Harbour Update – posted 05/02/23

Stunningly calm, sunny conditions made for high hopes on our Winter Safari Cruise this morning. There seemed to have been a clear out of some of the scarcer open water species, though Great Norther Diver still provided excellent views both in North Channel and off Hamworthy Beach, 70 Red-breasted Merganser, 40 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Goldeneye in the central harbour. Brownsea Lagoon was busy on the high tide with 120 Avocet and 30 Bar-tailed Godwit. By the time we reached the Wareham Channel the day had warmed considerably and many raptors were making the most of the of the resultant thermals over the surrounding land. Marsh Harrier and Buzzard could both be seen soaring across the landscape, and conditions were so clear that we were able to pick up two White-tailed Eagles circling together nearly 5 miles away on the Purbeck Ridge! The undoubted highlight however was a Peregine which flushed the Dunlin, Lapwing and Redshank off the small pocket of exposed mud as it chased a Carrion Crow directly over the boat (with little success). A second Peregine that greeted us from atop the cranes on Poole Quay as we concluded the trip made for a spectacular finish. Another highlight raptor species for the day elsewhere was Red Kite, with one soaring over the Studland Peninsula. Also reported around the harbour were 9 Spoonbill flying along the Middlebere Channel and 1 Spotted Redshank in Lytchett Bay.

Peregrine Falcon – Wareham Channel – Gerry Shilham

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