Bird News


October 2017


Grey Phalarope by Andy Tew




The highlight of the month at Blashford Lakes was Hampshire’s first Lesser Scaup, which moved between Ivy and Spinnaker Lakes from the 28th into November. The usual Great White Egret was seen throughout the month at Blashford, with the same or another also seen at Avon Causeway (2nd, 24th). A Spoonbill on Ibsley Water (15th-16th) was very notable. Waders on Ibsley included single Ruff (1st-5th, 17th), Ringed Plover (15th), Common Sandpiper (1st-3rd) and up to two Green Sandpipers (throughout). The only notable gulls reported from the Ibsley Water roost were Yellow-legged Gull (max. 7 on 31st). A Water Pipit was also on Ibsley (28th-31st)




The good autumn for phalaropes continued with another Red-necked Phalarope at Pennington Marsh (20th) and Grey Phalaropes at Pennington (1st-6th), Hurst Castle (22nd) and Oxey Marsh (25th-30th). Other waders seen on the marshes during October included Little Stint (2nd), Curlew Sandpiper (16th), Avocet (17th), Whimbrel (22nd), Ruff (max. 2) and Spotted Redshank (max. 6). A Rose-coloured Starling was a good find at Pennington (8th). The elusive Wryneck from September was seen again at Keyhaven (3rd). Other scarce passerines included Yellow-browed Warblers at Keyhaven (4th, 28th), Ring Ouzel at Pennington (9th, 2 on 17th) and a Black Redstart (17th). Ten Hawfinches flew over Pennington (23rd). Raptors included an Osprey at Pennington (20th) and Normandy Marsh (22nd), up to two Marsh Harriers on and off, Merlin (2nd, 16th-21st) and Short-eared Owl (17th). Winter arrivals included a Bittern at Pennington Marsh (19th), then at Keyhaven (22nd), two Scaup on Efford Lake (29th) and 20 Common Scoter off Pennington (22nd). There was only one Spoonbill report (2nd). A Little Gull was on Sturt Pond (30th) and an Arctic Tern was at Pennington (23rd). Bearded Tits peaked at 21 on the 8th. Milford-on-Sea produced a Great Skua, Guillemot and seven Common Scoter (all 21st).




At Farlington, seven Great White Egrets flew north (27th). Waders included Curlew Sandpiper (3rd-7th), Little Stint (5th), Ruff (3rd-7th) and Spotted Redshank (5 on 7th). Two Short-eared Owls returned to winter once again (from 18th), while a Merlin was also seen (27th). Four Ring Ouzels were at Budds Farm (14th). The only notable reports from Hayling Island were Ring Ouzel (8th) and Hawfinch (13th) at Sandy Point, and a Curlew Sandpiper at Black Point (17th).




A Greenish or Two-barred Greenish Warbler was seen by two birders at Titchfield Haven (26th) but unfortunately did not linger. Several Yellow-browed Warblers were also seen (6th, 8th-10th). Great White Egrets were seen on several dates (22nd, 27th, 3N on 28th). Waders on the scrapes included two Little Stint (1st-2nd) and Ruff (max. 5). A Great Skua on the river (11th) met an unusual end when it was taken by a Fox. Other records from the Haven included Short-eared Owl (27th), Osprey (22nd), Merlin (27th, 29th), Marsh Harrier (up to two throughout) and Ring Ouzel (2 on 18th, 25th). Sightings from Hill Head included Red-throated Diver (29th), Black-necked Grebe (15th) and Guillemot (29th). Sites across the area recorded Hawfinches as part of the national influx; records came from Stubbington (14th), Titchfield Haven (15th, 27th), Brownwich (28th), Catisfield (28th) and Hook-with-Warsash (28th). Other sightings from Hook-with-Warsash included Spoonbill (2W on 1st), Osprey (22nd), Ruff (28th), Little Stint (6th-7th), Razorbill (20th) and a pair of Bearded Tits (25th-26th).




Great White Egrets continue to establish themselves in the Test Valley, with a new record count off 11 birds at Testwood Lakes (29th), following nine over previous days (27th-28th). Up to two were also reported from the regular site of Fishlake Meadows (1st-23rd), as well as singles at Skidmore (10th) and Lower Test (25th). Reports elsewhere came from Edenbrook Country Park (1st), Weston Shore (2W on 29th) and Lepe (30th). One of the highlights of the month for local patch watchers was a large influx of Hawfinches. Excluding the New Forest, records were received from 26 sites, with the highest counts coming from Trigpoint Hill, Timsbury (max. 42 on 24th) and Bricksbury Hill, Fleet (max 18. on 18th). A Leach’s Petrel off Browndown (21st) was the only notable seabird seen following Storm Brian.


Scarcer migrants included Yellow-browed Warblers at Basingstoke (5th), Heath Pond, Petersfield (13th), Whale Island, Portsmouth (13th), IBM Lake (Cosham) (22nd), Bishopstoke (22nd) and Lower Test (22nd). Ring Ouzels were reported ten other sites, mostly in the New Forest, with a maximum of five in the Ashley Walk/Leadenhall area. A Black Redstart was in Aldershot (19th), while a late Whinchat was at Hannington (16th). Ospreys were seen over Leigh Park (7th), Itchen Valley Country Park (22nd) and Inchmery (26th). The first Hen Harrier of the winter was at Shipton Bellinger (12th), with two then at Bransbury Common (26th-27th). A Short-eared Owl was at Leadenhall, New Forest (31st), with two Merlins also in that area (5th-22nd), plus singles at Lepe (6th), King’s Somborne (8th), Ranvilles Lane (15th), Overton (24th). A Spotted Redshank was at the Vyne (31st), plus two Ruffs (2nd-5th). Only one Jack Snipe was reported, at Ashley Hole (21st). Two Water Pipits were at Lowest Test (from 26th).


Tom Jordan




November 8th, 2017