The designation ‘Special Protected Area’ or ‘SPA’ is given to places that are home to important numbers of rare or threatened species, and every winter Poole Harbour welcomes over 20,000 of these bird species. They make some epic migrations from places as far as Arctic Siberia and Iceland, and they do so because these breeding grounds get too cold in the winter.
After such amazing migrations the birds are tired and hungry and they must eat and rest to build their strength up, not only to survive the winter, but to make it back to breeding grounds in the spring. Wading birds eat when the tide is low and the mud and sand is exposed, as this is where their food source is.
This means they have a very limited time to eat. If they are disturbed regularly, they can’t eat enough in one day. As Poole Harbour becomes busier it’s harder for birds to feed and rest without being disturbed, as so many people use the coastline.
But there are some simple things we can do to share the coast with these awesome creatures!