Brass Monkeys – posted 20/11/13

A cold northerly wind picked up last night and continued throughout the day making my fingers very very cold when trying to hold my binoculars. This could potentially be good for blowing a few oddities down this way such as Geese species like White-fronted, Barnacle or Pink Footed Goose. Likewise, Bewick’s and Whooper Swan should be popping up at various places around Dorset very soon, so no reason why they won’t appear in the harbour somewhere. The Frome Valley used to be a hotspot for Bewick’s Swan, but unfortunately they’re no longer regular winter visitors. However, it’s still well worth checking through the many Mute Swans that spend the winter in the valley, as there’s always a possibility either Bewick’s or Whooper Swan could appear.

Now back to birds that are actually here, a Great White Egret was spotted in the Middlebere Channel this morning and was subsequently seen out over Swineham and Arne Moors flying east. An RSPB/Birds of Poole Harbour’ school bird boat went out yesterday and had the Surf Scoter very close to the boat off Goathorn Quay. Also spotted were 20+ Spoonbill off Shipstal, Arne, a Scaup in central harbour, 1 Great Northern Diver near Brands Bay, 100+ Avocet on the Brownsea Lagoon and 150+ each of both Great Crested Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser dotted around the harbour. At Lytchett Bay a single Crossbill over, 1 male Hen Harrier, 121 Lapwing, 64 Shelduck, 52 Cormorant, 32 Snipe, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Rock Pipit and 2 Water Rail. At Middlebere both a male and female Hen Harrier this morning along with 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 295 Avocet, 600+ Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Pintail and good numbers of Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch along the lane. Sandwich Terns were feeding in Holes Bay and off Baiter. 

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