Harbour Update – posted 02/01/23

Another busy day today with a concerted effort by some of our team to try and log as many species as possible in one day. Add that to the great list other folk managed to compile on this gorgeous bank holiday and the harbour really proved its self as a great winter birding destination. The many highlights included the Velvet Scoter off Jerry’s Point along with 1 Slavonian Grebe,Black-necked Grebe and 2 Sandwich Tern. Out in central harbour the 5 Eider were still present along with c15 Goldeneye, 5 Black-necked Grebe, c100 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Great Northern Diver. In the Wareham Channel a White-tailed Eagle was seen briefly near the mouth of the River Piddle and there were 7+ Marsh Harrier and 1 Hen Harrier around the channel fringes with another (or the same) Hen Harrier seen in Middlebere and later at Lytchett Bay. A Spotted Redshank was also feeding in the mouth of the Frome on the low tide and 11 Spoonbill were feeding off Shipstal Beach down towards the Wytch Channel. Off Ballard this morning 2 Red-throated Diver went east along with 1 Great Northern Diver and good numbers of Razorbill, Guillemot, Gannet and Kittiwake were heading west. An evening grebe roost count saw 13 Black-necked Grebe gather, which although isn’t a massive total, the fact that another 10 were logged within the harbour today highlights we still have a minimum 23 over-wintering in and around the harbour which is a good national total. There was also a Slavonian Grebe and 14 Common Scoter off Middle Beach. On Wareham Common a Cattle Egret was still with the cows and up at Scotland Farm, a pre-dawn scan with our thermal imager on the fields opposite the main entrance highlighted big numbers of Common Snipe (100+) and Lapwing settled in the darkness along with 5+ Woodcock and 2 Jack Snipe. An urban garden in central Poole saw 10+ Blackcap visiting feeders. Other joys from today included several Song Thrush in full song and semi-displaying Dartford Warblers on Slepe Heath. It really quite spring like today and with only 2-3 months left of winter, thoughts of Wheatears, Sand martins and Ospreys now aren’t far away!!

Cattle Egret – Wareham Common – Adam Day


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