2 Sept 2017

2 Sep 17 - History Flies Over Brownsea

A Baird's Sandpiper was found on 1 Sep 17. This was a first record for Poole Harbour & only the fourth Dorset record. I managed to get out of work early & get a boat over in the late afternoon, but there was no sign of the Baird's Sandpiper. The following morning, I decided to try Ballard Down as Brownsea has a track record of Waders moving on fairly quickly. Fortunately, my mate Peter Moore had more faith & headed over to have a look at Brownsea. Peter gave me a ring late morning to say the Baird's Sandpiper was still present. I had to give it another go, as it was a Dorset & Poole Harbour Tick. It was good to see it, although too far for either of us to get any worthwhile photos. But as always Brownsea was well worth a visit & I really should make more of an effort to visit regularly. It was day three of the Bournemouth Air Show & so it wasn't too surprising to see a few military airplanes flying over Poole from the Brownsea hides. This is the Sally-B, an American World War II Flying Fortress. It is the only airworthy Flying Fortress left in Europe & is part of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. It is painted up to resemble the Memphis Belle & was one of five Flying Fortresses used in the 1990 film Memphis Belle.
The Sally-B Flying Fortress
The Sally-B Flying Fortress
Soon after a Bristol Blenheim flew over towards Bournemouth beach. She is also based at Duxford. The Bristol Blenheim is a British light bomber that was built in the early 1930s & became the backbone of the British Light Bomber force from the start of World War II. Bristol Blenheims were used ina variety of day time & night time roles. This particular plane was used as a display aircraft until it was severely damaged in 2003. It changed ownership & was rebuilt which included replacing the nose of the plane. The replacement nose came from a Mark I Blenheim which had been converted into a unique car in the 1950s, before being mothballed. Once the plane was made airworthy again, it was repainted in the flying colours for the original plane that the nose was on. This was YP-Q which fought through the Battle of Britain as a night fighter.
Bristol Blenheim Mark I YP-Q
Getting back to the Birds I was meant to be looking at. There was a relatively close Common Sandpiper feeding along the edge of one of the Tern islands.
Common Sandpiper