Harbour Update – posted 03/03/15

Spring really did begin for me this morning when I heard my fist Chiffchaffs singing near Holes Bay. These aren’t summer migrants unfortunately, but are in fact our over-wintering birds prepping for the summer, and on warm March days you’ll hear their slightly weaker version of the classic Chiffchaff song as they practise for when their rivals arrive. Their migrant relatives from southern Europe and North Africa aren’t too far away though and will be arriving any day now, and you can normally tell them apart from our over-wintering Chiffchaff because their bills, foreheads and chins are often covered with a thick dark/black substance which is in fact sticky pollen obtained whilst feeding their way up through Europe.  Portland has already seen a Wheatear and White Wagtail, so any day now we’ll be hoping to see the same, along with species like Sand Martin and Little Ringed Plover.  Meadow Pipits are also piling in through the Purbecks at present heading north. In Studland bay this evening there were 31 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 7+ Great Crested Grebe, 43+ Red-breasted Merganser, and 1 female Long-tailed Duck. At Lytchett Bay this evening an impressive 2000+ Black-headed Gull came into roost, also present 280 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Spoonbill flew over. 

We’ve also made some improvements to our Brownsea webcam, making the colour better on the screen, operationally easier at our end as well as it now having NIGHT VISION! Tune in now to watch ‘the night Cormorants’ – BROWNSEA WEBCAM

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