Harbour Update – posted 30/03/24

Finaly some Spring-like weather today in the harbour, with the birds certainly responding, and you never know what’s going to turn up at this time of year! The Forster’s Tern is back! Having wintered over in Brittany, France we think, it was spotted this morning off Shipstal Point on it’s favourite post next to the beach. It’s still in it’s winter plumage making identification a little easier with the characteristic eye mask. However, if it stays in the harbour long enough and moults into it’s breeding plumage, it will be nearly impossible to tell apart from the Common Terns.

The Forster’s made a great addition to our action-packed Spring Safari this morning which felt like everything was getting active and ready for the breeding season. We had 3 Osprey throughout the trip, with one fishing in the Wareham Channel (likely Beaky who was photographed catching another enormous fish) as well as two more in the Wareham Channel. One bird, an unringed female, was actively hunting while 022 our resident male was seeing her off and alarm calling! Not something you get to see let alone hear that often. We also had male White-tailed Eagle, G463 in the Wareham Channel as well as c400 Black-tailed Godwit flying overhead and 4 Marsh Harrier, including skydancing and loads of interaction. Elsewhere in the harbour we had 5 Great Northern Diver spread around the north shore of Brownsea and Ball’s Lake. On the Brownsea Lagoon to top of the trip were 3 Spoonbill, c20 Grey Plover, c20 Sanderling, c20 Sandwich Tern and c20 Bar-tailed Godwit. One of the strangest sightings we had for the time of year was a Guillemot on the north shore of Brownsea. All in all, making for a fantastic Spring Safari!

In Lytchett Bay 2 House Martin went through, 1 Willow Warbler was singing on Slough Lane and 1 Spotted Redshank were on the Fields. The 1 Bar-headed Goose is still at Holme Lane gravel pit along with 1 Barnacle Goose. At Holmbridge 16 Cattle Egrets were on the flooded fields.


Forster’s Tern – Shipstal Point – @BirderJB on Twitter

Male Osprey 022 – Wareham Channel from our Spring Safari Cruise – Rene Goad

Guillemot – North shore of Brownsea from our Spring Safari Cruise – Alison Copland

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