Harbour Update – posted 01/11/17

We were treated to another beaut of a day today and finally; a settled Hawfinch was photographed in the village of Ridge, just before Arne. All our Hawfinch this autumn have been ‘fly overs’ so it was great when Brain Whally managed to get a photo of one sat up in a tree. The crisp, clear weather made watching from numerous vantage points extremely pleasant and from Slepe Heath a Great White Egret was seen feeding along the southern edge of the Wareham Channel, a Hen Harrier was flying over the Swineham/Keysworth area, a single male Merlin was out on Arne Moors, 2 Fieldfare flew over, 2-3 Marsh Harrier commuted between Arne Moors and Swineham, 1 Woodlark passed overhead and out in the Wareham Channel an impressive c220 Brent Geese were settled. This is interesting in its self as Brent Geese don’t normally use the Wareham Channel due to the lack of Eel Grass present, and we’re beginning to understand how important the Channel is as a staging site for many water birds. Even when we were watching, several flocks of Brent Geese took flight and continued on east out of the channel. Over the course of the year we’ve seen the same behavior from Black-necked and Great Crested Grebe that had settled out in the center of the channel before continuing with their onward journey. Out off the southern shore of Brownsea a Slavonian Grebe and a Black-necked Grebe were feeding, an adult drake Velvet Scoter was in central harbour and a good number of Red-breasted Merganser were back out in the Brands/Bramble Bush Bay area. In the Shell Bay car park, 3 Firecrest and a Brambling were in the tree line and 2 Sandwich Tern were feeding in Shell Bay. At Lytchett Fields a Jack Snipe was flushed, and there was a report of still 50+ Spoonbill present between Shipstal and Brownsea.   

Hawfinch – Ridge – Brian Whally

Hawfinch – Ridge – Brian Whally

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