Harbour Update – posted 16/09/15

Today saw an excellent vis-mig movement across the coastal areas of Poole Harbour with concentrated counts made at South Haven, Brownsea Quay and to a lesser extent Baiter Park. It started around 9am when local birder Steve Smith started his count from South Haven and began to note big numbers of Siskin moving along with several other species too. He informed Mark Constantine who was on the Quay at Brownsea Island who was also experiencing movement overhead with birds passing over north. Mark then called us in our office and we hurried down to Baiter to see if we could catch any of the passage coming over which to my delight we did. The conditions seemed perfect with a large front moving up from the SW and a steady NE breeze for the birds to fly into. Any wind with north is can get birds moving but a NE tends to be the most productive for numbers and variety of birds. In the end Steve managed to count a whopping 2423 Siskin at South Haven, a new UK Siskin day record! Also counted during Steve’s South Haven count included 10 Sand Martin, 1232 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 9 Tree Pipit, 291 Meadow Pipit, 15 Grey Wagtail, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldfinch, 4 Linnet and 17 Lesser Redpoll…all heading north. You can read Steve’s account of his mornings count HERE. Marks count from Brownsea was almost equally impressive with 585 Siskin, 20 Goldfinch, 26 Greenfinch, 14 Chaffinch, 1 Redpoll, 1 Skylark, 406 Swallow, 15 Sand Martin, 10 House martin, 86 Meadow Pipit, 18 Tree Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Whimbrel and 1 ad female Sparrowhawk…again, all north. From Baiter, Hirundines were streaming in off the water, all following a very defined channel across the water, hitting the corner of Baiter and passing right over our heads. Interestingly though, no finches were making their way to Baiter…just plenty of Hirundines, Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail. In Brands Bay the Great White Egret put on a good show, and a Grasshopper Warbler was seen next to the hide.  At RSPB Lytchett Fields a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was found, also the Wood Sandpiper remained with 2 Ruff, 22 Knot (a Bay record), 46 Dunlin, 9 Green Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 51 Redshank, 79 Black-tailed godwit, 2 Ringed Plover, 435 Teal, 5 Whinchat, 1 Osprey fishing in the bay and good numbers of Hirundines passing through. Holton Lee saw 1 Whinchat, 1 Osprey, 12 Goldcrest and 6 Chiffchaff. Late news from Monday when a Poole Harbour MEGA was reported…a Little Owl at Arne, sat on one of the farm buildings.

We have also just published our latest survey, carried out by Nick Hopper, which is titled

Pied Wagtails of Poole Harbour – A winter roost survey 2014/15.

Nick provides a fascinating insight into the pre and post roosting activities of our over-wintering Pied Wagtails here in the harbour.

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