Harbour Update – posted 14/03/23

Although still windy (and cold), today was actually pretty eventful for mid-March. Our Spring Safari Cruise this AM saw plenty of action including the White-tailed Eagle pair G463 and G466 soaring and interacting with one another over RSPB Arne, directly opposite the new Ham Common viewpoint at Rockley. If anyone had been stood on there, they would have had a great view! Amazingly we also had a Great Northern Diver just off the Brownsea shore, which is a species thats been nearly totally absent for the last month. There was also a distant Black-necked Grebe of Jerry’s Point and c80 Red-breasted Merganser spread across the harbour. With Brownsea now open again for the season, it was great to see the lagoon still so busy with 3 Spoonbill, c250 Avocet, c80 Bar-tailed Godwit, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, c100 Dunlin, c15 Grey Plover, c100 Oystercatcher, 2 Pintail and smaller numbers of Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler. At Swineham an adult male Merlin dashed across the gravel pit, with another (or the same) snatching a Sand Martin at dusk this evening. Until the Merlin attack, there had actually briefly been 6 Sand Martin at Swineham this evening, accompanied by 1 Barn Owl and 3 Marsh Harrier off the point and 2 Spoonbill were on the Swineham scrapes. At the PCW drain c10 Chiffchaff were enjoying the sun this morning and 3 were in full song and around mid-morning and there was a Spotted Redshank at Lytchett Fields. There were also 4 summer plumaged Sandwich Tern dotted around (2 Shipstal, 2 Brownsea). The Poole Peregrines were seen mating and dropping down onto the nesting ledge, suggesting they could be laying eggs any day now. And finally, although not Poole Harbour, the first Osprey of the season was seen landing on a nest up at Rutland Water, in Leicestershire which heralds the start of what will hopefully be another exciting year. We don’t anticipate our Poole Harbour pair to arrive back until very early April, but the first migrant Osprey could start passing through any day now, although in recent years the first observation seems to be anytime from March 20th onwards.

Of note, with so many people enjoying Lytchett Bay, Lytchett Fields and the new Rock Lea Viewpoint, you may be interested to read the recently completed and excellent Lytchett Bay 2022 Bird and Nature report.

Great Northern Diver – Brownsea shoreline – Alison Copland

Spoonbills – Swineham scrapes this evening

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