Harbour Update – posted 22/09/23

It was definitely a big migration day today, certainly for 4 typical late September species. Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were all on the move in good numbers. Swallow were passing through and over from dawn until dusk, so goodness knows how many in total headed West during the course of the day, but we’re talking thousands and thousands. In the Piddle Valley alone c5000 went through during the afternoon, with big numbers reported across many skylines all day long. For the first 4-5 hours of the day Meadow Pipit were on the move and certainly many hundreds were seen passing over the Wareham Channel this morning and flocks of 50+ were feeding in the wet meadows around the harbour fringes. For a second day in a row bushes and scrub were ‘dripping’ with Chiffchaff, with their hoooweet calls coming from every bush for the first few hours after daylight. Finally, Blackcap, which always move in good numbers in late September were seen gorging on blackberry and elderberry bushes with 40 ringed at Lytchett Heath alone this AM in just a couple of hours. All in all it felt like a proper September day with 5 Ruff on Arne Moors/Swineham with 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank and c100 Black-tailed Godwit. A Golden Plover flew over Swineham, calling as it headed off high west. The Brownsea Lagoon held 56 Spoonbill, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, c50 Ringed Plover, c80 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Wheatear and 2 Kingfisher. The Forster’s Tern was off Shipstal Beach. This morning 7 Marsh Harrier came out of the west harbour roost and there were a minimum 4 Osprey around with 2-3 around the Wareham Channel/Middlebere area, another in Brands Bay and 1 in Holes Bay. In Middlebere a Cattle Egret and Great White Egret went over, there were 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 7 Pintail and 2 Spotted Redshank. Singles of Hobby (which have been in low numbers this summer) were over Hartland and Middlebere, a Red Kite was over Hartland and a Goshawk was having a fight with a Sparrowhawk over the Wareham causeway.

Red Kite – Hartland

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