Leading up to the festive season Dorset birding has been fairly good for the time of year. With the immature Surf Scoter still being seen in Brand's Bay and the two juvenile Common Cranes are still being seen near Cheselbourne though they seem to go missing at times. A Ring-billed Gull has been putting in appearances at various locations around Poole Harbour and there has been sightings at Radipole which was probably a different bird. The Black Brant remains on the Fleet with it's Northern European counterparts and also being joined with a couple of Pale-bellied Brent as well. There has been several records of Great Grey Shrike, two around the Morden Bog area with sightings at Hartland Moor, Middlebere and another on private land at Milborne St Andrew. There has been good numbers of Divers being recorded passing Hengistbury and Portland, all three species visiting Poole harbour. There has been good numbers of birds of prey being recorded around the Poole harbour, Merlin, Peregrine, Marsh and Hen Harriers all being represented.
As the weather became stormy recently this brought sightings of Little Auk of Hengistbury and Black Guillimot at Portland in the last couple of days. There has been up to four Snow Bunting being seen at West Bexington though the last report there was only two seen. Also in the west a small flock of Barnacle Geese have arrived in the Rodden Hive area of the Fleet, hard to tell if these are genuine wild birds or from a British feral population but they are still nice birds to see. Bittern have been seen on and off at both Radipole and Lodmoor so there is plenty of variety out there to be seen so get out there over the holiday period and work that Christmas dinner off, you could join us at Lodmoor on the 29th there are still a couple of places availible.
|Great Northern Diver - Poole Harbour © Nick Hull|