Bird News


Spotted Redshank by Kay Shillitoe - Apr 17th, Pennington Marshes
Spotted Redshank by Kay Shillitoe – Apr 17th, Pennington Marshes


A first-summer Bonaparte’s Gull appeared on Ibsley Water (from 25/4), where there were also up to 12 Little Gulls, Arctic Tern (2 on 27/4) and Black Tern (3 on 19/4). Waders included Wood Sandpiper (3 on 30/4), Ruff (4/4), Whimbrel (25/4), Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers and Green and Common Sandpipers. Raptors included Osprey (4/4) and Marsh Harrier (15/4). Up to 100 Bramblings were present in the early part of the month. Elsewhere in the Avon Valley, an Osprey was at Harbridge (2/4).


Scarcities at Titchfield Haven included a Cattle Egret flying over the canal path (28/4), Great White Egret (11/4, 21-25/4) and two Spoonbills (22/4). An Osprey flew over (7/4) and a Garganey remained on the Posbrook Floods (to 7/4). Scarcer passerines along the canal path included Redstart and Whinchat, while up to seven Water Pipits remained in the first half of the month. Seawatching from Hill Head produced a total of 41 Arctic Skuas heading east during the month, plus four Great Skuas. A flock of seven Garganey paused offshore (15/4). Also seen were Red-throated and Great Northern Divers, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Little Gull and Arctic and Black Terns. Reports from Hook-with-Warsash included a Fulmar (30/4) and Spotted Redshank (29/4).


An Alpine Swift flew over Sandy Point (18/4). Other scarcities on Hayling included Osprey (18/4, 27/4), ten Little Gulls over the Oysterbeds (7/4) and a Pied Flycatcher at Sparkes Marina (19-20/4). Manx Shearwaters were off Sandy Point on two dates (1, 26/4; 5, 27/4), but only one Arctic Skua was reported there (16/4). At Farlington Marshes there were one or two Spoonbills (from 23/4), Curlew Sandpiper (22-23/4), Jack Snipe (17-23/4), Spotted Redshank (1/4, 3/4, 13/4) and Little Gull (13/4).


Two Great White Egrets flew over Keyhaven (20/4) and up to eight Spoonbills continued. Waders on the reserve included Ruff (max. 6), Curlew Sandpiper (2 on 24/4) and Spotted Redshank (max. 3). Also seen during the month were Garganey (max. 3), Little Gull (3 on 13/4), Merlin (5/4) and Water Pipit (12/4). The first two Pomarine Skuas of the spring headed east off Milford-on-Sea (24/4), where there were monthly totals of 32 Arctic Skuas and 11 Great Skuas. Also reported during the month were Velvet Scoter (4, 5/4; 2, 6/4), Red-throated and Black-throated Divers, Fulmar, Manx Shearwater (7 on 5/4), Kittiwake, Little Gull and Arctic Tern.


A Glossy Ibis was a popular attraction at Fishlake Meadows. Also at Fishlake were a White-fronted Goose (10/4), a pair of Garganey, a flyover White Stork (7/4), Osprey (11/4) and Black Redstart (22/4). Presumably the same White Stork was seen over Winchester (14/4) and again over Romsey (19/4). Other scarcities included a Montagu’s Harrier over Warblington (15/4), a Crane over Southampton (18/4) and a pair of early Dotterel at Cheesefoot Head (6-8/4). A Cattle Egret was over Aldershot (1/4), while Great White Egrets continued to be seen at several sites in the lower Test valley, plus one on the Beaulieu Estuary (2/4). A drake Garganey was at Edenbrook Country Park (to 7/4) and a Black-necked Grebe was off Netley (5/4). Ring Ouzels were seen at seven sites, including three at Beacon Hill (Highclere), while Pied Flycatchers were at Acres Down (11/4) and Fritham (15/4). Fleet Pond had Little Gull on three dates, Arctic Tern (10 on 19/4) and Black Tern (25/4). Away from the aforementioned seawatching sites, Stokes Bay picked up a Pomarine Skua (24/4) and monthly totals of 12 Arctic and three Great Skuas, plus Red-throated and Black-throated Divers, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Little Gull and Black Tern. Southsea Castle recorded a Great Skua, eight Arctic Skuas, Black Tern and Great Northern Diver (all 25/4).

Tom Jordan