Birds a plenty – posted 24/11/13

Today saw an RSPB birdboat leave Poole Quay at 10:30 this morning, with a top deck full of people hoping and waiting for a birding extravaganza. I’m pleased to say we weren’t disappointed as near perfect conditions provided us with a total of 52 species. We left the quay and headed for the Brownsea Lagoon where a host of volunteers set up base in the hides getting scopes onto the thousands of birds present. The lagoon Species list included Spoonbill, Avocet, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Little Egret and 3 Buzzards. The tour then led us around the harbour backwaters where we were treated to exquisite views of Great Northern and Black-throated Diver, Eider Duck, Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe. Goldeneye were present in good numbers too and the supporting cast of Brent Geese, Shelduck, Cormorant, Shag, Common Gull, Little Grebe and Lapwing made for an excellent days bird watching. At Shore Road a total of 43 Sanderling were feeding on the tide line along with 111 Bar-tailed Godwit. Only 7 Spoonbill in Holes Bay this morning but 25 there yesterday! Out over Swineham yesterday 5 Marsh Harrier were lingering together late afternoon and a male Hen Harrier dashed over Arne Moors. Numbers of various species seem to be increasing right across the harbour as Lytchett Bay saw an increase of 152 Avocet, 268 Dunlin, and 109 Shelduck. There were 6 Ringed-necked Parakeet at Studland and 11 Sanderling in Shell Bay. The Surf Scoter is still present in Brands Bay (although not seen from the Birdboat). Finally from Swineham a Jack Snipe at the point, 3 Spoonbill, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Tawny Owl, 4 Cetti’s Warbler, 5 Water Rail, 26 Siskin, 24 Pochard and 54 Gadwall.

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