Harbour Update – posted 17/10/19

Another successful School Bird Boat managed to miss the worst of this morning’s weather. After departing from the Quay, the sun soon appeared revealing 2 Great White Egret (one at Newton Bay and the other at Ower Bay) and 46 Spoonbill on Brownsea Lagoon, along with 4 Sandwich Tern and c50 Brent Geese.

A visit to Lytchett Bay on a rising tide produced c140 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 40+ Oystercatcher, 26 Curlew, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Dunlin, 10 Avocet, 21 Lapwing, 4 GreenshankTeal and Wigeon. A handful of Snipe and 3 Rock Pipit were recorded on the saltmarsh.

Another Great White Egret frequented Middlebere today, accompanied by 2 Spotted Redshank and the more common waders and wildfowl assemblages. A Kestrel was seen hovering over Holes Bay NE this afternoon and a Great White Egret was seen going into roost at Littlesea, Studland. Shell Bay Beach was really flooded this afternoon too and hosted just singles of Sanderling and Ringed Plover.

Raptors in the harbour are mainly sticking to the southern shores. There’s still currently no Hen Harriers settling here yet this autumn, but it could be because they’re all being slaughtered on the uplands further north, with news today that a 4th in four weeks has gone missing from a research program. It’s no wonder we don’t see the three, four or five roost sites that we did 15, 20 years ago. Things are a bit better for Merlin though with daily sightings around the Arne Moors/Swineham/Hartland area and there are still currently 4 Marsh Harrier about. At Swineham there were 30 Curlew on the new scrape along with c20 Black-tailed GodwitRedwing and Song Thrush were on the move last night with the first decent wave of the autumn with peak passage between 10pm and midnight.

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