Spoonbill flock breaks British record


The flock of 47 Spoonbills is the largest ever seen in Britain, and follows the species establishing a breeding colony in Norfolk in 2012.

Paul Morton from the Birds of Poole Harbour charity said: "To have 47 Spoonbills in the harbour is a fantastic sight, and goes to show how successful their breeding colonies are doing elsewhere. From [last] year’s data, we suspect they have come from Holland or Belgium.

"For around 50 years Poole Harbour has only ever had 2–3 Spoonbills during the winter, but this last decade has seen numbers grow year on year, as youngsters follow their parents back to their winter quarters. What makes this gathering even more special is that people at home, work and school can enjoy the spectacle live on the Brownsea Lagoon webcam 24 hours a day. The only question is: how long will it be before they start breeding here?"

Part of the record-breaking Spoonbill flock on Brownsea (Photo: Phyl England).

In September, 650 Black-tailed Godwits, 1,100 Oystercatchers and 390 Avocets have already been seen on the Lagoon, and numbers of migrant birds are predicted to rise in their thousands.

Claire Dixon, Visitor Services and Enterprises Manager for National Trust, said: “Brownsea is well known for its internationally important numbers of migrating birds and this is a great time of year to explore and spot wildlife. You can also collect the birdwatching spotter sheets from our Visitor Centre, perfect for our younger visitors.”

As part of the Great Heath Living Landscape Project, DWT is holding an ‘Autumn birds of Brownsea’ event on Saturday 11th October from 11am-1pm to enable visitors can be see migrating birds, and see the Spoonbill flocks. There is no charge but boat fares and National Trust admission charges apply. For more information, contact 01202 692033 or 01202 709445.

Written by: Dorset Wildlife Trust