Poole Harbour sightings blog

A record of all interesting and notable sightings from around the harbour throughout the year.

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Archive for August, 2013

Poole Harbour 2013 breeding Marsh Harrier – posted 23/08/13

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

As you hopefully know by now, Poole Harbour hosted its first successful pair of breeding Marsh Harrier in 50 years this year with three young birds fledging the nest in August 2013. The nest was situated on private land at Swineham and was monitored on an almost daily basis by local Harrier expert and addict, Peter Hadrill, from a distant viewpoint, providing a detailed picture into this historic event.

Peter has kindly allowed Birds of Poole Harbour to publish his day by day, month by month account which explains how these birds overcame unwelcomed visitors and an exceptionally cold spring.

Poole Harbour 2013 breeding Marsh Harriers


Friday update – posted 23/08/13

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Again, some decent sightings from various areas of the harbour with the Brownsea Lagoon showing off some impressive wader totals. Firstly an Osprey was fishing out in Lytchett Bay at 06:40am and then another/the same bird was over near Arne. In the Middlebere Channel 7 Spoonbill appeared and started to feed out in front of the National Trust hide.

A full wader count was conducted on the Brownsea Lagoon today, here are the totals…1093 Oystercatcher, 529 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 74 Dunlin, 32 Avocet, 155 Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 16 Curlew, 54 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Knot, 2 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 2 Shoveler, 31 Sandwich Tern, 7 Common Tern and plenty of Little Egret.

Migrants are passing through in good numbers now with Redstart, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat, Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler appearing in many scrubland/heathland habitats so well worth keeping your eyes peeled.

Osprey’s Return – posted 23/08/13

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Great to see a few Osprey sightings now being reported with at least 1 bird being seen daily at the moment around the Arne peninsular. Birds have been seen carrying fish of various sizes up and down the Middlebere Channel wit early morning or late evening being best times. Over the next few weeks more and more birds should start to arrive as they pass through on their migration south. It’s not impossible to have 3-4 birds fishing in the same area at the same time in early September. Also around Arne nice views of 1 Whinchat, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Redstart, 60 Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat. Out in the Middlebere channel  2 Spoonbill, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 Greenshank and 2 Whimbrel. At Swineham there was 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 150 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 2+ Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Snipe. A Wood Sandpiper was seen again at Lytchett Bay along with the usual supply of Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Lapwing and Snipe. Sporadic sightings of Redstart include birds at Stoborough Heath, Turlin moor and Upton Heath. 

Spoonbill on webcam now…20:00 – 20/08/13

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

3 Spoonbill just arrived on on webcam now… http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/dwt-webcam

Summer heat returns – posted 20/08/12

Posted on: August 20th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Sorry for the lack of news but we’ve just arrived back from the Birdfair up in Rutland, which if you’ve never been to before, I highly recommend it, so much to see, learn and do…just incredible.

It seems the summer is on its way back with long, warm sunny days passing us day by day. This along with a nice passage of migrants, it’s easy to see why this is many birders favourite time of year.

Highlights from the last week include an Osprey seen fishing in the Wareham Channel on the 18th, large numbers of waders arriving on the Brownsea Lagoon including 243 Oystercatchers, 102 Redshank, 12 Greenshank, 6 Spotted Redshank, 186 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 112 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover, 8 Avocet and many Little Egret. Little Egret seem to everywhere at the moment with a peak count of 26 from Lytchett Bay alone. Also at Lytchett Bay a maximum of 16 Green Sandpiper, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover, plus good numbers of Snipe, Lapwing and Teal. Passerines seem a bit thin on the ground with a Whinchat near the Bakers Arms the only notable bird. 

Late summer at Middlebere…

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Don’t miss our next guided walk – Late Summer at Middlebere. To book on just call 01202 641003


Autumn well under way posted 13/08/13

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Right across the country autumn migration is well under, with already some big numbers of birds passing through various areas. Despite not being in the Poole Harbour area I think it’s worth mentioning Durlston CP recently had a large passage of around 200-500 Willow Warbler in one morning, not to mention this mornings 40 Garden Warbler plus a stunning Melodious Warbler, and many more of other species such as Whitethroat, Blackcap, Sedge Warbler.


I’m glad to say a similar story is occurring across the harbour with migrants popping up all over the place, including a Grasshopper Warbler that flew into the office windows at Arne. Passerines such as Garden Warbler, Redstart, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler have been popping up on various scrub areas such as the Turlin Moor side of Lytchett Bay, Swineham, Holton Lee and Upton Heath. Waders still continue to be a feature with 2 Wood Sandpiper at Lytchett Bay along with 5+ Green Sandpiper, 5+ Greenshank, 12 Snipe, 5 Whimbrel and 6 Ringed Plover. On the Brownsea Lagoon there are 5 Spotted Redshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Avocet and 20+ Dunlin. The 1 Spoonbill continues to commute between Middlebere and Brownsea. Any day now the first Ospreys of the autumn should reappear especially around the Middlebere/Wareham Channel area. 

August Sunshine posted 08/08/13

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Lots of interesting tit bits to catch up from today. First of all, don’t forget ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ will be at Durlston CP on Saturday morning for their annual Bio-Blitz with the Stour ringing group. We’ll be doing a ringing demonstration at 8am, so for the possibility of seeing birds like Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat in the hand you should definitely try and make it down. ‘BoPH’ will also be presenting a talk at 1pm.

We have now switched the other Brownsea Lagoon camera on which will be focusing on the wader flocks and winter duck. Already some great shots of Spotted Redshank, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank

Brownsea Lagoon Webcam

A catch up on the Poole Harbour Marsh Harriers shows that there is definitely two but possibly three chicks that have fledged. The nest is still being monitored most days so we’ll be able to see them flying around a lot more very soon. In the mean time check out these great photos by local photographer Aidan Brown

A Dorset Diary

The next BoPH walk is ‘Late summer at Middlebere’ on Saturday 7th September. We’ll be looking for Autumn migrants around this unique and unspoilt habitat.

Late Summer at Middlebere

Finally some sightings, where highlights from today included a Wood Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 8+ Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat and a Crossbill. On Brownsea today 8 Avocet arrived back along with 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Turnstone, 7 Greenshank, 5 Spotted Redshank, 3 Ringed Plover and still 150+ Common Tern still on the lagoon. At Arne/Middlebere a Spoonbill has returned and up to 4 Whimbrel, 2 Spotted Redshank and 4 Common Sandpiper were reported.




Durlston CP Bio-Blitz

Posted on: August 7th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This weekend is the Durlston CP Bio-Blitz and ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ will be attending to join the Stour Ringing Group for a ringing demonstration on Saturday morning at 8am and then will be presenting a talk at 1pm followed by a short walk.

Why not come down and join us for all thing wildlife!!

Durlston Bio-Blitz

Waders and Warblers posted 06/08/13

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Things have certainly picked up since returning from a weekend away. I was welcomed back to a whole email inbox full of great sightings. Autumn migration is now in full swing with millions of birds right across the whole country starting (or finishing) their journey south. From now right the way through to October we will hopefully be treated to many different species passing through the harbour starting with waders and various chat and warbler species through august and september, then pipits, wagtails and thrushes through September to October.

Waders continue to dominate the list with a lovely run of birds from various locations. Totals on the Brownsea lagoon include 155 Redshank, 5 Spotted Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 13 Dunlin, 3 Sanderling, 11 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Knot, 18 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpiper, 40+ Black-tailed Godwit, 120+ Oystercatcher as-well as 1 Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Med Gulls.  Speaking of Yellow-legged Gulls, a Poole Harbour birder recently commented on the lack of this species so far this August. Historically over the last ten to fifteen years large flocks containing anything from 100 to 300 birds could be recorded in Holes Bay, with slightly smaller flocks in places like Lytchett bay, Middlebere and Swineham. The Lytchett Bay max so far this august is three!

Highlights from Lytchett Bay over the last few days include 10+ Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank,  2 Whimbrel, 12 Snipe, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 80+ Sedge Warbler, 15+ Willow Warbler, 4 Kingfisher, 1 Hobby lots of Common Gulls now arriving. 

In the last 24 hours other parts of Dorset have had their first Whitethroats, Garden Warblers, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers and decent falls of Willow Warbler


Call 01202 641 003