Harbour Update – posted 01/02/23

An interesting Winter Safari Cruise today, with a bit of a shift in gears for species that were seen to kick off the new month’s birding. As we moved around the harbour on the low tide, it was apparent that many of the open water birds that we’ve been picking up recently have moved on, with the lack of Great Northern Diver particularly of note. However, the low tide provided a stunning array of wader and wildfowl activity, with c.800 Brent Geese between Newton and Ower Bay, with around 150 Wigeon amongst them. 5 Spoonbill were feeding in Ower Bay, with Avocet, Curlew, Grey Plover and Redshank amongst the many birds making the most of the exposed mud. 2 Goldeneye were picked up near Goathorn, and there were around 85 Red-breasted Merganser across the harbour. Brownsea Lagoon offered views of around 200 Avocet and 400 Black-tailed Godwit, which were seen moving off high over Poole in large streams as we approached the Wareham Channel.

The channel provided excellent views of waders, with c250 Lapwing on the mud, as well as 30 Grey Plover, 1 Greenshank, 1 Spoonbill, 25 Curlew, around 175 Dunlin, and 30 Redshank with a few Avocet amongst them. Marsh Harrier activity was nice at the top end of the Wareham Channel, with at least 5 birds active, and 1 Peregrine was perched on a post on Arne Moors. Elsewhere, 8 Black-necked Grebe were counted in Studland Bay this morning. 4 Spoonbill were seen feeding in the Middlebere Channel, along with decent numbers of Avocet and 1 Marsh Harrier. At Lytchett Fields this morning, a very high total of 625 Lapwing were counted across the two main fields Рthe highest count since 2015. In Lytchett Bay, 4 Spoonbill and 3 Shoveler were reported this afternoon. In Holes Bay, over 1000 Black-tailed Godwit, 185 Avocet, 87 Dunlin, 20 Brent Geese and 6 Gadwall were seen this morning, as well as 50+ Redwing at Upton Country Park.

Lytchett Bay – Shaun Robson

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