Harbour Update – posted 12/10/17

Even when you’ve been birding a site or area for many years you sometimes (if you’re very lucky) get to experience something so new and so different it makes you sit back and think…what else are we missing? This morning during a routine reedbed ringing session at Lytchett Heath big numbers of Bearded Tit could be heard ‘pinging’ in the reed beds. Although the numbers seemed slightly higher than normal, it wasn’t unexpected to see them at this spot. However, as the sun grew in the sky and the day began to unfold, the Bearded Tits began calling each other out of the reed beds, signalling to one other that time was up and it was time to leave. Every few minutes a group of 5-10 would fly above the reedbed with some quickly dashing back down again into the thick cover, whilst others would climb higher and higher into the sky, heading off in a NW direction before they became tiny specks in the sky, never to be seen again! Within a twenty minuet period we had 21 Bearded Tit migrate off out of the harbour in small parties of between 3-8 birds. Where they’re going we don’t know, but seeing as we had a colour-ringed bird from Radipole here the other day it could be that they’re making local movements between large reedbed sites in Dorset. Or, it could be that some move off further to larger reedbed systems in other areas of the country. Still, to witness this dispersal was pretty fascinating and is certainly worth watching out for again on still calm October mornings. The best place to try and see these birds is either at the end of footpath 12 off Boarder Road, Lytchett Bay or from the new Lytchett Bay/Boarder Road viewing mound. Also in that area were c60 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wheatear, 1 Kingfisher, c50 Reed Bunting and 1 Lesser Redpoll over. In Poole Harbour west there were 2 Merlin, 2 Hen Harrier and 5 Marsh Harrier. The Stilt Sandpiper was again in Middlebere and on Lytchett Fields there were 4 Ruff, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine. Firecrests were in the Arne car park, Knoll Beach and Greenland’s Farm, Studland. Winter thrush numbers are still non-existent with just a small handful of Song Thrush moving through during the early part of the mornings. 

Ruff – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

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