Bird News

HAMPSHIRE BIRD SIGHTINGS FOR DECEMBER 2019

Great Northern Diver by Andy Tew - Dec 27th, Hill Head
Great Northern Diver by Andy Tew – Dec 27th, Hill Head

BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY

The Ferruginous Duck on Kingfisher Lake was reported once (5th), while the Long-tailed Duck remained on Ibsley Water throughout and a Scaup was on Rockford Lake (1st-4th). Up to three Black-necked Grebes were on Ibsley Water. Great White Egrets peaked at three roosting at Ivy Lake. Roosting gulls included Caspian Gull (3rd, 5th), up to eight Yellow-legged Gulls and a Kittiwake (13th). Merlin and Marsh Harrier were both seen twice. Other winterers included a Common Sandpiper, two Green Sandpipers and maxima of 58 Goosander and 16 Goldeneye. Murmurating Starlings to the north of Ibsley Water peaked at an estimated 30,000 on the 17th. Away from Blashford Lakes, Great White Egrets were also seen at Bickerley Common (28th, 30th) and Ibsley (30th).

HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE

Few reports from Titchfield Haven this month. Up to ten Water Pipits were along the canal path and a Jack Snipe was seen on the 13th. The Snow Bunting from November remained at Hill Head until the 2nd. Offshore between Hill Head and Chilling there were sightings of Velvet Scoter (2nd, 7th), up to three Great Northern Divers and Slavonian Grebe (17th). A Long-tailed Duck was off Lee-on-the-Solent (29th).

LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND

Reports from Farlington included two Marsh Harriers, a Spotted Redshank (30th) and Short-eared Owl on two dates. Up to three Short-eared Owls were at Southmoors (from 29th). A Merlin was seen in Langstone Harbour on three dates, while on the water were a Long-tailed Duck (from 19th), Black-throated Diver (26th), Great Northern Diver (four dates), Black-necked Grebe (max. 12) and Slavonian Grebe (4th, 9th). A Red-necked Grebe was seen at Mill Rythe, Hayling (1st), while the Black Point area had Long-tailed Duck (3rd), Great Northern Diver (8th, 10th) and three Slavonian Grebes (15th).

LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA

Up to six Spoonbills were seen most days on the Lymington-Keyhaven marshes. The Snow Bunting from November remained at the beginning of the month (to 2nd). Wintering waders included up to five Ruff, seven Spotted Redshank and a Purple Sandpiper. Offshore there were sightings of a Long-tailed Duck (7th), Great Northern Diver (14th), Black-necked Grebe (25th) and up to four Slavonian Grebes. There were single sightings of Merlin and Short-eared Owl, while up to nine Marsh Harriers roosted. Water Pipits peaked at three on the 7th.

ELSEWHERE

Winter scarcities included a Hoopoe at St Leonards (24th), the Turtle Dove remaining near Bordon and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Millfield LNR, Old Basing (17th). An elusive Great Grey Shrike remained in the Holmhill area of the New Forest, with another seen at Newtown Common (13th). Hen Harriers were seen twice at Holmhill, plus at Thorney Hill (2nd) and Martin Down (31st). Cattle Egrets at Warblington peaked at five, at least three Great White Egrets roamed the Test valley and a Bittern was at Fishlake Meadows (6th-21st). Weston Shore had up to three Velvet Scoters (8th-27th), five Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe (26th), while four Little Gulls were off Netley (27th). A Black Redstart was at Moorcourt (7th-9th), while Water Pipits reached peaks of eight at Lower Test and seventeen at Alresford cress beds.

Tom Jordan

Previous month’s bird news