RSPB Bird boat 02/12/12

An incredible Poole Harbour tour today on the RSPB bird boat, with flat calm waters and perfect light conditions we knew we were in for a good one. Paul Morton conducted the commentary from local publishing company The Sound Approach, who talked to the 50 lucky voyagers as the boat cruised around idyllic scenery. This very first bird noted was a Great Northern Diver just off Poole Quay, starting off an impressive tally for the day. As the boat approached Brownsea Island, Red-breasted Merganser, Sandwich Tern, Razorbill, Cormorant and Shag were all observed at close range. Part of the tour was a two-hour stop off on Brownsea Island, and of course it didn’t let us down. 400+ Avocet, 80+ Grey Plover, 300+ Dunlin, 200+ Oystercatcher, 30+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Spotted Redshank, 10+ Greenshank not to mention the many Redshank, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall and Shelduck. Although the real star of the show was a female Merlin that spent the whole time chasing flocks of birds back and forth across the lagoon giving fantastic views. In the woodland Bullfinch, Siskin and 7 Red Squirrel were a real treat. Back to the quayside on Brownsea for the rest of the tour but not before spotting 2 more Great Northern Diver just off the quay, again being ever so obliging. Back on the boat and 5 Black-necked Grebe, 20+ Goldeneye, 50+ Great Crested Grebe, a Common Scoter and many many more Red-breasted Merganser were observed diving and rising time after time. As we headed for Arne a gathering of White blobs appeared on Shipstal point which eventually turned into 12 Spoonbill and at one magical moment a ringtail Hen Harrier decided to fly right over the boat as it was mobbed by Raven allowing a great view of all three species of bird in one binocular view! If that wasn’t enough, just as we started to head back a Common Seal decided to pop it’s head up just off the side of the boat bidding us farewell and hoping to see us again soon…au revoir everybody….au revoir Mr Seal!

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