Storm Force – posted 12/02/14

Yet another 50mph storm blew through today with enough rain to last us into next winter, when will it ever stop? The strong winds did get a few sea-watchers out at Branksome this morning, which produced an interesting sighting. After a few Kittiwake had passed east to west two Greater Black-backed Gull were spotted picking at small Auk off the surface of the water. Initially it was considered to be a Little Auk but when one of the gulls plucked the dead auk right out of the water a triangular beak was noted showing the bird to actually be a Puffin! This has to be one of the rarest ‘local breeders’ to occur in Poole Harbour with only two other historic dead records and an unconfirmed report of one on Brownsea back in the 70’s. It’s been a sad state of affairs as many Guillemot, Razorbill and Puffin have been washed up on beaches right across the south coast from Cornwall to Hampshire. Lets just hope things settle down in the next few weeks and these birds get reported alive rather than dead. Also on the sea-watch 2 adult Little Gull, 33 Kittiwake and 1 Black-throated Diver. The Goosander, Scaup and Goldeneye have all been present at Poole Park lakes this week. At Baiter the Pale-bellied Brent was still present, 20+ Turnstone, 387 Oystercatcher, 2 Little Gull and 500+ Dunlin and both the Slavonian Grebe and Black-throated Diver just off shore. Spoonbills have been present at Lytchett Bay, Middlebere and Arne. The Poole Harbour Marsh Harriers have dropped down to 8 and there are still 4 Hen Harrier around. 

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