Bird News


February 2017


Waxwing by Gareth Rees 



Visitors included Scaup (19th), Marsh Harrier (11th), Caspian Gull (5th to 10th) and Water Pipit (27th & 28th). More regular were a White-fronted Goose, an elusive Ferruginous Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Bittern, two Great White Egrets,  Red Kite, Green Sandpiper and Firecrest. Up to 18 Mediterranean Gulls, two Ring-billed Gulls and three Yellow-legged Gulls were present. The Woodland Hide produced up to seven Brambling plus Siskin and Lesser Redpoll. Good counts were of 110 Shoveler (23rd), 273 Cormorant (13th), 5,000 Black-headed Gull (11th), 800 Common Gull (13th) and 1,000 Lesser Black-backed Gull (11th).




Visitors to the marshes were Pale-bellied Brent Goose (5th, 12th, 25th), Red Kite (24th), Peregrine (24th), Jack Snipe (16th) and Barn Owl (18th & 19th). More frequently seen were Marsh Harrier, Spotted Redshank, up to three Short-eared Owls and up to six Bearded Tits. In the harbour were a female Scaup (5th), two Long-tailed Ducks, up to 16 Black-necked Grebes, up to 30 Avocets and a Razorbill (4th, 17th).




Visitors reported were a Merlin (6th), Whimbrel (19th) and Water Pipit (11th & 19th). Frequently seen were up to eight Spoonbills, up to three Marsh Harriers, up to 12 Avocets, good numbers of Golden Plover and Knot and small numbers of Ruff, Spotted Redshank and Bearded Tits. Offshore were Red-throated Diver (including 11 on 11th), Great Northern Diver (6th), up to three Slavonian Grebes and Razorbill (11th). 




Interesting sightings included Bittern (28th), Spoonbills (two 13th, three 28th), Red Kite (13th, 24th), Merlin (5th, 9th, 13th), Woodcock (24th) and Barn Owl (5th & 6th). A Snow Bunting, first seen on the shore in December, remained (until 4th) and an immature Little Gull remained on nearby farmland (until 19th). Frequently seen were up to four Marsh Harriers, up to 21 Avocet (from 19th), Mediterranean Gulls, Kingfisher, up to three Water Pipits, Bearded Tits and two Firecrests. An organised flush count on 24th produced 145 Common Snipe and three Jack Snipe. Offshore, the sea between Hill Head and Chilling produced Pale-bellied Brent Goose (17th), six Scaup, up to 50 Eider, Long-tailed Duck, up to 13 Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver (12th), Black-throated Diver ( 5th, 9th), Great Northern Diver (5th, 9th, 10th), Red-necked Grebe (5th), up to eleven Sandwich Terns (10th, 11th) and Razorbill (4th, 9th). 




The elusive Little Bunting at Portsdown Hill remained (until 9th) amongst a flock of Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings. The only Cattle Egret this month was at Pinglestone Cress Beds.

Five Waxwings were at Whiteley (11th to 19th) and others were at Ringwood (19th to 21st), Winchester (20th), Fleet (26th) and Elvetham Heath (14 on 28th).


Wildfowl included a Black Brants at Inchmery (19th) and Eastney (24th) and a Long-tailed Duck in Chichester Harbour (6th). All three divers were seen, including a long-staying Black-throated Diver in Chichester Harbour and a flock of seven Red-throated Divers passing east off Stokes Bay (3rd). A Great White Egret was at Bramshill Plantation (19th). Hen Harriers were seen in the New Forest and occasionally in the Alresford area. Merlins were at Beacon Hill-Warnford (26th) and in the New Forest. Up to nine Purple Sandpipers were at Southsea Castle. 


A Little Gull was off Sandy Point (2nd) and a Glaucous Gull was there (10th). A Short-eared Owl was at Ocknell Plain (1st). Up to eight Water Pipits were at Lower Test Marshes and up to four at Alresford Cress Beds. Black Redstarts were at Fawley Power Station, Hayling Island, Portsmouth and Southampton. Great Grey Shrikes were seen in the New Forest and, away from the Forest, Hawfinches were at Ewhurst Park, Lakeside, Old Basing, Romsey and Weston Common. A notable gathering of 100,000+ Starlings was at Winchester (evening of 21st).


Richard Carpenter

Added March 1st, 2017