Well, apologise first of all for the lack of news, but the arrival of a new family member has taken up all of my time since Wednesday. While I’ve been nice and warm inside the weather has taken an obvious turn for the birds since Friday providing some excellent cold weather movements. This report is an overview of the last five days.
16th – 17th – Middle Beach, Studland had 9 Black-necked Grebe, whilst Rempstone Forest saw 1 Firecrest and 2 Red-legged Partridge. A Woodcock was at Ridge at eight Woodlark flew over High Tor, Wareham. Holes Bay had one Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail. An excellent record for Swineham came in the shape of a Red-throated Diver, also there a Sandwich Tern, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Chiffchaff, 17 Pochard, 2 Goldeneye, 6 Cetti’s Warbler and 4 Water Rail. There was also a report of a Hoopoe in Upton, later reported in Hamworthy on Saturday 19th.
On Friday 18th we saw significant snowfall in many areas of Poole Harbour resulting in the movement of many birds. Many hundreds (if not thousands) of Fieldfare, Redwing, Golden Plover, Skylark and Lapwing were recorded in many parts of the harbour looking for better feeding grounds having been displaced form other areas of the county/country. A Waxwing was reported in the Lytchett Bay area. Hen Harriers were recorded at Middlebere and Swineham. Middle Beach, Studland had 26 Black-necked Grebe, 9 Great Crested Grebe with Brands Bay counting 4 Black-necked grebe, 46 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Knot and 15 Great Crested Grebe.
Saturday 19th – The arrival and movement of many birds was still evident today with Golden Plover, Skylark, Lapwing, Fieldfare and Redwing most numerous. Holes Bay had 16 Spoonbill, 80 Avocet, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Goldeneye and a Kingfisher. Around Swineham a Barn Owl was at Swineham Point, also 3-4 Marsh Harrier, 5 Water Rail a Goldeneye and 4 Snipe. Lytchett Bay had a great record of a first winter Little Gull, 10 Golden Plover, 3 green Sandpiper, 1 Brambling, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine and a Spotted Redshank. 2 Ruff were in a field just east of Upton CP with Golden Plover and Lapwing. A Firecrest was in Lytchett Bay along with 3 Woodlark, 2 Marsh Harrier and 2 Spotted Redshank. Shore Road, Sandbanks still held at least 35 Sanderling along 80 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Turnstone and a Med Gull.
Sunday 20th – A nice surprise of Black Redstart in the Upton CP car park first thing along with the remaining Ruff. The16 Spoonbill were feeding in Holes Bay and also there 800 Dunlin, 2 Spotted redshank, 6 Chiffchaff (in the PC drain), 1 Common Sandpiper and a Grey Wagtail. Lytchett Bay counted 1 Jack Snipe, Grey Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 3 Goldeneye and 141 Avocet. Newton’s Bay received coverage today and counted 300 Shelduck, 15 Grey Plover, 19 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Pintail, 11 Goldeneye and 7 Great Crested Grebe. Swineham area saw 5 Brambling, 8 Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe, a Merlin, 2 Egyptian Geese, Water Pipit, 1 Barn Owl and a Kestrel. On the Swineham GP 160 Teal, 60 Shoveler, 21 Pochard, 43 Gadwall, 12 Wigeon, 15 Tufted duck and 2 Cetti’s Warbler. Most impressive was todays Fieldfare movement with a total of around 3000-4000 either migrating west of feeding in the surrounding fields. A lone Spoonbill was in Brands Bay, and at Greenland’s Farm 5 Golden Plover and a Ruff. 2 Sandwich Tern were in Lytchett Bay along with a male Hen Harrier and a Starling flock consisting of several thousand birds heading for Poole Town centre. 23 Black-necked Grebe at Middle Beach, 3 Waxwing in Sandford, 9 Woodlark in Brands Bay and Tawny Owls very vocal around the whole harbour.

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