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Grey Phalarope by Andy Tew - Sep 28th, Farlington Marshes
Grey Phalarope by Andy Tew – Sep 28th, Farlington Marshes

As expected for September, a good variety of rarities and scarcities were seen during the month. An American Golden Plover was at Farlington Marshes (21st-30th), while a Kentish Plover was at Black Point (25th) before settling over the border in Sussex. Also involved in some cross-border movement was a Pallid Harrier that spent most its time on Thorney Island but was seen to fly west into Hampshire on the 1st. Nearby, a Glossy Ibis was at Sparkes Marina on Hayling Island (20th). An Aquatic Warbler was at Hook-with-Warsash (11th-12th). An Icterine Warbler was an Barton-on-Sea (1st-2nd), followed by another at Farlington Marshes (15th), while a Barred Warbler was at Portsdown Hill (15th) and a Wryneck was at Lower Test (4th). A Sabine’s Gull off Hill Head (29th) was the only notable seawatching report.

Scarce waders included a Temminck’s Stint at Bunny Meadows (25th), Pectoral Sandpipers at Farlington Marshes (6th, 10th) and Pennington Marshes (19th) and a Grey Phalarope at Farlington (25th-30th). Juvenile Curlew Sandpipers were seen in good numbers with maxima of eleven at Farlington and six at Pennington, with others seen at Titchfield Haven, Bunny Meadows and Hayling Oysterbeds. The Pennington area also had up to four Little Stints, with single birds seen at Farlington and Titchfield on several dates each. Cattle Egret sightings decreased, with six over Langstone Harbour (7th) and one at Itchen Abbas (29th) the only reports, while Great White Egrets were at Fishlake Meadows (max. 3), Tundry pond, Lepe, Dogmersfield Lake and Farlington Marshes. Spoonbills were at Pennington (6th) and Titchfield Haven (20th).

A few scarcer winter visitors were seen late in the month, with a Whooper Swan at Fleet Pond (26th-27th) and a Pink-footed Goose at Pennington Marsh (25th). Garganey were seen at Fishlake Meadows, Fleet Pond, Titchfield Haven and Farlington Marshes. Migrant raptors included Honey Buzzards over Four Marks (4th) and North Baddesley (13th), Ospreys at thirteen sites and Merlin at four sites, while Short-eared Owls were seen at five sites. Passerines included a Lapland Bunting over Barton-on-Sea (28th), Black Redstarts at Hill Head (7th, 9th) and Hook-with-Warsash (27th), Pied Flycatchers at six sites and Ring Ouzels at four sites.

Tom Jordan