Harbour Update – posted 13/11/23

The dunes at Studland always look so good for so many species….Shore Lark, Snow Bunting, Great Grey Shrike and Twite to name a few. Given our location on the south coast it’s no surprise we don’t see too many of these species here, especially Twite and Shore Lark, both of which would be well celebrated by local birders should a couple arrive and settle there. Of course the recent Snow Bunting on Studland Beach highlighted the dunes can attract in these ‘northern’ visitors but they’re scarce, and the last Great Grey Shrike at Studland was in 2016. Another species the dunes at Studland always look good for is Short-eared Owl, and tonight one was seen hunting briefly at the back (eastern) edge of Little Sea. This whole area potentially holds or sees many a good bird settle of pass through here, but it’s an amazingly under watched area, especially during the winter and peak migration times. There are definitely birds to be found along the Studland Dunes with decent historic finds including Pallas’s Warbler (1999), Arctic Redpoll (1996), Lapland Bunting (multiple) and Little Swift (1981)! Todays wind certainly got some birds seeking shelter with an amazing 3 Great Northern Diver in Lytchett Bay along with the Common Scoter still, giving a scene more akin to Studland Bay rather than a shallow bay in north urban Poole. The Great Grey Shrike was at Morden Bog again near decoy pond and the White-tailed Eagle pair were chilling in the Wareham Channel. Winter thrush passage has been incredibly light so far this autumn with only a couple of mornings seeing a few hundred Redwing and Fieldfare arrive in during October and November. Therefore it’s almost celebratory when the high pitched call of a Redwing can be heard passing overhead currently with small groups of only 10-20 moving about the harbour at the moment.

Busy Holes Bay, mainly Wigeon – Martin Adams

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