Harbour Update – posted 29/03/24

Well, it seems most of the harbour is still in one piece after yesterdays battering and down pours. In fact by the end of today it started to feel spring-like again! There wasn’t too much in the way of spring migrants today but an adult Little Gull on the Brownsea Lagoon was one of several across South Dorset today. Out off Jerry’s Point/Redhorn Quay there were still 5 Great Northern Diver out on the water and a Black-necked Grebe was in Studland Bay. On the Brownsea Lagoon a massive arrival of c3400 Black-tailed Godwit settled, perhaps now because the Avon Valley in ‘too’ flooded. They’re very fickle these birds, unable to decide whether they like it ‘west-side or east-side’. However we do like it when they’re here because the plumage of these late March individuals is just stunning. Up on the top of Wareham Common/Worgret 17 Cattle Egret were feeding with cattle behind the sports centre. Late this evening a welcome visitor arrived and settled in her favourite spot in the Middlebere Channel. It was of course female Osprey ‘Beaky’ who we affectionally named several years ago when she began staging here on her migration north. Her pattern is exactly the same each year. She arrives late March/early April, stays for a few days and feeds up on the Middlebere nest platform, and then departs. Then in mid-August she arrives again, stays for a few days and feeds up on the Middlebere nest platform, and then departs. She’s almost certainly a northern breeder, perhaps Scottish and obviously loves the fish supply here, as she notoriously catches huge fish during her short stays in Middlebere. She’ll be around for a few days, and without doubt the best place to try and see her will be from Coombe Heath, at RSPB Arne. Our breeding pair weren’t up to much today other than carrying out nest repairs and upgrades after yesterdays storm. We did see 3 successful mating attempts which hopefully bodes well for an earlier than normal laying of eggs this spring.

Black-tailed Godwit – Brownsea Lagoon – Martin Adams

Migrant female Osprey ‘Beaky’ arriving on Middlebere nest platform late this evening – Middlebere

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