Harbour Update – posted 11/11/23

Wow! Some calm weather. The last few days has seen a blasting westerly hit the harbour, but today saw first decent calm spell settle things down, making for a stunningly beautiful set of conditions to observe and ‘bird’ the harbour. It started off at dawn with an estimated c31,000 Wood Pigeon moving off high SW. Although the Wood Pigeon migration date is more typically around November 5th, it was good to see a late push go for it in near perfect conditions. A dawn watch from Shipstal Point, RSPB Arne saw the Forster’s Tern active in the upper Middlebere Channel with 5 Great Northern Diver logged out in central harbour along with 5 Goldeneye and 25 Spoonbill art Shipstal plus 3 Brambling and a few Lesser Redpoll over, plus 2 Cattle Egret and a Great White Egret over west. In Stoborough, 19 Cattle Egret passed over at dawn along with 1 Great White Egret, 4 Brambling, 1 Merlin, 2 Marsh Harrier and 65 Fieldfare. The Snow Bunting was showing well for birders at Studland Beach, still at the beach end of the nudist entrance track. There was a great record of a Razorbill in Holes Bay SE (perhaps the first Holes Bay record), just opposite the train station, about 100 yards north along the cycle track. From our Winter Safari Cruise this afternoon it was a stunning winter scene with 3 Eider off the Brownsea north shore, 9-10 Great Northern Diver spread across the area, 2 Red-throated Diver, in central harbour, 1 Common Scoter off Jerry’s Point, 10 Spoonbill off Gold Point, RSPB Arne, 4-5 Marsh Harrier at Swineham, 3-4 Great White Egret in the Wareham Channel and still lots of Avocet spread across the Brownsea Lagoon and the Wareham Channel. This morning 101 Shag were logged entering the harbour the harbour entrance with 5 Red-breasted Merganser. There are now loads of Great Crested Grebe back with 34 in the Brands Bay area and a minimum of 37 out in central harbour. There was a Short-eared Owl at Swineham this afternoon and a Great Grey Shrike was at Morden Bog about 3pm. It will be interesting to see if it’s wearing a leg ring, considering one was ringed at Lytchett Bay a few days ago. However, we seem to remember that one of the last Great Grey Shrikes that visited Morden Bog, back in about 2020, also had a leg ring, and that definitely wasn’t ringed at Lytchett Bay!!

Cattle Egret – Middlebere – Mark Wright

Great White Egret – Middlebere – Kate Plater

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