Harbour Update – posted 06/10/21

An interesting mix today with a definite sense of arrival. A Short-eared Owl was seen coming in off the sea at Ballard Down and it seems more crests are arriving with decent numbers of Goldcrest and Firecrest appearing at different locations. Then, this evening at Sunnyside during what we thought was going to be a fairly uneventful first lamping session of the ‘winter’ resulted in 3 Jack Snipe! This is way earlier than we’ve encountered them before, but then again, we rarely start lamping until mid-late October. Also, members of SRG (Stour Ringing Group) checked this same area only a couple of days ago, and there were no Jack Snipe then, so these are literally just fresh in. It’s likely these are passage/staging Jack Snipe, being so early in their migratory season which will push on further south, with ‘our’ over-winter regulars probably not arriving for another couple of weeks yet. Also today (conflicting) reports of either 30 or 50 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point, Arne. We are now approaching peak season for Spoonbill (normally around Oct 10th – 15th) so 50 wouldn’t be unusual at this time of year. It would be great to beat the record count of 80 though. Could we ever see 100??? Elsewhere there were 2 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Wheatear at Holton Lee and Lytchett Fields. In Middlebere there were 2 Great White Egret and 2-3 different Marsh Harrier, including a couple of fighting individuals. Plus, the first Black-necked Grebe of the winter was off Jerry’s Point, Studland and there was a Red-throated Diver in Brands Bay with 41 Great Crested Grebe in the same area.

Firecrests РLower Piddle Valley 

Newly arrived Jack Snipe – Sunnyside

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