Harbour Update – posted 24/11/19

Once a month wetland sites are surveyed under the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), providing data for population and trends in abundance and distribution across the country. Poole Harbour hosts huge numbers of wintering birds and today saw the coordinated November WeBS count, providing excellent coverage of the harbour.

South Central harbour was teeming with activity on the low tide and many open-water highlights included 1 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 11 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Diver, 27 Goldeneye, c100 Great Created Grebe, c70 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Common Scoter. Huge numbers of waders and wildfowl were feeding out on the exposed mudflats including 18 Spoonbill, c40 Grey Plover, lots of Black-tailed Godwit, c400 Avocet and Curlew with Marsh Harrier, 1 Firecrest and 1 Great White Egret. The highest Lapwing count (167) at Lytchett Fields this autumn was logged today, along with 62 Avocet, 20 Black-tailed Godwit 75, Brent Goose, 40 Curlew, 31 Dunlin, 16 Gadwall, 3 Greenshank, 2 Kingfisher, 2 Knot, 167 Lapwing, 2 Pintail, 2 Spotted Redshank, 107 Redshank, 299 Teal, 2 Water Rail, 534 Wigeon and a Yellow-legged Gull. The 2 Velvet Scoter were off Jerry’s Point with 6 Common Scoter and Black-necked Grebe off there too.

Swineham held abundant numbers of Coot on the gravel pits with a few Shoveler scattered amongst them. Great Crested GrebeGadwallMallard & Tufted Duck and Little Grebe were all recorded along the Frome. At least 150 Lapwing were among the Piddle flood fields and 2 Marsh Harrier were seen quartering the area. A flock of 6 Bearded Tit were observed over the Frome.The old scrape at Swineham harboured 50 Lapwing, 20 Mallard and 6 Curlew while the new scape 3 held and additional Snipe, 8 Shelduck, several Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Curlew, 2 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall & Mallard. The Two Rivers produced c150 Curlew, c125 Canada Geese and the White-fronted Goose amongst the Greylag in Frome flood field opposite Redclyffe Yacht Club.

Elsewhere, a Short-Eared Owl was found this evening flying between Soldiers Road and the Arne Road junction. It appeared from the Slepe Heath side and moved on west along the base of Stoborough Heath. A total of 7 Marsh Harrier had gathered in the west Harbour by sunset. Studland Bay featured a Red-throated Diver, 4 Black-necked Grebe and 11 Red-breasted Merganser and c100 Brent Goose entered harbour this morning at 9.15am. Rockley Park featured 106 Brent Goose, offering close views from the Park. Goathorn offered small numbers of Avocet, A single Great White EgretWoodcockFirecrest and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. Fitzworth Point was of a hive of activity, vast numbers of waders present as usual, including more unusual visitors for the area including 12 Turnstone and 3 Sanderling. The evening also produced a Merlin over towards Wytch Causeway.

 Spoonbill gatecrashing Avocet party – Wytch Lake

Feeding Avocet flock – Wytch Lake

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