Harbour Update – posted 29/11/23

Another blissful day across the harbour with flat calm waters and a very light NE wind, bringing with it an almost (dare we say it) Christmasy chill to the air. There was plenty going on again all day with our Winter Safari this morning logging a decent haul of birds including 11 Great Northern Diver spread across the area including birds off Jerry’s Point, in central harbour, off Baiter and in the Wareham Channel. There was a Slavonian Grebe off Jerry’s Point and a marked increase of 13 Goldeneye with 8 in the Wareham Channel and others in central harbour and now up to 100 Red-breasted Merganser. The White-tailed Eagle pair, G466 and G463 were active in the Wareham Channel for most of the morning and the younger female eagle with the deformed beak, G801, was seen over RSPB Arne first thing, before she was later observed flying over Ballard Down and settling on Swanage Beach. A Great White Egret was over Swineham and there were 3 Marsh Harrier around the mouth of the Piddle and Frome Valley. The Spoonbill flock seem to have de-camped from Shipstal in recent weeks and are favouring the shorelines along the south of the harbour with 25 roosting off Fitzworth Point this morning. On the Swineham Scrapes a Green Sandpiper was feeding and there were 4+ Bearded Tit in the reedbeds. The Brownsea Lagoon was packed with birds including c350 Avocet, c1600 Black-tailed Godwit, c800 Dunlin, c20 Ringed Plover, 8 Grey Plover and c200 Oystercatcher. Another vis-mig session was carried out up at Glebelands on Ballard Down, and amazingly yesterdays Tree Pipit was still around, which was heard calling somewhere along the ridge. Also logged were 153 Chaffinch migrating NE, also 2 Brambling, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 35 Goldfinch, 2 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Hen Harrier sightings were logged at Lytchett Bay, Lytchett Fields, Middlebere and Swineham with both ringtail and adult males logged. Out in Studland Bay, from Middle Beach there were 6 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Great Northern Diver, 5 Common Scoter and 2 Sandwich Tern. Another Great White Egret was at the top end of Middlebere and in the PCW Drain at Holes Bay a minimum of 7 Chiffchaff were active. A 1st winter Little Gull was in Brands Bay late this afternoon plus the Long-tailed Duck was off Redhorn early afternoon where there were also 3 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver (near the harbour entrance), 3 Goldeneye and 42 Great Crested Grebe.

Masses of waders (Black-tailed Godwits, Avocets) on the DWT Brownsea Lagoon – Alison Copland

Masses of waders (Oystercatchers, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin & Avocet) on the DWT Brownsea Lagoon – Alison Copland

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