Above: Semipalmated Sandpiper © Birds of Poole Harbour. Below: Webcam Still © Birds of Poole Harbour
An extremely rare bird from North America has been spotted in bizarre circumstances, when a Semipalmated Sandpiper was seen feeding live on the Brownsea Island Lagoon webcam.
The discovery was made by Paul Morton, founder of the ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ education charity, who was sat at his desk in Poole when he spotted the tiny wading bird feeding just meters away from the camera.
A first for Poole Harbour
Paul said: “I was on the phone to a colleague talking to him about the cameras capabilities, when I noticed on my computer monitor a bird I had never seen on the camera before. I quickly took some screen grabs of the bird and started circulating the pictures to various experts for their opinion.”
The bird has been identified as Poole Harbour’s first ever Semipalmated Sandpiper and only the eighth record for Dorset.
Chris Thain, the Brownsea Island Manager for the Dorset Wildlife Trust reserve, said: “This is a brilliant find; the Brownsea Lagoon is such a vital area for wintering and migrating birds. It’s nice to know that birds from North America are coming here for their holidays too!”
Uk's first ever online twitch
The Sandpiper stayed for a second day on Brownsea Island, which is owned by the National Trust, and bird enthusiasts were able to view it on the live webcam feed, causing a national stir and creating the UK’s first ever online twitch.
Autumn is a great time of year for spotting rare birds from far flung corners of the globe on UK soil, who arrive here as they migrate to their winter habitats.
You can watch the Brownsea Lagoon webcam live by visiting: /brownsea_island_nature_reserve.html and follow The Birds of Poole Harbour on Twitter @harbourbirds
Dorset Wildlife Trust has leased and managed 101 ha (256 acres) of Brownsea Island as nature reserve for over 50 years. The Lagoon webcam is a joint partnership venture between Dorset Wildlife Trust, National Trust and Birds of Poole Harbour.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.