Harbour Update – posted 15/10/15

One of my personal highlights from the last few days is a male Brambling that’s taken up semi-residence at the feeders out the back of the Arne visitor’s center. Although not a rare bird by any stretch of the imagination, they can often be extremely difficult to see and catch up with in the harbour each winter, sometimes with no birds over-wintering at all, just a few migrants during the autumn. Out in the Wareham Channel 3 Marsh Harrier were gliding about before going into roost and 4 Woodlark, 6 Crossbill and a Peregrine passed over Slepe Heath with the female Merlin still present there. There was a small movement of thrush’s at dawn with around 100 Redwing a similar number of Song Thrush and a handful of Fieldfare. Spoonbill totals were split between Brownsea and Shipstal combining at 31 birds and 14 Spotted Redshank, 350 Avocet and 9 Greenshank were also on the lagoon.

There has been a bit of an influx of Short-eared Owls this week with 7 on Portland and 2 at Durlston. Its well worth keeping an eye out around Arne, Hartland Moor, Slepe Heath, Soldiers Road etc at dusk and dawn as these sites have historically always been good places for this species. Ring Ouzels, Firecrests, Black Redstarts and more Brambling will all be around somewhere and are all classic mid to late autumn birds. And where are those Yellow-browed Warblers??????

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