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

Barn Owl chicks receiving food at Swineham – posted 10/06/14

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

Last night we (Stour Ringing Group) ringed the Barn Owl chicks at Swineham, which I will write about later. However, about an hour after we had finished I sat in the dark with my recording gear, sound recording the adults coming back and forth with food. In this recording you can initially hear standard begging calls that occur once every second or so, and then as you can see on the sonagram at 13 seconds an adult enters the box, the squabbling begins and the begging calls speed right up. 

BoPH Big Nightjar Weekends – posted 09/06/14

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Don’t forget to book on to one of the up and coming ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ Big Nightjar Weekends in partnership with Arne RSPB reserve. To view dates and booking detailed CLICK HERE

Harbour Update – posted 08/06/14

Posted on: June 8th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The summer doldrums are starting to kick in with many birds busy feeding or incubating young and migration coming to an almost complete stop. Still, we’re lucky here in Dorset to have some of the most unique breeding birds in the country so its still always a pleasure to get out a watch some of our ‘familiar locals’. At Holton Lee a feeding group of 3 Woodlark could show successful breeding at the site. Also there singing Tree Pipit, 3 Dartford Warbler, 1 Hobby, juv Stonechat, 2 Linnet and the first mix-Tit flock of the season with a combined total of 20 Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tit. At Lytchett Bay 2 passage Dunlin were on the private wet fields, also the Redshank chicks continue to grow with at least 8 adults present…more young to come? Juv Grey Heron and 200 Black-tailed Godwit were also at Lytchett Bay. Local Harrier watcher Peter Hadrill has confirmed that both Marsh Harrier nests have hatched young meaning that the male who is ‘servicing’ both females is certainly going to be a busy boy over the next few weeks. It seems Redshank are also breeding up on Hartland as two birds were seen, one perching on telephone pole, and the other balancing on the wire! A Red Kite also drifted over Hartland yesterday and 3 Hobby were present. 2 Tree Pipit were singing up on Slepe Heath and 3 Willow Warbler are still holding territory along Soldiers Road. 

Information Update – posted 05/06/14

Posted on: June 5th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Having spoken to the gentleman who photographed the Short-toed Eagle at Arne on Saturday morning, it seems the time on his camera was out of sync by 1 hour and the photo was actually taken at 10:10am and not 09:10am as originally thought. This makes perfect sense now, as the last photo my group took of the bird upon the discovery was 9:59am proving the bird left Morden Bog and flew straight to Arne where it may have possibly stayed to feed for the morning before returning to Morden Bog later that day.  

Harbour Update – posted 04/06/14

Posted on: June 4th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Well it looks like there has been an interesting development in the Short-toed Eagle saga, with the revelation that the bird had been photographed flying over Arne about twenty minutes before its discovery at Morden Bog. A visitor to Arne on Saturday morning unassumingly photographed a large bird of prey gracefully drifting over Coombe Heath, Arne and didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until they saw the news story of the eagles discovery that they decided to contact Birdguides and send them the photos, which they did this morning. The photos look good and the timings seem right so it looks as if we’ll be able to add Short-toed Eagle to the Poole Harbour list, which is fantastic. Another interesting development is that the presumed Grey-headed Wagtail up on Ballard on the same day as the eagle is looking like it could well be the suspected species meaning it would be a first for Poole Harbour and only the 7th for Dorset. These Yellow Wagtail sub-species can be really tricky to identify, but local birder Steve Smith does a great job in analysing his discovery on his blog Birding Poole Harbour and Beyond. Finally, Lytchet Bay this morning saw a drake Garganey land on the private wet fields to the north which may not sound that incredible, however it’s the first to occur at the site in exactly 20 years highlighting the fact that if you create the correct habitat then the birds will come!

Harbour Update – posted 01/06/14

Posted on: June 2nd, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Thankfully, THANKFULLY the Short-toed Eagle decided to sleep tight at Morden Bog on Saturday night and as daylight broke and the Eagle opened its eyes it was welcomed by the sight of some 500 birders looking back at it. Un-phased it sat tight from first light (04:30am) to around 10am where upon it decided there was enough warmth and a decent thermal to lift it up, up and away never to be seen again…yet! Amongst the excitement of the Eagle, there was some other news. Steve Smith found a probable female Grey-headed Wagtail up on Old Harry, where there was also 2 Eider Duckoff shore. Now for some more Eagle photos 😉


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