Harbour Update – posted 21/07/23

Heading out for a morning survey of the harbour showed just how productive it is for birding at the moment. The highlight was the returning Forster’s Tern hunting along the Holton shoreline, with c.150 Common Tern and 200 Sandwhich Tern across the harbour and the Brownsea Lagoon. The lagoon was otherwise productive with 11 Avocet, including 2 juveniles which are still doing well, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, c.70 Oystercatcher, 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 11 Dunlin, and 1 Turnstone on the beach. On the North Brownsea shoreline, there were also 4 Common Sandpiper. In the Wareham Channel 2 White-tailed Eagle was sat on Shag Looe spit, 1 Osprey and 2 Marsh Harrier adding to the raptor list, as well as 5 Whimbrel, 5 Lapwing and 500 Black-tailed Godwit. Further along at the mouth of the Frome, 4 Spotted Redshank and 5 Greenshank were amongst the 25 Common Redshank making the most of the exposed mudflat, along with 4 Common Sandpiper on the fringes of the reedbed and 4 Water Rail including 2 young. Additionally there was 1 Yellow Wagtail present on a reedhead also at the mouth of the Frome. Of note on the scrapes at Swineham was 1 Green Sandpiper, 9 Egyptian Geese and 2 Yellow-legged Gull, with c.100 Sand Martin roosting in the reeds. Another Osprey was seen over in Wytch Lake, and a further 5 Whimbrel were present in Ower Bay, and c.150 Curlew across the whole harbour on the low tide. There was 1 Great White Egret in the Middlebere Channel this morning. On the Osprey nest, there was more excitement as another chick (5H4) fledged this afternoon.

Great White Egret (right) next to Little Egret – Middlebere Channel – Kate Plater


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