Harbour Update – posted 23/06/17

Despite a bit more searching today for Wednesdays Elegant Tern, the bird still never reappeared, however something equally as exciting was discovered on the lagoon mid-afternoon. The discovery didn’t involve a rare bird this time, but in fact something which is relatively common throughout the winter here in Poole Harbour. During an early evening ‘tern hunt’ yesterday some locals noticed an Avocet sitting tight next to a log on the opposite side of the lagoon. Being early evening this could have simply been a favored pre-roost sitting spot although it’s motionless stance and eagerness to stay hidden seemed interesting. Today the bird was in exactly the same spot having not budged for almost 24 hours. Then, at around 14:00 a chance check on the bird saw another Avocet walk over to the sitting Avocet, nudge it out of the way and then settle down in exactly the same spot…A NEST SHIFT CHANGE OVER! This behavior confirmed that the pair is actually on eggs, which in a Poole Harbour/Dorset context is incredible news. Avocet haven’t successfully nested in Dorset for many many years, with the last attempt taking place on Brownsea in 1999 when two pairs hatched young but were sadly predated. The nest is now being closely monitored to see when the eggs hatch, but being in such close proximity to so many Great Black-backed Gulls it could be a rough ride for any new Avocet parents and their chicks. We’ll keep you posted along the way. There was just a single Spoonbill on the lagoon today with another 4 on Lytchett Fields where there were also 2 adult Little Ringed Plover still, 41 Redshank, 7 Teal, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and the first Hobby for the site went through.

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