Harbour Update – posted 04/08/17

You may have noticed we’d gone a little quiet on the Osprey news, and we apologise for that. It’s not that we’ve lost interest or even that we now want to keep it a secret. The true reason is because at 4am on Monday morning (July 31st) we released our first 6 Osprey chicks and our team were busy watching and monitoring their every move since then. Well, it’s been five days now since release and apart from getting a bit soggy on Wednesday all 6 are doing brilliantly, flying, feeding and even playing out in their new (temporary) home. We currently still have two in pens as they’re not quite ready to fledge yet, but they’ll be released early next week which would mean all 8 of this years arrivals will be out and about mapping and imprinting on the Poole Harbour area.

The release  was an anxious moment as you never quite know what to expect. Would each bird ‘play ball’ and stay within the release area where it’s nice and safe? Hmmmm, well, luckily most of them did but incredibly LS1 flew straight out of the pen and flew across the water to Arne where it promptly landed in a pine tree and sat for several hours. The lure of food and friendly faces soon drew it back though and by later that day he was with his mates again. On Tuesday LS5 made an incredible flight, soring high above the release site on a thermal until she was almost lost to view, however having travelled what looked a good few kilometres away, she calmly banked back around and softly circled lower and lower until she was back down again on one of the nest platforms put out by our team. On Wednesday they all looked miserable, as did we, but by Thursday the sun was back out again and each of the birds continued to grow in confidence flying from perching post to perching post and on Friday LS3 was even beginning to practice dive for fish…admittedly very half heartedly but good on him! We can’t believe we’re already at this stage in our first year, it’s all gone so quickly. Our team are continuing to monitor their every move for now so that we can ensure their long term safety and to make sure we know they’re eating plenty before the disappear for the autumn. For now they’re pretty faithful to the release site area because they know that’s where the food is but within the next week or so they’ll begin making bigger journeys around the harbour and places like Middlebere, Arne, the Wareham Channel and possibly even Lytchett and Holes Bay will be good places to keep an eye out for them. Our thanks go out again to everyone who has supported, helped, donated and advised throughout the project, we can’t express how much that means to us, and here’s looking forward to the next 4 years of the project.

Sightings from today included the Bonaparte’s Gull again on the Brownsea lagoon with video footage confirming it is indeed a 2nd year bird and not an adult unlike first thought. The first Redstart of the autumn was along the Hartland Road and 2 Yellow Wagtail were over Middlebere. An adult Osprey was on the Middlebere nest platform with 6 Spoonbill in the channel too. On Brownsea the wader numbers were down slightly with 1 Spotted Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 27 Redshank, 2 Knot, 26 Dunlin, 4 Common Sandpiper (and a flock of 11 along the north shore), 13 Avocet and 21 Black-tailed Godwit. Near the villa on Brownsea there was a Firecrest with 2 fresh young. At Lytchett Fields there were 40 Dunlin, 3 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Common Tern

First Osprey to leave the pens at 4am on monday morning

LS7 looking happy and healthy the day after release

LS3 looking out across Poole Harbour

Flying lessons for one of the chicks – Simon Kidner

Two’s company three’s…oh go one then! – Simon Kidner


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