BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY
The Lesser Scaup from October continued on Spinnaker and Snails Lakes (to 4th). The Ferruginous Duck was also reported on Ibsley Water several times (5th, 10th, 11th), while a Pink-footed Goose on Ibsley (1st-30th) completed the selection of unusual wildfowl. The Great White Egret was reported throughout, mostly from Ivy Lake. A first-winter Caspian Gull (5th-28th) led the lineup of gulls roosting on Ibsley Water, where there there was a maximum of 11 Yellow-legged Gulls, as well as a single Mediterranean Gull (2nd). Other birds around Ibsley Water included Dunlin (24th), Ringed Plover (25th), Green Sandpiper (max. 3) and Water Pipit (max. 2). Elsewhere in the Avon Valley, a Glossy Ibis flew south over Avon Tyrell (19th), Great White Egrets were at Avon Causeway (14th, 28th), Bickton (19th) and Burgate Manor Farm (20th) and a Hen Harrier was at Fordingbridge (25th).
LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA
Two Cattle Egrets were at Pennington (5th-17th). Spoonbills were reported most days from the middle of the month (13th-29th), peaking at four (28th). Waders included a Grey Phalarope at Oxey Marsh (to 11th), Avocet (max. 10), Ruff (max. 3), Purple Sandpiper (11th, 18th), Green Sandpiper (25th) and Spotted Redshank (max. 8). Divers and grebes offshore from the Pennington Marshes area included Black-throated Diver (24th-26th), Great Northern Diver (24th-27th) and Slavonian Grebe (max. 2, 19th-27th). Raptors included Merlin (29th), Marsh Harrier (up to two throughout) and Short-eared Owl (12th). Several late Swallows were reported (3rd, two on 8th, 27th). A Little Auk was off Hordle Cliff (17th). Sightings off Milford-on-Sea/Hurst Beach included Red-throated Diver (18th, 22nd), Black-throated Diver (22nd) and Kittiwake (18 on 22nd).
LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND
Bird of the month was a Stilt Sandpiper seen at Farlington Marshes (7th). A Glossy Ibis was also seen at Farlington (16th). Raptors included Merlin (16th) and Marsh Harrier (8th, 18th, 26th), while up to three Short-eared Owls continued to be seen. Avocets peaked at 36; other waders reported included Spotted Redshank (9th, 17th) and Ruff (7th). A late Wheatear was present (12th), while Bearded Tits were reported in good numbers throughout (max. 24 on 8th). Birds in Langstone Harbour included two Velvet Scoters (18th-24th), Long-tailed Duck (9th, 19th), Great Northern Diver (up to two, 10th-19th) and Black-necked Grebe (max. 11). A Great White Egret was at Southmoors (17th), while a Cattle Egret was at Warblington (7th). Hayling Island produced a county rarity in the form of a Black Guillemot at Sandy Point (23rd). Other records from the Sandy Point area included Purple Sandpiper (7th), Black-throated Diver (two on 14th), Great Northern Diver (16th-17th, 26th-28th) and up to 31 Sandwich Terns.
HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE
The highlight at Titchfield Haven was a Barred Warbler (19th). Waders included Ruff (19th, 29th) and Avocet (23rd-30th). Two Marsh Harriers were seen throughout, plus a Merlin (30th). Sightings from Hill Head included Red-throated Diver (15th) and Kittiwake (23rd). Up to seven Common Scoters were offshore from the Brownwich area (2nd-25th), as well as a Razorbill (15th). A Rose-coloured Starling was briefly at Hook-with-Warsash (13th), where there was also a Marsh Harrier (18th) and up to ten Bearded Tits.
A Red-necked Phalarope was at Needs Ore (2nd). Records from the Inchmery/Lepe area included Snow Bunting (29th), Great Northern Diver (24th), Marsh Harrier (1st, 9th-13th), Razorbill (1st, 9th) and Kittiwake (2W on 12th). In the New Forest, Great Grey Shrikes were at Vales Moor (3rd-4th) and Milkham Bottom (15th-24th), Hen Harriers were at Matley Bog (2nd), Black Gutter Bottom (10th-21st) and Ocknell Plain (21st) and a late Whinchat was at Longslade Bottom (26th). Another Whinchat was at Bransbury Common (2nd), where Hen Harrier (9th, 24th) and Short-eared Owl (25th) were also reported. A Whooper Swan was at Testwood Lakes, along with Great White Egrets (max. 5, 3rd-28th) and Bittern (two on 15th, one 17th-27th). Great White Egrets were also seen at Tundry Pond (14th, 28th), Fleet Pond (19th), Timsbury (2N on 20th), Yateley GP (22nd-23rd), Fishlake Meadows (24th) and Warnford (26th). A Cattle Egret flew over Liss (30th). A Long-tailed Duck was off Weston Shore (19th-29th), as well as three Shags (25th). Hen Harriers were at Alresford (16th, 26th, 30th), plus Marsh Harrier (26th), Green Sandpiper (max. 7) and Water Pipit (max. 4). High numbers of numbers of Hawfinches continued to be reported, with maxima of 21 over Bricksbury Hill, Fleet (5th), 24 over Trigpoint Hill, Timsbury (9th) and 21 settled at Testwood Lakes (15th).
December 5th, 2017