Thursday, 28 April 2016

Little By Little - The Rolling Stones

given over to the antics and update of the
there have been up to c5 in recent days.
Brief History
Bearing in mind that the first record of LRP in Dorset wasn't until 1950
and the first breeding record not until 1976, we feel we are blessed here.
Additionally, up until 1999 the maximum number of pairs proven to have bred
across the County was only c5 in the 1997 season with no details from the 21st century available.
The above has been extrapolated from
The Birds of Dorset - George Green.
With no knowledge of any other records, it is claimed that I was first to find and prove breeding of Little Ringed Plover at the then Hurn Gravel Pits in 2014. During that season no fewer than c11 adults were seen at a single visit and by seasons end a minimum of 9 youngsters had been produced. Before returning birds had any chance to prospect, let alone breed, at the same site the Mineral Extracting Company had, for reasons probably only know to themselves, back-filled the whole area and turned it over to grass. There was a small exception to this as 2 small patches were top-dressed with gravel maybe in an attempt to induce the Plovers to stay? At the same time (2015) Phase II of the Solar Panel Complex at Parley Court Farm had been completed and fenced off to the general public. At the same time I was privileged to be allowed access to all the compounds and in turn met the Silverstone Environmental Officer, Ms Holly Game. Her tenure was very short lived, but before her departure a 'tongue in cheek' prediction was made to her that Little Ringed Plover would like breed in the largest of the areas. On 01/04/2015 the first adult bird arrived back at PCF and from then on daily and prolonged observations were carried out until the birds departed. During the breeding period at least c4 Plover were noted together and hoped to be 2 x 'pairs', but this was not an issue as 2 of them did depart fairly quickly. During the first fortnight of residence the remaining pair were watched going through all the rigors of mating and soon after a nest was found containing c4 eggs. All 4 eggs hatched, with the young all looking healthy and feeding well, but were reduced to c2 just 12 days after. As far as is know the surviving 2 returned to their wintering grounds and could form part of the c3 which have returned this year. Of the c2 adults that seemingly disappeared last year, it is thought that they may have been the pair that successfully bred behind the Eco Recycling Unit and are present again this year. These birds were left more or less to their own devices as only access on foot is possible to this second site leaving disturbance at a minimum. The stills and videos below are our attempt at showing just how well these dainty little Wading Birds are doing so far this year. We will keep you posted!   
United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

No comments:

Post a Comment