Harbour Update – posted 14/01/23

We rearranged the timings of our third and final Year-list Kick-starter Cruise to avoid the howling weather experienced this morning, but once the foul weather passed through the birding was phenomenal! Brownsea Lagoon was rammed, 2,500 Black-tailed Godwit were accompanied by 150 Avocet, Sanderling, 3 Greenshank, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler and a carpet of Dunlin. As we departed the lagoon, a Peregrine was picked up over Sandbanks, no doubt making its way over to chase down the the high tide roost on Brownsea. Great Northern Diver were thinly spread throughout the trip, with 5 individuals logged across the Central Harbour and southern shorelines. Flybys of Common and Velvet Scoter were delightful around back of the islands, with 4 obliging Eider, Goldeneye, 1 Black-necked Grebe and several Grey Seal logged also adding interest. Ower Bay featured animated winter scenes involving a cast of hundreds of Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Teal, Wigeon and Pintail when flushed by a passing Marsh Harrier. A visit to Shipstal and Middlebere enjoyed 14 Spoonbill and the first of more eagle action to come! Another highlight from a trip full of highs involved White-tailed Eagle G801. After watching her around Goldpoint, Arne, she was observed actively hunting a Canada Goose in the Wareham Channel – this is the first time this active hunting behaviour has been observed in the harbour!

Elsewhere across the harbour, 4 Hen Harrier in the harbour, logged across the Purbeck heaths and an actively hunting Goshawk over the Wareham Channel chasing down Avocet and Herring Gull before an altercation with a Marsh Harrier and finally landing a Lapwing. A Sanderling and Purple Sandpiper were logged along the Sandbanks groynes, with 4 Grea Northern Diver in Shell Bay, with another entering the harbour and another in Bramble bush bay. Two Common Scoter were logged of off Pilot’s Point and a further 3 Black-necked Grebes from Middle Beach. To round it off, a drake Goldeneye remains at Poole Park.

Common Scoter – from BoPH Cruise yesterday – Mark Wright

Eider – from BoPH cruise yesterday – Mark Wright


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