Harbour Update – posted 28/03/16

Storm Katie was causing havoc last night, smashing up most things that seemed to get in her way. A slightly annoying state of affairs seeming as we thought we were well past this grotty weather and on the right track for balmy spring days and masses of migrants. It is still only March we have to keep reminding ourselves and have the real bounty of April and May to look forward to yet so we won’t lose too much sleep (unlike last night)! A few hardy migrants made it through with a House Martin passing over Holton Lee and Lytchett Fields early doors, however a huge high tide flooded almost the entire Lytchett Fields site, forcing most waders and all Water Pipits off, leaving space for only 80+ Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Gadwall, lots of Teal and Shelduck and a handful of Common Redshank. At Holton Lee there were numerous Chiffchaff singing and 2 Woodlark were seen. In Middlebere there were 5 1st summer Spoonbill including a Dutch colour-ringed bird. At Arne the incredibly tame and wonderfully numerous Siskin on the feeders are enough to keep anyone entertained, especially the bright green males. Also at Arne 2 Crossbill were reported and several Chiffchaff were singing. From Middle Beach, Studland there were 4 Great Northern Diver, 4 Common Scoter and a single Black-necked Grebe. In Middlebere there were 6 Spoonbill. 

We’re hoping to get our sound recording gear back out on our listening station in Old Town Poole again on Wednesday night, and with all this bad weather potentially holding things up, it could be a good session. We’ve also had some feedback from Magnus Robb at the Sound Approach who has kindly ID’d some recordings from a couple of weeks ago for us. As you can probably imagine, it’s a bit of a minefield when analysing a nights recording with some sounds you recognise right away, and others that literally leave you scratching your head for days, needing a bit of time (and expert knowledge) to work out. Magnus has shed some light on a couple of interesting recordings made back on the 21st and 23rd of March. These include our second Golden Plover of 2016, confirmation of Common Scoter calling over urban Poole and best of all…Woodcock passing over, performing a version of its high-pitched squeak flight type call. Utterly amazing!

Golden Plover – Golden Plover – Call of a night time migrant over Old Town Poole Listening Station – 21/03/16, 00:38


Common Scoter – Common Scoter – Calls of a night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station – 23/03/16, 23:33


Woodcock – Woodcock – Calls of night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station – 23/03/16, 19:30


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