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 March, 2015

Harbour Update- posted 13/03/15

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

Today finally saw some birds of note/interest turn up. The grotty weather obviously forced a few migrants down as the harbours first Wheatears of the spring appeared. There was one, possibly two on Baiter Beach this morning with a female type Black Redstart. Also on Baiter 18 Turnstone, 44 Brent Geese and 3 Red-breasted Merganser still off shore. There were another four Wheatear (3 male and 1 female) on the rough bit of ground next to the Twin Sails Bridge and a Stonechat there. At Holes Bay around 20 Chiffchaff were in the bushes. At Lytchett Bay a male White Wagtail was seen, also another 7 Chiffchaff, two of which were ringed, also 1 Firecrest, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and c30 Med Gull. I forgot to report there were 3 Lesser Redpoll at Arne a few days ago…the highest count of anywhere in the harbour this winter!

Wheatear – Baiter Beach  13/03/15 To watch this video in HD press the play button and then click on the cog shaped symbol. Select 1080p HD

Harbour Update – posted 12/03/15

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

Still no Wheatears reported in the harbour yet, although there was another small fall of Chiffchaff that occurred today. Mediterranean Gulls can be heard calling overhead at many places and there are still 16 Spoonbill at Arne RSPB reserve with another 2 at Lytchett Bay.

Harbour Update – posted 11/03/15

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

Another Sand Martin made an appearance today, this time over Hatch Pond. There was a small arrival of migrant Chiffchaff too, some with big black sticky patches of pollen on their faces. At Shore Road at least still 19 Sanderling were present and c95 Bar-tailed Godwit. At Baiter a handful of Brent Geese are still lingering with another c850 over at Ower and a with a Pale-bellied in amongst them. Also at Baiter 6 Turnstone, 4 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Rock Pipit. At Lytchett Bay there was 1 Spoonbill, 1 Greenshank and 1 Spotted Redshank.  

Harbour Update – posted 09/03/15

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

A good variety and number of migrants are now entering the UK with Ring Ouzel, Wheatear, Sand Martin, Swallow, Little Ringed Plover and Osprey all recorded today somewhere in the country. These are classic early spring migrants and they should be appearing in the harbour any day now, if not here already.  Today in the warm sunshine a few migrant Chiffchaff were singing in the company of their over-wintering relatives. Black-necked Grebes were at South Haven, the houseboats and Middle Beach with a Slavonian Grebe at the latter site. The Great Grey Shrike was again on Godlingston though distant. A Siberian Chiffchaff and a Firecrest were near the holes Bay outflow.

A few weeks ago we updated you with a new initiative that saw a joint venture between the RSPB, a private landowner, and us in which we were opening access to a previously private site in Poole Harbour. We apologise for the delay of the announcement but we’ve been dealing with a few teething issues. Anyway, we are almost ready to open the site, so keep an eye out on our sightings blog for more info.


Harbour update – posted 08/03/14

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

The first Sand Martins of the spring were at Swineham this morning with 2 over the Gravel Pits, also a marsh Harrier there. Up on Slepe Heath 3 Woodlark were feeding and 2 Dartford Warbler were active. At Lytchett Bay this tonight a Barn Owl flew over the wet fields, 1 Woodcock, 15+ Snipe and a Redshank were also noted whilst late afternoon produced 2 Spoonbill, 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Spotted Redshank and one each of over-wintering Chiffchaff and Blackcap. In Brands Bay there were 3 Spoonbill and 4 Knot and the Great Grey Shrike is still currently on Godlingston Heath. There was even a report of a very early House Martin flying around Arne Farm briefly this morning, which would be a really early record with the first week of April being their normal arrival time. 

Harbour Update – posted 07/03/15

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

It seems we didn’t see the same glorious weather that the rest of the country experienced today, but none the less signs of spring continue to creep through. Starting off up on Ballard where 2 Black Redstart were found, including a lovely adult male. At South Beach there was a Firecrest and Middle Beach 3 summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe, 2 winter plumage Slavonian Grebe and 2 Common Scoter. Brands Bay saw 1 Spoonbill, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. At Swineham there were 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 singing Chiffchaff, 5+ Cetti’s Warbler, good numbers of Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal on the main GP and a handful of Med Gulls overhead. Yesterday a Blackcap was ringed in the north of the harbour, but was considered an over-winterer rather than a migrant, with another Blackcap at Creekmoor Ponds.


Harbour Update – 04/03/15

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

There was exciting news that an Osprey was seen flying over Verwood late yesterday afternoon. Although slightly early, its not unusual for Osprey to start moving through in early March with their migration north carrying on right the way through March, into April and very occasionally into May too. Their migration north see them rush through areas like Poole Harbour, sometimes only staying a few hours, a day at most before moving on again.   The hope is, that eventually they’ll decide to stay to breed but when they do is anyone’s guess…2015 would be nice! The only other news from yesterday was of a Red Kite over Arne, 3 Spoonbill feeding on the Brownsea Lagoon late last night on the new night vision webcam. 2 Spoonbill were in Middlebere and a Spotted Redshank is still frequenting the Holes Bay outflow channel. 

Harbour Update – posted 03/03/15

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

Spring really did begin for me this morning when I heard my fist Chiffchaffs singing near Holes Bay. These aren’t summer migrants unfortunately, but are in fact our over-wintering birds prepping for the summer, and on warm March days you’ll hear their slightly weaker version of the classic Chiffchaff song as they practise for when their rivals arrive. Their migrant relatives from southern Europe and North Africa aren’t too far away though and will be arriving any day now, and you can normally tell them apart from our over-wintering Chiffchaff because their bills, foreheads and chins are often covered with a thick dark/black substance which is in fact sticky pollen obtained whilst feeding their way up through Europe.  Portland has already seen a Wheatear and White Wagtail, so any day now we’ll be hoping to see the same, along with species like Sand Martin and Little Ringed Plover.  Meadow Pipits are also piling in through the Purbecks at present heading north. In Studland bay this evening there were 31 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 7+ Great Crested Grebe, 43+ Red-breasted Merganser, and 1 female Long-tailed Duck. At Lytchett Bay this evening an impressive 2000+ Black-headed Gull came into roost, also present 280 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Spoonbill flew over. 

We’ve also made some improvements to our Brownsea webcam, making the colour better on the screen, operationally easier at our end as well as it now having NIGHT VISION! Tune in now to watch ‘the night Cormorants’ – BROWNSEA WEBCAM

Harbour Update – posted 01/03/15

Posted on: March 1st, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Studland saw most interest today with the Great Grey Shrike still showing intermittently around the Greenlands/Godlingston area, also there 1 Marsh Harrier, 10 Fieldfare, 1 Firecrest and a few Siskin. In Brands Bay there were 2 Spoonbill. Off Middle Beach there was 1 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Slavonian Grebe and only 1 Black-necked Grebe. At the houseboats were 10 Sanderling and there was 1 Spoonbill in Middlebere. Along Soldiers Road a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen. On Brownsea yesterday 2 male Golden Pheasants, 1 Firecrest, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Sandwich Tern were counted. 

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