Harbour Update – posted 08/11/23

Well, you couldn’t blame people for totally writing off today when pulling back the curtains, as driving rain and strong wind pummelled the harbour all morning. Then by stroke of luck, at lunch time, the rain pushed through and the wind disappeared just as our Winter Safari Cruise got underway, where our group were treated to a mouth watering range of birds during the course of the afternoon. There were an incredible 11 Great Northern Diver spread across the harbour (4 central harbour, 3 Wareham Channel, 4 Jerry’s Point) including an adult in near full breeding plumage. Also logged was 1 Red-throated Diver in central harbour, 4 Great White Egret (1 Arne Bay, 3 Swineham), 1 Cattle Egret at Swineham, great view of female White-tailed Eagle G466 flying along Keysworth, 5 Marsh Harrier, c15 Bearded Tit feeding on the edge of the reed bed just meters off the side of the boat, c400 Black-tailed Godwit flying overhead as they moved up and down the Frome Valley, c300 Avocet spread between the Wareham Channel and Brownsea Lagoon, 5 Spoonbill with 2 feeding off the side of the boat in the Wareham Channel, 3 Kingfisher (1 Swineham, 1 Brownsea, 1 Furzey slipway), 1 female type Goldeneye off Goathorn, 8 Red-breasted Merganser¬†(South Deep) and c300 sinensis Cormorant moving around in a feeding pack. When you add to all that, the decent numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Curlew, Dunlin, Oystercatcher and other regular wintering species it was a classic early winter spectacle. Full Winter Safari trip list can be seen HERE. There was some reward for braving the grot this AM when James Leaver found a Snow Bunting on Studland Beach in the driving wind and rain. It remained all day on the beach at the end of the track that leads to the nudist beach. Apparently (only) wellies must be worn! There was a decent evening roost in Brands Bay with 36 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebe and 22 Red-breasted Merganser and today the first three figure count of Pintail was logged with 137 also in Brands Bay. In Lytchett Bay both the recent Common Scoter and a storm driven Great Northern Diver were both in the bay, highlighting just how stormy it’s been recently as both species are incredibly rare in the Lytchett Bay area. 15 Marsh Harrier were around the west harbour roost this evening and an a Hen Harrier was seen over Keysworth.

Bearded Tit from this afternoons Winter Safari Cruise – Swineham Point – John Thorpe

Red-throated Diver from this afternoons Winter Safari Cruise – Central Harbour – John Thorpe

Snow Bunting – Studland Beach – Rob Johnson

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