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, 2014

Harbour Update – posted 31/08/14

Posted on: August 31st, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was a nice selection of species seen in the harbour over the last couple of days, which I will write a full report on tomorrow. However, the main highlight today was a Black Kite that drifted low over Slepe and Hartland then over towards Middlebere. Black Kite are a rare bird in Dorset with possibly only one possibly two records a year. It seems there are also 3+ Osprey in the harbour at the moment with the post in Middlebere holding two feeding birds today.

Harbour Update – posted 29/08/14

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

Osprey passage is really picking up with 3 in the Wareham Channel yesterday, one in Lytchett Bay this morning and another sat on the Middlebere post. Admittedly, there is probably some duplication somewhere but the most I’ve ever seen at once in Poole Harbour is 6! This was during the Arne Raptor Weekend in 2010, so maybe this year’s Raptor Weekend which is hosted on September 6th and 7th will beat the record? There are currently 5 different Marsh Harrier roosting in the harbour, including the adult male still. Also in the harbour lots and lots of Terns around, mainly Common and Sandwich Tern, but a juvenile Arctic Tern was at the harbour mouth this morning and hopefully the odd Black Tern will arrive over the coming weeks. Also out in Poole Bay today 2 Fulmar, 1 Peregrine, plenty more Terns and lots of Gannet, including one that entered the harbour and started fishing just off Brownsea! In Middlebere there was a whopping 26 Greenshank and 6 Spotted Redshank, which surely has to be a record. Out in Lytchett Bay a Little Stint was with Dunlin and also 2 Ruff there. 

Harbour Update – posted 27/08/14

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Like everyone else, I got easterly fever this morning so did a mini tour of the harbour before work starting at Greenlands around 5:45am. I personally thought things were a lot quieter today compared to recent weeks, but still a few things about. Greenlands Farm – Tawny Owl, light passage of Meadow PipitMiddle Beach – Masses of Terns out in Poole Bay, Gannet 10+, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 BlackcapHartland Moor – 200+ Linnet and Goldfinch flock, 1 Whinchat, 2 WhitethroatSlepe Heath – 4 Redstart, 2 Tree Pipit, 1 WhitethroatHartland Stud – 2 WheatearBaiter – Decent numbers of Common Tern, 3 Turnstone Harbour Mouth – Again, big numbers of Terns mainly Common Tern and a good number of Sandwich Tern. I’m sure if I spent longer there an Arctic or Black Tern would have popped up eventually. Arne – 1 Osprey sat on the Middlebere post for two hours. Middllebere – 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Redstart, 7 Yellow Wagatail, 2 Marsh Harrier, 4 Whitethroat and 2 Yellow-legged Gull. There are currently 3 Marsh Harrier going into roost in the Wareham Channel including a new adult male. 


Linnet and Goldfinch flock spooked by Sparrowhawk – posted 27/08/14

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With autumn now in full swing, mixed finch flocks are beginning to form and can be seen feeding out in some of the farm fields and pastures around the harbour. At the moment its mainly Linnet and Goldfinch flocks that have formed but over the coming weeks and leading into October Chaffinch and Greenfinch numbers will also increase and species such as Brambling, Redpoll and Siskin will start to arrive. The below recording was made up on Hartland Moor this morning and its of a flock of around 200+ Linnet and Goldfinch that were spooked by a Sparrowhawk whilst feeding on the ground. 

Common Redstarts – Slepe Heath

Posted on: August 27th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With many migrant birds moving through the area it’s always a good idea to listen out for the sounds they make at this time of year, differing somewhat from their more obvious ‘spring songs’. Whilst out on Hartland this morning there were four Common Redstart interacting with each other, highlighting the range of sounds they make. In the recordings below there is firstly two birds calling to each other with their Willow Warbler like ‘hooweet‘ call. In the second recording you can hear an adult male seeing off a younger bird with its harsh ‘tack’ and a series of ‘rattles’.

Common Redstart hooweet call. Two individuals Slepe Heath


Common Redstart tack and rattle – Male Slepe Heath 

Harbour Update – 25/08/14

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Now the birds are on the move, many more sightings are starting to come in from right around the harbour. Starting in Brands Bay where there were 8 Teal, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 329 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel and 54 Dunlin. An Osprey flew over Oakdale, Poole yesterday. Waders on Brownsea consisted of 44 Avocet, 3 Sanderling, 10 Knot, 65 Little Egret and 1 Spotted Redshank as well as good numbers of Redshank, Dunlin and several Ringed Plover, also a Golden Pheasant was seen.  Up on Coombe Heath, Arne there were 2 Osprey, 3 Spoonbill in Middlebere, 1 Peregrine, 4 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear and Dartford Warbler. Also in Middlebere 1 Ringed plover, 3 Knot, 1 Dunlin and 2 Wheatear and 2 Whinchat along the lane.  At Lytchett Bay there were 2 Knot, 21 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 20+ Yellow Wagtail. There were also 5 Yellow Wagtail up on Hartland Stud. 

Harbour Update – 22/08/14

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

Migrants continue to arrive into the Poole Harbour area with many areas seeing good numbers of common migrants. Up around Hartland/Soldiers Road today a minimum of 7 Redstart were counted, along with 1 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Tree Pipit and many Willow Warbler. At South Haven there were 10+ Whitethroat, a species that don’t breed in that area so are all definitely migrants also 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 6 Willow Warbler and a handful of Swift. In a stubble field near Upton 2 Barnacle Geese were with a flock of Canada Geese (bit early to be thinking of winter geese)! At Lytchett Bay there was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff. Yellow Wagtail are now beginning to pass through too with birds recorded at Arne, Holton Lee and Sunnyside Farm. Tree Pipit are also noticeable too as they pass overhead early mornings with their diagnostic rasping call. A new male adult Marsh Harrier arrived in the harbour this moring.

Harbour Update – posted 19/08/14

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

Well I’m back from the Birdfair now, having been there since Thursday last week and am looking forward to some good birding over the next few months. Things are certainly picking up now, and a walk around any heathland or scrubland could produce a whole cast of migrants. Take my trip around Hartland this morning for example, which started off with a handful of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, but as the walk progressed I was treated to 1 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, 4 Tree Pipit, 3 Whitethroat, 6 Woodlark, 4 Dartford Warbler and an Osprey fishing in the Wareham Channel! And to top it off, just down the road at Arne there was a Pied Flycatcher and 4 Spoonbill in the Middlebere Channel. Waders are still passing through with2 Ruff and 3 Ringed Plover at Lytchett Bay. There was a Spotted Redshank Brownsea. 

Harbour Update – posted 15/08/14

Posted on: August 15th, 2014 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Firstly, I am currently up at the Birdfair in Rutland for the weekend and will be hosting a talk on our new Birds of Poole Harbour Charity on sunday morning at 10:30am in the Anglian Water bird watching Centre. If you’re up this way then please drop in.

Now some bird news, a Great White Egret was found in the small area of rush, from the boardwalk at South Haven Studland, it was re-found and then lost again, but could quite easily still be hanging around. Migrants are now arriving in bigger numbers as Redstart, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat and Wheatear are all being seen at various sites. Over the coming weeks, species like Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher should become easier to find too. 

Harbour Update – posted 10/08/14

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

Having been fairly wrapped up in a certain Hen Harrier campaign over the last few days my sightings blog seems to have gone slightly awry!

Well, a nice sea watch off Branksome this morning certainly added a bit of variation to the norm with 1 Arctic Skua, 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Shearwater sp, 8+ Fulmar, 10+ Gannet, lots of Sandwich and Common Tern and 3 Common Scoter. Up on Slepe/Hartland there was a nice selection of migrants with 3 Wheatear, 2 Redstart, 3 Whitethroat, several Willow Warbler and still plenty of Dartford Warbler and Stonechat. In Middlebere there were 4 Spoonbill, 1 Osprey sat on the post, 10 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Willow Warbler and 1 Reed Bunting. There were also 2 Osprey feeding in the Wareham Channel again. 


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