Harbour Update – posted 07/10/22

After yesterday’s record high of 84 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon, we participated in a co-ordinated count at 10am across the harbour to confirm numbers. Interestingly, however, only the lagoon produced any Spoonbill, with just 52 counted. It’s likely that the remaining numbers may have been feeding at the top of the Wareham Channel, taking advantage of the brief low-tide at that time. With WeBS on Sunday, we will have a second attempt at establishing numbers, with all areas covered.

Despite the lack of Spoonbill, the Middlebere Channel was teeming with activity. Numbers of 371 Avocet were active in the channel, along with c. 65 Teal, c.300 Black-tailed Godwit, c.60 Redshank, 8 Spotted Redshank, 1 Knot¬†and plenty of Shelduck, Little Egret, Wigeon and low numbers of Pintail. It’s always a rush of excitement when a bird of prey comes through, flushing the waders and wildfowl into a flight response which is referred to as a “dread”. This morning, the ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again, along with a large female Peregrine and Marsh Harrier.

At Lytchett Fields during the early afternoon, there were highlights of Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Cattle Egret reported, as well as 2 Knot, 3 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Sandwich Tern in Lytchett Bay. A short scan over Studland Bay in hope of picking up the first Black-necked Grebe of the winter were not so fruitful, although the sighting of 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese over the bay marked the changing of the season, along with 2 colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull, which we are now looking into to establish their origins. On Hartland 6 Crossbill flew over and several parties of Siskin, Linnet and Chaffinch were also passing on low numbers, suggesting there was some vis-mig movement going on. Finally, we still have Osprey activity in the harbour, with one seen hunting in Brands Bay this afternoon.

Spotted Redshank – Middlebere Channel – Paul Morton



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