Bird News


Pectoral Sandpiper by Gareth Rees - 17th October, Oxey Marsh-1
Pectoral Sandpiper by Gareth Rees – 17th October, Oxey Marsh


After a few quiet months there were more reports from Blashford Lakes this month, most notably a flock of nine Glossy Ibis flying over North Poulner Lake (22nd). Also notable were a Red-crested Pochard (12th), Little Stint (31st), the continuing Grey Phalarope (1st), up to six Great White Egrets, Hen Harrier (8th) and Merlin (29th), all on Ibsley Water. Ibsley also had a couple each of Green and Common Sandpipers, plus the first returning Water Pipit (17th). Eight Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost (31st).


The highlight this month was Hampshire’s first Western Sandpiper at Normandy Marsh (4th-14th). A Pectoral Sandpiper was seen regularly, mostly on Oxey Marsh (9th-25th). Other waders on the marshes included two Ruff, Curlew Sandpiper (8th-9th), up to three Little Stints, two Spotted Redshanks and twelve Greenshanks. A Storm Petrel in the Solent (3rd) was very notable, while an Arctic Skua was also seen (28th). The first Slavonian Grebe arrived (22nd) and there were also sightings of Red-throated Diver (23rd) and Great Northern Diver (28th). There was only one Spoonbill sighting (2nd), but a Great White Egret was seen regularly and a Cattle Egret once (20th). Short-eared Owls were seen twice (9th, 20th) and Merlins on three dates (17th, 20th, 23rd). A Black Redstart was at the Pennington caravan park (31st).


Waders on the scrapes at Titchfield Haven included a Grey Phalarope (20th), Curlew Sandpiper (3rd-5th), Little Stint (28th-30th) and Jack Snipe (29th). Also on the reserve were a Cattle Egret (22nd), Great White Egret (5th, 11th, 14th), Bittern (14th) and Merlin (23rd). Offshore were two Velvet Scoter (26th) and maxima of 35 Eider and three Common Scoter, as well as an Arctic Skua (18th, 20th), Great Skua (20th) and Red-throated Diver (7th, 22nd, 29th). Further up Southampton Water there were two Curlew Sandpipers on the Hamble again (10th), plus an Osprey (17th, 21st).


A Richard’s Pipit was at Farlington Marshes (17th). The Glossy Ibis remained at Warblington (to 6th) before relocating to Farlington (6th, 9th). Also at Farlington were a Cattle Egret, three Great White Egrets (8th), Little Gull (3rd) and Short-eared Owl (22nd), while waders included Ruff (5th-6th), Curlew Sandpiper (2nd-10th), Jack Snipe (2, 16th) and Greenshank (max. 5). In Langstone Harbour were a Common Scoter (3rd), Black-necked Grebe (16th) and Osprey (to 10th). On Hayling Island a Wryneck was at Black Point (7th). Sandy Point had a Merlin (12th), eastern Lesser Whitethroat (25th) and Ring Ouzel (24th), while a Great Northern Diver arrived in Chichester Harbour (29th).


A Short-toed Lark flying over Tweseldown (17th) was the best rarity found elsewhere during October. In the New Forest there was a Snow Bunting at Leadenhall (24th-29th), while the first Great Grey Shrike of the winter arrived at Backley Bottom (from 27th). A Grey Phalarope was on a roadside verge near Sway (31st). As is traditional, Leadenhall proved attractive to Ring Ouzels with up to three there (14th-25th), while further records came from Old Winchester Hill (25th), Portsdown Hill (26th) and Pigeon House Lane (28th). Lepe had a Spoonbill (3rd), Great White Egret (3rd, 9th), Osprey (1st, 3rd), Merlin (21st) and Water Pipit (22nd). Weston Shore had a Scaup (10th) and a Slavonian Grebe (19th), while the first Great Northern Diver of the winter had returned by the end of the month. Lower Test had a Cattle Egret (13th), Osprey (1st), Ring Ouzel (16th) and four Water Pipits (28th). Fishlake Meadows had a Bittern (11th) and two Great White Egrets. In the north east of the county a Spoonbill flew over Fleet Pond (2nd), where the Pink-footed Goose remained (1st-6th). Aside from those already mentioned, there were many other reports of Great White Egrets, mostly in the north east and along the Test. Black Redstarts were at Portsmouth (6th), Abbotswood (20th), Romsey (20th-21st), Clanfield (24th), Colemore 28th) and Southampton (29th-30th). A late Swift was over Leadenhall (19th).There were signs it could be a good winter for Bramblings with numerous reports including 210 over Tweseldown on the 24th. 

Tom Jordan

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