Harbour Update – posted 20/03/16

Today was a cold nippy day, but with the final Poole Harbour WeBS count it was certain a decent number of reports would come in. Spoonbill numbers seem to have risen with between 6-9 reported over the last couple of weeks, yet today there were 3 out in the Wareham Channel, another 3 in the mouth of Middlebere,  3 in Brands Bay, 6 on the southern shores and 2 in Newton Bay bring the total to 17. Perhaps some new arrivals in? Out in the Wareham Channel there was a rise of Black-tailed Godwit with 130 also a large group of 21 Gadwall feeding on the mud, also 2 Spotted Redshank and 29 Grey Plover. Off Shipstal Point a tight flock of 29 Great Crested Grebe associated with 4 Goldeneye and several Red-breasted Merganser. Along the Arne Road a group of 4 Woodlark were feeding close to the road edge. Out in Brands Bay over 800 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding which must surely indicate an arrival/passage too as number have been relatively low over the last few weeks. Also still good numbers of Pintail and Wigeon, 40+ Sanderling and 3 summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe there too. In the southern Bays of the harbour 2500+ birds were counted with highlights being 6 Spoonbill, 11 Knot, 5 Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Scoter and 1 Black-necked Grebe. There were 2 Firecrest in the Arne car park again, 1 Merlin in Middlebere and 12 Sand Martin over Ham Common Lake.

We’ve set our sound recording gear up at our listening station again in Poole in the hope of picking up some migrants pass over the harbour. Thanks to Nick Hopper for providing us with an example of one of our target species to record, a Common Scoter which Nick recorded at night over Stoborough on the 31st March 2015. Not a species you’d expect to get fly over rural areas but its well documented that Common Scoter take inland ‘short cuts’ occasionally turning up on gravel pits and reservoirs in central Britain.

Common Scoter – Common Scoter – Stoborough 31/03/15 @ 22:28 – Nick Hopper

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