Harbour Update – posted 17/06/17

This evening we carried out the commentary on a Brownsea Island Ferries led boat tour to go and see the Puffins over at Dancing Ledge, and although this is well outside our Poole Harbour recording area it was great to meet so many new people and be able to discuss our work with them. Plus, with the boat leaving from and returning to Poole Quay, for more than 50% of the trip we were within our Poole Harbour recording area any, plus…we just wanted to see some Puffins! And why not? It was a stunning evening and we had some great birds too. As we passed the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill were an added mid-summer bonus as Sandwich and Common Terns hawked past the boat. Out in Poole Bay several Gannet showed well, one right over our boat and a single adult Kittiwake headed west. Up on Old Harry, we were able to locate the Peregrine nest which still had 2 not quite, but very nearly fledged chicks in it, with one of the adults standing guard not too far away. Then, as we approached Durlston the Guillemot colony came into view as birds dashed back and fourth low across the water. And then finally, the grand finale welcomed us as we approached Dancing Ledge with several Puffin sat on the water and a few up on the cliffs too. In total we must have seen a minimum of 7-8 birds…just stunning. There were also several sightings of Osprey around the harbour with birds seen over Lytchett Bay, Middlebere and the Frome Valley, almost certainly all involving the 2 birds that have been around these last few weeks. There were more signs of autumn passage getting underway with 3 newly arrived Green Sandpiper on Lytchett Fields and a really early returning Snipe, also 32 Lapwing, 18 Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Redshank all out on the fields. Finally, there was a slightly odd record of a Little Tern on the Brownsea Lagoon, which is only odd due to the time of year as this species is more frequent during peak passage times in spring and autumn. 

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