Harbour Update – posted 17/02/24

The mudflats in Wareham Channel were positively bustling with waders on the low tide during this morning’s Winter Safari Cruise, with 300+ Dunlin, 150+ Avocet, 30+ Curlew, 40+ Redshank, 50+ Lapwing and a single Grey Plover. At least 4 Marsh Harrier were active around Swineham, including a courting pair who flew back and forth past the boat and whose incredible high-pitched contact calls carried clearly across the water to us! We were also treated to a beautiful flyby from 4 juvenile Spoonbill, which flew close down either side of the boat simultaneously before regrouping and heading over to Shipstal Bay at Arne to seek shelter. Other highlights from the trip were the 2 Pochard still present at Swineham, along with 8 Great Northern Diver spread across the harbour and 1 Black-necked Grebe just inside the harbour entrance which had begun to enter its breeding plumage. Elsewhere today there 33 Cattle Egret back on Wareham Common, 4 Water Pipit on Sherford Pools at Lytchett Fields, 2 Red Kite were seen over Lytchett Matravers and the 8 Waxing were still present at Dacombe Drive in Upton.

Juvenile Spoonbill (note the dark tips to flight feathers) – Winter Safari Cruise – Alison Copland

Black-necked Grebe (entering breeding plumage) – Winter Safari Cruise – Alison Copland

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