Harbour Update – posted 30/10/17

Nothing beats a ‘pure’ autumn day, and by this we mean not a breath wind, a warm sun but still with a snap of cold in the air. This morning saw our first frost of the year and a 6:30am start on Shipstal Point, Arne saw a flock of 12 Barnacle Geese arrive in from the north in the twilight before circling high above Middlebere and Ower Bay before eventually settling in Arne Bay next to 41 Spoonbill. The geese were then re-found a bit later at Swineham GP where a 13th individual joined them. Also at Swineham were 11 Bearded Tit, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Pochard, 3 Little Grebe, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Ruff , 37 Black-tailed Godwit and small numbers of Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Shoveler. Overhead Bullfinch were passing over in good numbers across the harbour and a Marsh Harrier was over Long Island. The harbour was like a Mill Pond so the Velvet Scoter was easy to pick out, out in central harbour. There were also 27 Red-breasted Merganser out in central harbour with 35 Great Crested Grebe. It looked as if Woodpigeon migration was going to get going again but in never really mounted into much with c3500 going west. Up at Glebelands, Ballard a good passage of finches were counted with 4 Hawfinch over at dawn, also 33 Brambling, 87 Bullfinch, 688 Goldfinch, 121 Lesser Redpoll, 163 Chaffinch, 39 Siskin along with 13 Reed Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer, 186 Starling, 22 alba Wagtail, 5 Skylark and 6 Swallow. A male Brambling was ringed at our Ballard ringing site along with 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackcap, 12 Goldcrest, 15 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Bullfinch and 20 Goldfinch. The Ruddy Shelduck was on the Brownsea Lagoon again and 1-2 Merlin were on Hartland late afternoon. Last night, our listening station was much quieter as a bright, clear moonlit night made it easy for birds to migrate, therefor not needing to call as frequently. We did record another Hawfinch though, our 9th in just three nights, also 3 Goldcrest and a spread of Fieldfare, Blackbird, Song Thrush and Redwing over the course of the night. Its amazing to think that a bird as small and delicate as a Goldcrest is able to navigate through the hours of darkness in 0 degree temperatures. Such hardy little birds.

Goldcrest – Call of a night migrant – Old Town Poole Listening Station 30/10/17 @ 01:44

 Barnacle Geese – 12 arriving at dawn over Shipstal, Arne – 30/10/17 @ 07:21

Barnacle Geese – Swineham GP – Paul Morton

Brambling – Ballard Down – Olly Slessor

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