Harbour Update – posted 27/01/23

Conditions were perfect for our Winter Safari Cruise this morning, with the flat calm water making it ideal for picking up open water species. There had seemed to be a drop off in the number of Great Northern Diver in the harbour in the last couple of weeks, but this morning provided a good opportunity to log as many as we could. We logged at least 5 or 6 present around the harbour, including 2 were together SW of Brownsea, 1 on the north shore of Brownsea, 1 off Baiter and 2 off Hamworthy. The Velvet Scoter was present near the harbour entrance, 2 Goldeneye south of Furzey Island, and 1 Black-necked Grebe and 5 Eider were in the central harbour. c.120 Red-breasted Merganser and 100 Great Crested Grebe were seen across the harbour. Wader and waterfowl counts around Newton Bay and Ower Bay included 500+ Brent Geese, 180 Pintail, 100 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 200 Oystercatcher, 20 Curlew, 9 Grey Plover, 30 Avocet, 20 Redshank and 400 Dunlin. 12 Spoonbill were also present at Shipstal. With the very low tide, numbers on Brownsea lagoon were low with c.120 Avocet, c.200 Black-tailed Godwit, c.40 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Shelduck and 10 Redshank. Later in the morning, 102 Brent Geese moved onto the lagoon. The Wareham Channel was quiet, apart from the exciting interactions between at least 5 Marsh Harrier, beginning their courtship displays. At Middle Beach, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Black-necked Grebe and 3 Great Crested Grebe were reported today. The Black Redstart was also present again at Sandbanks.

Marsh Harriers – Wareham Channel – Alison Copland

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