Sightings17/01/2016

Harbour Update – Posted 16/01/16

Today we led our monthly field trip at Swineham with the hope of witnessing a perfect Poole Harbour sunrise. When the walk was first advertised a few months ago we’d seen nothing but wind and rain for quite some time, so the title of the walk ‘sunrise at Swineham’ was quite tongue in cheek. However we did experience one of the most spectacular sunrises so far this winter with a ground frost and still calm conditions to boot. Highlights included 3-4 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 2-3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, several Cetti’s Warbler calling, 2 Chiffchaff, c20 Shoveler, c10 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 3-4 Kingfisher, c20 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare and several Reed Bunting. At Norden Sewage Works the 2 Firecrest were still showing brilliantly next to the fence. Out in the Wareham Channel there was 1 Great Northern Diver, 14 Goldeneye, 1 Sandwich Tern and 2 Woodcock were seen at Holton Lee the night before. At Lytchett Bay 8 Egyptian Geese flew overhead towards the Wareham Channel (still surprisingly scarce here) and a ringtail Hen Harrier hunted out over the fields. There was also a remarkable find at Arne of what is almost certainly a Great White Egret skull, down near the Shipstal Hide. This may sound bizarre (which it is), but this coincides with a report of a sickly looking Great White Egret down in that area back in October last year, when a group from a guided walk were able to approach a GWE at quite close quarters as it just stood on the footpath looking back at them. The Brownsea Lagoon was counted and totals included 22 Knot, 10 Spotted Redshank, 2 Lapwing, 80 Grey Plover, 70 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Turnstone, 5 Greenshank, 600 Dunlin and 2 Kingfisher. There were also 2 Firecrest near the Villa on Brownsea with 24 Siskin and a pair of Bullfinch. From the Pottery Pier end of Brownsea looking west there were 7 Black-necked Grebe, the 1st winter drake Eider, 17 Spoonbill at Arne, 4 Great Northern Diver and 1 Razorbill near Castle Quay. In Holes Bay north 2-Spotted Redshank were feeing in the outflow channel and 8 Spoonbill came in to feed there too. 

Presumed Great White Egret skull – Found at Shipstal, Arne – Joe Stockwell

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