Harbour Update – posted 18/03/23

Todays highlight wasn’t even within Poole Harbour, but the event its self suggests Poole birders should be keeping their necks craned tomorrow in search for anything swooping high above them. First off, just to the west of us an Alpine Swift was seen over Swanage around 15:30, which considering the number that have arrived in the UK in the last few days, wasn’t wholly unexpected. Then, this evening, just to the east of us an incredible SIX more Alpine Swift were seen feeding over a site close to Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch. What a site that must of been. These are huge Swifts with white bellies that have been delivered here with the deep southerly air flow from southern Europe thats occurred in the last week. There’s every chance a straying individual from this batch, or possibly even more could arrive over the coming days and find them selves over a Poole Harbour area….Wareham? Poole Town? Studland? Upton? Who knows but Alpine Swift should be on everyones radar over the coming days.

There was a harbour highlight today which consisted of a booming Bittern at Swineham around 9am. This is really unusual for us in the harbour, although migrating Bitterns stopping off at staging sites do occasionally ‘Boom’,  so it could be a oneoff migrant practising before getting back to it’s breeding grounds (wherever that may be)? Or do we dare dream that one could settle in the harbour one day. An effort was made this evening to see if any left on migration at dusk, but the watch returned zero migrating Bitterns! Suggesting our ‘boomer’ is waiting for another night, or… quite likes it here??!! Elsewhere the White-tailed Eagle pair were active in the Wareham Channel this morning before heading off towards Middlebere. A Black-necked Grebe was off Jerry’s Point, 1 Spoonbill was on the Brownsea Lagoon and 5 more flew over Middlebere. There was a single Wheatear at Swineham and the springs first Swallow flew over Wareham Common with 18 Sand Martin. At Lytchett Fields 2 Spotted Redshank were off Rock Lea View, Red Kites passed over Ridge, Worgret and Swineham, a Goshawk was photographed flying towards Corfe and there were 8 Sandwich Tern on the Brownsea Lagoon. There are still good numbers of dark-bellied Brent Geesea round the south of the harbour with up to c500 still present and c350 Dunlin were at the top end of the Wareham Channel with c250 Avocet still on the Brownsea Lagoon.

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