Harbour Update – posted 12/03/20

It’s official, spring has arrived in Poole Harbour! The first of our spring migrants have turned up… at least 12 Sand Martin were whizzing around Swineham gravel pits this morning before the first of many sporadic torrential rain showers set in. The welcome agile fliers were also accompanied by a Swallow, another aerial feeder returning to the UK.

Spring migration won’t peak until late-April and early-May, however March signals the start of an exciting few months ahead. Little Ringed Plover will being to appear at wetland sites, where they can appear as either individuals or sometimes in small groups. White Wagtail, the continental sub-species of our more familiar Pied Wagtail, also begin to pass through in March as they head towards their summer breeding grounds in Scandinavia. Other birds to look out for include Ring Ouzel at sites like Ballard Down and Challow Hill, Corfe or the handsome Garganey, a cracking duck that often favours Swineham GP and surrounding floodplains when they do appear. Wheatear has the potential to turn up anywhere with suitable open ground to feed on, with mild, wet mornings being the best time to look as migrating birds drop down at dawn due to rain. So, with an exciting season ahead, why not get out and see how many spring migrants you can log before April kicks in.

Avocet – Brownsea Lagoon – Hamish Murray
Mediterranean Gull – Brownsea Lagoon – Hamish Murray
Swineham Point – Adam Day

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