Harbour Update – posted 20/06/17

Today we announced some exciting news which stated that this summer we’ll be beginning a 5 year Osprey translocation project here in Poole Harbour. This will be a joint project between us, The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and local wildlife camera business Wildlife Windows. The project will involve translocating juvenile Ospreys from healthy sustainable populations up in Scotland and bringing them down to Poole this July in a bid to try and restore a population here on the south coast. Osprey were once wide-spread across the whole of Western Europe during the 1600 & 1700’s but were sadly wiped out during the 1800’s almost entirely due to human interference such as persecution, DDT poisoning, egg collecting and taxidermy. Although Osprey have since done well in northern Europe they are still extremely scarce in Western Europe with just a handful of tiny fragmented populations dotted through the region. The plan is to hopefully establish a colony here on the south coast which will then act as a stepping stone for UK and French  populations to start interacting with one another. There has only ever been one other Osprey translocation carried out in the UK before and that was at Rutland Water during the late 1990’s. The Rutland population is now (as of this year) a self sustained population of 8 pairs which is made up entirely of non-translocated birds which is great. We’re also thrilled to have Roy Dennis and Dr Tim Makrill as our partners in the project who are arguably two of the highest regarded Osprey experts in Europe and who were involved in setting up and running the Rutland Project from the start. The juvenile Ospreys will be arriving in mid-July and will be held in specially designed holding pens at a confidential spot in Poole Harbour for only two-three weeks before they are then released again out into the wild before they make their long migration back down to Africa. We then don’t  expect to start seeing them return again until spring/summer 2019 and it could be several more years after that before they start breeding. So, in terms of time-scale this is a long term project which we hope the whole community will get behind and with other wild Osprey beginning to summer in the area this year it looks as if Osprey will soon become a welcome, regular and familiar sight in Poole Harbour/Dorset for the foreseeable future. You can read our official press release about the story HERE. 

Maybe Osprey S1 has heard the good news which is why he’s sticking around but true to recent form, he was up on the Middlebere perching post this AM eating a fish with another (perhaps the recent female) seen feeding in the Wareham Channel before heading off to Wareham Forest. The 5 Spoonbill were still on the Brownsea Lagoon. In the Wareham Channel two non-breeding female Marsh Harriers were still kicking around and a Hobby was over the Arne Road. At Lytchett Fields a Green Sandpiper was on the pools again. 

Osprey S1 – Middlebere – Olly Slessor

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