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 September, 2013

Next BoPH Walk – DON’T MISS IT…

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

Greenlands Farm is an underwatched site on the Studland penninsular providing great autumn birdwatching opportunities – For full information and to book on follow this link – 


September Goodies – posted 10/09/13

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A nice variety of birds scattered around the harbour today, just as you would expect for mid September. Starting with Brownsea 8 Spoonbill, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 10 Spotted Redshank, 100+ Avocet, 1 Ruff, 400+ Black-tailed Godwit, a few returning Bar-tailed Godwit, 300+ Dunlin and a Kingfisher. At Lytchett Bay 1 Little Stint, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 533 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 10+ Yellow Wagtail and 1 possibly 2 Osprey. At Fleets Corner 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Sedge Warbler, several Whitethroat and 30+ Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff.

A very ‘Birdy’ Weekend – posted 08/09/13

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

It seems a lot of keen birders were out in force this weekend with the number of sightings reported it. The arrival of some un-settled weather certainly seemed to bring a lot more migrants as they dropped down to take shelter from the intermittent showers.

It was the ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ guided walk on Saturday, aptly names ‘Late summer at Middlebere’. An excellent range of species were seen including Osprey, 2 Whinchat, 2 Redstart, 2 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Tree Pipit, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, 4 Pintail, 6 Greenshank, Water Rail. It was also the Arne Raptor weekend this weekend where Osprey were the stars of the show with a max count of 3 at once. Also seen there was a Cuckoo, Black Redstart and Whinchat with another 6 Whinchat, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, Hobby and Sparrowhawk out on Arne Moors. At Lytchett Bay this weekend a Curlew Sandpiper was present along with 1 Osprey, 3 Pintail, 1 Whinchat, 12 Greenshank, 8 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Snipe, 6 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 White Wagtail, along with a record breaking 504 Teal. Up on Hartland Stud 19 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, Red-legged Partridge and 2 Tree Pipit. Off Rockley viewpoint another Osprey was seen along with a Marsh Harrier and 37 Little Egret roosted in the channel. At Swineham an Osprey was feeding out in the Wareham Channel, also there 50+ Sand Martin, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard. On Brownsea 8 Spoonbill remained, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 100+ Avocet, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Turnstone, 200+ Redshank, 500+ Oystercatcher, 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Shoveler.


And now…relax! – Posted 06/09/13

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

After all the excitement of Poole Harbour’s first Semipalmated Sandpiper at the beginning of the week, things then decided to calm down somewhat over the next few days. 9 Spoonbill continued to commute between Middlebere and Brownsea. Up to 9 Curlew Sandpiper were again on Brownsea with some other excellent wader counts. Almost 3000 birds of many different species were logged, so if you get the chance to visit Brownsea in the next week or so, I would highly recommend it. The same goes for Arne as up to 3 Osprey have been seen fishing daily around the peninsular and an early returning Hen Harrier was reported. Migrants are still pouring through with Blackcaps now on the increase, and it seems to have been an exceptional year for Garden Warbler.   

Still a few places available for our guided walk at Middlebere this Saturday follow the link for details. Should be a good one with lots of nice birds about…


Waders still out in force – posted 03/09/13

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Semipalmated Sandpiper showed well outside the lower hide for most of the day on Brownsea. We also managed to get the bird on the webcam for over an hour at very close range possibly providing the world’s first online twitch!

The lagoon was stacked with birds today, other totals included 8 Spoonbill,  1000+ Oystercatcher, 56 Avocet, 9 Curlew Sandpiper,  6 Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit,  150+ Dunlin, 52 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 1 Raven  and a White Wagtail. At Lytchett Bay today 16 Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 200 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 3 Peregrine, 29 Little Egret and 5 Stonechat.



Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Still a few places available for our guided walk at Middlebere this Saturday follow the link for details. Should be a good one with lots of nice birds about…


First for Poole Harbour found on Brownsea Webcam – posted 02/09/13

Posted on: September 2nd, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It’s amazing how things can go from total calm to utter panic when birds are involved. That’s exactly what happened today when at 12pm a small, pale wader was discovered feeding just in-front of the double decker hide on our Brownsea Lagoon webcam. Small waders  are  always a nightmare to ID, especially tiny pretty much non descript ones on a less than perfect webcam screen. However, as the bird was noticeably smaller (half the size) of the Dunlin it was feeding next to even a Little Stint would have been a great find for our webcam. 

Most of the Little Stints that pass through the UK at this time of year tend to be juveniles, which show an obvious white ‘V’ on the back and are a lovely rufous colour. This bird had no ‘V’ and was very pale.

After various photos and phone conversations the bird was finally confirmed as Poole Harbour’s first SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER and only Dorset’s 9th record. The bird showed well up until 5pm when the island closed. During our time there it was attacked by both a Sparrowhawk and a Hobby!  There is a very good chance it could still be around tomorrow, so we will check the webcam first thing to get it back on the webcam.

Also on the Island a minimum of 6 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Knot, 100+ Dunlin, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover, 40+ Avocet, 3 Spotted Redshank, 8 Greenshank as well as Shoveler, Teal and 1000+ Oystercatcher. In Holes Bay this morning an Osprey was feeding in the northern section very close to the dual carriageway, also there 2 Whimbrel, 8 Wigeon, 46 Teal, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Med Gull. Nearby a Hobby and 2 Kingfisher were at Upton CP. A possible Great White Egret was seen dropping in to a ditch over near Keysworth.  


Pinch punch, first of the month – Posted 01/09/13

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

September gets off to a nice start with  2 Osprey in the Wareham Channel along with a juvenile Marsh Harrier. On Brownsea this evening 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Spoonbill and 8 Spotted Redshank.  At Lytchett Bay there were 15 Snipe, 4 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and an obvious increase in Teal and Wigeon numbers. 

Autumn in full swing – posted 01/09/13

Posted on: September 1st, 2013 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Having just returned from a week in France it was excellent to see a whole inbox of emails reporting lots of interesting sightings from around the harbour in the last week. I’m sorry I couldn’t report for you while I was away, but below is a summary from the last week.

I would also like to apologise for the lack of coverage on the webcam. This is an issue we are aware of and are trying to rectify it as soon as possible.

Don’t forget it’s our next ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ guided walk this Saturday the 7th – Late Summer at Middlebere, a guided walk with Paul Morton looking for autumn migrants including Osprey, Harriers, Warblers and Chats. For more info follow this link – http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/late-summer-middlebere

As the summer warmth continued through the week, migrants of all shapes and sizes arrived and passed through the area at various spots. In date order…

August 24th – 3 Grasshopper Warbler at Lytchett Bay, along with 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Whitethroat at Turlin Moor and 242 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Sandwich Tern out on the mud. At Sunnyside Farm 2 Whinchat and 3 Wheatear. 

August 25th – A Red Kite drifted along the A35 near Holton Lee. A Black Tern was fishing in the stretch of water between Arne and Hamworthy shore. On the Brownsea Lagoon – 85 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 1,043 Oystercatchers, 110 Dunlin, 32+ Avocet, 12 Greenshank, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 6 Turnstone, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling, 4 Med Gulls, 40 Sandwich and 14 Common Terns.

August 26th – At Lytchett Bay 1 juv Marsh Harrier, 10 ringed plover, 7 Dunlin, 10+ Greenshank, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Yellow Wagtail a few Wigeon and the 1st Wheatear for the autumn at this site.

August 27th – 2 Osprey commuting between Arne, Lytchett Bay and the Wareham Channel, also in Lytchett Bay 4 Curlew Sandpiper.

August 28th – No sightings

August 29th – At Middlebere 7 Spoonbill, 21 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Teal. 1 Osprey again in Lytchett Bay.

August 30th – 2 Osprey in Lytchett Bay and 1 in the Wareham Channel with a juv Marsh Harrier. A juv Ruff out on the mud at Lytchett Bay with 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper and 10+ Green Sandpiper. At Middlebere 7 Spoonbill again, 2 Barn Owl, 3 Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Ringed Plover, seven Yellow Wagtail and a Hobby.

August 31st – 1 Osprey sat on the post at Middlebere for 2 hours, 20+ Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Whinchat, 30+ Yellow Wagtail, 2 Yellow-legged Gull and large numbers of Swallow. 


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