Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Archive for February, 2015

Harbour Update – posted 28/02/15

Posted on: February 28th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was our monthly BoPH field trip, which was due to be held on Slepe Heath, but thanks to driving drizzle and a strong breeze, we headed to Middlebere instead. A well worth diversion as we saw 6 Spoonbill from the Middlebere Hide, as well as 1 Yellow-legged Gull, and good numbers of Grey Plover, Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Teal, Wigeon, Brent Geese and a ringtail Hen Harrier about 30 mins previous. A visit to Slepe Heath later in the day produced 2 Woodlark and a 2 ringtail Hen Harrier out over Arne moors. The Great White Egret was out in front of the Brands Bay hide today with 2 Spoonbill. Spoonbill were also present in the Wareham Channel (2) and Lytchett Bay (1). At Holton Lee the lesser-spotted Woodpecker was heard again and the 2 Marsh Tit were on the feeders along with a few Siskin. Marsh Harriers were noted at Lytchett Bay and Swineham.  

Harbour Update – posted 27/02/15

Posted on: February 27th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers have been active recently at numerous spots including Brownsea Island, East Holme and Holton Lee, near the bird hide. None have been reported from Sherford Bridge yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re active there soon too. A Woodlark was also in song on Holton Lee Heath. The Marsh Harrier numbers have dropped right off with only one or two left after the mid-winter bonanza of 12 birds. It seems Hen Harrier are out-numbering them now, with still 3 present. Also at Holton Lee today were 2 Marsh Tit, which are also becoming a Poole Harbour rarity year by year.

Harbour Update – posted 25/02/15

Posted on: February 26th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Sure signs of spring today with several Black-necked Grebe almost in full summer plumage. There were two in Shell Bay and 8 in between the houseboats at Studland and Brownsea. A Great Northern Diver was also out in Shell Bay and 4 almost full summer plumaged Sandwich Terns were off Brownsea. 2 Spoonbill were in Newton Bay as well as around 400 Brent Geese in Ower Bay. A Night survey in the SW of the harbour last night produced 20 Woodcock, 30 Common Snipe and a handful of Jack Snipe, with 3 Woodcock and 2 Jack Snipe being ringed. 

Harbour Update – posted 23/02/15

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This evening I went out surveying for Woodcock and Jack Snipe around the wetter fields in the north of the harbour, mainly around Lytchett Bay. Only managed one each of Jack Snipe and Woodcock, but did manage to get ridiculously close to the Jack Snipe, so close I was able to take a snap with my iPhone, same goes for a stunning Lapwing too. There were 21 Spoonbill off Shipstal, Arne and a Peregrine there. 2 Firecrest were at the PC World drain and a ringtail Hen Harrier dashed over Lytchett Bay. Brownsea Lagoon had 6 Greenshank and 2 Spotted Redshank.

Harbour Update – posted 22/02/15

Posted on: February 22nd, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Holes Bay is still attracting the usual, but inspiring crowd, including the Smew in Holes Bay NE, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Common Sandpiper at the out flow. At Arne there were 21 Spoonbill, with 5 more in Middlebere. There were 2 Purple Sandpiper in front of the Haven Hotel and 70 Bar-tailed Godwit were in Whitley Lake, Sandbanks. A Firecrest was on Brownsea as were 3 Spotted Redshank, 2 Spoonbill, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 30+ Med Gulls and the usual waders. 

Great Grey Shrike – South Haven, Studland (yesterday) Steve Smith (http://birdingpooleharbourandbeyond.blogspot.co.uk)

Harbour Update – posted 21/02/15

Posted on: February 22nd, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Great Grey Shrike that’s been hanging around the Godlingston area was re-found today, this time on the patch of heath in between Shell Bay and Knoll Beach, Studland. The Great White Egret also flew over that site, and 6 Black-necked Grebes were on the sea. 

Harbour Update – posted 20/02/15

Posted on: February 20th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The last few days has been more about numbers than variety.  Near Middlebere Point yesterday c1250 Brent Geese were logged, also c500 Curlew, 537 Avocet, c460 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Spotted Redshank. At Lytchett Bay there were 2 Spoonbill, 2 Spotted redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Curlew on ‘Lytchett Pool’.  In Shell Bay there were 9 Black-necked Grebe and 2 Slavonian Grebe, whilst in Brands Bay 8 Black-necked Grebe and the usual Red-breasted Merganser, Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe were present. Studland Bay saw 7 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Common Scoter.  A possible Siberian Chiffchaff was at the Holes Bay outflow. 15 Spoonbill were at Shipstal, Arne and also a Lesser Redpoll there. A Common Sandpiper was still at Holes Bay.

It also nice to see that some scrub has been cleared away at Upton CP providing better view of that part of Holes Bay.


Harbour Update – posted 18/02/14

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

Today was the last public RSPB bird boat of the season, and what a boat it was. We got a bit competitive and were trying to beat the boat record, which was set by Haymoor Junior School last week, a record of 56 species. Well, we were scraping the barrel by the end but managed to crawl over the line with a thumping 57 species…hoorah! Although beating a group of year 6 school children in a birding competition doesn’t quite provide the competitive satisfaction you’d expect! Best of all was the Great White Egret sat on the sea wall of the Brownsea Lagoon, providing a few life ticks for some guests on board. Also on the lagoon 2 Spoonbill and the usual cast of Avocet, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler and Pintail. There were 2 Black-necked Grebe in Shell Bay with another 2 in South Deep, off Brownsea. A Common Scoter was off Goathorn and a Tufted Duck was near Ower Bay. The tide was falling as we made our way around exposing the mud and bringing us close to many many Shelduck, Brent Geese, Common and Herring Gulls and the over-wintering Whimbrel. Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye are still around in good numbers and several Buzzards were displaying over various woodlands. At the Holes Bay channel still 15+ Chiffchaff, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff and a Firecrest.

Also, just as a teaser of some up and coming news I have attached a photo of a bridge located somewhere in the harbour you will soon be able to use thanks to some joint partnership working between us and the RSPB…watch this space!


Harbour Update – posted 17/02/15

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today there was a Spoonbill at Holes Bay, and that is the best of the highlights! I think that says it all.

However, rarities and scarcities don’t necessarily have to be the only order of the day. Why not get out and watch the Red-breasted Mergansers and Goldeneye currently displaying out in the harbour as they head throw and chase their mates around in a frantic dash, or go out to your local woodlands and listen out for drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Great Tits performing their spring ‘bicycle pump’ song. Winter thrushes such as Fieldfare and Redwing are feeding up and departing soon, whilst it seems every tree or bush has a singing Song Thrush in it currently. Go searching for Med Gulls as these handsome birds moult into their summer attire and visit the heathlands on the west of the harbour (Slepe Heath, Hartland Moor, Arne) for early morning singing Woodlark.

Although it may seem there isn’t much going on…there is…everywhere.

You just need to go out and look 😉

Harbour Update – posted 15/02/15

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

A perfect late winter/early spring day with the sun poking its head out this afternoon making it feel very spring like indeed. Today was also Poole Harbour WeBS count day (Wetland Bird Survey) so the whole area got coverage. The Smew was still in Holes Bay SE with a good variety of other species including 6 Goldeneye, 121 Avocet and in Holes Bay NE still at least 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank and a Spoonbill. The Great White Egret reappeared of Goathorn Point and was then later seen at Littlesea. 2 Golden Plover were found at separate site, 1 at Lytchett Bay and 1 at Brands Bay. A large raft of 52 Great Crested Grebe were out in central harbour on glass calm water, with a handful of pairs displaying, also 1 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point. Brands Bay also hosted good numbers of other wader species including 1200+ Dunlin also 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 11 Knot. There were 10+ Chiffchaff at the holes Bay outflow channel including the Siberian Chiffchaff, also a Firecrest there. Off Middle Beach 15 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Slavonian Grebe were counted. Out in the Wytch Channel a good count of 642 Avocet was made and a Whimbrel (odd this time of year) was in Newton Bay. 

Dartford Warbler- Hartland Moor 14/02/15 (Best watched in HD. Press play, hover curser over video screen, click on cog icon and choose 1080)


Call 01202 641 003