Harbour Update – posted 09/10/17

After Sundays boat survey, where our team noted high numbers of Spoonbill at Arne and on Brownsea, we thought it best to carry out a coordinated count to get a definitive total. Well, we’re glad we did because we managed to break not only the Poole Harbour record but also the British record for the largest gathering of Spoonbill recorded. In total we reached 75 Spoonbill with 40 at on Shipstal Point, Arne and 35 on the Brownsea Lagoon. The previous highest total was 60 in 2015 and 64 in 2016. This upward trend has been in place for almost a decade now but still we see no birds staying on to breed. Whether they will or not we’ll just have to wait and see but having these numbers over-wintering turns a dull dark winter day into a crisp white special one. The one-legged Stilt Sandpiper was back in Middlebere with a very pale Curlew Sandpiper and a Hen Harrier went through. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 10 Spotted Redshank and 27 Greenshank. On Lytchett Fields there was 1 Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 77 Black-tailed Godwit, 52 Dunlin, 12 Greenshank, 1 Marsh Harrier and 2 Skylark over. At Lytchett Heath 34 Bearded Tit were caught and ringed including a colour-ringed bird that had arrived in from Radipole Lake, Weymouth. An evening watch at Pilots Point, Studland saw 41 Shag leave the harbour to roost with 3 Sanderling and a Ringed Plover on the beach, 8 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Sandwich Tern and a roost of 18 Pied Wagtail. Migration through Ballard was slower but Lesser Redpoll numbers are increasing with 5 ringed along with 1 Firecrest, 48 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest. The first small flurry of Redwing passed over Arne at sunrise. 

Bearded Tit – Lytchett Heath – Nick Hull

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