Harbour Update – posted 17/12/17

Today we headed out on our first Birds of Poole Harbour Wareham Channel cruise in what were near perfect conditions. Flat calm waters and no wind or rain (initially) made for perfect viewing opportunities. As we headed out a Guillemot, plenty of Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe and Shag were seen in the mouth of the Wareham Channel and as we cruised silently up towards the River Frome a large feeding raft of c200 Cormorant made the water look as if it were bubbling hot. A ringtail Hen Harrier had the courtesy of hunting pipits over the Swineham reedbed as we passed and the main Swineham GP help good numbers of over-winter waterfowl such as Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and a couple of Pochard. Lapwing moved up and down the two river valley’s as did Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit just as the tide began to shift and a Kingfisher posed handsomely on top of some metal fencing up near Ridge Wharf boat yard. As we exited the River Frome the tide had dropped  slightly meaning some Avocet, Redshank, Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit had come into feed along with 6 Spoonbill which showed excellently along the Arne shoreline. Out in central harbour c40 Goldeneye were in several flocks, with 4 Black-necked Grebe close to the boat as we headed across Balls Lake along with 1 Common Scoter more ‘Mergs‘ and Great Crested Grebe. Up to 6 Sandwich Tern were feeding flying around the harbour and 2 Great Northern Diver were off the Brownsea shoreline. The Brownsea Lagoon was also busy as we cruised past with 3 Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and more Spoonbill were singled out amongst the good numbers of commoner waders and wildfowl. In total we logged a very respectable 71 species and we’d like to thank everyone who made it on board for making it such an enjoyable and memorable trip.

Elsewhere around the harbour a Velvet Scoter was seen near the harbour mouth with 2 Common Scoter. In Studland bay there were 19 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern with 5 Black-necked Grebe in Shell Bay. At the PC World drain 2 Siberian Chiffchaff were present including a returing ringed bird from last witer proving winter site fidelity, along with 2 Little Egret, 2 Kingfisher and 2 Cetti’s Warbler. On Brownsea the Stilt Sandpiper was present still, looking as if its now taken up winter residence here no matter what the tide state is. Will we see it stay until the early spring and moult into summer finery like we saw with the Lytchett Fields Lesser Yellowlegs earlier this year? 

Grey Heron hunting rodents in arable field at Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam

Goldeneye (male) – Poole Park boating lake – Ian Ballam 

Goldeneye (female) – Poole Park boating lake – Ian Ballam

Shoveler, Pintail, Wigeon Upton CP – Rene Goad

Kingfisher – Holton Pools – Rene Goad

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