the Tufted Duck, 10 Pintail, 2 Gadwall and a couple of Grey Plover. Around the same time, a pair of Bullfinch were on Wick. Later in the day, 2 Red-throated Diver were returned from Mudeford Quay and the Grey Seal was again in the Run. 

January 22nd

Tufted Duck and Mallard Jackie Smith

It was a chillingly, damp day with the best being a Mistle Thrush on Wick this morning and a female-type Red-breasted Merganser from Mudeford Quay this evening; along with a Bar-tailed Godwit on the inner harbour shore there. In between times, Fishermans Bank yielded: the Spotted Redshank, 9 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover and 145 Dunlin, as well as 2 Pintail, 12 Shoveler and 5 Great Crested Grebe; while a drake Tufted Duck cohorted with Mallard and a Water Rail took a stroll along Roebury Lane. 

January 21st

Goldcrest Alan Crockard
Lapwing on the Barn Field Clinton Whale

A party of 19 Lapwing on the Barn Field was no doubt the result of the on-going cold weather, while an Avocet at Stanpit was also new-in. The 2 Firecrest were again by the Double Bends and 3 Bullfinch were close to the Viewing Platform on Wick. Moving back to the marsh, the totals from there included: the Spotted Redshank, 4 Grey Plover, 38 Ringed Plover, 170 Dunlin, a Tufted Duck, 2 Pintail, 5 Gadwall, around 70 Brent Goose and 4 Common Gull. Snipe were conspicuous the best being 39 birds on the Salt Hurns, but also 13 at Stanpit as many as 7 Great Crested Grebe could have been inside the harbour and a Shag was just off the Long Groyne. Finally, and its the last time they will get a mention, the pair of Black Swan has returned from wherever imported cage-birds spend the rest of their time. 

January 20th

Skylark Clinton Whale

A Common Sandpiper and a Ruff, both seen from Fishermans Bank this morning, would seem to be newly-arrived birds as a result of the on-going, cold weather. Also logged from that spot: 2 Grey Plover, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Ringed Plover, 145 Dunlin, a Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler and 8 Shelduck. Around the same time, a further 6 Shelduck passed south over Wick Fields, where there were today 4 Bullfinch; while a couple of Firecrest were by the Double Bends and 2 Common Scoter were off the end of Hengistbury. This evening, the calm waters off Mudeford Quay afforded views of an Eider, 8 Great Crested Grebe and 4 Shag.  

January 19th

After another clear night, there was hardly a cloud in the sky throughout today; while little or no wind made it a wonderful time to be out. The drake Long-tailed Duck remains in the harbour, along with a redhead Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Great Crested Grebe; with other waterfowl highlights being 4 Pintail and Shoveler. A Treecreeper was along Roebury Lane and 5 Bullfinch were nearby around the Viewing Platform. Meanwhile, further passerine interest came from 14 Skylark on South Marsh and 12 Rock Pipit five of them looking good for littoralis were spread across Stanpit. A cursory look at the waders saw 3 Grey Plover, around 10 Ringed Plover and up to 80 Dunlin. The days Kingfisher tally was likely 2 birds. 

January 18th

Redwing Jackie Smith
...and a chilly, early Stanpit Jackie Smith

After more than a couple of weeks of mild weather, clear skies brought ice and frost to the area this morning; and a few Redwing in the North Scrubs were no doubt there after having being displaced from somewhere even colder. In contrast, however, the sun encouraged at least five male Song Thrush into voice on Wick, where there was also a Goldcrest and two female Bullfinch. 

January 17th

Curlew Robert Gray

There was an uncharacteristically cold, westerly wind today, but the shelter of the Beach Huts saw: 2 Red-throated Diver and a Guillemot pass east; a Mediterranean Gill and 2 Common Gull travel west; plus 11 Common Scoter and 16 Shag on the water. Meanwhile, from Mudeford Quay, a Great Northern Diver was seen to come in from the west and then settle. Elsewhere, a Firecrest was in the Wood and 2 Great Crested Grebe were in Barn Bight.  

January 16th

After a promising start, the weather once again descended into the seemingly, now-expected wind and rain. As a consequence, all the news comes from Mudeford Quay and involves: a Merlin; a Great Northern Diver, 3 Fulmar and 5 Common Scoter west; and 3 Guillemot east. The Grey Seal was again in the Run and was captured on video...

Tides January 17th H01:55 | H05:25 | L09:05 | H14:15 | H17:40 | L21:30

January 15th

Spotted Redshank Jackie Smith

There are thin pickings for the day. The Spotted Redshank was on a very flooded Stanpit, while a Great Crested Grebe and a Kingfisher were in Barn Bight. 

January 14th

Not surprisingly, given the constant wind and rain, there is nothing to report for today. 

January 13th

During a day of gathering wind, ahead of Storm Brendan, a Little Gull came into the harbour through the Run, while a Kittiwake and a Fulmar moved west past Mudeford Quay. Otherwise, the only remaining bird news is of a pair of Bullfinch on Wick. Of mammal interest, the Grey Seal was again seen from Mudeford Quay.

January 12th

Once again, the Long-tailed Duck was inside the harbour perhaps best viewed from Fishermans Bank and a Marsh Harrier was at Stanpit. Also there, 3 Grey Plover, 12 Black-tailed Godwit and 140 Dunlin, while a Ringed Plover was on the sandspit and 32 Snipe were on the Salt Hurns. 

January 11th

All the news comes from Mudeford Quay. During the morning, the Long-tailed Duck was inside the harbour, while 3 Red-throated Diver, 18 auks, 18 Common Gull, a Grey Plover and 6 Wigeon passed at sea; all west, save for two of the divers. During the course of an hour in the afternoon, 55 Gannet were seen moving west. 

January 10th

On a fine and clear day, the Long-tailed Duck was again inside the harbour; as was a Pochard a present-day scarcity. Meanwhile, Stanpit hosted: 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Ringed Plover and 164 Dunlin. Also on the marsh, a Water Pipit and fifteen reckoned Scandinavian Rock Pipit. In addition to a female-type Marsh Harrier hunting Spellers Point, the clement conditions prompted 3 Buzzard to enter recording-area airspace. To round things up: a Great Crested Grebe was inside the harbour; Stanpit held 7 Pintail and 2 Shoveler, as well as 72 Brent Goose, 3 Shelduck, 2 Greylag Goose, 124 Canada Goose and 3 Common Gull; 7 Skylark fed on East Marsh; and a Bullfinch was on Wick.

January 9th

The best report of the day is of a minimum of 86 Snipe on the Salt Hurns a tremendous figure in modern-day terms. Meanwhile, a Jack Snipe was flushed from the side of the boardwalk on Priory Marsh. Moving back to Hengistbury, where a Firecrest and 8 Redwing were in the Wood, and from where a male Marsh Harrier was watched quartering Stanpit. A couple of Golden Plover arrived over Mudeford Quay, a Sandwich Tern and 3 Mediterranean Gull were off there, and the Long-tailed Duck was harbour-side. From the Beach Huts, 3 Common Scoter and a Great Crested Grebe could be picked out on the sea, while 2 Pintail and 75 Brent Goose were at Stanpit. 

January 8th

Song Thrush Robert Gray

Another extraordinarily mild day saw singles of Firecrest and Treecreeper in the North Scrubs the latter locally more significant than the former as well as a couple of Goldcrest. Also at Stanpit, a Water Pipit and two suspected littoralis Rock Pipit; as well as: the Spotted Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Turnstone, 3 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck and fifteen juvenile Brent Goose amongst an unreturned total of adults. Once more, the Long-tailed Duck could be seen from Fishermans Bank, while Red-throated Diver and 12 Common Scoter were logged from Mudeford Quay. Of mammal interest, a Grey Seal was again in the Run. 

January 7th

All the news from a day that was dominated by drizzle and low cloud is from Stanpit. The Spotted Redshank was present, along with 3 Grey Plover and 65 Dunlin; pipit-wise, there was a Water Pipit, two presumed Scandinavian Rock Pipit and four more conventional birds; and the best of the rest was 4 Pintail, 8 Common Gull and 6 Skylark. 

January 6th

The Long-tailed Duck was inside the harbour, off the Black House; while a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight. A Sandwich Tern was returned from Mudeford Quay, from where a flock of Wigeon 60 birds today could again be seen on the water. Off mammal interest, a Grey Seal was in the Run. 

January 5th

Great Crested Grebe Alan Hayden

On another very mild day, the Long-tailed Duck remained in the harbour; being seen from various locations, including Mudeford Quay, Crouch Hill and a boat. From the seaward side of the key, around 10 Common Scoter, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 120 Wigeon and 5 Shag were settled on the water; while a couple of Razorbill passed east, a Mediterranean Gull was returned, and two each of Grey Wagtail and Peregrine went over. A further Grey Wagtail was along Fishermans Bank, a Great Crested Grebe and 3 Grey Plover were also seen from there, and a female Bullfinch was on Wick Fields. 

January 4th

Dunlin Scott Usher

There is a little more to report on today. A Firecrest was on Wick, while 7 Redwing were in the Wood. A brief seawatch from the Beach Huts produced: a Red-throated Diver and 2 Gannet west, a Great Crested Grebe and 8 Pintail east, plus 12 Common Scoter and 5 Shag settled on the water. It was refreshing to hear of a Stanpit count of 120 Brent Goose that must be the most for some time; with 2 Grey Plover, 28 Ringed Plover, 110 Dunlin and a Kingfisher also about the marsh. Rounding up, a Peregrine passed over Wick Hams.

January 3rd

Jay Robert Gray
Goldcrest Jackie Smith

Other than the photographed birds, plus a Kingfisher or two, there are no reports for today.

January 2nd

It was another day light on news the Spotted Redshank from Fishermans Bank; 4 Red-throated Diver, three east and one west, past Mudeford Quay; and a pair of Bullfinch on Wick the best of it. A flock of 55 Wigeon arrived in-off-the-sea and a Kingfisher was about Stanpit Creek.

January 1st

A very Happy 2020 to all our Members and Website Visitors.
The Long-tailed Duck was seen from Fishermans Bank early on, when an adult Yellow-legged Gull was inside the harbour off the Christchurch Harbour Hotel. Otherwise, and rather strangely for such a traditionally birded day, a Firecrest on Wick is the only other entry for the post.

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