Bird News

 

February 2018

 

Glossy Ibis by Gareth Rees

 

BLASHFORD LAKES AND THE AVON VALLEY

 

A wide range of gulls continued to be reported from Ibsley Water, including Thayer’s Gull (2nd-26th), Iceland Gull (1st-9th), Ring-billed Gull (2nd-27th), up to two Caspian Gulls and up to seven Yellow-legged Gulls. The Lesser Scaup reappeared on Ibsley Water, although only briefly (3rd-4th). The regular Ferruginous Duck was also seen on Kingfisher Lake (5th-9th). A single Bewick’s Swan was on Ibsley Water (5th) and at Harbridge (7th-8th). The Great White Egret was only reported sporadically this month (1st-5th, 18th). Up to two Black-necked Grebes were on Ibsley Water (4th-25th), as well as a Water Pipit (3rd, 17th) and a Merlin (15th).

 

LYMINGTON TO MILFORD-ON-SEA

 

A Glossy Ibis turned up on Sturt Pond (27th-28th). An Iceland Gull showed well at Keyhaven (2nd-4th). Up to five Spoonbills were present (3rd-27th), ranging widely between Keyhaven and Lymington. The long-staying Red-necked Grebe continued offshore (1st-26th), plus up to three Slavonian Grebes. Three White-fronted Geese continued at Keyhaven (1st-27th), where there was also a Bittern (4th, 10th). Raptors included Marsh Harrier (max. 3), Merlin (4th) and Short-eared Owl (1st, 5th). Waders on the marshes included Avocet (max. 16), Ruff (max. 7), Purple Sandpiper (3rd-20th), Spotted Redshank (max. 8) and Jack Snipe (27th, 2 on 28th). Reports from Milford-on-Sea were of Great Northern Diver (13th), Shag (11th) and Purple Sandpiper (27th).

 

LANGSTONE HARBOUR AND HAYLING ISLAND

 

A pair of early Garganey were at Farlington Marshes (28th). Other notable reports from Farlington were Marsh Harrier (16th, 17th, 24th), Avocet (max. 33), Short-eared Owl (19th, 21st), Merlin (17th, 20th) and Water Pipit (17th, 23rd). Records from Langstone Harbour included Long-tailed Duck (2nd-7th, 15th-19th), Great Northern Diver (1st, 2 on 17th), Slavonian Grebe (3 on 1st) and Black-necked Grebe (max. 18). On Hayling Island, sightings from the Sandy Point area included Red-throated Diver (18th), Black-throated Diver (18th-19th), Great Northern Diver (2 on 18th) and Merlin (19th). Up to three Black Redstarts were at Eastoke (6th-27th). The Cattle Egret at Warblington also continued to be reported (7th-18th), along with the regular Spotted Redshank (10th, 21st).

 

HILL HEAD TO HAMBLE

 

A Bittern was at Titchfield Haven (16th-24th), as well as Ruff (10th, 18th) and five Water Pipits (18th). The Haven’s first Avocet of the year was seen on the 3rd, with two then at Hook-with-Warsash (20th). A Black-throated Diver was off Hill Head (17th, 19th), as well as a Great Northern Diver (19th) and three Avocets (8th). The Black-throated Diver was also seen off Stubbington (16th, 19th) and Hook-with-Warsash (27th), while Great Northern Divers were reported on several dates from Hook-with-Warsash, Hamble Estuary and Lee-on-the-Solent.

 

ELSEWHERE

 

Large numbers of gulls were recorded feeding in fields around Tidpit Down, including the Thayer’s Gull (5th-21st), up to two Caspian Gulls (8th-16th) and up to five Yellow-legged Gulls. In the New Forest, Great Grey Shrikes were reported from Milkham Bottom (4th-6th), Vereley Hill (11th), Markway Inclosure (25th) and Crab Tree Bog (27th), while Merlins were at eight sites. On the New Forest coast, the Lepe area had a Spoonbill (25th) and a Great Northern Diver (24th-28th) There was a small influx of Black Redstarts to the county with records coming from Gosport (3rd, 4 on 17th, 1 on 18th), Old Portsmouth (3 from 7th-12th), East Meon (8th) and Fratton (2 on 16th). The only Waxwings of the winter also turned up, with two at Bramshill Plantation (11th), plus singles at Hartley Wintney (11th) and North Camp, Farnborough (14th). In Southampton Water the Long-tailed Duck continued off Weston Shore (4th-26th), plus Great Northern Diver (3rd, 10th, 25th). Several Great White Egrets continued to roam the Test valley with sightings coming from the Moorcourt/Skidmore area (15th, 18th, 25th), Fishlake Meadows (18th, 2 on 24th) and Broadlands (21st). Two Bewick’s Swans flew over Alresford Cressbeds (24th), where there was a maximum of eight Water Pipits, plus a ringtail Hen Harrier at Alresford Pond (7th, 17th).

 

Tom Jordan

 

March 14th, 2018