Sightings05/06/2020

Harbour Update – posted 04/06/20

Early June….the birding doldrums! Migration has pretty much halted, breeding and nesting activity for many species is already drawing to a close and with the sun rising at 4:30am, most of the exciting birding activity is well and truly over by the time most of us arise from our beds. But it’s a great time to observe different behaviour and to certainly familiarise yourself with the tricky ID challenges of young birds either in your gardens or out around the harbour. It’s also a great time to really listen to the variety of calls made by young bird’s as now is a time for great confusion. Some adult birds are still in fine voice such as Song Thrush and Blackcap, but as June progresses the sound of spring will slowly fade away. You may have noticed that young Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Starling and Siskin are visiting your feeders now or out on the heaths young Stonechat and Linnet are quite conspicuous. Watch and listen to these birds carefully and you’ll notice subtle (and some not so subtle) differences in both plumage and sound which allows you to ID birds to age quite easily this time of year. Enjoying birds for what they are is always a joy but now is a perfect time (we think) to advance your birding skills and build your knowledge before the autumn rush begins.

That said, today provided a nice variety of finds with raptors putting on a good show with an Osprey (presumed CJ7) out over the Wareham Channel, 1 Marsh Harrier near Swineham, 1 Hobby over the Arne Road and 1 Red Kite over Hartland. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Little Ringed Plover, 26 Lapwing, 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. Along Bog Lane and at Holme Lane GP there was a single Hobby and 4 Egyptian Geese with 9 Goslings suggesting that these once scarce feral visitors will now soon become a regular fixture to the Poole Harbour birding scene. An evening watch of the Wareham Channel resulted in 67 Shelduck and 17 Gadwall but most surprising of all, were 2 Badgers running a mock in and around the reed beds off Swineham. Could Badgers be another reason why Marsh Harrier no longer nest there? Also Rose-coloured Starling (Rosy Starling) have now been seen either side of the harbour in Christchurch and Weymouth so it stands to reason we could see one somewhere locally, we just need the wind to swing SE again. Our bet is at Baiter….so watch those Starling flocks!

Two Badgers in reed bed off Swineham

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