Harbour Update – posted 02/02/18

Despite the cold wind a great variety of birds were seen around the harbour today. At Arne, off Shipstal a Merlin and Hen Harrier were hunting together, chasing Meadow Pipits off Shipstal c30 Spoonbill were present, a minimum of 7 Great Northern Diver were dotted around Central Harbour with a few near the harbour mouth too and the single still in Poole Park and single of Red-throated and Black-throated Diver were off Hamworthy Beach. Two Common Scoter were in South Deep and a Slavonian Grebe was off the southern end of Green Island. A Hawfinch was in trees on the southern edge of Wareham Town centre just west of the Stoborough Causeway. In the Arne car park a single Firecrest was in Holly, at North Haven, Sandbanks 2 Purple Sandpiper were on Groynes on the eastern side of the peninsular with several Sanderling and Ringed Plover and Dunlin. A Red Kite also drifted low over Arne. Around the rest of the harbour good numbers of Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe continue to be seen and wader numbers are still high at low-tide sites so all in all it’s a great time to be out looking! We also began a small nocturnal bio-acoustic monitoring study looking/listening out for Long-eared Owl activity at suitable sites around the harbour. This likely once common bird is extremely rare now so listening acoustically in remote areas of the harbour during the dead of night is a great way to listen out for the calls and songs they’d be carrying out at this time of year. So far we’ve picked up both Tawny and Barn Owl within our recordings but no Long-eared Owls yet!

Barn Owl – Swineham GP – 03/02/18 @ 04:45 Perennial Screech

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