Sightings16/10/2013

Great White Morning – posted 16/10/13

With the large Thrush (mainly Redwing) movements that have taken place over many parts of the UK within the last week an early morning survey was conducted to try and track any movement through the harbour. On the 24th of October last year a large passage of 5000+ Thrush’s passed over heading north, but it was unclear exactly what route they take to enter and leave Poole Harbour.

Unfortunately, the weather over the last few days hasn’t been ideal for Thrush passage, as clear skies and no wind at dawn proved fruitless for the survey.

However, the survey was well worth it when at 07:55 I watched a Great White Egret fly in from the NE over Shipstal Point and land briefly on the saltmarsh before being harassed by two Herring Gulls and headed off east towards the harbour mouth.  Great White Egrets are notoriously difficult to catch up with in the harbour as they normally only ever fly over or stop for a matter of minutes before leaving again. They are also exceptionally rare in the harbour and quite often get mistaken for distant, lone Little Egrets.

Nearby at Middlebere a male Hen Harrier was noted, 1 female Marsh Harrier, 1 Merlin, a juvenile Peregrine, 1 Grey Plover, 522 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher and 8 House Martin and 3 Swallow.

The 6 Black-necked Grebe are still off Middle Beach, Studland.

In Brands Bay 50 Great Crested Grebe, 1 female Common Scoter and in Bramble Bush Bay the first 4 Red-breasted Merganser of the autumn.

At Greenlands Farm another juvenile Peregrine was present, and caught a Starling, lots of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtails out on the fields and at least 5 Dartford Warbler on top of the hill opposite the entrance gate to Greenlands.

In Stoborough a Ring-necked Parakeet made a brief visit to a garden.

Overhead passage is really exciting this time of year with thrush’s, finch’s, pipits, wagtail’s, buntings and larks all on the move, so it’s well worth learning their various calls to try and pick them out as they fly overhead. 

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