Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Big Day in Poole Harbour

40+ Dorset birders sacrificed the traditional January bird race date to take part in a co-ordinated site watch of Poole Harbour today. The idea was not just to record as many species as possible but conduct counts at key locations at the same time to develop a more accurate picture of exactly how many birds over-winter in the Harbour. An initial tally suggested that 142 species were seen, which would have comfortably broken the winter day record for the Harbour had it been done by an individual. It will take a while longer to collate individual species counts so stand by for further news.

My designated patch - the North Shore from Poole Quay to Sandbanks - is one of the most populated areas of the Harbour and the open water is among the busiest stretches - even so I estimate I saw over 4,000 individuals of 44 species, and was pleased with some good high tide counts of 195 Brent Geese at Baiter Park (including 2 Pale-Bellied Brents) and 320 Oystercatcher. Other waders I had hoped to see on Shore Road were absent due to the perfect kite-surfing conditions. Highlights for the North Shore included a female Scaup off Baiter Park (pictured top), the first I have seen in this area, while Bullfinches (pictured above) and Jays in the Luscombe Valley added a dash of colour.

The Big Day was expertly organised by Shaun Robson, and a pre-roost gathering of thirsty birders met to socialise and exchange information about productive sites later in the evening where they were generously fed and watered courtesy of Mark and Mo Constantine.

No comments:

Post a Comment