More Merlin Magic – posted 22/01/14

A school boat trip around the harbour yesterday was treated to another Merlin spectacle as a female chased and harassed the 800+ Dunlin back and forth across the lagoon, twice splitting a single bird away from the main flock but failing to see the kill through. Brownsea opens to the public again for weekends only on Saturday the 8th of February, so if you get the chance get over there then I can’t encourage it enough. Also present on the lagoon yesterday 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk, 150 Avocet, 30+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Greenshank plus the usual Redshank, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Shelduck and Great Black-backed Gull. A single flock of 12 Woodlark in a field on the Frome Valley was a great winter record. The Smew was at Lytchett Bay again, also there 5 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 3 Little Grebe. Off Baiter 3 Razorbill, 1 Guillemot and 1 Great Northern Diver. At Sandbanks there was just 1 Purple Sandpiper and 4 Sanderling on the Groynes and 4 Eider still in Shell Bay. Off Hamworthy Beach this morning 2 Great Northern Diver, 92 Red-breasted Merganser, 28 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Goldeneye, 21 Spoonbill off Shipstal and 4 Turnstone on the beach.

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