Harbour Update – Posted 23/01/16

Today our second ever Family Bird Boat left Poole Quay with a group of excited and intrepid members of the public, wondering what Poole Harbour had in store for them. This project is an extension of our popular School Bird Boat program and although all trips this year have fully booked, its likely we’ll run them next winter too, so keep an eye out for more information in the near future. The trip didn’t disappoint and once again the weather was on our side. There were 6+ Great Northern Diver including ‘the Baiter bird’ which has now taken up residence off Poole Quay it seems, with more off the Brownsea north shore, South Deep and out in central harbour. The 1st winter drake Eider was also out in central harbour and the Black Guillemot was again off the Brownsea SE corner.  Spoonbills were on the Brownsea Lagoon and Shipstal Point and 2 Black-necked Grebe were off Goathorn Point. A Razorbill was off the Brownsea seawall with 50+ Bar-tailed Godwit on the seawall beach. In total 57 species were logged during the tour. Out on the main lake of Poole Park 4-5 Goldeneye were feeding. Around Hartland 2 ringtail and a male Hen Harrier were noted again and the Bittern was once again seen out flying across the reedbeds towards Swineham. A Woodlark was in full voice at Shipstal Point, Arne where 21 Spoonbill were on the Shipsatl sandbar. During the low tide late afternoon a gull watch was conducted in the Wareahm Channel from the Holton Lee side where huge numbers of gulls were coming in to roost and feed on the exposed mud. Although most were Black-headed and Herring Gull, this time of year (heading into March) is a great time to start looking out for species such as Ring-billed, Iceland and Glaucous Gull, all real Poole Harbour goodies if you can get them. Also out in the channel of note (in a Wareham Channel context) were 11 Spoonbill feeding, 18 Pintail, 17 Gadwall and a flock of 32 Great Crested Grebe huddled together in a shallow channel. Out on RSPB Lytchett Fields a single Avocet was seen out roosting on the fields, a rare sight in these parts, despite them feeding out in the bay every day on the low tides. Also on the fields were 2 Green Sandpiper, 17 Dunlin and 185 Lapwing.

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