Previous Bird News

March 2018

Little Bunting by Carol Thorpe


An excellent selection of gulls continued to be seen on Ibsley Water, with highlights including the Thayer’s Gull (3rd-6th), Iceland Gull (26th, 31st), Caspian Gull (3rd), Ring-billed Gull (3rd-31st) and Yellow-legged Gull (5th-23rd). Little Gulls began to appear from the 15th and peaked at five (30th). Other spring migrants on Ibsley Water included Osprey (14th, 21st), Little Ringed Plover (from 13th), Sand Martin (from 14th) and Swallow (20th, 30th-31st). Also on Ibsley Water were Black-necked Grebe (9th, 22nd-25th), Marsh Harrier (18th), Merlin (7th) and Water Pipit (14th, 19th).  Elsewhere at Blashford, the regular Ferruginous Duck was reported several times from Kingfisher Lake (12th-20th). Up to 15 Bramblings were seen from the Woodland Hide. In the Avon Valley, a single Bewick’s Swan was on the Ibsley water meadows (22nd-24th, 31st).


A Green-winged Teal turned up at Keyhaven (from 28th). The long-staying Red-necked Grebe continued offshore from the Pennington area (7th-31st), plus a Slavonian Grebe (3rd-4th). Other lingering winter visitors included the three White-fronted Geese in the Keyhaven area (4th-14th). Up to five Spoonbills were in the area (3rd-30th), while waders included Avocet (max. 18), Ruff (max. 9), Purple Sandpiper (7th-24th), Little Stint (25th) and Spotted Redshank (max. 3). First dates of spring arrivals were Little Ringed Plover (31st), Whimbrel (30th-31st), Sand Martin (13th), Swallow (31st) and Wheatear (13th). Other sightings from the Keyhaven area included Great White Egret (24th), Marsh Harrier (max. 3), Short-eared Owl (26th) and Merlin (6th).


Notable reports from Farlington Marshes included Garganey (7th-25th), Spoonbill (15th-16th, 21st-30th), Marsh Harrier (4th), Avocet (max. 31), Short-eared Owl (24th) and Water Pipit (30th-31st). The site’s first Wheatear of the spring was seen on the 14th. There was a good variety of species reported from Langstone Harbour including Scaup (20th-30th), Long-tailed Duck (4th, 24th), Velvet Scoter (9th-30th), Black-throated Diver (5th, 25th), Great Northern Diver (25th) and Black-necked Grebe (max. 18). On Hayling Island, a Black-throated Diver was off Sandy Point (7th-9th, 14th-15th), plus a Kittiwake (8th) and two Little Gulls (8th). Two Black Redstarts were at Eastoke, Hayling (3rd, 6th) and another two were in Portsmouth (13th). The first Wheatear of the year on Hayling was at Eastoke (15th), while a Whimbrel was at the Oysterbeds (27th).


Notable reports from Titchfield Haven included Spoonbill (5th, 11th-12th), Ruff (max. 3), Iceland Gull (5th), Yellow-legged Gull (4th) and Water Pipit (max. 4). Offshore from Hill Head or Brownwich were Scaup (2 on 2nd, 1 on 11th), Common Scoter (max. 12) and Eider (max. 25), while a Garganey flew past (11th). The county’s first Sand Martin of the year was at Brownwich (11th).


A good variety of gulls continued to visit the Tidpit Down area including Thayer’s Gull (6th), Iceland Gull (10th), Ring-billed Gull (6th) and Caspian Gull (2 on 6th). A Little Bunting was in a North Baddesley Garden (17th-25th). In the New Forest Great Grey Shrikes were at Burley (4th), Ferny Knap (4th) and Cranesmoor (6th-8th). At least two Great White Egrets continued in the lower Test valley, being seen at Fishlake Meadows, Skidmore, Romsey, Testwood Lakes and Nursling Mill. An Iceland Gull was at Redbridge Wharf (4th) and Weston Shore (6th). Also in Southampton Water were Long-tailed Duck (5th-31st), Great Northern Diver (4th, 10th, 13th, 17th). Weston Shore also had Hampshire’s first Little Ringed Plover of the spring (11th). The first Osprey of the spring was over Trigpoint Hill, Timsbury (13th), with further records from Paulton’s Park (27th) and Emer Bog (29th). Early Hobbies were at St Leonards (25th), Nursling (29th), Lower Test (31st). A pair of Common Scoters at Woolmer Pond (31st) were a notable inland record. Water Pipits at Alresford Cress Breds increased to a monthly maximum of 14.

Tom Jordan

April 10th, 2018