Harbour Update – posted 18/02/24

Spring continues to spring into action with the years (and countries) first House Martin seen flying over West Morden, just outside our recording area. The harbour Marsh Harrier’s continued to call and court one another this morning and there were Goshawk wars over the Wareham Channel with 2 males and a female all interacting. A Hen Harrier was seen at Swineham, a White-tailed Eagle was over Middlebere and a single Peregrine was on the Asda flats. In Brands Bay the summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe was still there and 2 Spotted Redshank were at Lytchett Fields with 4 Greenshank and a Chiffchaff in full song. There was a distinct drop off in totals of waders and wildfowl in some areas during the Poole Harbour WeBS this morning as some birds are starting to depart on their long migration back to breeding grounds over the next few months. However, there was a phenomenal count of 1004 Pintail in Brands Bay which is a staggering Poole Harbour total and more than double any historical Poole Harbour WeBS total going back to 1975! This almost certainly consists of some new arrivals, perhaps from further south, settling (also known as staging) in Poole Harbour/southern Britain before they continue their journey north. It’s good to see and log these movements and highlight that the harbour is as important for over-wintering birds as it is for passage birds of the same species.

Great Crested Grebe – Baiter – John Thorpe

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