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 April, 2015

Harbour Update – posted 30/04/15

Posted on: April 30th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last few days, we’ve been away hosting our second Birds of Poole Harbour / RSPB Dorset Discovery Tour. This was our spring tour, focusing on several well-known migration hotspots, as well focusing on some of the popular resident species and abundance of non-avian wildlife. I’ll be writing a full tour report over the coming days but over the 3 days we finished on 104 species of bird and a nice variety of reptile, mammal and butterfly species. 

Considering the time of year, its been fairly quiet locally with ‘nothing new’ in other than a scattering of migrants including a male Whinchat at Lytchett Fields, a Garden Warbler at Greenland’s Farm and the usual Wheatear and Blackcap at numerous sites. Lytchett Fields has even gone quite with just 1 Little Ringed Plover remaining, 2 Greenshank, a handful of Lapwing and several Black-tailed Godwit. At least 4 Spoonbill remain which seem to commute between Arne, Holes bay and Lytchett Bay whilst Cuckoo’s remain scarce with just the odd one singing around Arne and Hartland Moor. Good news regarding the Poole Harbour Marsh Harriers, as it looks as if there could be a third female beginning to nest, so we’re keeping a close eye. Other than that, there is plenty of food deliveries being made to hungry chick of numerous species, showing signs it could be a productive spring…but will it last?


Harbour Update – posted 26/03/15

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

There was a bit of coverage for several locations around the harbour today, starting at RSPB Lytchett Fields where there were Little Ringed Plover x 3, Ringed Plover x 3,
Greenshank x 2,
Dunlin x 22 summer plumaged birds, 
Snipe x 1,
Black-tailed Godwit x 4 on fields / 36 in bay,
Whimbrel x 1,
Sedge Warbler x 1,
Reed Warbler x 1,
Blackcap x 3,
House Martin x 3,
Sand Martin x 5,
Swallow 20+,
Pied Wagtail 20+,
Shoveler x 2 ( a pair),
Gadwall x 7 and
Cetti’s Warbler x 1. Around the Studland area there were 2 Little Tern feeding off South Haven with 40+ Common Terns first thing with 3 Whimbrel on the beach and several Sandwich Tern around too. In Brands Bay at lunchtime there were 4 Grey Plover, 44 Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Dunlin and 5 Whimbrel. On Greenlands there were 2 Wheatear and there was a Garden Warbler at South Haven. The Pools Harbour Marsh Harriers seem to be getting on with things nicely with news that two females are likely to be nesting with a possible third too !!!


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

Just to let you all know that we will be changing our Birds of Poole Harbour email address with immediate effect to… 


Highlights from today included still 5 Little Ringed Plover at RSPB Lytchett Fields along with 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Whimbrel, 30 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 15 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler and numerous Blackcap. At Swineham there was Black Redstart (rare here), 1 Swift, 400 Sand Martin, 35 Swallow, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel over, 4 Reed Warbler ,  1 Sedge Warbler 1 and 1 Willow Warbler


Harbour Update – posted 22/4/2015

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

The breeze kicked in fairly early but the sun managed to keep things very warm for most of the day. On the Poole Harbour boundary at Challow Hill, Corfe there was a nice smattering of migrants with 1 Nightingale, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Whinchat, 5+ Whitethroat, 6 Yellowhammer, 10+ Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Skylark and 3 Stonechat. At Arne there were a good number of Whimbrel moving up and down the Middlebere Channel, also there 2 Whitethroat, 4 Spoonbill and plenty of hirundines moving through. At Lytchett Bay there were 4 Little Ringed Plover still, 6 Spoonbill, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, 3 Reed Warbler, 3 Lapwing and a Peregrine. At Upton CP there were 180 Black-tailed Godwits and in Holes Bay NE there was 1 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank and 1 Common Sandpiper

Harbour Update – posted 21/04/15

Posted on: April 21st, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Yet another glorious day, and yet again very little reported with 4 Little Ringed Plover still holding on at RSPB Lytchett Fields with 1 Greenshank and 5 Gadwall there too. Just outside the Poole Harbour area Tree Pipits, Woodlarks, Cuckoo and Dartford Warbler are all active at Morden Bog. A single Whitethroat was in scrub next to Holes Bay and a regular trickle of Blackcaps has occurred each morning over the last few days.

I would like to thank Peter Hadrill too for allowing us to place his 2014/15 Poole Harbour winter Harrier write up on the website. For those of you that don’t know, Peter dedicates an incredible amount of hours monitoring Poole Harbours harrier movements (Hen and Marsh) right the way through the year, noting and memorising every new arrival, departure and breeding attempt…a truly remarkable and highly valuable source of information. This year he was even rewarded with a ringed Hen Harrier arriving, allowing an origin of our over-wintering harriers to be discovered. You can read his wonderful report HERE


Harbour Update- posted 19/04/15

Posted on: April 19th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Despite the good weather there was a distinct lack of bird news from over the weekend. Highlights included a reeling Grasshopper Warbler at Lytchett Bay along with the 5 Little Ringed Plover, numerous Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Marsh Harrier a few Whimbrel and the bays first Cuckoo. On Slepe Heath 2 Woodlark were in full song and Dartford Warbler were displaying across the heath. A Whitethroat was at Holes Bay too.

Harbour Update- posted 16/04/15

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was a nice surprise this afternoon when Lytchett Bay’s first Wryneck appeared on the small Lytchett Heath site off Sandy Lane. The bird was found late afternoon and stayed for a few hours for an on looking crowed. Hopefully it will stay until tomorrow. You can find directions to the site on our new Lytchett Bay guide, its labelled site number 3 – 



The RSPB Lytchett Fields were also in good form with 4 Little Ringed Plover, 1 summer plumaged Dunlin, 6 Lapwing, 231 Black-tailed Godwit and the year’s first Mallard ducklings. There was also a Red Kite over Wareham.


Harbour Update – posted 15/04/15

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

Some more Cuckoos arrived this morning with 2 present in the west of the harbour at Soldiers Road and Stoborough Heath. On Hartland Dartford Warbler showed nicely and several Stonechat were back on territory with good numbers of Meadow Pipit around and several Willow Warbler singing. At Middlebere there were 4 Spoonbill again, all immature birds including the colour-ringed bird. Hatch Pond saw its first Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler was at Holes Bay. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Spoonbill, 2 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper and 2 Wheatear.

I continued my night recording project from my Lytchett Matravers garden last night, and was pleased to find that I had my most productive night so far with 1 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, an Oystercatcher flock, 2 Moorhen and 2 Tawny Owl throughout the night. Needless to say, the Whimbrel and Oystercatchers were nice additions to my garden list. 

Whimbrel – Flight calls of a night migrant at 5am – 15/04/15 


Oystercatchers – Flight calls of a group of night migrants – 15/04/15 

Harbour Update – posted 14/04/15

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

The fog lifted pretty quickly this morning and gave way to a stunner of a day and there seemed to be a few migrants on the move too. At Arne a Yellow Wagtail passed overhead at Middlebere and many Willow Warbler and Blackcap were singing, there were 4 Spoonbill in the Middlebere channel along with 1 Whimbrel, several Redshank and a Marsh Harrier. A further 4 Marsh Harrier were ‘flirting’ their way along the Wareham channel and the sky was filled with Buzzards everywhere you looked! At Sherford Pools, Lytchett Bay there were 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 1 Greenshank and 1 Green Sandpiper. Just outside the harbour at Morden Bog 2 Tree Pipit were back, and at least 2 Woodlark were present. 

Harbour Update – posted 13/04/15

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

A few birders made it out today before what looks like a very foggy forecast for tomorrow.  Starting at Arne where an Osprey (possibly the same individual from last week) was seen circling over Middlebere and then the Wareham Channel. From Ridge Wharf a Tree Pipit flew over, and 6 Wheatear were out on the moors. Plenty of Swallow were passing overhead today and a Red Kite was photographed at East Holme, heading towards the harbour.  Along the Arne road several Willow Warbler were in full song and there was a small arrival of Blackcap in the north of Poole with a minimum of 6 singing males at Holes Bay. At Lytchett Bay there was 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 1 summer plumaged Green Sandpiper and a handful of Swallow and Sand Martin.


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