Bird News

HAMPSHIRE BIRD SIGHTINGS FOR APRIL 2024

Marsh Sandpiper by Rob Porter-Apr 21st, 24 Normandy Marsh
Marsh Sandpiper by Rob Porter – Apr 21st, Normandy Marsh

BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY

Reports from Ibsley Water included a Common Scoter (27th), Little Gill (13th), Arctic Tern (28th), Osprey (23rd, 28th) and two Hobbies (24th). The Red-crested Pochard was on Ellingham Pound (25th). Elsewhere on the Avon, up to five Garganey were at Bickerley Common, which also had two Cattle Egrets (19th), two Great White Egrets, a Turtle Dove (26th) and a Ring Ouzel (5th). A Little Gull was at Harbridge (5th).

LYMINGTON-KEYHAVEN MARSHES

The star bird was a Marsh Sandpiper at Normandy Lagoon (19th-24th). Other migrant waders on the marshes included two Ruffs, a Curlew Sandpiper (22nd-29th), a Wood Sandpiper (24th) and a Spotted Redshank. A Whooper Swan visited the Keyhaven/Pennington area (10th-11th). There was a female Garganey (17th-18th) and the longstaying Scaup was still present to the end of the month. Up to five Little Gulls were present at the start of the month and there were regular sightings until the month end. Four Spoonbills were seen throughout, a Great White Egret was seen a few times and a Cattle Egret once (7th). An early Honey Buzzard flew over Pennington (20th). Up to 14 Eiders were offshore. Seawatching from Hurst Beach produced a Pomarine Skua (30th), four Arctic Skuas and a Black-throated Diver (30th).

TITCHFIELD HAVEN TO WARSASH

A Black-winged Stilt visited Hook-with-Warsash (27th). A pair of Garganey were on the Posbrook Floods (13th-22nd), which also attracted up to two Little Gulls (5th-16th) and a Great White Egret (23rd). Other migrants in that area included the first Hobby (15th) and a Ring Ouzel (5th). The only notable reports from the reserve at Titchfield Haven were of one or two Little Gulls (1st-13th) and a Bittern (18th). A Short-eared Owl flew past Hill Head (28th). Offshore there were up to 12 Eider, a Common Scoter, an Arctic Tern (24th), an Arctic Skua (15th), a Guillemot (1st), a Black-throated Diver (30th), Red-throated Diver (30th) and Great Northern Diver (10th).

LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND

Two Spoonbills were at Farlington Marshes (18th). There were regular sightings of Osprey in Langstone Harbour. A Little Gull was at Budds Sewage Farm (2nd-3rd) and a Great Northern Diver was off the Oysterbeds (6th). On Hayling, an Alpine Swift was over Mill Rythe (7th). Sandy Point recorded eastwards passage of one Pomarine Skua (30th), two Arctic Skuas, 68 Common Scoters, a Kittiwake, a Little Gull (12th), and a Red-throated Diver. Two Great Northern Divers lingered to mid-month, a Short-eared Owl flew north (13th) and there was a Pied Flycatcher (19th).

OTHER SITES

A few other typical spring rarities were found. A Hoopoe was at Lakeside Country Park (9th) and two Purple Herons were at Winchester SF (13th), followed by a single at Testwood Lakes and Lower Test (26th). It was a poor month for sea passage but Great Skuas flew past Barton-on-Sea (6th, 7th) and Stokes Bay (7th) and an Arctic Skua passed Gilkicker (27th). Single Little Gulls passed Lepe (5th) and Barton-on-Sea (6th). Fleet Pond recorded an Arctic Tern (23rd) and a Spotted Redshank (27th). A Black-throated Diver remained off Weston Shore, along with up to six Great Northern Divers. A Bittern was at Fishlake Meadows throughout. Nine Cattle Egrets were at Denmead (26th). A Montagu’s Harrier at Pig Bush (23rd) was the first record for a few years. Early Honey Buzzards were at Lepe (19th) and Acres Down (26th). Ospreys were widely reported. A Hen Harrier was at Alresford (5th), a Merlin was at Deadman Hill (4th) and Short-eared Owls were at Newtown (12th), Eversley Common (14th) and Taddiford (14th). An early Hobby was at Gilkicker (8th). A Wood Sandpiper was at Testwood Lakes (22nd-25th). Scarcer migrant passerines included Ring Ouzels at Portsdown Hill (6th), Ashley Walk (2, 7th), Eversley Common (13th) and Pigeon House Farm (14th) and a Pied Flycatcher at Pig Bush (21st). After an absence of any wintering birds this year, a Great Grey Shrike turned up at Bransbury Common (9th-12th), with another at Tidpit Down (12th). Other lingering winter species included 13 Waxwing at Shawford (4th), Mealy Redpolls at Woolmer Forest and Chandler’s Ford and a good count of 100 Brambling at Micheldever Woods (6th).

Tom Jordan

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