Harbour Update – posted 07/04/17

Sometimes, when the weather gets this good you just need to get out and make the most of it. And although todays weather seemed more in line with getting a good tan rather than a big fall of birds occurring, a few of us from BoPH went out and spent the day trying to learn a little extra about a few lesser visited areas of the harbour as well as some of the more well know places. It’s always good to get up early and experience an early spring dawn chorus and as we arrived at Swineham Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff were all competing against Tawny Owl at 5:30am. In the south of the harbour near Corfe 2 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker were drumming and the rare song of Bullfinch could be heard. At Middle Beach 2 Common Scoter, a distant Gannet, 2 Ring-necked Parakeet and 4 Great Crested Grebe were noted and at South Haven Swallows were slowly trickling through in ones and twos as Turnstone, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit a Razorbill and more Great Crested Grebe were out on the water. Somewhere we spent a good half an hour was the Corfe gap, an under-watched area that can be quite good for birds migrating through the gap, rather than having to go over the top of the ridges. In the 30 minutes we were there, 2 Common Buzzard, Swallows, Sand Martin and Siskin all headed south to north over our heads through the gap as 3-4 Raven looked down at us from their thrones up on Corfe Castle. Out on the Swineham Flood 2 Little Ringed Plover were still present and Cetti’s Warbler were very vocal with up to 7 heard.  Along Soldiers Road a Red Kite drifted over and Stonechat, Meadow Pipit and Dartford Warbler were all taking advantage of the calm, still warm weather by actively displaying for most of the afternoon. Out in the Wareham Channel 40 Great Crested Grebe were in 2 flocks before 16 upped and left the channel (and possibly the harbour?) as they headed east in 2 flocks. An Osprey drifted low over Holes By with a large fish at around 8am before heading north. At Lytchett Fields the Green-winged Teal is still on the fields and at Sunnyside there was a single Green Sandpiper. Wheatears are still hugely thin on the ground with just a single out in the Lower Frome Valley.

Sadly, the lowlight of the day was seeing someone systematically walking around the gull islands in the Wareham Channel. Although we saw no evidence of egg collecting the sheer presence of humans on the islands was enough to send all the gulls into a frenzy and desert their nesting areas. However it does still beg the question, why was someone out there walking around looking at all the nest sites?

Raven – Corfe Castle

Turnstone – The Houseboats, South haven, Studland

Common Buzzard – Corfe Gap

Red Kite – Soldiers Road

Meadow Pipit – Soldiers Road



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