Harbour Update – posted 18/09/22

A magical Autumn Safari Cruise departed from Poole Quay at 9am this morning. Within minutes of leaving the urban sprawl of Poole Town behind a juvenile Osprey was seen perched along the Arne shoreline before offering stunning views around the boat, beautifully illuminated by clear blue skies. This was the first of 5(!) Ospreys that went on to be seen through the duration of the trip, with 3 juveniles and 2 adults logged, one observed catching a fish before our gaze was diverted by a White-tailed Eagle over the Wareham Channel being mobbed by one of the juvenile Ospreys, then later two Raven! The cruise navigated the Wareham Channel on a low tide, taking in breath-taking views of the 300 Black-tailed and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit accompanied by singles of Avocet, Greenshank, Knot and Yellow-legged Gull. A couple of Marsh Harriers quartering the western fringes of the harbour, Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk rounded off the raptor count while a Red-rumped Swallow was picked up by a few on the cruise, buzzing around with the impressive clouds of hirundines (Swallows, House and Sand Martins) around the Wareham Channel and Swineham Point. Given that there was one seen on the Isle of Wight yesterday, it’s possible it could even be the same individual, and although mobile and elusive, keep an eye out for and work through any hirundine flocks over the coming days and weeks! A (cautious) meander up the River Frome on the low tide yielded excellent views into Swineham Gravel Pit where numbers of Coot, Gadwall and Great Crested Grebe are all increasing as birds stage and arrive in the harbour. We enjoyed numerous close views of a Kingfisher before reaching the Stilt Pools to catch up with the Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Green and Common Sandpiper. The fringes of the pool also supported Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and 2 Egyptian Goose.

Elsewhere, 14 Marsh Harrier roosted in the harbour, a Bittern headed into the harbour along the Piddle Valley and Lytchett Bay joined in on the acton with Osprey and Marsh Harrier both logged over the Bay while a second White-tailed Eagle was spotted heading towards the Wareham Channel, viewed over Hyde’s Heath, Arne. A Hobby was sitting in the top of the pines on the edge of Arne and a walk around the Two Rivers Walk near Wareham to the Lower Piddle Valley pool produced 2 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper and 6 Cattle Egret headed up the valley towards North Bridge. Holes Bay clocked up some more impressive totals with Osprey, 557 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 152 Redshank, 23 Dunlin, 211 Wigeon, 5 Knot, Common Sandpiper, 2 Water Rail and 83 Teal all seen from the edge of Poole Town. Cattle Egret were logged heading up the Piddle Valley at dawn and at the Ballard Gap a Merlin, 1 Redstart and a Garden Warbler were logged. This evening a Wood Sandpiper was back on Lytchett Fields, as was a Curlew Sandpiper. The Brownsea Lagoon had c50 Spoonbill, 10 Knot, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Grey Plover and 18 Bar-tailed Godwit. 

All our Autumn Safari Cruise dates, times and booking information can be found here…

Juvenile Osprey – Autumn Safari Cruise – Mark WrightGreenshank – Autumn Safari Cruise – Mark  Wright

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