Brownsea Island Lagoon

At the weekend I crossed over to Brownsea Island. The island is located in Poole Harbour and has an area of about a mile. It’s owned by the National Trust but part of the island is managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust. There’s lots of different habitats in a small area but probably the most exciting is the fantastic lagoon.

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I don’t often have the chance to spend time in this sort of habitat and especially not one as special as Brownsea. For a start the lagoon is a fantastic place to see avocets. If Wikipedia is correct then Brownsea is home to around half the UK population of avocets!

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Also sporadically spread across the lagoon were lots of little egrets. The island is home to a heronry where both grey herons and little egrets nest.

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There were plenty of other waders about too, most of which were redshank.

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I also saw a greenshank although this individual caused great excitement in the hide when something suggested it could be a rare Lesser Yellowlegs. On has been spotted recently on the mainland nearby and though this individual does seem to have very yellow legs it’s bill is too heavy.

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There were some more unusual ducks on the lagoon as well, like this shoveler and some shelducks.

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I also saw what I think was a tufted duck over on the freshwater East Lake but it’s difficult to tell as the hide was so far away from the lake.

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The bird which came closest to any of the hides was the ordinary but still wonderful it’s own way moorhen. I enjoyed watching this one making a trail of footprints in the mud.

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The lagoon is host over the winter to a group of spoonbills, currently numbering just over 30.

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As lovely as it is to see a more unusual bird like the spoonbill sometimes it’s the more common ones that really capture your interest. I sat in one hide and watched in delight as just in front of me a turnstone busily lived up to it’s name.

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I really enjoyed the time I spent on the lagoon- it was so lovely to watch a range of birds in a place alive with activity.

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There’s more to come from my Brownsea trip but I saw so much I’ve decided to split it into two parts. You will be able to read about my time on the rest of the island on Saturday! See you then!

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