Sightings for June 2020

May 31st

The only news for the day is of 14 Lapwing and the 2 Brent Goose at Stanpit; but there is an Oystercatcher update of mixed fortunes. All the eggs in the original nest have gone, but the pair are still present and acting territorially so almost certain to be planning another attempt. On the upside, a recently discovered, further nest, also at Stanpit, has three eggs in it!

May 30th

Shelduck Clinton Whale

The morning at Stanpit saw: singles of Ringed Plover and Curlew; the Wigeon, the 2 Brent Goose, a Gadwall and a pair of Shoveler; as well as 2 Mediterranean Gull over. In the early evening, however, there had been a clear arrival of Shoveler there 12 birds, four of them drakes when 4 Mediterranean Gull passed over to the west.  

May 29th

Shelduck Clinton Whale

From Fishermans Bank this morning, a single Grey Plover and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were logged; as well as a Gadwall, the drake Wigeon and 2 Brent Goose. A pair of Mediterranean Gull headed west; while, this afternoon, a trio comprising each of the currently available plumages was over Stanpit car park. The breeding news involves: confirmation there is a second pair of Oystercatcher on East Marsh; the Shelduck were again ten and three; and there were five recently fledged Long-tailed Tit in the North Scrubs. 

May 28th

Brent Goose Clinton Whale

A Purple Heron flew north over the area this morning, being mobbed by gulls and corvids as it did so. Meanwhile, there were some interesting records on the ground, including: a couple of Willow Warbler in song on Hengistbury, as well as a male Wheatear there; plus an adult and juvenile Treecreeper, so once again confirming breeding by this recent coloniser. The Barnacle Goose intrigue of yesterday continued, with a single bird in Stanpit Creek; while the 2 Brent Goose were on the Flats, a pair of Shoveler stopped briefly, the drake Wigeon is edging towards June, and 10+3 Shelducklings were logged. At sea, a total of 14 Common Tern headed east, as did 33 Sandwich Tern, with 15 Common Scoter passing in the opposite direction. This evening, the Oystercatcher pair were still reassuringly in attendance at the nest-site. 

May 27th

Mallard Clinton Whale

The news of the day is of four, just-fledged Firecrest this morning, when a skein of 35 Barnacle Goose flew and a Fulmar flew through the harbour. Meanwhile, the waders at Stanpit included: 3 Grey Plover, 3 Greenshank, 10 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and a Curlew; along with two, still-intact Oystercatcher eggs! Later in the day, a Spotted Flycatcher was on the Long Field and 2 Reed Warbler were singing softly from the Batters - where there are no reeds - so potentially late arrivees. There was a seemingly new brood of Shelduck three just-hatched ducklings to complement the existing which are now thought to number ten and two, and the Cuckoo sang this afternoon. Finishing off, the Wigeon and 2 Brent Goose remain. 

May 26th

On another glorious day, a first-calendar-year Golden Oriole was seen briefly in flight at Wick. Otherwise, all the other news is from Stanpit, where: 2 Bar-tailed Godwit stopped for a short time; 5 Ringed Plover were with a couple of Dunlin; and 2 Redshank were also present. As ever, there was the drake Wigeon, but today just 2 Brent Goose. 

May 25th

The warmest day of the season so far saw a scatter of northbound waders early on, most of which went straight through and comprised: a Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, 19 Ringed Plover of which eleven settled, a Dunlin and 2 Turnstone. Conversely, a Curlew, 2 Redshank and 6 Lapwing were presumed to be on their way back after some early breeding failures. Also during the morning, at Stanpit, a Little Tern briefly, a third-calendar-year Mediterranean Gull, the Wigeon and the 3 Brent Goose. This evening, a couple of Spotted Flycatcher were on the Long Field and the first fledged Blackcap were out, while the summer herd of Mute Swan numbered 254. Today was perhaps the busiest the harbour waters have ever been, so its pleasing to report that at 6:00 tonight the Oystercatcher nest seemed to be intact and had even enjoyed some Bank Holiday DIY the two eggs with freshly placed pebbles around them, so making them even more cryptic. 

May 24th

Sanderling Clinton Whale
Sand Martin Clinton Whale
For the fifth year in succession, this pair of Mute Swan have produced some 'polish' cygnets the paler ones. Look out for them from the paths to Mudeford Quay - Tony Clarke 

The biggest news of the day is the fact there are now three Oystercatcher eggs. Tomorrow will be crucial for them, however, as the light wind will mean more activity on the water and small craft landing close to the nest site. Thanks to BCP Council for some emergency, water-facing signage that has gone up tonight. Once again, the sandspit played host to the few migrant waders still heading north namely, 4 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and a Turnstone; while 4 Dunlin were at Stanpit. At least one Cuckoo remains on site, with singing coming from the Nursery in the morning and from Spellers Point this evening. 

May 23rd

Great Spotted Woodpecker Alan Crockard

As the post is being written, news is coming in of Manx Shearwater moving off Hengistbury more details on those will follow tomorrow. The gusting south-westerly put most people off this morning, but there are still some snippets of interest. A female Goosander was on the River , when at least 15 Sanderling were on the beaches. In the Wood, a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Stunted Oaks, a Firecrest was near by and a male Bullfinch was on the Long Field. To finish, a duck Gadwall was by the Wooden Bridge. 

May 22nd

Sandwich Tern Clinton Whale
Brent Goose Clinton Whale

A strong south-westerly that gathered strength overnight gave rise to some seawatching this morning. From Mudeford Quay, a petrel, which given the date and conditions must surely have been a stormie, was glimpsed on a couple of occasions; while a Red-throated diver moved west. The best from the Beach Huts was a Great Skua west, but also: 4 Fulmar, 4 Kittiwake, around 25 Gannet, a first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 18 Guillemot and six unidentified auks. Meanwhile, fly-past waders included: a Whimbrel, 23 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover and 14 Dunlin east and 19 Black-tailed Godwit north; with a further 12 Sanderling settled. Finishing with the water, a couple of Swift and 8 House Martin were seen coming in over it. Of breeding interest, five cygnets have now hatched from the nest on Stanpit Creek, but of more significance is another active Oystercatcher attempt this time at Stanpit; the first time in over 50 years! After being informed by CHOG, BCP Council have acted quickly and a rope fence is already in place, with signage going up tomorrow. If you are out on the marsh and see people approaching too closely, to an area that is already out of bounds, please do speak to them and let them know what is going on. Please do be courteous, however, as most will be unaware they are causing some disturbance. 

May 21st

Ringed Plover C;inton Whale
A finelooking, male Linnet Leo Pyke
Whimbrel Clinton Whale
Reed Bunting Jackie Smith

The two, late-moving, photographed Ringed Plover were in Holloways Dock this morning, along with 5 Dunlin, while a Whimbrel was on the sandspit. Later in the day, a Spotted Redshank dropped in from ahigh and seemed to come down around the mud adjacent to the Christchurch Harbour Hotel. At Stanpit, there was an eclectic-for-the-date mix of wildfowl the drake Wigeon was joined by a single duck as well as a Pintail of the same gender, and the Brent Goose gaggle swelled to a total of 6 birds. Rounding up, the calls of Mediterranean Gull could be occasionally heard, likewise the song of Cuckoo, and a male Bullfinch was by the Wooden Bridge. 

May 20th

Sedge Warbler Jackie Smith

It was even warmer today, when the morning saw 4 Spotted Flycatcher by the Wooden Bridge on Wick, where a male Bullfinch was also loitering. Once again, the sandspit produced the lions share of the travelling waders; namely: 21 Sanderling, 7 Ringed Plover and a Turnstone, all settled; while a Curlew arrived high from the east, so perhaps may have given up already; also checking-in in similar fashion was a Grey Heron and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull. Meanwhile, inside the harbour, a Whimbrel and 5 Ringed Plover were logged. The recent lifting of some restrictions has enabled a modicum of breeding-bird surveying to get underway. The most notable from the early estimates being: 5 Sedge Warbler in the HHC reedbed alone, which is a significant number nowadays; a potential 43 Sand Martin burrows; and up to 5 Rock Pipit on the head. Elsewhere, the Stanpit Shelduck broods now stand at ten and one. 

May 19th

Greenfinch Roger Tidball

It was another very warm day, which saw 2 Hobby over Wick in the morning, when there were also 3 Common Sandpiper and a Spotted Flycatcher in that area. The only migrant waders were seen very early on 4 Sanderling and a single Ringed Plover on the sandspit. Rounding up, the Cuckoo was again about Stanpit, where the drake Wigeon and the 3 Brent Goose edge towards the summer. 

May 18th

A very early morning visit to Stanpit, commencing just before 5:30, saw small flocks of waders dropping in; but most very briefly. These comprised a Sanderling, 21 Ringed Plover groups of ten, four, three, three and one, 11 Dunlin five, three, two and one, and 3 Turnstone two and one. Later, singles of Common Sandpiper and Bar-tailed Godwit were more settled. Before moving elsewhere, a Spotted Flycatcher, the Cuckoo, the 3 Brent Goose, the drake Wigeon and the pair of Gadwall were also about the marsh. Meanwhile, a further 3 Spotted Flycatcher were on Wick, by the Wooden Bridge, where there was also a male Wheatear and 2 House Martin. Finally, a strange record for the date was a party of 8 Lapwing moving west. 

May 17th

The only news from another day of fantastic weather comes from Stanpit, where, this evening, there were 10 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin; as well as the Cuckoo and the 3 Brent Goose 

May 16th

Spotted Flycatcher Alan Crockard
Green Hairstreak Chris Chapleo

A couple of Spotted Flycatcher were seen this morning one on Wick and one behind the Nursery = while and the Cuckoo again sang. The only wader news is from the sandspit, which hosted 5 Sanderling and a couple of Dunlin; with 2 Common Tern and 12 Common Scoter passing east. A female Bullfinch was by the HHC, at least 3 Bearded Tit were about and the first Sedge Warbler hatch has fledged. 

May 15th

Dartford Warbler immediately adjacent to a public footpath Clinton Whale

Other than a fledge of 4 Dartford Warbler on Hengistbury, all the news is from Stanpit, where: a male Wheatear, so no doubt Atlantic bound, was on Crouch Hill, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Whimbrel were on East Marsh, and the 3 Brent Goose remain.  

May 14th

Green Hairstreak Clinton Whale

The resident Cuckoo was vocal at various times of the day, which saw a good number of Whimbrel at Stanpit twenty-four being the maximum return; as well as 2 Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Dunlin. The now, open-again Mudeford Quay saw a Little Tern and 3 Common Tern offshore, while the 3 Brent Goose and the Gadwall pair were again about the marsh, where 14 shelducklings 11 and 3 remain. 

May 13th

Recently fledged Stonechat Clinton Whale
Whitethroat Roger Tidball

There were a few more waders stopping-off from their travels to the Arctic, or close to, today at Stanpit, including: a Grey Plover, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, at least 6 Whimbrel, a minimum of 7 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and a Turnstone; while the 3 Brent Goose and the drake Wigeon remained. Meanwhile, 3 Sanderling travelled east past Hengistbury, with singles of Siskin and Yellow Wagtail, plus 4 Swift, passing over. A seawatch produced 33 Common Scoter, 25 Gannet and an auk towards the Solent, plus fifty-five milling Sandwich Tern. The concluding miscellany comprises: the singing Cuckoo; an adult Mediterranean Gull on East Marsh; a Tufted Duck circuiting the area; and a male Bullfinch by the Viewing Platform on Wick. 

May 12th

On a day that was far more pleasant than perhaps forecast, a Red Kite passed north over the area just after 8:00 this morning. Also passing over were at least four tardy, adult Mediterranean Gull on their journey east. Meanwhile, the settled birds inside the harbour included: 3 Whimbrel, the 3 Brent Goose, now just the drake Wigeon and a second brood of Shelduck bringing the count to twenty-six adults and nineteen juveniles. 

May 11th

Ringed Plover Clinton Whale
Dunlin Clinton Whale

No doubt due to the blasting, north-easterly wind, the only reports relate to the two photographed birds. From a point of complete ignorance, any comments as to whether the Ringed Plover maybe a tundrae bird would be very welcome. Please email if you have a view. 

May 10th

The only news for the day, which ended up bitterly cold in a strong, easterly wind comes from the morning at Hengistbury, when: a Firecrest sang in the Wood; 25 Common Scoter passed west; and a Great Crested Grebe was in Barn Bight. 

May 9th

Great Spotted Woodpecker Alan Crockard
Reed Warbler Jackie Smith

A couple of Red Kite were seen from Stanpit this morning, where a Cuckoo was in the North Scrubs. Later in the day, 2 Yellow Wagtail were settled by Mother Sillers Channel, while Stanpit Bight held a single Whimbrel and around 20 Ringed Plover. The 3 Brent Goose are still on East Marsh, as were the pair of Wigeon. 

May 8th

The only reports from another very warm day are of an eastbound Grey Plover high over Wick Fields, where there were 2 Lesser Whitethroat. 

May 7th

There is no news from the morning, but this evening there were four resting Grey Plover at Stanpit, as well as heard-only Whimbrel. Also about the marsh, a vocal Cuckoo, the 3 Brent Goose and the pair of Wigeon. 

May 6th

Whitethroat in display flight Alan Crockard

On a day that saw not a single cloud, there is little to report. A Lesser Whitethroat remains in the No Dogs Field, presumably on territory, while a late-arriving Willow Warbler was also on Wick; as was a pair of Bullfinch. Overhead, a small number of Swift and Swallow travelled north. This evening, a Cuckoo could be heard from Stanpit. 

May 5th

Although the weather was nowhere near as bad as forecast, there is little to report for the day. Around lunchtime, a Cuckoo was heard on Wick and a single Wheatear was on Whitepits. Later, up to 5 Whimbrel were at Stanpit and fifty or so Dunlin were whizzing about the Run. 

May 4th

Sand Martin Alan Crockard

A few Manx Shearwater were seen off Hengistbury this morning, along with 4 Little Tern. Meanwhile, there was a clear arrival of Swallow, with birds being seen in most areas; including sixty passing over the head.  Dunlin were also up in numbers 45 in Holloways Dock this morning and 60 at Stanpit this evening being the tallies, as well as a single Grey Plover and up to 5 Whimbrel. There were once again 2 Cuckoo about and a pair of Bullfinch was on Wick. 

May 3rd

Cuckoo Scott Usher
Gadwall Scott Usher

Two, or one very mobile Cuckoo, were vocal for much of the day on the western side of the River, while the morning on Hengistbury included 2 Spotted Flycatcher and a Garden Warbler; as well as an out-of-reeds Reed Warbler. Waders are still sparse just 8 Dunlin and a Whimbrel at Stanpit this afternoon where the 3 Brent Goose and Wigeon pair were still present. To round up, a male Bullfinch was on Wick.  

May 2nd

Great Spotted Woodpecker Alan Crockard
Yellow Wagtail Jackie Smith

A couple of Cuckoo were displaying about the area this evening, while earlier in the day there had been singles of Yellow Wagtail and Garden Warbler, at least 5 Wheatear and 10 or so Willow Warbler. A total of 20 Whimbrel was at Stanpit, where around 15 Dunlin loitered; with the Hengistbury side contributing a couple more Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover and 5 Turnstone. The 3 Brent Goose remain inside the harbour; where of 48 Shelduck, eleven were barely a day old. 

May 1st

The only news for the day comes from Stanpit, where there were 6 Whimbrel, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 40 Dunlin, the latter all in breeding plumage. Otherwise, its just the 3 Brent Goose to mention. 

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.