Harbour Update – posted 21/11/23

It properly began to feel like winter today as the wind swung round from the north, delivering us a consistent and chilly breeze all day. The birds didn’t seem to care with various areas offering some top birding despite the cold. Up on Ballard down a small, ringtail harrier sp drifted in along the ridge and headed west. Sadly it couldn’t be confirmed to species, but it’s size and structure suggested that Pallid Harrier was a possibility. It frustratingly drifted out of view pretty quickly, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye out for over the coming days. Also up on Ballard were 2 late Swallow, 2 Brambling, a good count of 363 Chaffinch and best of all a flyover Snow Bunting. Our Winter Safari this morning produced the goods right around the harbour with a great mix of birds. This included a Black-throated Diver at Swineham, in the river just off the public footpath, 8 Great Northern Diver spread around with 3 in central harbour, 3 near the harbour mouth and 2 in the Wareham Channel, 2 distant Slavonian Grebe off Round Island, 1 Black-necked Grebe off Jerry’s Point, 3 Eider off Brownsea north shore, 5 Marsh Harrier at Swineham including 2 displaying high over Giggers Island, 1 Goshawk hunting over Rempstone, 16 Spoonbill off Fitzworth, 1 Great White Egret over Swineham GP and c10 Bearded Tit at Swineham Point, c300 Avocet, c10 Ringed Plover, 7 Greenshank, c30 Bar-tailed Godwit, c300 Eurasian Teal, c15 Curlew and a mix of Gadwall, Wigeon and Shoveler all on the Brownsea Lagoon. There were also c300 Dunlin in the Wareham Channel and another c500 in Brands Bay where there were also 3 Goldeneye and another Great Northern DiverĀ plus a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen at RSPB Arne.

Black-throated Diver at Swineham from Winter Safari Cruise – Robin Morrison

Eider in Central Harbour from Winter Safari Cruise – Clive Hargrave

Spoonbill and Fisherman off Fitzworth from Winter Safari Cruise – Annabel Sharpe

Goshawk causing havoc over Ower Bay from Winter Safari Cruise – Annabel Sharpe

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