Harbour Update – posted 06/08/22

Well, it’s been an interesting 24 hours! Starting yesterday afternoon when the recent migrant male un-ringed Osprey visited the Osprey nest platform again about 5pm before being seen off. Then, around 18:30 an unfamiliar raptor suddenly appeared on the nest which saw CJ7 get really defensive. Initially the bird was on the far side of the nest, but as it moved onto the main section of the nest, it soon became evident what it was. A stunning, fresh juvenile female Goshawk. An ultimate predator. It seemed like the visit was only fleeting, however, at 19:40, like a lightening bolt, the Goshawk returned to the nest and attempted to predate Osprey chick ‘5H2’. CJ7 reacted and got involved in the tussle which looked as if all three tumbled to the floor. Concerned, Liv from our team, headed out and actually found 5H2 near the nest on the floor, injured with gash on her flank……not ideal. Reacting quickly, Liv slowly placed her jacket over 5H2 and managed to then get it safely into a box, before we then made arrangements for her to be seen by a specialist vet today. As it stands we’re still waiting for an update, but the last we saw early this AM, 5H2 was looking strong, bright eyed and was ‘doing well’. This is encouraging but as we all know, situations can change very quickly with wild birds so we’ll just have to hope for the best. Today we managed to get visuals on CJ7, 022 and 5H1 and all are fine, with them even visiting the nest this evening having avoided it all day.

Now, it’s vital to remember that Goshawk are as equally stunning and thrilling as Osprey, and have been as rare as Osprey in Dorset over the last 100 years. It’s really only in the last 2-3 years that Goshawk have begun being able to expand their range after decades of persecution. There’s no doubt that they’re formidable hunters but they should not be demonised for simply trying to survive in a landscape where humans have wiped them out. Yesterdays ‘Gos’ was a juvenile female, a dispersing youngster from somewhere. It could have been local, or it could have come from much further afield, we just don’t know. It’s hoped that because we’ve been able to get this far in to the season without attracting the attention of any adult Goshawk, that yesterdays event was just an unfortunate one off with a young Goshawk trying it’s luck in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now…on to more positive news, some White-tailed Eagles are back! Today, 4 year old female G318 was in the Frome and Piddle Valley. Male G816 was at Morden Bog for a while, with young G812 arriving over the Wareham Channel this morning. There were also lots of migrants on the move toady with several ringing sessions taking place highlighting the strength of passage. In the Piddle Valley ringing records returned a good number of Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler, as well as 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Kingfisher and 1 Nightjar. Meanwhile, at Lytchett Heath numbers of birds ringed included 88 Sedge Warbler, 33 Willow Warbler, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Whitethroat and 46 Reed Warbler. On Brownsea there were 10 Spoonbill again. It seems as if Osprey passage is now picking up with sightings in Lytchett Bay, Middlebere and over the Wareham Channel, possibly consisting of 2-3 individuals. Spotted Flycatchers were along the Middlebere approach track and at Arne. At Brands Bay there were 4 Brent Geese, 111 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel and 2 Greenshank.

Ringed juvenile Nightjar – Piddle Valley

Juvenile Goshawk yesterday on the webcam (prior to the attack)

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