HAMPSHIRE BIRD SIGHTINGS FOR OCTOBER 2019
BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY
Up to three Great White Egrets were seen around Blashford Lakes. A Scaup arrived on Ibsley Water (from 26th), followed by a Common Scoter (29th). A Caspian Gull (18th) and up to five Yellow-legged Gulls were the highlights of the gull roost. A late Little Ringed Plover was on Ibsley Water (1st-4th), plus a Dunlin and up to two Green Sandpipers. Returning winter visitors included a single Water Pipit (from 23rd) and maxima of seven Goldeneye and 40 Goosanders. Elsewhere in the Avon Valley a Cattle Egret was at Avon Tyrell (13th) and a Scaup was at Ripley Farm Reservoir (8th, 22nd).
HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE
A Wryneck was at Chilling (5th-6th), followed by at least one at Hill Head (15th-22nd). Other scarce migrants included three Ring Ouzels at Titchfield Haven (20th) and a Black Redstart at Hill Head (20th). A Pomarine Skua dropped onto the scrapes at the Haven (19th). Marsh Harriers were seen regularly, plus Merlin and Hobby. A Hen Harrier was at Brownwich (25th). Offshore there were sightings of Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver and two Slavonian Grebes, while a Spoonbill flew across Southampton Water (4th). Two Cattle Egrets were seen flying over the Posbrook Floods (28th), while the first Water Pipit of the winter was seen on the canal path (23rd).
LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND
Reports from Farlington Marshes included two Jack Snipe (5th), Ruff (5th, 12th), Merlin (19th, 27th) and Ring Ouzel (8th, 12th). One or two Ospreys remained in Langstone Harbour, while the first Black-necked Grebe of the winter arrived (28th). On Hayling Island a Pomarine Skua showed well at the Oysterbeds (19th-20th). There was a Red-necked Grebe off Eastoke and a Long-tailed Duck off Black Point (both 31st), plus sightings of all three divers. An arrival of Black Redstarts saw eleven birds on South Hayling (23rd), with smaller numbers remaining on days thereafter, while a late Common Redstart was also seen at Eastoke (22nd-23rd). Short-eared Owls were seen twice (19th, 23rd) and a Hen Harrier flew over Sandy Point (21st). A Curlew Sandpiper was at Black Point (10th-12th).
LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA
A Pomarine Skua was at Keyhaven (13th-16th) plus a Great Skua (13th). A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Keyhaven (20th), following one in a Lymington garden (13th). Wintering waders included up to three Spotted Redshanks and four Ruff, while up to three Water Pipits were seen from the 19th. One or two Spoonbills were seen on three dates and Merlin and Marsh Harrier were both seen regularly. There were a couple of good seawatching days at Milford-on-Sea, with a Long-tailed Skua, two Great Skuas, a Little Gull, nine Kittiwakes and an Arctic Tern being seen on the 11th, then another Long-tailed Skua, a Leach’s Petrel, two Little Gulls, a Long-tailed Duck and a Great Northern Diver on the 26th. Another Long-tailed Duck was seen on the 25th, while the 31st produced Velvet Scoter and Black-throated Diver. A Caspian Gull was seen on Sturt Pond (17th, 18th). Nearby at Barton-on-Sea, a Snow Bunting was on the golf course (19th), a Lapland Bunting flew over (23rd) and a Short-eared Owl flew in off the sea (29th).
At least two White-throated Sparrows arrived in Southampton on a cruise ship, with a couple of subsequent sightings from local gardens. Four Cattle Egrets were at Testwood Lakes (13th), with up to two Great White Egrets also in the lower Test valley, mostly at Fishlake Meadows. There were also Great White sightings in the north east of the county at Tweseldown (20th, 29th), Mortimer West End (20th) and Church Crookham (20th). Yellow-browed Warblers were in lower numbers than previous Octobers, with reports from Allbrook (17th), Old Winchester Hill (18th) and Southsea (20th). The first Great Grey Shrike of the winter was reported from Black Gutter Bottom (15th, 29th). An influx of Black Redstarts towards the end of the month saw records from 12 sites, mostly on the coast. Ring Ouzels were seen in reasonable number, with up to six at Leadenhall and Clay Hill in the New Forest and up to seven on Portsdown Hill. At the coast, the Lepe area had Black-throated Diver (30th), two Spoonbills (25th), Osprey (4th, 11th) and up to three Marsh Harriers. Lower Test had a Scaup (23rd) and two Water Pipits (from 23rd), with two Scaup also seen off Weston Shore (21st), plus Great Northern Diver (26th, 29th) and two Little Gulls (30th). A Little Stint was at Hythe (13th). A Garganey remained at Alresford Pond (to 13th).