Batten Down the Hatches – posted 26/10/13

Have just seen on the news that the south coast storm is on its way…excellent news for sea watching! The last time strong south-westerly’s hit the south coast Weymouth and Portland was littered with Leach’s Storm Petrels and species like Grey Phalarope, Sabine’s Gull and Skua’s can all get blown on to our shores. Obviously take care if you are out, and take advise from local news channels, but weather systems like this can produce really fascinating bird watching.

Today ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ and Stour Ringing group were invited to do a ringing demo at the RSPB Arne reserve. Unfortunately, persistent rain all morning stopped the session in its tracks, but not before a few decent birds were ringed in-between showers. Firescrest, Treecreeper, 2 Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit and Chaffinch were just a few of the species shown to the public today. Also at Arne today 22 Spoonbill at Shipstal, 4 Firecrest in the carpark and Redwing were passing over in good numbers.

The male Hen Harrier and a juv Marsh Harrier tumbled together in the wind out towards Swineham. Also 5 Red-breasted Merganser out in the Wareham Channel, 100+ Lapwing around Swineham and a Jack Snipe at Sunnyside Farm.

On Brownsea today 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint and 400 Avocet, along with Knot, Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Spotted Redshank.

From Shore Road, Sandbanks a few Bar-tailed Godwit are gathering with a few Turnstone, Sandwich Tern and Oystercatcher.

The Ring Ouzel and Scaup were still present at Swineham yesterday.

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