Harbour Update – posted 22/10/14

Well the wind blew, blew again and then blew some more until finally by around 9pm last night it had run out of puff! The dreams of Sabine’s Gulls and Little Auks undoubtedly didn’t come to fruition but it was still exciting nonetheless. A sea-watch from Poole Quay (never usually a focus area during strong wind) came up trumps with 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Tern, 8 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Northern Diver, 18 Ringed Plover, 230 Dunlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Kingfisher, and a handful of Pied Wagtails heading west. Off Shipsatl Point this morning an Arctic Tern (probably the same as yesterdays bird) was hawking over a feeding raft of around 200 Cormorant in central harbour, along side several Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe. Also on Shipstal 3 Dartford Warbler and a large Long-tailed Tit flock. The whole flock of 49 Spoonbill were on Brownsea this morning which was good news as Chris Packham and the AutumnWatch team were over there filming for the coming series of  AutumnWatch which starts next week. At South Haven a Golden Plover went over and 2 Firecrest were grounded.

This Saturday also sees the Arne Forage Festival takes place for its 5th Year. Birds of Poole Harbour will have a marquee there telling people about our work, plus we’ll be hosting a ringing demo with the Stour Ringing Group from 11am to 2pm. Come and say hello!

I’ve been trying to record the Ringed Plover flock down on Baiter for a few weeks now, but boats, road works and very loud Herring Gulls have prevented me from doing so so far. However I managed to nip down there on my lunch break today with the falling tide and managed to locate a small flock of 8 birds feeding with 5 Dunlin. Typically they were mostly silent, but as they flew I managed to get a flight call type from 2-3 of the Plover and a from one of the Dunlin highlighting the rise in pitch of the Plover call…‘rising inflection’

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