Harbour Update – posted 25/11/23

The harbour was at it’s very best today, bar a few exceptions (Red-necked Grebe for example), it provided everything you could possibly hope for from a winter days birding. Yes the calm weather helped, but when conditions like this occur, not only does it deliver new birds, it also allows for great coverage and today pretty much every corner of the harbour was observed returning a great mix of species. We’ll start with our Low-tide Cruise this afternoon which produced an incredible 24 Great Northern Diver spread across the entirety of the harbour. We were then treated to great views of a Black-throated Diver close to the harbour entrance and then 2 Red-throated Diver close to the boat in central harbour. There was a single Goldeneye off Pottery Pier, 1 Black-necked Grebe in Brands Bay, c20 Red-breasted Merganser in central harbour, 2 Kingfisher, the White-tailed Eagle pair were in the Wareham Channel, a ringtail Hen Harrier flew across in front of the boat in the Wareham Channel and there was also an adult male and female Marsh Harrier in the Wareham Channel. We also only logged 1 Spoonbill (also in the Wareham Channel), c200 Avocet off Fitzworth, c400 dark-bellied Brent Geese around the harbour fringes, 1 Great White Egret (in the Wareham Channel), c400 sinensis Cormorant, c300 Black-tailed Godwit and really good numbers of typical winter birds such as Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank. The best bird of the day was a newly arrived Long-tailed Duck in Brands Bay late this afternoon and there were singles of Slavonian Grebe off Jerry’s Point and off Middle Beach Studland. Also off Middle Beach were 7 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Great Northern Diver and 4 Common Scoter. The male Hen Harrier was doing the rounds being viewed at Swineham, Lytchett Bay and Middlebere, as was the female ringtail Hen Harrier which was also seen at the same locations. This morning 3 Great White Egret settled in Lytchett Bay and 5 Cattle Egret headed up the Frome Valley just after dawn. There was a single Brambling in Arne Village and at Middlebere 1 Merlin, 1 Spotted Redshank and 6 Spoonbill. Fieldfare¬†were moving around in small numbers this morning, there were also 7 Cattle Egret logged over Wareham Common, 1 Spotted Redshank was in Holes Bay and 12 Spoonbill were in Lytchett Bay this afternoon.

Black-throated Diver – South Deep, from Low-tide Cruise – Dorothy Windall

Red-throated Diver – South Deep, from Low-tide Cruise – Dorothy Windall

Great Northern Diver, from Low-tide Cruise – North Channel

Goshawk – RSPB Arne – Mark Wright

Great White Egrets – Lytchett Bay – Alison Copland

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