Harbour Update – posted 07/11/22

It was blowing like crazy today, especially this morning, but that didn’t stop 20+ Marsh Harriers coming out of the West Harbour roost this morning. Also a very flooded Middlebere this saw 1 Kingfisher, 5 Spotted Redshanks, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Marsh Harrier and 2 late Swallows past the hide. This afternoon was one of our winter low-tide cruises which seemed a bit extreme to begin with, however after 15 mins we were in more sheltered areas and well into the birds with more than enough on show. There were multiple highlights but 8+ Marsh Harrier flying around Swineham in almost constant view was a real treat. Out in central harbour a juv Eider was bobbing around on its own and there were 2 Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Northern Diver along with only 7 Red-breasted Merganser and 5+ Great Crested Grebe. Up on the Swineham floods/scrapes there were c200 Canada and Greylag Geese with 2 Egyptian Geese mixed in as well as a few Shoveler and Gadwall. In the Wareham Channel 4 Spoonbill were feeding in the sheltered bay off Arne and on the Brownsea Lagoon 1000’s of Herring Gulls were coming into roost along with 100’s of Common, Great Black-backed and Black Headed Gull as we passed by. A Great White Egret was on Swineham GP and a second flew over the Wareham Channel heading towards Keysworth. On the Brownsea Lagoon c250 Avocet were feeding and there’s been a definite arrival of dark-bellied Brent Geese with c200 in the Newton/Ower Bay area. A Barn Owl was hunting in the approach field at Lytchett Fields this evening and a ringtail Hen Harrier flew past the Middlebere hide this afternoon too. We also forgot to add that on Saturday there was an excellent November record of a Whinchat on Hartland Moor mid-morning.

Finally, news broke today that a Waxwing has already made it to Dorset (Overcombe, Weymouth), so if you know of any Rowan or berry laden trees/shrubs in your local area then keep a close eye on them over the next few weeks. And most importantly, learn their call, as you often hear them before you see them. Below is a recording we made back in February 2017 of 3 individuals sat in a small tree next to a main road in Corfe Mullen.

Marsh Harrier – Swineham, from Low-tide Cruise – Alison Copland

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