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HAMPSHIRE SUMMARY FOR DECEMBER 2018

Firecrest by Bob Marchant - Dec 14th, Holly Hill
Firecrest by Bob Marchant – Dec 14th, Holly Hill

BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY

The highlight at Blashford Lakes was the immature White-tailed Eagle that visited Ibsley Water twice (18th, 21st). Four Great White Egrets were at Blashford, plus a Cattle Egret on Ivy Lake (17th) and a Bittern (from 9th). Roosting gulls on Ibsley included Ring-billed Gull (2nd), Caspian Gull (1st, 24th-31st) and Yellow-legged Gull (max. 11). Other scarcities included a Brent Goose (31st), Black-necked Grebe (from 2nd), Marsh Harrier (max. 2), Short-eared Owl (28th) and Water Pipit (max. 3). Maxima of wildfowl included 118 Goosander, 14 Goldeneye, 150 Pochard and 52 Pintail.

HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE

Highlights from Titchfield Haven included Bittern (8th, 17th), Little Gull (31st), Short-eared Owl (10th-14th), Merlin (14th, 26th), Swallow (10th) and Water Pipit (max. 19). Offshore from the Hill Head to Brownwich coast were Long-tailed Duck (24th), Velvet Scoter (2nd-6th), Red-throated Diver (4th, 5 on 24th), Black-throated Diver (five dates), Great Northern Diver (max. 3), Slavonian Grebe (max. 2), Guillemot (24th) and Kittiwake (8th). A Black Redstart was at Hill Head on the 27th.

LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND

A Ferruginous Duck was on Bedhampton Mill Pond (from 16th). Notable reports from Farlington Marshes included White-fronted Goose (12th), Jack Snipe (11th), Marsh Harrier (max. 2), Short-eared Owl (max. 2), Swallow (21st) and Water Pipit (11th, 21st), plus monthly peaks of 60 Avocets and 18 Bearded Tits. Reports from Langstone Harbour included Long-tailed Duck (16th), Black-throated Diver (8th), Great Northern Diver (7th, 22nd), Black-necked Grebe (max. 14) and Razorbill (6th, 2 on 29th). East Hayling had Black-throated Diver (3rd-10th), Great Northern Diver (17th), Razorbill (22nd) and Merlin (5th).

LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA

A Surf Scoter was briefly off Milford-on-Sea (16th), with a Storm-petrel also off Hurst Beach on the 1st. A Glossy Ibis flew over Pennington Marsh on 9th. The Twite remained at Normandy (to 24th), where there was also a Yellow-browed Warbler (28th) and a very late Swallow (6th). A good selection of wildfowl, divers and grebes around the marshes included Pink-footed Goose (three at Keyhaven on 4th), Scaup (29th, 31st), Velvet Scoter (24th, 30th, 3 on 31st), Red-throated Diver (24th), Great Northern Diver (31st), Red-necked Grebe (9th) and Slavonian Grebe (max. 3). Twenty Red-throated, two Black-throated and one Great Northern Diver were off Milford-on-Sea on 26th. Spoonbills were only seen sporadically in the area, with a monthly maximum of seven in Pylewell Lake on 31st. Waders on the marshes included Avocet (max. 14), Ruff (max. 4) and Spotted Redshank (max. 8). Raptors included Hen Harrier (24th), Marsh Harrier (max. 6), Merlin on three dates and a Short-eared Owl (27th-31st). Other notable report included Bittern at Keyhaven on three dates, Little Gull (2nd), and up to seven Water Pipits.

ELSEWHERE

An immature White-tailed Eagle in the New Forest was seen mostly in the Roe Inclosure area (14th-22nd). Great Grey Shrikes were in the Crab Tree Bog area (from 16th) and Milkham Bottom (20th). Nine Cattle Egrets remained at Romsey water meadows (to 12th), with later records from Warblington (2, 14th; 1, 29th) and Old Basing (15th). Great White Egrets were at eleven sites, mostly in the Test Valley, with a maximum of four at Fishlake Meadows, where there was also a White-fronted Goose (21st, 27th) and a Bittern (19th). Five Waxwings were in Totton on the 31st. A Long-tailed Duck continued at Weston Shore, where there were also two Black-necked Grebes (from 22nd), plus reports of Red-throated and Great Northern Divers, Shag, Guillemot and Razorbill. Two Little Gulls were off Royal Victoria Country Park (23rd), with a single off Southsea Castle on 16th and 18th. A Pink-footed Goose was at Lower Test on four dates and also visited Dibden Bay on 23rd. In the Beaulieu area there were up to 11 Spoonbills, a Great Skua off Lepe (4th) and a Hen Harrier at Inchmery (7th). High numbers of Water Pipits included 17 at Lower Test and nine on Alresford Cress Beds. Black Redstarts were at Redbridge (6th-19th) and Cheriton (30th).

Tom Jordan