The birding year on the Brownsea Lagoon is spectacular.  Managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust the lagoon plays an important role as birds start to arrive back from their breeding grounds up north as early as July, but noticeable numbers aren’t reached until end of August and into September. The lagoon has several uses, ranging from a ‘drive-through’ style feeding area for species such as Curlew Sandpiper, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Little Stint and Little Ringed Plover, also as a high-tide roosting zone when most of the harbour is under water.

The lagoon boasts internationally important numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck and Oystercatcher, and nationally important numbers of Avocet, Redshank and Dunlin.  Numbers of Avocet can peak at 1000+ and Black-tailed Godwit 2000+, which is quite an impressive sight, especially when one of the over-wintering Merlin or Peregrines starts hawking over the lagoon. Spoonbill is another lagoon favourite with numbers often reaching 40+ by mid-October

In spring and summer the lagoon’s function changes from being sleepy high-tide roosting area by becoming a busy and bustling breeding site for Poole Harbours important Common and Sandwich Tern colony. The tern islands which are conveniently built right in front of the two excellent hides provide a fascinating insight into the breeding and courtship behaviour of these summer visitors, as well as point blank views of the adults feeding chicks too.

So, when ever you tune into the Lagoon webcams there should hopefully always be something worth watching as species come and go with seasons and the tides.

This project was a joint partnership project between Birds of Poole Harbour, Dorset Wildlife Trust, National Trust and the Sandbanks Hotel

Mac hide – Brownsea Lagoon

Call 01202 641 003