Harbour Update – posted 03/09/17

Last year we were involved in a fascinating discovery that highlighted that Ortolan Bunting, a pretty scarce migrant across the UK was in fact a fairly regular night migrant over our heads through the latter part of August and early September. Last year, over our office roof in Old Town Poole we sound recorded 13 Ortolan Bunting over a 4 week period which was pretty unprecedented. This year we had tried in vain with no success until last night that is (Sept 2nd/3rd)  where we sound recorded 3 more in a single night! Its great to know that last year wasn’t just a one off and with fellow night sound recorder Nick Hopper carrying out the same research at Portland with similar results, its safe to say that if you wish to try and get Ortolan Bunting on your Poole Harbour/Dorset list a late night and lots of coffee is what you need. Our three last night flew over at 23:15, 02:08 and 03:36. The Baird’s Sandpiper was still on Brownsea for its third day now with a great supporting cast of 1st winter Little Gull, 1 Garganey, 1 Little Stint, 27 Spoonbill, 1 Garganey, 10 Spotted Redshank, 16 Greenshank, 3 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper, 41 Little Egret, 2 Kingfisher, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear and the first 8 Wigeon of the autumn for Brownsea. A sea watch from Branksome provided 5 Arctic Skua, 2 Balearic Shearwater and 20 Gannet. In Poole Harbour west a surprising 3 out of 4 Marsh Harrier from the roost were male (not often that happens). 

 Ortolan Bunting 03/09/17 @ 3:36am. Calls of a night time migrant – Old Town Poole Listening Station

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