Purple Parade – posted 18/12/13

I received a phone call the other day stating that some of the regular over-wintering Purple Sandpipers were back on the slipway at North Haven. Always a pleasure to see I went down there and sure enough there were three feeding on the exposed seaweed covered seawall in front of the Haven Hotel. Numbers never really reach any higher than 5 or 6 but once located give excellent views often down to a few meters. Also seen stood from the car park at North Haven were 8 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Eider and 15 Ringed Plover in Shell Bay. From a school bird boat yesterday the open water actually seemed quite quiet with only a handful of Great Crested Grebe compared to usual 50 or so. 3 Great Northern Diver were present along with 50+ Goldeneye, 150+ Red-breasted Merganser, 21 Spoonbill on Shipstal, a young Marsh Harrier near Fitzworth, 300 Avocet and 1000+ Dunlin on the Brownsea Lagoon. Out over the Wareham Channel a new ringtail Hen Harrier has appeared possibly boosting the wintering harbour population to 4, and 5 Marsh Harrier are still present there. Middlebere is hosting big numbers of birds at the moment with 500+ Brent Geese, 700+ Teal, 300+ Wigeon, 500 Black-tailed Godwit and 200+ Avocet along with a male Hen Harrier and female Marsh Harrier

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