Harbour Update – posted 24/11/17

As we’d hoped, with the weather settling down, there were a few more people out in the field today. Highlights from dawn included a Hawfinch over Stoborough Heath and another one at French’s Farm, Lytchett Fields. A ringtail Hen Harrier was around Slepe Heath mid morning before being seen at Lytchett Bay with a female Merlin at Hartland and 43 Spoonbill flew into the Wareham Channel to feed. Towards the end of the day both a male and female Hen Harrier bombed around Poole Harbour west before settling in to roost. At Whitley Lake, Sandbanks no less than 14 Sandwich Tern were on the posts at East Dorset Sailing Club, providing a decent early winter total. A Great White Egret was seen in the mouth of the Frome mid afternoon with another sighting in Middlebere later in the day. Most surprising (re)find of the day was the Stilt Sandpiper on the Brownsea Lagoon, seen during a school bird boat. Although the island is closed for the winter, there’s a good chance this bird could head back to Middlebere on the low tides so its well worth looking out for it as it seems to now be over-wintering. Out around the harbour there were 13 Black-necked Grebe and a juv Great Northern Diver was off the eastern Brownsea shoreline and still good numbers of Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe and Goldeneye.

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