Sightings11/09/2023

Harbour Update – posted 11/09/23

There was a high count of 8 Ruff which flew from the Stilt Pools at Swineham and headed towards Swineham Point. Although this is a decent (recent) total, it’s way off counts from ‘the good ol days’ where flocks of 40-100 were common on the Wareham water meadows in the late 1960’s with a maximum of 186 on 24th February 1976. However, despite much of the area being conserved, numbers have declined quite rapidly and since 1980 Ruff have become rather an irregular visitor with just a light autumn passage each year. There was also a Cattle Egret at Swineham. Ospreys were still holding strong with 2 in Brands Bay, 2 at RSPB Arne, 1 from the Middlebere lookout, 1 at Lytchett Fields RSPB and 1  in the Wareham Channel from Ham Common Viewpoint. Some of these will refer to the same individuals but there’s still a minimum of 3-4 around. A juvenile Cuckoo (a rare sight this autumn) flew over Middlebere, the Forster’s Tern was at Shipstal and there were 48 Spoonbill on Brownsea. Lytchett Fields finally managed to record it’s first Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn. In Holes Bay the Wigeon numbers are increasing by the day with 117 counted this morning.

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