Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Archive for January, 2015


Posted on: January 18th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Black Guillemot was again off the south-eastern end of Brownsea, which with a scope would be viewable from the Studland Peninsular and possibly North Haven, especially in calm water. Off Middle Beach there was 1 Red-necked Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebe and 10 Common Scoter. The Great White Egret was again at Eastern Lake, Littlesea.  At Lytchett Bay 2 Spotted Redshank were on the wet Fields with 1 Water Pipit, 1 Greenshank, 100+ Dunlin, 200+ Lapwing and several Snipe. There were still 32 Spoonbill at Shipstal Point and 1 Hen Harrier over Coombe Heath.

Harbour Update – posted 15/01/15

Posted on: January 15th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Most of the reports again came from the Studland area where a female Long-tailed Duck was found off Middle Beach, which later joined the 13 strong flock of Common Scoter. Also off Middle Beach 2 Great Northern Diver, 3 Slavonian Grebe, and numerous Black-necked Grebe.

Harbour Update – posted 14/01/15

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today wad the third and final day of our first Dorset Discovery Tour, in partnership with the RSPB Dorset team. I’ll write trip report in the coming days but today saw us visiting the Studland Peninsular and Brownsea.  At South Beach Studland there was Red-necked Grebe x 1,
Slavonian Grebe x 2,
Black-necked Grebe x 6,
Great Northern Diver x 2,
Common Scoter x 10,
Velvet Scoter x 1 likely 1st year bird with Common Scoter,
Chiffchaff x 1. Brownsea saw 3 Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, a Peregrine chase,
Avocet 300+,
Pintail x 2,
Turnstone x 3,
Sandwich Tern x 2,
Kingfisher x 1,
Bar-tailed Godwit 100+,
Buzzard x 1 very pale bird,
Marsh Harrier x 1 hunting over lagoon. Yesterday there was an incredible 7 Great Northern Diver off Middle Beach, including a raft of 6! There have been some pretty impressive Black-tailed Godwit flocks recently too with 1352 in Holes Bay yesterday.

Harbour Update – posted 12/01/15

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was the first day of new DORSET DISCOVERY Winter tour, in partnership with the RSPB, and what a start to our three day tour. Around 20 Spoonbill were out on Shipstal point, Studland and 200 Avocet were in Middlebere. Dartford Warbler were up on Shipstal viewpoint and out on the water Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe and a Common Scoter were off Shipstal Point.  Elsewhere the Black Guillemot was off the Brownsea Quay today proving its still around despite long absences.  A Velvet Scoter was seen at the harbour mouth along with a Great Northern Diver and 5 Black-necked Grebe. Off Middle Beach were 4 Slavonian Grebe, 8 Common Scoter, 1 Red-necked Grebe and plenty of Black-necked Grebe

Harbour Update – posted 11/01/15

Posted on: January 11th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A single Long-tailed Duck was seen Studland Bay yesterday (which didn’t reappear today unfortunately), Studland had another surprise up its sleeve today. One Red-necked Grebe in Poole Harbour is a real treat, two is being spoilt but three….now we’re just being greedy, but today saw two off South Beach, whilst another was in Shell Bay at the same time. Today also saw a Brownsea landing RSPB bird boat trip take place. As usual we were treated to a whole host of waders out on the Brownsea Lagoon including 10+ Spotted Redshank, 20+ Greenshank, 400 Avocet, 300 Black-tailed Godwit, 150 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20+ Knot, 100 Grey Plover, 200 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone plus Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, 2 Pintail, Redshank, Oystercatcher and plenty of Cormorant. 36 Spoonbill were out on Shipstal Point again and the main body of the harbour saw 200+ Red-breasted Merganser dotted around and 80+ Goldeneye. There was a Great Northern Diver off Shell Beach and 3 off Middle Beach plus 11 Black-necked Grebe and 11 Common Scoter there too.  2 Purple Sandpiper were in front of the Haven Hotel and 40 Sanderling moved between North and South Haven. The Great White Egret was seen again at Eastern Lake, Studland and 7 Sandwich Tern were in Brands Bay.

An update regarding the ringed Hen Harrier that was photographed at Middlebere about a week ago, it looks like it is part of a Scottish scheme, I’ll provide some more info when I get it. 


Harbour Update – posted 10/01/15

Posted on: January 10th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

An interesting report of 9 Long-tailed Duck out in Studland Bay today including a single male and 8 females….a sight I would certainly like to see. Also out in Studland Bay 4 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Common Scoter and several Great Crested Grebe.  Today was also the Arne Raptor weekend where good views of male and female Merlin, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier and Peregrine were all had.  34 Spoonbill were out on Shipstal for most of the day and there were over 1000 Brent Geese down near Middlebere. 

Harbour Update – posted 08/01/15

Posted on: January 9th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Firstly, we’ve recently been sent some information from Natural England regarding the Poole Harbour SPA (Special Protection Area) and a developing initiative looking at bait digging and other recreational activities in the harbour. To read about this please click HERE.

Sightings wise, there was a bit to report including news from Middlebere of 3 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 768 Avocet, 684 Black-tailed Godwit, 427 Dunlin, 96 Redshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 300+ Lapwing, 176 Wigeon, Teal c.250, Brent Goose c.600 and a female Hen Harrier. There was a Scaup off Redhorn Quay and the Great White Egret was still in the Littlesea, Studland area. A Merlin was chasing Grey Plover, Dunlin and Knot over the Brownsea Lagoon and 25+ Spoonbill were still present at Shipstal.

Talking of Spoonbill, I’ve had information back from a colour-ringed individual that I photographed at Lytchett Bay on 30/12/14.

It was ringed as a chick at Markiezaat, Spuitkop, The Netherlands on 2nd June 2014 at has been seen subsequently at the following sites…

30-7-2014 Scherpenisse, Scherpenissepold Kees Vliet Vlieland 51,53N  4,10E The Netherlands 15 km

12-11-2014 Grevelingen, Kabbelaarsbank Mark Hoekstein 51,75N  3,87E The Netherlands 43 km

30-12-2014  Dorset, Poole Harbour, 446 km away nesting ground –  Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 07/01/15

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Firstly, I have recently uploaded some more up and coming field trips on our events page. To book on to one of our trips just email us at info@birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk or phone on us 01202 641003. To view the events click HERE.

Sightings wise, the 3 Purple Sandpiper continue to feed on the sea wall at North Haven, Sandbanks. A Barnacle Goose of un-known origin was in Poole Park with Canada Geese. Turnstone, Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit are easy to see off the cycle/foot path at Shore Road/Whitley Lake.  At Middlebere Creek there were 8 Spotted Redshank, 781 Avocet, 331 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Redshank, 423 Lapwing, 2 ad Yellow-legged Gull, Marsh Harrier juv and also a male on Wytch Creek side of peninsula. First winter Spoonbill in front and at Arne 1 Firecrest in the car park. From Old Harry there was 1 Slavonian Grebe and 1 Red-necked Grebe off South Beach, 10 Razorbill in Studland Bay and 2 Guillemot. From Middle Beach 1 Red-throated Diver, 10 Black-necked Grebe, 14 Common Scoter and several auks. There were 3 Great Northern Diver together off the Brownsea north shore and 20+ Spoonbill on Shipsatl Point. There were plenty of Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser out on the open water and 500 Brent Geese on the marsh at Shipstal Beach. There is also currently a ringed Hen Harrier in the harbour that we’re trying to get the details of. As soon as we hear anything we’ll post the info asap. 

Harbour Update – posted 05/01/15

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was a quieter day today with everyone back at work, but still some nice finds. A Bearded Tit at Hatch Pond was a good find, as records of this species here aren’t too frequent.  At Holes Bay NE there was still 1 Goldeneye, 1 Spoonbill, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Peregrine as well as a Red-throated Diver just south of the railway bridge. Off Middle Beach 1 Red-necked Grebe, 27 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 14 Common Scoter, 15 Gannet and 8 Auk sp. At Manor Farm there were 17 Yellowhammer, which is a good count and there was 1 Great Northern Diver off Baiter. I have also uploaded a new video, this time of Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit feeding at Shore Road, Sandbanks. You can watch the video HERE

Harbour Update – posted 04/01/15

Posted on: January 4th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Holes Bay NE continues to be flavour of the month as not only are the 2 Spoonbill, 4 Spotted Redshank and vast numbers of Wigeon Teal, Avocet, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Sandpiper still putting on a good show, but they were joined by a redhead Smew today too, until it was flushed by a canoeist. The Black Guillemot spent most of the day sitting off the Brownsea southern shore, obliging at times, and not at others.  A Bittern was again at Swineham GP, which flew east along the pits. At least 8 Marsh Harrier were present there too along with 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel and 1 Peregrine. 16 of the Poole harbour Spoonbill flock were in the Wareham Channel, an area that has also seen a big rise in gulls coming into roost in the last few days. A Red-necked Grebe was out in Shell Bay with 4 Black-necked Grebe and a single Purple Sandpiper was in-front of the haven. Off Middle Beach there were 13 Common Scoter, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe and 20 Black-necked Grebe.

Call 01202 641 003