Harbour Update – posted 16/11/22

When the weather forecast looks a bit iffy ahead of a bird boat, doubts always start to creep in about whether it will be worth venturing out into the harbour. It’s very rare, however, that it doesn’t prove to be fruitful, and this morning turned out to be another excellent trip. Despite a heavy downpour at the start of the trip, when the rain started to clear we were treated to a Peregrine flyby, featuring a stunning double rainbow backdrop. At the end of the Wareham Channel, at least 5 Marsh Harrier were present, giving continued views as we made our way up the River Frome. With standing water across Arne Moors, it was teeming with activity including 100+ Lapwing, amongst Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Greylag Geese and Canada Geese. On the opposite side of the river, 1 Green Sandpiper was seen in the flooded fields.

As we made our way through the central harbour area, 2 Red-throated Diver were visible near Shipstal. One of the highlights of the trip were 2 Eider in the central harbour, one juvenile and one adult male. During the course of the cruise, we saw 7 Great Northern Diver (including 2 adults), with at least 4 logged in Blood Alley, 2 in the central harbour and 1 on the North Brownsea Shoreline. Numbers of Red-breasted Merganser seem to have picked up, with 50-60 logged around the harbour. On the Brownsea Lagoon, 250+ Avocet, 30 Wigeon, 5+ Grey Plover, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, c.50 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Redshank and 1 Greenshank were counted. Just after everyone had left the boat on Poole Quay, we also had a final surprise of a flyover Great White Egret.

Elsewhere in the harbour, 1 Merlin was seen at Lytchett Fields, along with the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper still present. 1 White-tailed Eagle was photographed over Arne carpark, with the plumage suggesting that it is 3 year old G318. At Poole Park, the flock of c.150 Cormorant were present again, with 2 Sandwich Tern and 2 Redshank.

White-tailed Eagle – RSPB Arne – Martine Fenn

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