BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY
Bird of the month was a juvenile Thayer’s Gull on Ibsley Water, although it was only seen on one date (28th). A Ring-billed Gull continued to be seen (1st-31st), plus regular Caspian Gulls and up to 11 Yellow-legged Gulls. A single Pink-footed Goose continued to be seen, mostly on Ibsley Water but sometimes at Ibsley Bridge. Up to two Black-necked Grebes were on Ibsley Water throughout the month. The usual Great White Egret continued, favouring Ivy Lake. Other notable species included a Merlin at Ivy Lake (7th) and Water Pipit on Ibsley Water (1st-21st). Peak counts of wildfowl on Ibsley Water were 65 Goosander, 96 Pintail, 2 Goldeneye and 129 Pochard, plus 56 Black-tailed Godwits, one Dunlin and one Oystercatcher. Reports from elsewhere in the Avon Valley included Great White Egret at Fordingbridge (2nd), Merlin at Ripley Farm Reservoir (14th) and a Black Redstart in Ringwood (13th).
LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA
An Iceland Gull was at Hurst Castle (14th) and then Keyhaven (21st-31st). Three White-fronted Geese turned up at Keyhaven (26th-31st). The full range of divers and grebes continued to be seen offshore from the Keyhaven/Pennington area including Red-necked Grebe (2nd-26th), Slavonian Grebe (max. 4) and Black-necked Grebe (max. 4), Black-throated Diver (9th, 14th), Great Northern Diver (1st, 28th) and Red-throated Diver (3rd, two on 8th). Up to five Spoonbills were in the area (8th-25th), while Great White Egrets were seen on two dates (2nd, 13th). Waders on the marshes included Avocet (max. 16), Whimbrel (4th), Spotted Redshank (max. 8), Ruff (max. 6), Jack Snipe (14th) and the long-staying Purple Sandpiper (11th, 22nd, 27th). Other species seen in the Keyhaven/Pennington area included Marsh Harrier (max. 4), Merlin (2nd, 5th, 26th) and Water Pipit (2nd).
LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND
There were few reports from Farlington Marshes this month; highlights included Barnacle Goose (max. 120, 1st-13th), Avocet (max. 36, 6th-13th), Marsh Harrier (1st-11th) and Short-eared Owl (19th). Birds in Langstone Harbour included a Red-necked Grebe (3rd), Slavonian Grebe (max. 3), Black-necked Grebe (max. 18), Great Northern Diver (max. 2), Black-throated Diver (two on 2nd), Long-tailed Duck (1st-14th) and Kittiwake (3rd). The Cattle Egret continued at Warblington (1st-28th), also being seen at Langstone Mill Pond (30th). On Hayling Island, the Sandy Point area produced Black-throated Diver (1st-15th, 27th-28th), Great Northern Diver (max. 4), Slavonian Grebe (max. 3). A Black Redstart was at Eastoke (9th).
HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE
Little of note was reported from Titchfield Haven, with highlights including Barnacle Goose (4th-7th, 21st), Marsh Harrier (max. 3), Ruff (1st-7th) and Water Pipit (1st). A Yellow-legged Gull was at Hill Head (1st). Reports from offshore included Black-throated Diver (6th, 14th), Great Northern Diver (6th-7th, 20th) and Slavonian Grebe (7th), plus maxima of 40 Eider and 16 Common Scoter. A Great Skua was off Chilling (17th). A Merlin was at Brownwich (6th). Great Northern Divers were off Hook-with-Warsash (22nd) and Hamble Spit (27th), where there was also a Kittiwake (25th).
A Black Guillemot was seen off Lepe (8th). Also in the Lepe area were up to nine Spoonbills, Black-throated Diver (9th), Red-throated Diver (31st), Great Northern Diver (9th), Slavonian Grebe (20th), two Black-necked Grebes (8th), Spotted Redshank (20th) and Great Skua (20th). Species at the north end of Southampton Water, mostly seen from Weston Shore, included Long-tailed Duck (2nd-31st), Red-throated Diver (1st-3rd), Great Northern Diver (max. 4), Slavonian Grebe (4th-20th). In the New Forest, Great Grey Shrikes were seen at Kings Garden (16th), Milkham Bottom (20th) and Picket Post (28th-29th), while Merlins were at five sites and a Short-eared Owl was at Milkham Bottom (2nd). In the Test valley, Great White Egrets were at Moorcourt (2nd, 27th, 29th), Testwood Lakes (4th), Fishlake Meadows (15th-30th) and Skidmore (max. 3 on 17th). A Short-eared Owl was at Lower Test (13th), plus up to two Water Pipits (1st-19th). A Hen Harrier was at Alresford Pond (7th, 10th, 19th) and up to four Water Pipits were on the Alresford Cressbeds. A Short-eared Owl was at Hannington (12th) and a Great White Egret was at West End (21st). Black Redstarts were at Fort Cumberland (10th) and Portsmouth Dockyard (19th).
February 10th, 2018