Previous Bird News


Black Redstart by John Hibberd - Jan 31st, Lee-on-the-Solent
Black Redstart by John Hibberd – Jan 31st, Lee-on-the-Solent


The drake Ferruginous Duck continued to be seen sporadically at Blashford Lakes, mostly on Kingfisher Lake but with a foray to Ibsley Water. The Long-tailed Duck was on Ibsley throughout, plus up to three Black-necked Grebes and a Scaup (1st). A Yellow-browed Warbler was seen once along the Dockens Water (30th). Yellow-legged Gulls peaked at seven but there were no reports of Caspian Gulls this month. Other winter visitors included Marsh Harrier, Green and Common Sandpipers and Water Pipit. There were no reports of Great White Egrets at Blashford, however one or two were seen nearby at Ibsley water meadows, where the lonely Bewick’s Swan also returned for another year (8th-15th).


There was very little reported from Titchfield Haven itself, but up to six Water Pipits continued to be seen along the canal path, plus a Merlin (12th). Offshore from the Hill Head to Chilling area there were sightings of Velvet Scoter (15th-28th), Red-throated Diver (15th), two Great Northern Divers and a Slavonian Grebe (15th). A Grey Phalarope was at Hook-with-Warsash (3rd-4th), where one or two Great Northern Divers were offshore throughout. Up to three Black Redstarts entertained photographers at Lee-on-the-Solent (from 11th).


Reports from Farlington Marshes included a Great White Egret (5th), up to three Marsh Harriers and a Merlin on four dates. Two Short-eared Owls were at Southmoors (1st-23rd), plus a Water Pipit (18th). Black-necked Grebes off the Hayling Oysterbeds peaked at 22. Also in Langstone Harbour were a Long-tailed Duck, Red-throated Diver (7th), Great Northern Diver (15th-22nd) and up to two Slavonian Grebes. Five Cattle Egrets continued to overwinter at Warblington. On Hayling Island a Waxwing was at Sandy Point (1st) and a Great Skua was offshore from there (11th), while Chichester Harbour had Red-throated Diver (15th), Great Northern Diver (max. 4) and Slavonian Grebe (max. 5).


The Semipalmated Sandpiper appeared again and was seen a couple of times at Keyhaven and Oxey Marsh (10th-18th). Other wintering waders included five Ruff, seven Spotted Redshank and a Purple Sandpiper, while up to ten Spoonbills were seen daily. Offshore there were sightings of Long-tailed Duck (3rd, 10th), Red-throated Diver (26th), Great Northern Diver (17th, 30th) and up to five Slavonian Grebes, while a Velvet Scoter was seen from Milford-on-Sea (16th). Marsh Harrier numbers decreased with no more than three seen at Keyhaven, but a Short-eared Owl was seen in four dates. Up to two Water Pipits were on Pennington Marsh ande a Black Redstart was at Hurst Castle (29th). The released Great Bustard was reported again near Keyhaven (19th).


At least two Great White Egrets continued to overwinter in the lower Test valley, mostly seen at Testwood Lakes and the Moorcourt area. Up to five Great Northern Divers were in the upper reaches of Southampton Water, plus a Black-necked Grebe off Weston Shore (5th). The only Black-throated Diver of the month was in Portsmouth Harbour (4th), where there were also up to three Great Northern Divers and a Long-tailed Duck, plus a Scaup in Fareham Creek. A Great Grey Shrike was again in the Holmhill area in the New Forest (19th-29th), with another in the north-east at Woolmer Forest (1st), while the Turtle Dove overwintering in Bordon was reported again (4th). Elsewhere, a released Great Bustard settled at Toyd Down (4th-16th).

Tom Jordan