Harbour Update – posted 22/11/15

Today finally saw the first cold, crisp and still morning of the winter, a beautiful day with lots of birds to see. There were two undoubted highlights, the first being from Lytchett Bay when a vis-mig session was being conducted from Lytchett Bay and 2 Penduline Tits passed low overhead calling and disappeared into some scrub. The birds were searched for over the next hour, but unbeknown to the search party the birds had made their way all the way over to Longham Lakes by early afternoon! This was the second record of this species in Lytchett Bay, with one over-wintering in Jan-Feb 1998. Its not inconceivable to think that perhaps with the amount reedbed in Poole Harbour, Penduline Tit could actually be a regular over-winterer but finding them is a different matter. The other highlight was a mass Wood Pigeon movement over the harbour where an incredible 140,618 had flown NW by late morning. At times a huge snake like trail of Wood Pigeons, made up of thousands of birds could be seen stretching across the skyline. This phenomenon is actually an annul occurrence but the volume of birds is very weather dependent year on year. This is the latest (as far as I’m aware) that the Pigeons have decided to move, but with all the grotty, windy weather recently its no surprise they decided to wait for a beautiful still day. Other sightings from around the harbour included 1 Red-necked Grebe, 4 Great Northern Diver, 25 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Goosander, 10 Common Scoter 9 Spoonbill and 5 Pale-bellied Brent Geese around the Studland peninsular. At Lytchett Bay view, just prior to the Penduline Tit excitement a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker passed overhead and 17 Shoveler (a bay record) were counted. There was also a late Swallow over Lytchett Fields. Spoonbill are now using Holes Bay with 11 at lunch time along with several Avocet and good numbers of wildfowl. On Brownsea an over-wintering Common Sandpiper was found and on the lagoon were 10 Spoonbill, 16 Spotted Redshank and a Brownsea rarity…5 Lapwing. Along Shore Road, Sandbanks 28 Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Sanderling are now feeding on the exposed sand on a low tide, giving views of down to a few meters! The Short-eared Owl was again over the Wareham bypass near the Red-footed Falcon bridge and Marsh and Hen Harriers were noted at Middlebere, Arne and the Wareham Channel. 

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