Harbour Update – posted 20/03/17

A really yucky day which did subside to a sunny end of the day, but the continued strong SW wind is still keeping many migrants at bay. The only passerine migrant news was of a new Wheatear at Lytchett Fields and 3 Sand Martin at Swineham. The Ruff was still at Upton CP out from the stone bench. On the Brownsea Lagoon Med Gull numbers remain high; will we see another record number of breeding pairs this year on the lagoon? Well, in a way, hopefully we don’t! Last year the 10 pairs of Med Gulls that did nest on Brownsea consumed 100% of the first brood of Common Tern chicks, so if we do see an increase of Meds breeding on the lagoon this summer, the knock on affect could be a big issue. Lets not forget though, it’s not the gulls’ fault. Meds have quite happily bred on ‘Gull Islands’ in the Wareham Channel for many years, until last year that is, when a vast illegal harvesting of eggs was discovered during a survey which meant Meds de-camped to Brownsea to seek refuge. This year we’ll be surveying ‘Gull Islands’ again to monitor how the population of both Black-headed Gull and Med Gull have fared a year on after the discovery. We have also had correspondence with Dorset Police, Marine Division who have offered support in the form of night patrols and monitoring, so hopefully we’ll be able to update with more info on this in the coming weeks. Also on Brownsea the Black-tailed Godwits are now coming into summer plumage and there are still currently c20 Avocet hanging around too. This could be interesting and an indication some may be thinking about attempting to breed again. Sadly, they did also try last year and the year before but are yet to be successful. Don’t forget you can watch all the comings and goings of the Brownsea Lagoon LIVE on our Brownsea Webcams.

Finally, with Brexit now just around the corner, our local and wider environment has never needed your support so much. A recent report, looking into the environment post Brexit has recently been published and we encourage anyone with a current and future interest in environmental protection to please READ and share the report with your local MPs, friends and family. 

Northern Wheatear – Lytchett Bay – Trevor Wilkinson

Ruff – Upton CP – Ian Ballam



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