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FIRST OF THE SEASON - SCHOOLS BIRD BOAT – 26 SEP 2013

Although it is still early for over-wintering birds, we saw a good variety of species when we took out over 60 pupils from Lytchett Matravers Primary School on the first of this season’s bird boats. On Brownsea Lagoon and in the waters round about the island highlights were: 150-200 Avocet, a few Bar Tailed and Black Tailed Godwit, 2 very early arriving Brent Geese (and 7 more flew over Brand’s Bay as we cruised by), along with Curlew, lots of Cormorant and a few Shag, several Common and Sandwich Tern, small numbers of Dunlin, Greenshank, Redshank and a lone Spotted Redshank.

The lagoon also had its usual complement of Great Black Backed Gulls, Grey Heron and Little Egret, with Herring Gull and Mediterranean Gull also present. A large flock of Meadow Pipit was visible on the large patch of salt marsh just inside the lagoon wall and, where ducks are concerned, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck were scattered across the surface in small groups too.

Later, we sailed into Wych Channel to see 14 Spoonbill on the spit in Arne Bay and 6 Pintail flew over Shipstal Point. Finally, Oystercatchers were present by the score throughout the Harbour wherever a suitable strip of sandy foreshore was to be found. Sadly the only raptor in evidence on a pretty drizzly, grey day was a lone Buzzard overhead Brownsea Island. In spite of the weather, the children enjoyed their outing immensely and Lytchett School has already booked a repeat visit next season!

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