Bittern and Blue Sky – posted 13/01/14

This winter has certainly been one of the mildest in recent years so it’s no surprise that species like Waxwing and Brambling are no where to be found. The same goes for Bittern, which have annually over wintered at Hatch Pond for as long as I can remember. There has only been one Bittern record this winter in Poole Harbour with a bird seen flying low over Swineham at dusk just before Christmas. This morning another (or possibly the same) was flushed from a drainage ditch near Holton Lee and seen flying towards the reed beds of Lytchett Bay. It’s likely that 1-2 Bittern over winter in the harbour each year, but a combination of their shy nature and the vast expanse of Poole Harbour reedbed makes them quite hard to see. Looking out over a reedbed at dusk from a decent viewpoint will improve your chances of seeing a Bittern as they start flying to their various roosting sites deep within the reeds. Elsewhere around the harbour Firecrests were present at Studland, Swineham and Creekmoor Ponds. The Yellow-browed Warbler is still at Knoll Beach, Studland. A male Bearded Tit was at Upton CP in the reeds near the boardwalk, also there 5 Pintail. The 1st winter Little Gull was seen again at Baiter along with 189 Oystercatcher and 292 Brent Geese. There are still 8 Marsh Harrier roosting in the harbour and at least 2 Hen Harrier still present. At Lytchett Bay the Smewhas taken to feeding out on the water for short periods of time, also present was a Ruff, 5 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Raven, 2 Stonechat and 9 Red-breasted Merganser. At Shore Road Sandbanks 41 Sanderling were present along with 100 Bar-tailed Godwit. At North Haven 4 Purple Sandpiper remain. Spoonbill have been present at Holes Bay, Lytchett Bay, Swineham and Arne. The 1st year Scaup is still at Poole Park with Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye both out on the boating lake.  At Swineham GP 148 Shoveler was a good count but just 1 drake Pintail. Also at Swineham a Bearded Tit, 4 Cetti’s Warbler, c550 Lapwing were present. At Brands Bay a Peregrine was seen hunting and Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser were all present

You can now help us carry out a number of conservation projects across the harbour simply by texting BOPH14£5 to 70070. Thanks so much for your support

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