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 May, 2015

Harbour Update – posted 30/05/15

Posted on: May 31st, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Not much to report as the summer doldrums kick in (not that by looking out of the window you would ever guess its summer)! I took a walk around Holton Lee yesterday, and was amazed by the number of fledged birds. Dartford Warbler and Stonechat were feeding young and commoner species such Blue Tit, Great Tit , Chaffinch and Robin all had fledged young. Also present at Holton Lee were Tree Pipit, Woodlark, Siskin, Mistle Thrush and 4 Buzzard. Up on Slepe Heath two Hobby were seen hunting, and a single Spotted Flycatcher was along Soldiers Road. In Middlebere 3 Spoonbill were feeding and a single Whimbrel. There is some potentially bad news regarding the breeding Poole Harbour Marsh Harriers, in as much as the male the is father to both nest sites has disappeared and now hasn’t been seen for 5 days. Although this is unusual, it’s not thought to be suspicious and it’s likely the male has just moved on, leaving the females to feed themselves and their new young. Lets just hope a few of the harriers fledge after last years successful seven.

Harbour Update – posted 29/05/15

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

Has autumn really set back in already? These wet blustery squalls are more fitting for late October not late May. Well, the forecast for next week looks like an improving picture, but until then I think we have some more wet and windy weather to contend with. Firstly, many thanks for everyone’s replies to our request for Swift information. Although it seems that there are birds back on territory in numerous places, numbers on whole still seem down, so lets see if the improved weather next week sees more Swifts settling at nesting sites. Bird-wise it was very quiet yesterday with only Lytchett Fields seeing any coverage as 2 Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Black-tailed Godwit and a pair of Shoveler were present.

We will also be hosting our up and coming Nightjar walks in June and July at the wonderful Arne RSPB Reserve, so to book on or for more information CLICK HERE


Harbour Update – posted 28/05/15

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

Red Kites seemed to be on the move today with several over the county, including one over Upton CP first thing, plus another (more likely the same) over Upton Heath. Lytchett Fields still had 2 female Ruff today along with 109 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Redshank and good numbers of Shelduck. I was also commenting today on the lack of Swifts over traditional breeding areas such as Old Town Poole, Wareham and Parkstone. It could be that there are still birds yet to arrive but they certainly seem very thin on the ground. I’d be quite keen to hear if anyone within the Poole Harbour area has Swifts prospecting nesting site yet. If so please report your sightings to birdsofpooleharbour@gmail.com

Harbour Update – posted 26/05/15

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

The Red-footed Falcon seems to have disappeared today, however it also disappeared the day after it was originally found and then stayed for five days, so we’ll just watch this space. Lytchett Fields has been productive again with 2 Ruff, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Little Gull, 1 Greenshank and between 30-50 Black-tailed Godwit. Nightjar are really active locally with males setting up territories on all heathland sites. I did notice the other night that at one site there was no wing clapping or kew-eek type calls despite the high number of males, which would possibly suggest that there are still more females to arrive, which will no doubt cause great excitement in the next few days. There have been plenty of newly fledged birds around too, with Stonechat being most notable out on the heathland with most pairs already fledging young it seems. There are also plenty of raptors around too with Hobby frequenting similar habitat to the Red-foot, a Red Kite was over Wareham yesterday, displaying Buzzards, hunting Kestrels, the odd Peregrine (one sat on the Middlebere Osprey nest today), the Marsh Harriers feeding young and numerous Sparrowhawk.

Harbour Update – posted 24/05/15

Posted on: May 24th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A few highlights came through today, including the Red-footed Falcon still playing ball on Wareham Water Meadows for it fifth day. Elsewhere, the two Nightingales are still singing on territory at Challow Hill, Corfe as too was a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff and a Yellowhammer. 6 Spoonbill were seen flying towards Arne, nice to know there is still a healthy total around (in summer terms). Up on Slepe Heath Tree Pipit were singing, Woodlark were present the two Poole Harbour Marsh Harrier nests are now feeding young. 


Harbour Update – posted 23/05/15

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

Yet again the Red-footed Falcon pleased the crowds today from the Wareham bypass bridge. Often circling high and seeming to travel quite some distance it would always return to the same stretch of river to feed on Mayflies and Dragonflies. Yesterday evening the Red-footed Falcon was joined by a Little Gull and today Hobby, Peregrine, Kestrel and Buzzard all passed by our rare visitor, offering good comparison opportunities. At South Haven a Yellow Wagtail passed overhead, in Brands Bay there was 1 Teal, 1 Grey Plover, 128 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot and 3 Dunlin.

Harbour Update – posted 22/05/15

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

Great news today that the Red-footed Falcon returned after going missing for a day, feeding quite happily in the same spot as Wednesday, viewable from the bridge over the Wareham bypass. It obviously likes this part of the Frome Valley, so lets hope it hangs around for a little while longer. Not much other news from today other than 132 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Redshank, 4 Lapwing and a Lesser Whitethroat were at Lytchett fields. A Hobby was out feeding over Wareham Water Meadows yesterday afternoon too.

Harbour Update – posted 20/05/15

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

The undoubted highlight today was of a female Red-footed Falcon found feeding out on Wareham Water Meadows this afternoon. The bird had been reported in a garden near Wareham first thing this morning, but no further news was confirmed. However is was later found feeding next to the bridge on the Wareham bypass where at times it was flying past the many observers 10 feet away! This is the first Poole Harbour record for 20 years, with the last being up on Ballard Down in June 1995. It stayed faithful to the site next to the bridge for several hours but then disappeared. However it was later re-found further up the Frome Valley near, just west of the bypass. Not quite as good, but still significant was the news of a singing Wood Warbler in the Corfe River Valley, a real rarity in the harbour these days. At Lytchett Bay there were 4 Redshank, 12 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing and 104 Black-tailed Godwit. A Red Kite drifted over Upton CP this moring and Middlebere saw 2 Spoonbill.

Harbour Update – posted 18/05/14

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

DON’T MISS OUT – Exciting and interesting up and coming talk by Dr Emily Joachim on the gorgeous Little Owl, plus other UK raptors

For more info follow this link – http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/little-owl-our-vanishing-goddess

Bird-wise, a few odds and ends continue to arrive in the harbour with another Sanderling at Lytchett Bay. Up until last week this site had zero records of this species in the last 20 years, but in the last week has seen 8 (7 on May 12th and 1 May 18th). Also present were 4 Spoonbill, including one colour-ringed bird for which we are awaiting details, also 270 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin and 1 Common Tern. On May 16th the Studland area saw 1 Spotted Flycatcher in Studland village, 1 Grey Plover and 27 Bar-tailed Godwit in Brands Bay, 1 Cuckoo at South Haven, 3 Whimbrel and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit at the Houseboats and on May 17th there were 2 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 2 Swift, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat and 5 Reed Warbler at South Haven.

We’re currently trying to figure out how many Spoonbill are still left in Poole harbour, so would be interested to receive reports of individual and group records of this species. They seem to be using numerous locations in the harbour, making it difficult to get an exact amount but any reports would be very useful for us to gage a total amount left. Thank yoo

Harbour update – posted 16/05/15

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

It’s great to hear news of Nightjar arriving back on territory at various locations around the harbour. This evening Nightjar were active at several spots along the Corfe to Arne road with birds seemingly feeding on flying ants. We just need the balmy summer evenings to kick in to make watching/listening to them that little more pleasurable. Again RSPB Lytchett Fields saw most attention with 2 Ruff still, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Lapwing, 4 Spoonbill, 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin and 1 Greenshank. Red Kites were seen at Stoborough and over Brownsea. At Swineham the immature Little Gull is still present, also there 1 Cuckoo, 10 Reed Warbler, 8 Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler and 1 Marsh Harrier.

DON’T MISS OUT – Exciting and interesting up and coming talk by Dr Emily Joachim on the gorgeous Little Owl, plus other UK raptors

For more info follow this link – http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/little-owl-our-vanishing-goddess

IMPORTANT – This is a reminder that there is strictly no parking down Slough Lane for access to Lytchett Fields. Today a silver Vauxhall Corsa was partially blocking the access gate for Wessex Water. Thank you



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