Harbour Update – posted 07/12/14

Yesterday morning I went for a walk up on to Slepe Heath in the hope that I would I would be able to find the 7 Egyptian Geese that had been seen flying into the harbour. Slepe Heath gives a great view across to the wet fields of Swineham and Arne Moors where many geese and waders have been feeding and roosting on the flooded fields. I couldn’t see any geese and was about to leave when I found a small flock of Canada Geese tucked away on the same pools that the Black-winged Stilts were found earlier this year. Straight away I noticed two smaller geese in amongst them, which is always a good sign of something different. I watched them for a good ten minutes looking for features of both Pink-footed Goose and Bean Goose, the former being a scarce visitor to the harbour, the latter being an exceptionally rare visitor to the harbour. I was watching from about a mile away but was pretty sure they were Pink-footed Goose and more likely to be too. However, on closer inspection by some local birders who visited Swineham upon hearing my news I then received a phone call to say they were in fact Bean Geese, the first Poole Harbour record since 2004. Also out at Swineham/Wareham Channel area 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 200 Lapwing, 120 Curlew and 1 Kingfisher. There were 3 Purple Sandpiper at the harbour mouth, in front of the Haven Hotel.  At Lytchett Bay there was 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Water Pipit and 1 Spoonbill. At Studland 23 Black-necked Grebe were still off Middle beach.

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