Bird News


Snow Bunting by Gareth Rees - Nov 26th, Hill Head
Snow Bunting by Gareth Rees – Nov 26th, Hill Head


Three Great White Egrets were at Blashford Lakes throughout, with a single Cattle Egret also on Ibsley Water on 13th. Roosting gulls on Ibsley Water included single Ring-billed and Caspian Gulls and a maximum of six Yellow-legged Gulls. A Bittern was seen on Ivy Lake (7th). Other winter visitors on Ibsley Water included Black-necked Grebe (25th-26th) and up to two Water Pipits, while one or two Marsh Harriers were seen regularly. Maxima of wildfowl included five Pintail, six Goldeneye and 103 Goosander. Roosting Starlings peaked at 30,000 on the 22nd. Elsewhere in the Avon Valley, Great White Egrets were seen at Bickton (10th), New Queen Public House (25th) and Wattons Ford (25th).


Highlights offshore were a Little Auk off Hill Head (5th) and a Red-necked Grebe off Brownwich (17th), as well as Long-tailed Duck (22nd-25th), Velvet Scoter (from 23rd), Red-throated Diver (max. 4), Great Northern Diver (20th-22nd), Slavonian Grebe (max. 3, 19th-29th). Also seen offshore were Eider, Common Scoter, Guillemot, Razorbill and Kittiwake. A Snow Bunting entertained at Hill Head (22nd-26th). Reports from Titchfield Haven included Ruff on five dates, Jack Snipe (1st-2nd, 27th) and a Short-eared Owl (5th), while up to ten Water Pipits were seen from the canal path.


Notable reports from Farlington Marshes included White-fronted Goose (23rd) and Spoonbill (9th). Short-eared Owl was reported on just one date (2nd), as well as Hen Harrier (2nd) and Marsh Harrier on five dates. Waders included up to 52 Avocets, Spotted Redshank (3rd, 14th) and Jack Snipe (max. 3). A Red-necked Grebe was in Langstone Harbour (23rd), plus Great Northern Diver (2 on 11th), Black-necked Grebe (max. 8) and Slavonian Grebe (11th, 23rd). On Hayling Island, Yellow-browed Warblers were seen twice (11th, 15th), while the Sandy Point area had Velvet Scoter (22nd), Red-necked Grebe (1st-2nd, 11th) and Slavonian Grebe (1st-2nd), plus Red-throated, Black-throated and Great Northern Divers.


Bird of the month was a Twite at Normandy Marsh (15th-16th, 25th-30th). Three Pink-footed Geese were in the Keyhaven/Pennington area (from 18th), as well as two White-fronted Geese (25th). A Bittern was seen once at Keyhaven (15th), while a Great White Egret was at Normandy Marsh (16th). Raptors included Hen Harrier (20th), up to six Marsh Harriers, Merlin on four dates and Short-eared Owl (10th, 14th). A Black-throated Diver was off Pennington (16th). A late Arctic Tern was present on the 8th, while a Little Gull was at Normandy on 21st. Other less common winter visitors included Avocet (max. 10), Ruff (18th), Spotted Redshank (max. 6) and Water Pipit (6th). Stormy weather on the 29th saw a Sooty Shearwater, a Great Skua and three Kittiwakes off Milford-on-Sea. Also there were Velvet Scoter (28th), Red-throated Diver (25th, 28th), Black-throated Diver (10th) and another Great Skua (5th)


There were two good vismig records from Tweseldown near Fleet, with a Twite on the 13th followed by Snow Bunting on 18th. Possibly the same Snow Bunting passed over Trigpoint Hill, Timsbury, also on the 18th. Up to seven Cattle Egrets were in the Romsey water meadows (from 27th), while a single was at Warblington on 18th. Up to three Great White Egrets were at both Testwood Lakes and Fishlake Meadows, while singles were at The Vyne (10th), Tundry Pond (13th, 16th, 26th), Soberton (17th), Eversley GP (22nd) and Fullerton (25th). Testwood Lakes also had a Bittern (from 4th) and Pink-footed Goose (12-15th). A late Curlew Sandpiper was at Calshot (22nd), which also had the last Swallow of the year (13th). Up to eight Spoonbills were at Inchmerey. Lepe had Black-throated Diver (23rd), Shag (19th) and Water Pipit (14th). A Long-tailed Duck returned to Weston Shore (23rd-26th). Yellow-browed Warblers were at Kings Worthy (5th) and Ovington (17th), while Black Redstarts were at Middle Wallop Airfield (2nd, 15th), Fratton (9th) and Redbridge (17th). In the New Forest, Great Grey Shrikes were seen at Shatterford, Ober Heath, Bramshaw Telegraph and Hampton Ridge. A Hen Harrier was at Shatterford on 25th, while Merlins were seen at two New Forest sites, as well as at Trigpoint Hill, Timsbury (2nd, 13th). A single Hen Harrier was roosting at Alresford Pond, with up to five Water Pipits on the cress beds. Two Hen Harriers were also seen regularly at Bransbury Common.

Tom Jordan