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 February, 2015

Harbour Update – posted 14/02/15

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

The late winter doldrums have been hanging on over the last week with nothing much moving or arriving. Small number of highlights from today including the Great Grey Shrike again on Godlingston Heath, the Smew was in Holes Bay, Middle Beach had 1 Slavonian Grebe, 6 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Common Scoter, a Spoonbill flew over Littlesea and the obligatory Hen Harriers commuted between Middlebere and Hartland for most of the day. 

Harbour Update – posted 12/02/15

Posted on: February 13th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Still not much change in the harbour at present. The Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank and Common Sandpiper are all still taking it easy by the PC World outflow. Black-necked Grebes can still be found off the house boats in Bramble Bush Bay, plus a few still in Shell Bay and a 7 more off Middle Beach with a Slavonian Grebe, 1 Common Scoter and 200 Brent Geese at the latter site.  A Bearded Tit was at Hatch Pond briefly with 30+ Snipe. There are still 3 Purple Sandpiper at North Haven, Sandbanks and a Sandwich Tern was at Baiter. The ‘pools field’ at Lytchett Bay held a Greenshank and out in the bay 334 Avocet and 262 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding.

Also available is the new Lytchett Bay 2014 report, written by Shaun Robson. Certain areas of Lytchett Bay have seen big changes over the last year in terms of land ownership and habitat transition. Shaun talks about these topics in detail within the report including information on a new small area of access that we have been liaising with the RSPB to open. 2014 was also a record breaking year for Lytchett Bay in so many ways and the report is full of great photos and data highlighting the rise and fall in bird numbers at this ever changing site. 

Shaun has been writing reports at Lytchett Bay since 1992 and you can read those also by clicking on the below link.

You can read the 2014 report by clicking HERE and scrolling down.

Harbour Update – posted 10/02/14

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

Starting with Holes Bay where the Smew is still present as is at least one Spoonbill by the outflow, the 2 Spotted Redshank and a Common Sandpiper. In Middlebere this morning there were over 1000 Dunlin, also 3 Spoonbill and 200 Avocet. In East Holme the Woodlark flock was a modest 11 birds in amongst 20 or so Pied Wagtail. There was a dramatic Merlin chase over the Brownsea Lagoon yesterday with a lone female chasing down a large flock of Dunlin, Grey Plover and a handful of Knot. 4 Black-necked Grebe were off the houseboats in Bramble Bush Bay and a Red-necked Grebe was reported in Moriconium Quay. 

Harbour Update – posted 08/02/15

Posted on: February 8th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Spring really felt like it had sprung today, I even had Red Admiral in the garden this afternoon. An RSPB bird boat left Poole Quay this morning and we weren’t disappointed. The Black Guillemot showed brilliantly next to the boat off the Brownsea southern shore, there were 4 Black-necked Grebe off the house boats at Studland and16 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point, Arne and another 4 on Gold Point. The Brownsea Lagoon held Avocet, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover, Greenshank, Redshank, Oystercatcher, a pale-phase Buzzard, Shovler, Teal and Wigeon. In Holes Bay today the Smew re-appeared in Holes Bay south and 2 Spoonbill, 2 Spotted Redshank and a Common Sandpiper were near the outflow along with a couple of Chiffchaff and the Siberian Chiffchaff.  The Poole Harbour raptor count is still strong with 4 Hen Harrier seen today in and around Middlebere, including 2 males, and there are still several Marsh Harrier around the Wareham Channel and Merlin was on Hartland. Black-necked Grebes were in Shell Bay and off Middle Beach with 5 Common Scoter at the latter. Earlier in the week there were 1161 Black-tailed Godwit in Holes bay which is certainly notable. 

Harbour Update – posted 07/02/15

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

Although still cold, the wind eased throughout the day and some nice sightings were reported. There are now 6 different Hen Harrier in the harbour, 3 males and 3 females two of which are new in over the last two days. There were three separate sightings of Bittern at Swineham this evening, representing possibly one, two or possibly three individuals due to the different locations and timings of each sighting. Firecrests seem to be getting active again with the birds in the Arne car park showing off quite well. The Spoonbill gathering on Shipstal is still present with 23 birds present. A flock of 100+ Fieldfare were in one of the fields along Soldiers Road, the most I’ve seen this winter.  In Holes Bay 2 Spoonbill were at the outflow along with 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail.

Harbour Update – posted 06/02/15

Posted on: February 6th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Still cold and still not much change in the birds. There were 3 Spoonbill at the Holes Bay outflow today plus two Spotted Redshank and a Common Sandpiper. There are still 3 Hen Harrier in the harbour and 2 Merlin were on Hartland. 1 possibly 2 Bittern were out on Arne Moors and Marsh Harrier can still be seen fairly easily around the Wareham Channel. Out in the harbour Goldeneye seem to have overtaken Red-breasted Merganser in total number visible and a Peregrine was hunting over Shipstal. 2 Great Northern Diver are still off the Brownsea north shore. Holes Bay south was packed to the rafters this evening on the low tide with Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gull and Shelduck making up the main bulk of species. 

Harbour Update – posted 04/02/15

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

Not much change in the Poole Harbour birding scene recently with the Smew in Holes Bay still taking center stage with the close range Spoonbills and Spotted Redshanks providing a an equally entertaining side show. A sub-adult male Hen Harrier has been present in Middlebere the last two mornings along with 8 Spoonbill a Merlin, 704 Avocet and a Marsh Harrier. Out in Studland bay 3 Slavonian Grebe were present as were 128 Brent Geese and 17 Med Gulls.

 Lapwings – Middlebere 02/02/15

I went out recording the other night a few hours before the snow hit Dorset and was being watched by a HUGE solar ring around the moon making it look like a giant eye was following me around everywhere. Anyway, whilst making my way down to Middlebere these Lapwing were making a range of sounds I wasn’t familair with. Within the recording are a few standard  Lapwing calls (27 and 50 seconds), but the squeeky, scratchy calls throughout are sounds I don’t think I’ve heard from Lapwing before. 

Harbour Update – posted 03/02/15

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Smew was again close into the Holes Bay outflow for a short time mid morning, also there the usual 2 Spotted Redshank and 5 Spoonbill there today. At Hatch Pond a minimum of 30 Snipe were present in the short cut area of reedbed, hunkered down in the snow, also there 2 Great Crested Grebe, 18 Tufted Duck and 2 Gadwall.  4 Black-necked Grebe were in Shell Bay, 2 Hen Harrier in near Newton bay and at Arne 24 Spoonbill, 2 Merlin, 2 Hen Harrier and a Woodcock.

Harbour Update – posted 02/02/15

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was a cold, chilly all day and I’m sure we’ve seen a small cold weather movement (maybe just local?) of some species. Today I took a school group out on a bird boat around the harbour and there was an obvious rise in numbers of Red-breasted Merganser, Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe in every section we visited. Out on Shipstal at least 15 Spoonbill were still present, a Great Northern Diver was off the Brownsea north shore and a few Black-necked Grebe were present, one off Brownsea south shore and one a couple of hundred meters off Poole Quay. The Brownsea Lagoon was totally frozen over, meaning many birds had been pushed out to other areas like Holes Bay, which as predicted was full of birds this afternoon. Highlights near the outflow included 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Kingfisher, the Smew which commuted between the outflow and the bridge, also 5 Goldeneye near the bridge plus 300 Avocet, 200 Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Redshank, 300 Wigeon, 200 Teal, 8 Dunlin and numerous Curlew, Oystercatcher and a good gathering of gulls. 


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