Harbour Update – posted 26/03/23

The day kicked off in the most magical way, with the return of our breeding male Osprey 022!! He landed on the livestream nest just after 7 am this morning, much to everyone’s jubilation, indicating that he likely arrived some time yesterday! That would make him a full 17 days ahead of his return date from last year (April 10th), but this isn’t entirely unexpected: as a young male he has yet to settle into a regular pattern on migration and has consistently shown an advanced timings for a bird of his age. His successful breeding season here last year will likely have spurred him on to return early to defend his territory. The biggest surprise though came less than a minute later, when he was joined on the camera by a mystery un-ringed female! She’s probably a passage bird that followed him back to the nest, and given how early she has arrived herself may be on her way back to her own nest somewhere further north. It will be interesting to see whether she sticks around until CJ7 returns!

The pair departed the nest in quick succession around 9:30 am and headed towards the Wareham Channel, where our Spring Safari Cruise attendees were already stationed watching 2 White-tailed Eagle on the Keysworth shoreline. 022 began hunting in the mouth of the River Frome before heading towards Lytchett Bay, where he caught a Flounder and returned with it to the nest. The female followed a similar route, and was soon lost from view, but our boat-goers were already distracted by Marsh Harrier displaying over Gigger’s island. We then continued upstream to look into the Swineham Stilt Pools, where yesterday’s male Garganey was once again present amongst the Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall. It was around again in the evening, along with 3 Swallow over Swineham Point.

A quick look into Brownsea Lagoon before the end of the boat delivered good numbers of Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Avocet and Sanderling. Other highlights were 30 Brent Geese in the Wareham Channel, an abundance of recently arrived Sandwich Tern commuting past us as we moved through the harbour, one of the Peregrine on the crane on Poole Quay as we departed, and a Great White Egret overhead shortly beforehand – presumably the same bird that was seen over Lytchett Bay not long later. Also present here were 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank and 2 Sand Martin over the fields.

022 and un-ringed female Osprey land on Livestream nest for first time in 2023

022 photographed from Spring Safari Cruise – Wareham Channel – Alison Copland

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