Packed sightings board today, some really great wildlife encounters. Firecrest again seen throughout the day in the holly bushes around the carpark, but their number has risen to three. Plenty of the commoner goldcrest about too. The carpark tawny got a alot of attention today and its lovely that the barn owl pair are still using the nest box as a roost; the live images are showing at the visitor centre. Plenty of brent geese and wigeon being joined today by the first goldeneye and pintail. Spoonbill have finally decided to come visit this side of the harbour after a weeks absence and were joined by a small group of 12 avocet; lets hope the remaining 800 or so at Brownsea decide to pay us a visit too.
The black redstart is still hanging around on the farm; its well worth waiting a while checking the walls and roofs of the farm buildings on your way down to Shipstal for a sight of it and the cover crop trail is literally overflowing with birds.
Today I saw two firecrest in the carpark. This was only the second time I'd seen these quite hard to come by birds and I couldn't have hoped for better. For about an hour, visitors and I were treated to brilliant views of the tiny birds feeding in the holly just by the cars, completly oblivious to the crowd they were attracting. Along with the goldcrest they are Britains smallest bird and can be easily told apart from the firecrest's white eyebrow streak that the goldcrest is lacking.
The sparrowhawk once again showed off his new found hunting skills by taking a blue tit infront of a packed visitor centre and another raptor on the prowl was a female hen harrier down off combe heath.
Really big numbers of oystercatcher, curlew, black tailed godwit and cormorant out of the double decker hide and for the third day in a row a black redstart has been seen at the farm.
This is the time of year when the harbour really gets busy; new birds are arriving daily and soon the mud flats will be packed. What we didn't expect were 5 whooper swans, but this is exactly what the wednesday guided walk found down on Middlebere channel! These pretty swans, slightly smaller than the well known mute swan don't usually make it this far south, so it's always a treat to see them in the south. Add these five to the Whooper swans at the Radipol reserve in Weymouth and we havn't done too bad.
More regular winter birds turned up today like the cute little redpoll and the chaffinch like brambling. As the days get colder expect to see flocks of hundred strong finches down on the cover crop trail on the farm. Kingfisher showed up once again today as did the marsh harrier hunting off Coombe heath.
Don't forget to check out the forage fair on saturday - http://bit.ly/bFHJgf