Harbour Update – posted 19/05/20

Wow, what an eventful couple of days. We apologise for no sightings yesterday but we were closely following the unfolding drama and devastation of the Wareham Forest fire which is now thankfully (mostly) out. In total 183ha were lost, mostly pristine heathland habitat. Today we were out with a host of other individuals and organisations trying to rescue any stranded reptiles before the corvids, kestrels and Buzzards arrived. Between all the helpers a good number of common Lizard, several Sand Lizard, Smooth Snake and Slow Worm were all retrieved off the scorched ground and placed onto suitable habitat beyond the burnt area. It’s unknown how the fire started but sadly, many that occur this time of year are started deliberately and the combination with the dry conditions and steady wind that day meant it really took hold badly. We have to give huge credit to the fire service and Forestry Commission who did a great job in limiting the damage as the fire tore through large parts of the forest with everyone working exceptionally hard in protecting certain areas and keeping people safe.

Secondly, there was excitement of a different kind this evening when a ‘new’ Osprey suddenly appeared on the Osprey nest cam. A quick glance of the camera showed an Osprey sat preening but with a blue ring on the left leg….a Scottich Osprey! With the HD camera quality allowing us to read the ring number as PT0, a quick chat with our project partner Tim Mackrill from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation highlighted that this particular bird was a 2018 bird from the Loch of the Lowes nest. But, the big question was is it male or female. The ringing data at the time stated this bird was a male, but discussions later in the 2018 season suggested that perhaps it was in fact a female based on size. Fast forward to this evening and PT0 really showed an interest in the nest and CJ7 but CJ7 seemed less than impressed and chased PT0 off several times. At no point did they sit on the nest together and it all seemed a bit fractured, which would support the theory PT0 is in fact a female. Also, the breast band and similar size to CJ7 would also support this.

Lastly, local patch watcher Peter Moore found Poole Harbours 5th Temminck’s Stint on the new Swineham Scrapes. This is a great find and was always on the radar seeing as numerous east coast sites were seeing good numbers over the last few weeks. Also on the scrapes was a Little Ringed Plover and a Greenland race Northern Wheatear was in St Mary’s churchyard. There were up to 8 Hobby again up and around the Slepe/Hydes Heath area with a Marsh Harrier in the Wareham Channel too. Lytchett Fields had a Little Ringed Plover and 5 Ringed Plover too. Hartland Moor had a Red Kite as well as singing Willow and Sedge Warbler with 3 more late Wheatear there too.

Temminck’s Stint – Swineham – Peter Moore

Female Ospreys – CJ7 & PT0

Male Sand Lizard rescued from Wareham Forest

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