Harbour Update – posted 21/01/23

Well, they keep on coming! We’ve now gone from just 1 White-tailed Eagle in and around the harbour at the beginning of the week to 4 today. Late yesterday afternoon saw the arrival of another new individual in the shape of 4th calendar year male G463, meaning this week we’ve had 3rd cal year female G801, 3rd cal year male G812, 4th cal year female G466 and yesterdays new arrival G463. Big thanks to the Roy Dennis foundation for this info, it’s fascinating to see so many individuals continually return to the harbour. Whether it’s because it’s a favoured feeding site, or because it’s a suitable potential territory, only time will tell, but today people were treated some incredible spectacles as several of the birds were seen interacting over the Wareham Channel. Most notably, a pre-longed interaction between the two male individuals G812 (M) and G463 (M). With the settled weather due to continue we could see more arrivals (and departures) over the coming days, but with two 4th calendar year birds now present it could be an exciting couple of months.

Also today, there were 2 Marsh Tit in trees next to the Norden Sewage works and there were also 6+ Common Chiffchaff, a Siberian Chiffchaff and 2 Firecrest, and at the PCW Drain, 6+ Common Chiffchaff and a Firecrest. At Hatch Pond the Bearded Tit was there again on the eastern edge. Off Jerry’s Point there were 6 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Slavonian Grebe. In Middlebere 3 Spoonbill, 1 Spotted Redshank and 2 Marsh Harrier were logged and on Swineham GP there was 1 Pochard. 

Thanks also to Garry Hayman who recently consolidated all the info from the 2022 Middlebere Hide diary which provides totals, first dates etc over the course of the year. In total there were 121 different species recorded in the diary for 2022 (105 in 2021).


1st sighting / entry of the year: 1 on the 1st April
Last sighting / entry of the year: 1 on the 1st October
Highest count:  4 seen on 26th August
Total number of days an osprey was recorded for the year:  45 days   (41 days in 2021)
March: 0   (1 in 2021)
April: 19     (11 in 2021)
May: 2       (4 in 2021)
June: 0       (0 in2021)
July: 1        (2 in 2021)
August: 20    (16 in 2021)
September: 10 (7 in 2021)
October : 1      (0 in 2021)
White Tailed Eagle:
There were 10 White Tailed Eagles sightings recorded on the: 2nd Jan, 26th Aug, 18th Sept, 13th Oct, 22nd Oct, 23rd Oct 7th Nov, 13th Nov, 16th Nov and 24th Nov
There were 14 days of a Goshawk sighting.
There were 24 days in which a Merlin was recorded in the Diary and the first Autumn entry (arrival) was on the 15th October.
Hen Harrier
There were 59 days in which a Hen Harrier was recorded in the diary, 27 days at the start of the year and another 32 days at the end of the year. The first Autumn arrival was on 6th Oct and highest count was 2 ringtails on 29th Jan, 12th & 13th December.
Marsh Harrier
There 84 days in which a Marsh Harrier was recorded in the diary, with the highest count of 4 seen on the 12th January
Red Kite
There 3 red Kite sightings / entries on the 13th March, 22nd April and 26th June
Other Significant entries / rarities / High Counts in date order…..
2 Great White Egrets on 23rd Jan
10 Golden Plover on 10th Feb
81 Shelduck 16th Feb
50 Grey Plover on 25th Feb
4 Red Breasted Merganser on 21st March
6 Pochard on 21st March
2 Swallows on 5th April (first of the year)
19 Bar-tailed Godwits on 6th April
1 Woodlark on 6th April
1 Yellow Wagtail 6th April (first of the year)
2 House Martins on 11th April (first of the year)
1 Cuckoo (heard) on 19th April, first of the year
1 Whimbrel on 20th April (first of the year), 12th July (first of Autumn) and the highest count was 4 on 24th April.
1 Common Whitethroat on 21st April (first of the year)
1 Ruddy Shelduck on 26th April
1 Wheatear on 27th April (1st of the year)
1 Spotted Flycatcher on 11th May (1st of the year)
3 Cattle Egret on 11th May
1 Hobby on 19th May (1 of the year)
1 Swift  on 26th May (first of the year)
1 Cetti’s Warbler  was heard calling outside the hide on 4th, 14th, 15th and 17th June
1 Spotted Redshank on 5th July, first of the Autumn / winter  & the highest count was 8 on the 25th Sept & 6th Oct
220 Curlew on 11th July (highest count)
10 Greenshank on 30th July (highest count)
1 Yellowhammer on 29th August
1 Gannet (poss Avian influenza) on 4th Sept
20 Spoonbill on 5th Sept (highest count)
2 Whinchat on 5th Sept
3 Curlew Sandpiper on 23rd Sept (highest count)
750 Black-tailed Godwit on 25th Sept (highest count)
85 Pintail on 25th Sept (highest count)
1 Whooper Swan on 8th Oct
1 Glossy Ibis on 21st Oct
First Autumn / Winter Fieldfare and Redwing on 22nd Oct
1 Ruff on 30th Oct
1 Goosander (f) on 10th Dec
1 Jack Snipe on  10th Dec

White-tailed Eagles G466 and G812 over the Wareham Channel – Paula and John Thorpe

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