HAMPSHIRE SIGHTINGS FOR MARCH 2019
BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY
A White-tailed Eagle was seen over Ibsley Water (1st). The regular Ferruginous Duck was seen several times on Kingfisher Lake (to 13th). The Long-tailed Duck continued on Ibsley Water (to 22nd), where there were two Black-necked Grebes on the 1st. Wintering species included two Marsh Harriers, a Common Sandpiper and Yellow-legged Gull, but a Little Gull (21st) was a sign of spring, as was the first Sand Martin (17th). A Bittern was seen at Ivy Lake (15th-16th). There was only one report of Great White Egret at Blashford (1st), with further reports from the Avon Causeway area (12th, 14th)
HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE
At Titchfield Haven, 25 Avocets had arrived by the middle of the month and up to 100 Golden Plovers were seen. The first Sand Martin was over the Posbrook Floods on the sixth, where there was also a Cattle Egret (20th), Ruff (30th) and up to five Water Pipits along the canal path. Offshore there were sightings of Slavonian Grebe (2nd, 23rd), up to three Great Northern Divers, and maxima of 46 Eiders and three Common Scoters. Five Little Gulls east (19th) were the first sign of spring passage at sea. A couple of Black Redstarts continued to be seen at Lee-on-the-Solent, with others nearby at Newlands Farm (8th), Solent Breezes (29th-30th) and Posbrook (30th).
LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND
Highlights from Farlington Marshes included a Spoonbill (9th), Merlin (14th) and Whimbrel (26th). The first Wheatears of the spring were seen on the 15th. In Langstone Harbour were Long-tailed Duck (14th), two Great Northern Divers (1st) and up to ten Black-necked Grebes. On the other side of Hayling Island, Sandy Point had three Slavonian Grebes and four Great Northern Divers (10th). The first seven Wheatears arrived on the 16th, followed by a Black Redstart (19th, 21st).
LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA
Up to ten Spoonbills continued to be seen daily in the Keyhaven/Pennington area. Offshore there were sightings of Long-tailed Duck (10th-12th), Black-necked Grebe (14th), up to four Slavonian Grebes and Great Northern Diver (14th). Winterers included five each of Ruff and Spotted Redshank, plus two Water Pipits and a single Merlin sighting (23rd). First spring arrivals came in the form of Wheatear (16th), Little Ringed Plover and Sand Martin (19th), plus Black Redstarts at Iley Lane (18th) and Normandy Farm (20th). The Great Bustard was seen a couple of times at Iley Lane. At Milford-on-Sea there was a Black-throated Diver (4th).
The Hoopoe at Badminston Common was seen again (15th). At least two Great White Egrets remained in the Test valley, with another in the north east at Eversley GP (8th), while Cattle Egrets were seen at Old Basing (4, 12th), Nursing (18th) and Leigh (25th). Two White Storks flew over Ampfield (11th) and White-tailed Eagles were over Milkham Inclosure (21st) and Sholing and then Hythe (25th). Two Hen Harriers were at Crawley near Winchester (26th), plus a couple of sightings in the New Forest. The Great Grey Shrike continued in the Holmhill area (to 23rd), with another at Milkham Inclosure (16th-17th). Black Redstarts remained at Moorcourt and Middle Wallop, with another in Eastleigh (25th). Portsmouth Harbour had Long-tailed Duck (4th, 7th, 13th) and Great Northern Diver (4th), while Weston Shore recorded Slavonian Grebe (2nd), four Black-necked Grebes (14th) and up to six Great Northern Divers. Highlights at Lepe were two Spoonbills, Great Northern Diver, three Green Sandpipers, Spotted Redshank and two Water Pipits. First arrivals of spring migrants included an Osprey over Totton (11th), Little Gull and Little Ringed Plover at Edenbrook Country Park (14th and 16th), Swallow at Chilbolton (16th), six House Martins at Testwood Lakes (22nd), a Ring Ouzel at Charter Alley (28th) and Cuckoo on Yateley Common (30th). A further three Little Gulls were at Fleet Pond (19th), plus Ospreys at Skidmore (16th), Botley (22nd) and Liss (30th).