Sightings21/02/2014

Great White Gone – posted 21/02/14

It appears from the sporadic sightings of Great White Egret this winter that an individual is over-wintering either in the harbour or somewhere close by. Yesterday afternoon it was seen flying over the flooded fields to the south of Swineham, before disappearing not to be seen again for the rest of the day. This is the sixth sighting of potentially the same bird this winter yet it seems impossible to pin down to one particular spot for everyone to enjoy. This elusive characteristic is an unfortunate but common trait of this species in the harbour with most past records consisting of birds flying over and disappearing into the distance. In other parts of the country GWE will happily sit out in the open, feed in large bodies of water and generally be quite easy to spot, lets hope this bird does make grand entrance one day soon! Elsewhere there were 3 Siberian Chiffchaff together at Swineham, 3 Marsh Harrier over the Wareham Channel, and a Woodlark in full song on Soldiers Road. Dartford Warbler are also starting to get active out on the heathlands and Mistle Thrush are very vocal at the moment too. 9 Spoonbill were seen flying up the Frome Valley yesterday evening, 2 Hen Harrier, 3 Marsh Harrier and 2 Bearded Tit were off Swineham Point along with a Barn Owl. At Knoll Beach Studland at least 1 Firecrest remains and in Brands Bay 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 7 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Slavonian Grebe. I know I’m being a bit premature but over the next few weeks we should start looking for our first Wheatears and Sand Martins. Normally the first don’t arrive until the beginning of March but there are exceptions to the rules as Portland saw their first Wheatear on Feb 23th in 2011.

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