Harbour Update – posted 20/11/16

Storm Angus looked as if it could put a stop to any decent birding opportunities today but instead, gave way to an excellent days birding with near flat calm conditions and no wind by mid-afternoon. As luck would have it we had been invited by the RSPB to do the commentary on the Poole Harbour Bird Boat trip that also landed on Brownsea Island where 80 members of the public joined us on what turned out to be a very productive day out on the water. Highlights from the boat included 3 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 12 Common Scoter, 8 Black-necked Grebe, 10 Goldeneye, 50+ Red-breasted Merganser, 30+ Great Crested Grebe, 2 Sandwich TernBrent Geese, 20 Ringed Plover on the sea wall at Poole Quay and a Kingfisher on Poole Docks. Whilst our two hour stop off at Brownsea produced not one, not two but three dramatic Merlin chases as a female harassed the snoozing c500 Avocet, 12 Spotted Redshank, 10 Greenshank, c60 Grey Plover, c200 Dunlin, c100 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Bar-tailed GodwitTurnstones, Redshank, Oystercatchers and Curlew. In total our group saw 66 species (that I’m aware of), which for 4 hours out on a boat isn’t bad at all! The full species list can be READ HERE. A truly excellent trip. This evening from Middle Beach, Studland the grebe roost contained 11 Black-necked Grebe, 7 Great Crested Grebe and 10 Common Scoter whilst earlier in the afternoon a Slavonian Grebe and 2 Great Northern Diver were in Shell Bay. The raptor numbers are staying very impressive with now 11 different Marsh Harrier exiting the west Poole Harbour roost this morning with sighting from Arne, Middlebere, Lytchett Bay and Swineham throughout the day. There were also 3 Hen Harrier in Poole Harbour south, between Arne and the Wareham Channel along with 2 Merlin. At Lytchett Fields, the site was massively flooded, so the newly created islands which were put in place to cater for these floods paid dividends as big numbers of Dunlin and Redshank were using them on todays high tide.  The Lesser Yellowlegs was still on site today for its 3rd month and it looks as if we may have an over-wintering Ruff and Curlew Sandpiper, both now very rare occurrences in the harbour during the winter with both being seen on the fields again today. Also around Lytchett Bay were 2 Water Pipit on the polls field, 2 Firecrest in Slough Lane, 3 Spoonbill out in the bay with 35 Brent Geese and 13 Red-breasted Merganser. There was also some late news of a Short-eared Owl at Holton lee back on November 2nd.

Great Northern Diver – Poole Harbour Bird Boat – Stephanie Murphy


Red-throated Diver – Poole Harbour Bird Boat – Paul Treen


Spotted Redshank – Poole Harbour Bird Boat – Stephanie Murphy


Short-eared Owl – Holton Lee – Richard Stephenson (Nov 2nd)

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