Sightings13/12/2023

Harbour Update – posted 13/12/23

A cold northerly wind whipped across the harbour, but there was plenty on offer around the including a special 15 minutes for the guests on our Winter Safari Cruise this afternoon. Across the open water, Great Northern Diver numbers seem be be down with ‘only’ 7 logged, including a near sum plum individual out in centre harbour. The Black-throated Diver was off Jerry’s Point with 2 Eider and later this afternoon the Long-tailed Duck was also off Jerry’s Point. In the Wareham Channel there were 4 Marsh Harrier around Swineham and a male Hen Harrier flew across the channel over towards Keysworth. Along the southern shore c25 Spoonbill were roosting off Fitzworth and the Brownsea Lagoon was packed with Avocet, totalling c400. A Guillemot off Poole Quay was new in and there was a bit of thrush passage with a small group of Fieldfare and Redwing moving high across the Wareham Channel. The moment of the boat trip was when the White-tailed Eagle pair were seen cruising in, high over Ballard/Godlingston, taking an age to cruise down towards the harbour, eventually reaching Goathorn, before seemingly peeling off and heading off towards Arne, just as our boat was approaching the Brownsea Lagoon. After a cruise along the Brownsea Lagoon sea wall, we headed along the Brownsea north shore, making our way home, only to then meet the eagles head on, which were heading towards the lagoon, which then started calling and hunting, with female G466 making a few active dives/fishing attempts 100 yards off the side of the boat. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen the eagles plenty of times from our trips, but to hear them calling with a boat full of guests, and to see several stoops down towards the water was truly magical and we hope many more people over time get to experience the very same thing in and around the harbour. Elsewhere a female and male Goshawk was causing mayhem around Middlebere, a Merlin was on Hartland, 3 Black-necked Grebe were in Studland Bay and 8 Pochard were on Swineham GP.

White-tailed Eagle – Hunting Brownsea north shore from Winter Safari Cruise – Andy Brown

Black-throated Diver off Jerry’s Point from Winter Safari Cruise – Andy Brown

Partial summer plumaged Great Northern Diver off Jerry’s Point from Winter Safari Cruise – Andy Brown

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