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HAMPSHIRE SIGHTINGS FOR NOVEMBER 2020

Black Redstart by Richard Jacobs - Nov 24th, Nursling
Black Redstart by Richard Jacobs – Nov 24th, Nursling

With the return of lockdown there weren’t many rarities found this month, however two of the Penduline Tits from October were still at Titchfield Haven on the 2nd and a Glossy Ibis flew over Keyhaven on the 3rd. Yellow-browed Warblers were at Titchfield Canal Path (1st-2nd) and Skidmore (4th). Several Great Grey Shrikes arrived, with reports from Milkham Inclosure (15th-16th), Woolmer Forest (22nd) and Bransbury Common (from 24th). A Lapland Bunting was at Keyhaven (7th) and a Great Bustard was also seen twice in that area. There were widespread sightings of Great White Egrets, with a maximum of four at Blashford Lakes, while Cattle Egrets were seen at Farlington Marshes (6th), Bransgore (8, 16th; 9, 30th) and Warblington (4, 17th). Up to eight Spoonbills were seen regularly at Inchmery, with two also seen flying over Pennington on the 19th. The only Bittern seen during the month was at Fishlake Meadows (6th, 13th).

A variety of scarcer winter wildfowl were seen. A Pink-footed Goose flew over Barton-on-Sea (29th) and 24 White-fronted Geese were at Farlington Marshes (29th), with another at Normandy Marsh (21st, 29th). Velvet Scoters were off Tanners Lane (16th), Pennington (2, 21st), Hill Head (2, 21st) and Brownwich (22nd), while Long-tailed Ducks were off Lymington (3rd), Chichester Harbour (20th), Hill Head (24th) and Hook-with-Warsash (24th). Great Northern Divers were reported very widely along the coast, with a maximum of seven off Weston Shore. Black-throated Divers were seen off Millford-on-Sea (15th) and Barton-on-Sea (22nd), while Red-throated Divers were reported from five sites. The only Slavonian Grebe reported during the month was in Langstone Harbour (7th, 22nd, 29th, 30th), where Black-necked Grebes reached a peak of nine.

The good autumn for Grey Phalaropes continued, with birds at Farlington Marshes (1st), Keyhaven/Pennington (1-2, 2nd-7th) and Southsea (19th). Other waders included a Little Stint at Pennington (2nd), with three Spotted Redshank and four Ruff also in that area. Purple Sandpipers were seen in good numbers with up to 26 at Barton-on-Sea and 13 at Southsea Castle. Seabirds included Bonxies at Inchmery (24th), Weston Shore (28th) and Hill Head (28th), while there was a scattering of Kittiwakes, auks and Shags along the coast. Winter raptors included Hen Harriers at Sandy Point (7th) and several sites in the New Forest, Merlins at nine sites and Short-eared Owls at Farlington Marshes (1-2, 3rd-7th) and Newlands Farm (7th).

A variety of tardy summer visitors were seen, with widespread reports of Swallows, several House Martins and even a Sand Martin at Hill Head (7th). The last Wheatears were at Farlington Marshes (5th-8th) and Park Shore (9th) and Ring Ouzels were at Old Basing (5th) and Trigpoint Hill (9th). More typical for November was an influx of Black Redstarts with nineteen sites recording birds during the month.

Tom Jordan