Harbour Update – posted 04/10/17

Today heralded the first returning Hen Harriers with not one but two seen by the end of the day. An adult grey male was seen in several locations including Middlebere and the Wareham Channel with a ringtail female appearing over the Brownsea Lagoon late afternoon before then being seen again near Arne. Another surprise was when a flock of 6 Goosander were found ‘snorkeling’ in Newton Bay. Goosander are a scarce visitor to the main area of Poole Harbour normally appearing during cold snaps later in the winter or when there is increased shooting activity up the river valley’s. The Spoonbill flock seems more spread out now but there are collectively still between 40-50 (maybe more) still present. Up on Ballard vis-mig picked up slightly with a small passage of Linnet, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and alba wagtails along with 2 Golden Plover and a Ring Ouzel along the Studland Road. Brownsea got full coverage today and produced the goods with totals including 2 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 130 Avocet, 14 Spotted Redshank, 245 Redshank, 27 Greenshank, 2 Knot, 65 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 4 Grey Plover, 375 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff, 520 Oystercatcher, 65 Shoveler, 1 Pintail, 550 Teal, 3 Brent Goose, 5 Spoonbill, 42 Little Egret, 3 Kingfisher, 1 Peregrine and the flyover Hen Harrier. At Lytchett Fields a Sanderling on the Sherford Pools was the first ever record for the fields and the 33rd species of wader to be recorded here since the site was created in 2013. Also on Lytchett Fields were 8 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 150 Dunlin, 14 Greenshank. The long-staying Stilt Sandpiper was again in Middlebere. Will we see another North American wader over-winter this year as we did with Lytchett Bays Lesser Yellowlegs last year? The Great White Egret was also in Middlebere with 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Spoonbill, 135 Black-tailed Godwit, 119 Avocet, 9 Knot, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, the 6 Goosander and 4 Pintail. An amazing 19 Ruff were on Sunnyside Farm fields near Ridge. Migration through Ballard was again strong but variety low as big numbers of Chiffchaff pushed through and to a lesser extent Blackcap.

A few months ago we launched our winter bird boat schedule and places are booking up fast! If you’d like to join us and learn about Poole Harbours spectacular birdlife then don’t miss out and book on NOW – WINTER BIRD BOATS

Wheatear – Baiter – John Grendon

Oystercatcher – Baiter – John Grendon

Black-tailed Godwit – Baiter – John Grendon


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