Harbour Update – posted 07/03/21

An exciting day for several reasons, firstly because it was sunny and warm again. A fine spring day to really enjoy if out in your local patches. Firstly, the springs first departing Bittern left Swineham this evening at exactly 18:30. It’s possible this bird over-wintered, but no sightings of Bittern were logged this winter period so its actually more likely this is a staging individual, using Swineham as a refuelling station before carrying on it’s journey north. These dusk departures are special if encountered, but they’re not easy to experience, often with several attempts under your belt before witnessing the magic on a cold march sun set. Also at Swineham were 2 Pochard, 6 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Marsh Harrier, 11 Sand Martin and 6 Spoonbill. The other exciting news is that one of our Osprey chicks from the translocation in 2019, female 019 was yesterday seen and photographed in the Gunjur Quarry, Gambia which is where it was also seen back over the Christmas period of 2019!! Her arrival in Africa back in 2019 was great news, but her survival was never guaranteed with many Osprey perishing in their first year. To know that she has survived the last two years in Africa is fantastic news. She is now due back to the UK this spring, but as a two year old it probably won’t be until at least May before we potentially see her. Or will she do as 014 did last spring and bypass Poole Harbour and head to Wales?? We hope not, it would be great to see here back in Poole Harbour. Big thanks to Alison Copland for the speedy news from Chris Wood in the Gambia, also to Fansu Bojang for sending a series of photos of her. It’s great to see her looking so fit and healthy. Around Jerry’s Point/Brands Bay there were 32 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Scaup, 5 Common Scoter, 61 Red-breasted Merganser, 19 Sanderling, 73 Knot, 22 Grey Plover and 1134 Black-tailed Godwit. The Peregrines were splitting their time between the Barclays and Asda building and there were 3 partial summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe off Studland Beach.

Female Osprey 019 photographed in The Gambia this week – Fansu Bojang

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