News Article28/05/2019

Poole Harbour’s first Semipalmated Sandpiper 02/09/13

On Monday 2nd of September 2013 Paul Morton of the ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ education charity was on the phone to Nick Hopper, co-author of the Sound Approach title ‘Catching the Bug’ discussing the capabilities of the ‘BoPH’ webcam when on his computer monitor Paul noticed a small wader barge it’s way past two Curlew Sandpiper on the webcam it’s self. He quickly got Nick to log onto the website to take a look at what seemed like a small, pale Stint of sorts. Nick agreed the bird looked ‘interesting’ but due to the slightly blurred nature of the webcam defined features were difficult to pick out. Paul followed the bird on the camera for around half an hour taking a number of screen grabs, showing the bird in various lights and postures.

The screen shots of the bird were then sent to Killian Mullarney who despite the poor quality of the images advised we get to the bird asap as it looked good for a Semipalmated Sandpiper. By this time birders who were already on the island, including Ewan Brodie made their way to the bird and started to work through the features for Semi P, as another small group of birders arrived on Brownsea at 4pm, luckily with bird showing at around 15m away giving great views. After more photos were taken and more conversations between the various parties the bird was confirmed as Poole Harbour’s first Semi P.

On Tuesday 3rd of September the bird re-appeared in the same spot giving superb views on the webcam making this the first ever online twitch!

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