Harbour Update – posted 08/01/17

Sometimes, perhaps just once maybe twice if you’re lucky you hit on a birding day that’s so good it defies belief. Today a team of us from BoPH went out and surveyed the entire harbour trying to get a grip on where birds are roosting, feeding and as well as seeing what we could find along the way. The day started at 5am where we were trying out a new piece of thermal imaging equipment which allowed us to spot Woodcock in almost every field we checked along the southern shores. We amazing also managed to find the 2 Purple Sandpiper at North Haven and a Black Redstart at Baiter too using this gear. A boat survey took us straight past a redhead Smew which was tucked in with the now good numbers of Goldeneye out in central harbour with the Black Brant also found in amongst the Brent Geese, with 2 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Diver and 2 Black-necked Grebe near the harbour entrance. Spoonbills were on the Brownsea Lagoon and Shipstal, Arne. There were 2 Blackcap in a private garden in Poole too. At Poole Park boating lake a Jack Snipe passed over and a Pochard was on the main lake with 6 Goldeneye. Lytchett Fields produced the Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal as well as a Water Pipit and Spotted Redshank. At Lytchett Heath a Yellow-browed Warbler was found with 2 Firecrest. At the PC World Drain 5 Common Chiffchaff were seen along with a Siberian Chiffchaff. A single Marsh Tit was at Holton Lee. Up near the Worgret Manor Hotel a flock of 9 Woodlark were found in a stubble field with 10+ Fieldfare (currently pretty scarce). Above Slepe Heath a stunning adult male Hen Harrier was seen dashing by and the Great Grey Shrike was on Hartland. Out on the moors just a single Barnacle Goose was feeding with Canada Geese. At Glebelands Farm a large flock of 20 Yellowhammer were sat in the tops of the trees and at Littlesea, Studland the Great White Egret was present. Off Middle beach 12 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver and 15 Red-breasted Merganser were in the roost. At Bramble Bush Bay Sanderling and Ringed Plover were present and to top the day off we watched the phenomenal Starling murmuration at Shell Bay Studland. In total we logged 122 (including the sibe Chiffchaff and Black Brant) and we missed some pretty easy things too such as Skylark, Linnet, Gannet! Additional birds seen not by our team included 2 ringtail Hen Harrier over Swineham Point, 1 Bittern over Arne Moors, 1 Slavonian Grebe off Middle Beach, 1 Scaup at Gold Point, 41 Sanderling at Blue Lagoon near Sandbanks, 2 Bearded Tits at Lytchett Heath, 1 Merlin at Lytchett Fields, 1 Whimbrel in Newton Bay and 3 Water Pipit on the Wytch Causeway.

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