Harbour Update – posted 29/03/15

This weekend has almost been a total right off with strong winds and quite a bit of drizzle/rain. Our March field trip, which was held yesterday at Studland was tough going, but we managed a few nice birds with Peregrine, Stonechats, Reed Buntings, Fieldfares, Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Pintail, Brent Goose, Great Crested Grebe and Chiffchaff all noted. Today was the Poole Harbour WeBS count and the big area of low pressure kept the tide high, not revealing much mud to count waders. Holes Bay still had reasonable counts of Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Redshank, and I then popped over to Baiter afterwards and counted c200 Brent Geese still, then decided to do a short sea watch from North Haven watching out towards Old Harry and out in Poole Bay, where 3 Purple Sandpiper were still present on the groynes, 1 Great Northern Diver was in Poole Bay along with 2 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Gannet were active fishing, 2 Kittiwake passed and a Common Scoter passed west. The Great White Egret was out in Brands Bay again and 2 ringtail Hen Harrier were present on Arne Moors. Highlights from the Brownsea Lagoon included 2 Spoonbill, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 75 Black-tailed & 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Sandwich Tern and a Med Gull. A gull roost count on the lagoon last night produced 400 Herring, 150 Great Black-backed Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Common Gulls, 45 Meds and 11 Sandwich Tern.

Not wanting to be a copy-cat too much, but I have been inspired by Nick Hoppers and the Portland Obs recent nighttime recording shenanigans, so have been setting my equipment up in my garden recently on calm, windless nights. I have only done two full nights recording so far, but I am already fully addicted and I am constantly keeping fingers crossed for decent weather at the moment. Having a set up that monitors an entire nights activity over one location is a hugely insightful project and I have already captured a good range of sounds in the first two nights alone. Waders, wildfowl, owls, thrushes, passerines, rails even gulls and corvids all call/move at night so over a period of time you could record pretty much anything! Below are three sounds you would pretty much expect at this time of year as birds depart, and I have also included the sonagram for each sound too.

Redwing – Flight call of nocturnal migrant – Lytchett Matravers


Blackbird – Flight call of nocturnal migrant – Lytchett Matravers


Song Thrush – Flight call of nocturnal migrant – Lytchett Matravers

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