Previous Bird News


Semipalmated Sandpiper by Andy Tew - Nov 16th, Oxey Marsh
Semipalmated Sandpiper by Andy Tew – Nov 16th, Oxey Marsh


An excellent selection of wildfowl were seen at Blashford Lakes in November. A Long-tailed Duck was on Ibsley Water (from 4th), where there were also three Red-crested Pochards (11th). The regular Ferruginous Duck returned to Kingfisher Lake (from 27th). A possible Lesser Scaup or hybrid was seen a few times on Rockford Lake (16th-26th), along with a Greater Scaup (17th-27th). A Black-necked Grebe returned to Ibsley Water (28th); much rarer for the site was a brief Slavonian Grebe on Ivy Lake (18th), where a Red-throated Diver was also reported (23rd). Up to four Great White Egrets were seen during the month, mostly on Ivy Lake, with further sightings in the Avon Valley coming from Fordingbridge, Kingston Common and Burgate Manor Farm. Gulls included up to 11 Yellow-legged roosting on Ibsley Water, while a Caspian Gull was reported on Ivy Lake (17th). A late Swallow was over Ibsley Water (9th), but more seasonable were Marsh Harrier on three dates, Merlin (9th) and a single Water Pipit.


Highlights at Titchfield Haven included two Great White Egrets (1st), Merlin (13th, 30th) and up to seven Water Pipits along the canal path. A Snow Bunting showed very well at Hill Head (21st-24th) followed by another individual from the 30th. Offshore a Velvet Scoter joined the scoter flock, Black-necked Grebes were seen on three dates, including five on the 7th, and there were also sightings of Great Northern and Red-throated Divers. A bit further south, a Long-tailed Duck was off Lee-on-the-Solent (8th).


There were only a few reports from Farlington Marshes this month. A Merlin was seen twice and up to three Marsh Harriers were present. Waders included up to 37 Avocets and a Green Sandpiper, while Bearded Tits peaked at 22. In Langstone Harbour there was a Long-tailed Duck (9th-27th), Slavonian Grebe (2nd-20th) and up to nine Black-necked Grebes. On Hayling Island, two Cattle Egrets were at Northney (9th), followed by three at Warblington (17th). In the Black Point area there were sightings of Long-tailed Duck (1st-8th), Velvet Scoter (11th-12th) and all three divers, while up to two Black Redstarts were at Eastoke.


The highlight from the Lymington-Keyhaven marshes was a Semipalmated Sandpiper on Oxey Lagoon (16th-25th). Just as rare in Hampshire terms was a Black Guillemot past Milford-on-Sea (26th). Other scarcities included a Leach’s Petrel past Oxey Marsh (25th) and single Snow Buntings at Hurst Beach (8th) and Pennington (19th, 29th-30th). A Long-tailed Duck was on Oxey Marsh (from 15th), while offshore there were one or two Slavonian Grebes, Red-throated Diver (9th) and Great Northern Diver (3rd, 10th, 16th). A late Little Stint was seen (8th), plus a Purple Sandpiper (19th, 28th), Jack Snipe (8th) and up to six each of Ruff and Spotted Redshank. Spoonbills were seen on two dates, with eight at Normandy on the 12th. Up to eight Marsh Harriers roosted at Keyhaven and there were regular Merlin sightings. Two Black Redstarts were at Milford-on-Sea (1st-5th), along with a late Common Redstart (3rd-5th), while eleven Little Gulls passed in stormy weather on the 2nd.


A Hoopoe was at Needs Ore (22nd-25th). Great White Egrets were as usual concentrated in the lower Test valley, with most sightings at Testwood Lakes and Fishlake Meadows, but one was also in the north-east, with sightings at Tweseldown (16th) and Fleet Pond (16th, 19th). A Bittern was seen a few times at Fishlake (15th-24th) and a Cattle Egret was at Hook near Basingstoke (7th). In the New Forest, a Great Grey Shrike was in the Holm Hill area (from 10th) and there were a few sightings of Hen Harriers, as well as a late Ring Ouzel at Ibsley Common (3rd). Another Great Grey Shrike was in the north-east at Woolmer Forest (16th) and Longmoor Enclosure (17th). An unseasonable Turtle Dove was reported regularly from Oakhanger, presumably in a private garden. Water Pipits at Lower Test peaked at 14, but there were no more than two reported from the Alresford watercress beds.

Tom Jordan