Harbour Update – posted 15/07/17

Its been a busy year for rare breeders across the UK with Cattle Egrets, Black-winged Stilts, Spoonbills, Little Bittern and Bee-eaters all wowing the crowds and paving the way for the future landscape of British breeding birds. However what may be common to some counties as a breeding species can still be rare for others. Take Avocet for example where good numbers breed at sites like Minsmere and other east coat sites but in Dorset Avocet are (were) a non-existent breeder despite over-wintering totals of over 1500. The Brownsea Lagoon has always looked right for breeding Avocet and in 1999 two pairs did hatch young which were sadly predated after a day. So, it was welcome news today when we heard that three and then four young Avocet chicks had hatched on the lagoon. A pair were seen swapping nest duties about 3 weeks ago and a close eye have been kept on them ever since. Then, today 3 chicks were spotted on the far side of the lagoon which was a welcome sight. Lets just keep everything crossed those hungry gulls stay away in the mean time. The ‘autumns’ first Great White Egret appeared today too with one in the Wareham Channel early morning feeding with Little Egrets. Breeding totals on the Somerset Levels are soaring so its no surprise we’re seeing an increase in wandering, passing, visiting GWE year on year with September and October now the peak months to see this species arrive. An Osprey was again on the Middlebere pole early morning and Spoonbill totals have now reached 7, all of which were on the Brownsea Lagoon along with 11 Common Sandpiper.  On Lytchett Fields there were 15 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 2 Dunlin and 1 Little Ringed Plover.

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