Harbour Update – posted 06/11/19

Another exciting day today with plenty of interest. The undoubted highlight (well, for us anyway) was the mass Wood Pigeon migration that took place over the harbour this AM.  It’s one of our favourite days in the birding calendar when the Wood Pigeon migrate…..yes, really sad I know. But its one hell of a spectacle and this morning around 50,000 moved west, south west high above the harbour, passing over Sandbanks and Brownsea. It happens every year, but only on a single morning when the conditions are perfect, normally between Nov 1st – 10th with crystal clear sky’s and a light NE breeze. Below are several videos of the many hundreds of flocks that flew over between 8am and 9am this morning. Annoyingly we missed the peak time which is normally between 7am and 8am. In 2010 a record count of 161,000 were counted on the morning of November 7th……it was quite a sight!

It’s assumed these are all UK Wood Pigeons that have moved south through the country during the late summer and early Autumn and are departing the south coast, heading down into Cork Oak forests of Portugal and Spain.

There was plenty else on offer today too with the Wood Sandpiper still on the Swineham Scrape along with 2 Green Sandpiper, 35 Curlew, 62 Lapwing, 1 Redshank and 2 Common Snipe. In Brands Bay the drake Velvet Scoter was still present along with 3 Common Scoter, also the first 2 drake Goldeneye of the winter and 3 Black-necked Grebe. Off Middle Beach, Studland the summer plumaged Great Northern Diver was still there along with 15 Black-necked Grebe. A flock of 2-3000 Starling left the reedbeds near Swineham at dawn as Marsh Harrier began to stir in the Wareham Channel. Finally, a Great Bustard was seen again in flight over Brownsea this time, heading towards Arne and just outside the harbour boundary an adult male Hen Harrier was seen at Morden Bog.

Wood Pigeon migration over Poole Harbour this morning

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