Harbour Update – posted 02/03/24

For the most part, today was pretty lovely, as the sun tried it’s best to hold on and provide an element of warmth. The still conditions also helped it feel rather spring like. Looking at the National bird info services, things are now already beginning to hot up with Sand Martin, Little Ringed Plover and Stone Curlew all logged out of county today, and having looked at next weeks forecast, a strong set of southerlies could easily deliver the first Wheatears in the coming days. It was more about White-tailed Eagles today though as the local Poole Harbour pair went for an urban wander, initially favouring an area north of Lytchett Matravers, before tracking south and being clocked over Lytchett Bay, before then providing a whole host of exciting encounters for Poole Town based birders as they proceeded to fly together over Constitution Hill, Ashley Road, Oakdale and then Fleetsbridge, before then later being seen over Wareham Forest and then Morden. These fine, early spring days often see them become really active, and todays large flight was almost certainly a territorial wander, asserting their dominance in the area and checking to see if there were any ‘intruding’ eagles about. Although we talk about them regularly, it still blows us away that folk can be in their gardens in urban Poole and have a chance of seeing wild White-tailed Eagles flying over. A key clue is to listen out for the gulls. If you hear them go bananas, then look up right away! It may just be in response to a Buzzard, or even a Red Kite, but after todays escapades, it could also just be a White-tailed Eagle. Towards the harbour entrance there were 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Goldeneye and 23 Red-breasted Merganser off Jerry’s Point and in Brands Bay. There were 2 Spotted Redshank in Middlebere, 4 Spoonbill at Shipstal and 18 Cattle Egret on Wareham Common and a Goshawk was over Middlebere.

White-tailed Eagle G466 over Lytchett Bay before she headed off to ‘Poole’ – Alison Copland

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