Harbour Update – posted 06/08/17

Today was Hen Harrier south day, an event that sees conservations and concerned/angry members of the public rally together and campaign against the illegal persecution of Hen Harriers and all other birds of prey on the grouse moors of northern England. Each winter we’re lucky enough to see Hen Harrier here in Poole Harbour, with 2 or 3 maybe 4 if we’re really lucky touring the marshes of the harbour throughout the colder months. Spanning back to the 70s and 80s those numbers were much greater and several roosts containing up to 8-10 birds could be observed. Sadly that wonderful occurrence is no more, and with only 3 nests in England this year it doesn’t seem to be getting any better any time soon. Campaigner and TV presenter Chris Packham was at RSPB Arne yesterday along with RSPB director of England Chris Corrigan, children’s author Gill Lewis and the wonderful Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, who each spoke about the ILLEGAL killing of our wonderful birds of prey. In total around 500-600 people attended, hanging on every word that was being spoken, some who may have already been aware of the issue and some who were not. During his speech, Chris Packham promised we’d win the fight against illegal persecution stating that within the next 5-10 years the Grouse shooting Industry would be a reformed industry with new process in place to ensure a safe future for our birds of prey…we hope he’s right! What was really great through was that we were able to tie in a good news raptor story and at 1pm up on Coombe Heath we did a short talk about our Osprey translocation project. This was really well received and members of the public were able to ask questions whilst stood looking out across what is arguably one of the best views in Poole Harbour.

The Osprey chicks mid-morning were really active with LS5 disappearing almost over Poole Quay before returning and LS1 & LS5 flying off east together to cause mischief, circling over towards Brands Bay before returning 30 minutes later. LS0 and another (we couldn’t see the leg ring) did their first proper dives in the water too, talons out, taking aim and SPLASH! As great as it looked it was all rather half hearted though and were more likely to catch a cold rather than a fish, but hey…at least they’re trying. 2 adult Osprey were again seen near Middlebere and 6 Spoonbill were roosting at the far end of the Middlebere Channel. In the mouth of Middlebere there was 1 Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 10 Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper with 1 Tree Pipit and 3 Yellow Wagtail overhead. At Lytchett Fields a Peregrine flushed a good number of birds off the fields but Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and 1 Little Ringed Plover made a brave return. 

Crowd gathering to hear Chris Packham speak at Hen Harrier day south, Arne

Birds of Poole Harbour talking about Osprey translocation project at Arne

Chris Packham speaking at Hen Harrier day south, Arne

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