Harbour update – posted 03/01/23

Despite the wind and white horses galloping and whisping over the surface of the water, our first Winter Safari and bird boat cruise of 2024 got off to a flying start with the White-tailed Eagle pair seen flying along the Hamworthy shoreline before then settling in the Wareham Channel. Female G466 then proceeded to start hunting not far off the side of the boat in search of fish along the eastern edge of the Wareham Channel. A fantastic sight for the start of the year. At Swineham there were 2-3 Marsh Harrier and Swineham GP hosted 18 Tufted Duck. There were Great Northern Diver everywhere again with a minimum of 9 out in central harbour and around the islands, with 12+ logged around the Studland Peninsular meaning there was a minimum of 21 about, however the North Channel and Whitley Lake wasn’t properly checked today so there could have been way more than that. The Brownsea Lagoon looked great and had c1000 Black-tailed Godwit, c60 Bar-tailed Godwit, c700 Dunlin, 7 Sanderling, c400 Avocet, c50 Grey Plover and good numbers of wildfowl spread across the lagoon. There were 26 Spoonbill on the Fitzworth shoreline and off Poole Quay, before we even left there was a Guillemot and Red-breasted Merganser feeding and Peregrine Falcon hunting overhead. Seen elsewhere but not from the cruise, the Long-tailed Duck was sheltering in Brands Bay and there were 2 Slavonian Grebe off Jerry’s Point. Off Middle Beach, Studland a Black-throated Diver was feeding and there were 6 Black-necked Grebe and a Common Scoter there too. A Great White Egret was off Goathorn, a ringtail Hen Harrier was in Lytchett Bay and 2 Spotted Redshank in Middlebere.

White-tailed Eagle G466 flying across Wareham Channel from Winter Safari Cruise – Alison Copland

Great Northern Diver – Central Harbour, from Winter Safari Cruise – Alison Copland

Sparrowhawk sat on Brownsea Lagoon sea wall, from Winter Safari Cruise – Alison Copland

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