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 June, 2014

Harbour Update – posted 29/06/14

Posted on: June 29th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This weekend saw us host our first ever ‘BoPH’ Big Nightjar weekend which the RSPB kindly allowed us to host at Arne RSPB reserve. The two walks hosted on Friday and Saturday night were a huge success with around 40 members of the public being dazzeled by some great Nightjar activity with roughly 10 heard and 4 or 5 seen. Also seen over the two walks were 7 Spoonbill, Barn Owl, Dartford Warbler, 5 Woodlark, 1 Hobby, 2 Brown Hare, 2 Glow Worm and 1 Fox. If you missed out this time round don’t worry, our second weekend in this event is being hosted on the weekend of July 25th and 26th so to book on click HERE. A daytime walk was also hosted at Arne with a heathland focus and an amazing 15+ Dartford Warbler were seen in one small area mostly consisting of newly fledged juveniles. Although this is an impressive total, it’s actually replicated in slightly smaller totals across all Dorset’s heathlands this time of year as numerous family parties gather together to feed. It’s been fairly busy elsewhere in the harbour starting at Swineham where there is still a vocal Cuckoo also there a family party 8+ Bearded Tit off the point, a family group of 5 Kestrel, 17 Great Crested Grebe on the main pit, 2 Snipe, 2 Redshank, 14 Lapwing, 4 Cetti’s Warbler, a the Marsh Harrier adults still busy attending their young.  At Lytchett Bay there are now 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 150+ Black-tailed Godwit and a calling Nightjar.  On Brownsea 21 Redshank, 53 sitting Common Tern, 2 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and a Yellow-legged Gull chick on the verge of fledging. At Sunnyside Farm there was another decent sized flock of 6 Woodlark, also another calling Cuckoo and newly fledged Stonechat

Harbour Update – posted 26/06/14

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Still fairly quiet on the birding front, but waders continue to arrive in good numbers. In the Middlebere Channel 135+ Curlew were present which is a notable late June total, also 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Sandwich Tern and a Nightjar heard over at Arne. At Lytchett Bay there were 7 Green Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 100+ Black-tailed Godwit and still numerous Lapwing

Harbour Update – posted 24/06/14

Posted on: June 24th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Great White Egret was again reported over Coombe Heath on sunday evening. Waders continue to arrive/pass through with 3 Green Sandpiper at Lytchett Bay, 60+ Black-tailed Godwit, 25+ Lapwing including mostly newly fledged birds that have moved in to the area from nearby breeding sites, 1 summer plumaged Spotted Redshank, 11 Redshank, 1 female Shoveler 2 Sandwich Tern and a Common Tern. At Middlebere the male Marsh Harrier passed through also there 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 86 Curlew, 6 Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank. At Holes Bay 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Little Egret and a handful of Oystercatcher, Shelduck and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. On Brownsea 1 Spoonbill, 1 Brent Goose, 12 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Curlew, 4 broods of Oystercatcher and some nearly fledged Sandwich Tern chicks!

Birds of Poole Harbour – BIG NIGHTJAR WEEKEND

Posted on: June 22nd, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Weather forecast looks stunning for our first ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ Big Nightjar Weekend at the fabulous Arne RSPB Reserve. Still a few places available for the evening of Saturday 28thJune. To BOOK or for more information click HERE  


Harbour Update – posted 22/06/14

Posted on: June 22nd, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

More evidence of wader movements over the last few days as both Brownsea and Lytchett Bay see new birds arrive. At Lytchett Bay there were 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, including a colour ringed individual (can’t wait to see where that was ringed) also 30 Lapwing, 1 Spotted Redshank, 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Curlew, 17 Teal and 8 Redshank. On Brownsea 1 Spoonbill, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, and adult Yellow-legged Gull causing mayhem with the Black-headed Gulls. Up on Slepe Heath a Cuckoo was seen harassing some Magpies or visa versa, also there 3 Tree Pipit, 1 Woodlark, 1 Dartford Warbler and a family party of Stonechat.

The attached video is of the Cuckoo taking a rest from its brawl with the Magpies up on Slepe Heath

Recorded using a Swarovski ATX 85mm

Harbour Update – posted 20/06/14

Posted on: June 20th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Birds continue to move through the area either as very late migrants, failed breeders or finished breeders. Today 2 Little Tern were on the Brownsea Lagoon, a species that can be really tricky to catch up with in Poole Harbour. Also on the lagoon today 2 Spoonbill, 1 Brent Goose, 180+ Oystercatcher, female Teal with young, 5 Shoveler, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and a Roseate Tern in the evening roost. At Lytchett Bay a fine summer plumaged Spotted Redshank also 8 Redshank, 68 Black-tailed Godwit and 15 Teal

Harbour Update – posted 19/06/14

Posted on: June 19th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The heat is keeping many birds low and hidden in the shade, but still a few sightings came in. We hosted a Nightjar walk at Arne last night with lovely views as birds flapped low overhead and churring surrounded us 360 degrees. Don’t forget to book on to one of our up and coming Nightjar walks at Arne by clicking HERE for details. In the Middlebere Channel a single Spoonbill was feeding and another 2 were on the Brownsea Lagoon. Out off Old Harry the Peregrine chicks have fledged with 3 young. At Lytchett Bay there are still 200+ Black-tailed Godwit feeding on the flooded fields, also there 15 Teal, 5 Lapwing, 10+ Redshank, 14 Gadwall and 1 Green Sandpiper. Out in Studland Bay there was single Razorbill and 1 Gannet.

Harbour Update – posted 17/06/14

Posted on: June 17th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another warm but breezy day saw the female Garganey still at Lytchett Bay, also there now a male and female Pintail, 12 Gadwall, 234 Black-tailed Godwit, 22 Teal, 2 Lapwing and a Marsh Harrier. At Holton Lee a group of 5 Woodlark were feeding together, also there, 3 Dartford Warbler, several newly fledged Stonechat and a Tree Pipit. The Barn Owls have been quite active around Middlebere presumably currently feeding young. Both Marsh Harrier nests in the Wareham Channel seem to be doing well, with the expected fledge date of the ‘alpha’ nest to be in around two weeks.

Harbour Update – posted 16/06/14

Posted on: June 16th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Having just returned from holiday I was happy to hear that the Great White Egret was seen on a couple of occasions proving its still in the area after a short absence. Sighting from Middlebere and Holmebridge also highlights how far and wide this bird is traveling to feed…unless there is more than one of course? Another highlight came from Lytchett Bay where after a twenty-year absence another Garganey showed up, this time a female making that two in two weeks! Also at Lytchett Bay a strange June record of a drake Pintail, the autumns first Green Sandpiper, also 25 Redshank, 28 Lapwing, 11 Teal and 2 Shoveler. A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was photographed at Holton Lee, which is a great Poole Harbour record. 

Harbour Update – posted 10/06/14

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Last night we ringed the Swineham Barn Owls of which there are four. You can view them in their box HERE, which now has new night vision and audio. From what we could see all four were likely females so lets hope one gets found again in the future to confirm our thoughts. As we were ringing a Nightjar, 2 Cuckoo and a Hobby flew past. We must thank Lake Views B&B again for their cooperation in allowing us to erect our Barn Owl box up in one of their barns, this has been a hugely successful project. There’s been little else from around the harbour other than plenty of churring Nightjar on a night jaunt last night. Peregrine Falcons are have been regular occurrence this summer with two birds seen yesterday, one over Poole town centre and another carrying a prey item over Wareham showing there could be numerous breeding birds locally. At Lytchett Bay there were 164 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing and 6 early returning Teal.



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