Harbour Update – posted 20/05/24

Another day, and yet again, another decent bird was found on the Lower Piddle Floods, at Swineham. This time in the form of a Temminck’s Stint. This scarce wader is an annual passage migrant in the UK, but mainly along the east coast, with May undoubtedly being the best time for them. However, todays bird constituted only the 6th record for Poole Harbour, with 50% of previous records also being found at Swineham. The Lower Piddle Floods have really delivered this spring, with an incredible range of species and some decent spring totals too. It’s amazing what a damaged drainage valve can produce! There is a theory though as to why new areas of fresh water wetland often out perform more ‘mature’ wetland sites, and it’s to do with a sudden rush of new food that evolves/establishes in a very short period of time, making it the perfect feeding ground birds such as waders. Highlights from this small patch of water this spring have included 3-4 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Ruff, 1 Temminck’s Stint, 2-3 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Spotted Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 5 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Garganey, 1 Bonaparte’s Gull and 2 Little Gull. Good bye Lytchett Fields, hello Lower Piddle Floods….for now.

Elsewhere the White-tailed Eagle pair were in the Wareham Channel for most of the day, a small handful of Red Kite passed over, probably joining the 518 that were over Lands End, Cornwall this AM!! A Pied Flycatcher was logged on Upton Heath and a drake Garganey was also on the Lower Piddle Floods.

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