Harbour Update – posted 10/01/17

Thankfully the scuzzy weather from yesterday had subsided and a welcome calm had settled across the harbour. What is likely to be the same Smew that was found on Sunday reappeared in Holes Bay south, the same location one has been present the last 3 winters. Off Middle Beach 21 Black-necked Grebe and a Great Northern Diver were feeding just before the roost formed and off Bramble Bush Bay 22 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Great Northern Diver and 9 Goldeneye were feeding on the low tide. The Starling roost which still consists of roughly 12,000 birds was made even more dramatic when a Merlin penetrated its way through the center of the flock and grabbing a single Starling in amongst the chaos. At Lytchett Fields the Green-winged Teal and Lesser Yellowlegs was still present with Peregrine and Marsh Harrier there too and at Holes Bay a Marsh Harrier passed over the bypass which is quite a rarity in this part of the harbour. We’ve also been getting several calls about a wacky looking wader in Holes Bay hiding in amongst the Black-tailed Godwit flock which was finally photographed and it looks to be a partial albino/leucistic Black-tailed Godwit with a honking great orange bill. Finally, yet another over-wintering Yellow-browed Warbler was found this time in East Holme in the Frome Valley. 

Starling murmuration – South Haven, Studland – Paul Morton

Partial albino Black-tailed Godwit – Holes Bay – Ian Ballam

Smew with Goldeneye – Holes Bay – Ian Ballam

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