June 2017

Whilst ospreys are not the rarest bird to visit Dorset by any means they provided the main talking point for June this year; will they or won't they nest in Dorset next year? Some time ago now the RSPB put up platforms on poles on their reserve at Arne to try and attract ospreys to nest there. It seemed an ideal site with an ample food supply at hand in Poole Harbour and ospreys often stop off here during migration for a while, especially in autumn when they leisurely make their way back south to Africa from their breeding grounds further north in Britain.

The excitement this year was started by the arrival of a young male osprey, just two years old and ringed as a chick in a nest by Rutland Water, who seemed to take up residence, feeding daily on fleshly caught mullet and spending a lot of time on the nesting pole. Being just two he was too young to start a family this year but may be he has an eye to the future? The anticipation increased when he was joined later in the month by a female. Not bearing a ring nothing is known about her but the two spent much of June together around Poole Harbour and one can only hope they agree to meet up here next spring and start a family!

One of Britain's rarest breeding sea birds is the little tern and a colony of them can be found on the Chesil beach near Ferrybridge. The colony was in danger of dying out but now a 24-hour protection watch has been established by dedicated volunteers and there are signs the colony is now growing and prospering. After a successful season last year it was good to see over 40 nests established this year and lots of nesting activity taking place.

Dorset always seems to attract its fair share of rare birds and, although June is not always the best month, this June saw a number of notable species turn up. The arrival of an elegant tern, usually associated with the Pacific coast of the Americas, certainly set the local birders pulses racing. It had spent some time in at Pagham Harbout in Sussex before making a short stop over at the lagoon on Brownsea.

Other notable birds in June included a greenish warbler, a buff-breasted sandpiper, a couple of golden oriel, at least two red-footed falcons, a bee-eater, an alpine swift, a woodchat shrike, a little gull and a common rosefinch. The common rosefinch has spent quite a while on Portland and stayed into July. A summer storm on the 8th June brought an influx of sightings from the sea with storm petrels sheltering close to shore and passages of great and arctic skuas, Balearic, sooty and Manx shearwaters, gannets and various gulls species including kittiwake and Mediterranean.

Also on the ornithological front it is worth noting that the number of red kite sightings continues to increase raising hopes of potential nesting in the county next year.

The coming of summer saw the emergence of some of Dorset specialist butterfly species. Silver-studded blues and marsh fritillary seemed to be in good numbers and records for white admiral seemed to suggest they might be doing well this year. Lulworth skipper started to emerge towards the end of the month and the Essex skipper seems to be establishing itself in some areas too.

Damsels and dragons are popular with recorders and records for scarce chaser seemed to show that this once rare species is increasing in numbers along with the hairy dragonfly. Lesser emperor dragonflies now seem to be thriving at Longham Lakes, another notable species. The rare southern damselfly was also reported from a site on the Purbeck heaths.

Other significant insect records included sightings of the very rare Purbeck mason wasp and the mottled bee-fly. The flecked general soldier fly was another significant find.

Finally, the warming sea water brought several sightings of bottle-nosed dolphins as well as a couple of instances of harbour porpoises.



In summer the scarce flecked general soldier fly may be found on the flowers of hogweed

The records for this month have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Monthly Statistics: 
Total entries for the month of ... June 2017
Total Monthly Tweets 511
Total Monthly Records 729
Total Monthly Species 320
Total Monthly Sites 74
Total Monthly Contributors 59

Diary Section Guidance

This section of the Nature of Dorset enables you to look at records submitted by nature watchers from across the county for each month since January 2017. Records are collected from Twitter daily and are indexed, collated and stored in the Nature of Dorset database of recorded sightings. To make the data more easily digestible it is presented here as reports, maps, charts and photo galleries along with the original tweets from which the various views are generated. By using the SIX icons above you can click/tap to see:

  • REPORTS: There is a single report showing a list if all species for which records were submitted in each month
  • MAPS: There is a single map which shows all of the locations from where records were submitted during the month. You can click on any marker to see what species were seen at that location during the month
  • CHARTS: There are four charts showing the spread of records by species group, the spread of records by location, the spread of records by contributor and the spread of contributions by each day during the month
  • PHOTOS: For those records that were submitted with a photograph the photos are displayed in gallery
  • CALENDAR: If you want to see the detailed records for any days of a certain month you can select that day from the calendar list
  • TWEETS: This is the complete list of tweets collected during the month from which the data on the other pages are derived

On every page there is an option to print what you see if required. Once you have finished with the page you need to use your browsers 'page page' function to return to the month's home page before you can select another option.

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