Bird News


February 2017


Water Pipit by David Cuddon 



Star birds was the Ferruginous Duck that continues to overwinter. Other noteworthy visitors include Scaup (11th-25th), Sandwich Tern (30th), White-fronted Goose, Lesser Redpoll and three Brambling.  Gulls include a Mediterranean Gull (5th), two Yellow-legged Gulls (5th), and a Little Gull (27th) while birds of prey were a roosting Tawny Owl, two Red Kite (17th), and three Raven (17th). Interesting waders included Dunlin (9th), 3 Black-tailed Godwits (9th), nine Curlew (21st), and Little Ringed Plover (3rd). Two Water Pipits was present throughout March, while there was a Rock Pipit on 20th, two Yellow Wagtails (17th), and White Wagtail on 24th and 25th. A Black Redstart appeared (23rd), and Lesser Redpoll and three Brambling were seen from Woodland Hide.




Star bird was a Crane that flew through the Solent on the evening of 24th, and was picked up flying east. Also of note was a Spoonbill (11th-13th), two Green Sandpipers (23rd), 5 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, a Little Ringed Plover (11th) and Whimbrel (25th). Birds of Prey included Peregrine, Barn Owl (2nd, 3rd), 2 Short-eared Owls, Marsh Harrier (13th) and a Raven was also seen (21st). Sand Martins returned (2nd), as did Wheatear (18th), and two Sandwich Terns (25th). Offshore, the two Long-tailed Ducks stayed all month.




Waders included five Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover (11th, 19th), two Jack Snipe (11th), and Whimbrel (15th). Raptors included Merlin, Peregrine, Red Kite (17th), Marsh Harrier and five Raven (4th). Passerines of note were Yellowhammer (15th), Water Pipit (15th), Wheatear (11th), Swallow (26th), White Wagtail (29th), and Sand Martin (16th), while two Garganey were present (12th-27th), as was a Great White Egret (17th), and a number of Spoonbill. Offshore, Eider and Slavonian Grebes were present alongside a Velvet Scoter (from 25th), Sandwich Tern (29th), and eight Common Scoter flew east (16th). A Little Gull lingered at Pennington Marsh (28th-30th).




A Crane, ringed and released as part of the reintroduction programme, was present on the meadows (2nd), while other sightings included a Woodcock (1st), Bittern, Green Sandpiper (2nd), up to 4 Spoonbill, and a Little Ringed Plover (27th). Two Grey Wagtails, a scarce species here, have been overwintering on the reserve, and a maximum of 2 Water Pipits remain along the canal path. Raptors include 3 Marsh Harriers, Red Kite, Peregrine, and Raven. Offshore the two Velvet Scoter, six Scaup and two Long-tailed Ducks remained until 3rd, 14th, and 31st respectively. They were joined by up to a Great Northern Diver (1st), 50 Eider, and a maximum of nine Common Scoter (14th). The Little Gull was still present at Brownwich until 16th, while Yellow-legged Gulls were seen on the beach on a number of occasions. Sand Martins (10th), Blackcaps (from 20th), Swallows (24th) and Willow Warblers (28th, 31st) were all recorded this month. Finally, another unusual sighting was a Mandarin Duck dropping into long grass along the canal path (30th).




A single Cattle Egret lingered at Pinglestone Watercress Beds (1st-14th), while two were seen at Fishlake Meadows (until 26th), one of which also spent time at Braishfield (12th-20th), and two Great White Egrets were regularly recorded at Testwood Lakes and Fishlake Meadows, and a Cattle Egret flew past Testwood Lakes on 16th and 28th. A flock of up to 20 Waxwings, the largest in Hampshire this winter, were present at Fleet (2nd-5th), 16 were at Avington (18th), and a Ring-necked Parakeet that had been present all winter was briefly seen in West End (2nd). A Crane flew through the Solent on the evening of 24th – it was first picked up at Badminston GP, and later at Farlington Marshes, heading east.


Many summer migrants have been recorded throughout the county, the first of each noted: Sand Martin at Hook-with-Warsash (11th), Swallow at Acres Down (11th), Garganey at Eling Marsh (11th), Willow Warbler at Abbotswood Fields (13th), Wheatear at Hook Links, Warsash (13th), Little Ringed Plover at Busta Triangle (14th), Whitethroat at Abbotswood Fields (19th), Sandwich Tern at Eastoke, Hayling Island (19th), Yellow Wagtail at Timsbury (24th), House Martin at Southsea Castle (11th) and Sedge Warbler at Avington Lakes (31st). Elsewhere, Black Redstarts were at Eastoke (14th), and Funtley (25th), a small number of White Wagtails were recorded, and a Whimbrel at Hardway (6th). Other noteworthy sightings include up to 11 Water Pipits at Pinglestone Watercress Beds, 13 Purple Sandpipers at Southsea, Short-eared Owl at Weston Shore (16th), Black Brant on Hayling Island, and Pale-bellied Brent Geese at three locations, a Jack Snipe at Lower Test Marsh (12th), and a Bittern at Lepe Country Park (12th). Offshore, a Great Skua was seen flying east past Sandy Point, Hayling Island (29th), and a Common Scoter off Lee-on-Solent (31st). Finally, a Little Gull was at Fleet Pond (31st), while eight were in Petersfield (27th).


Added April 4th, 2017


Amy Robjohns