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 15/05/15

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

The wader attraction at RSPB Lytchett Fields proved too much for some birders today with a steady stream of visitors coming to see what was on show, which included 2 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Lapwing, 2 Greenshank, numerous Gadwall, Shelduck and Mallard and a good number of Pied Wagtails. Up around Hartland/Slepe Heath 2 Hobby were active, a Cuckoo was still very vocal, the sky was full of Swift and to a lesser extent, House Martin. Both Tree Pipit and Meadow Pipit were singing and the usual heathland species were also active. 

Harbour update: posted 14/5/15

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

Not a lot of change today with the 2 Wood Sandpiper and 2 Ruff still present on Lytchett Fields as well as 3 Greenshank, 7 Black-tailed Godwit and a lone Whimbrel. Today’s inclement weather also forced at least 50 Swallow and 20 House Martin down to feed over the fields there. Wader numbers on Brownsea were much reduced having probably moved on ahead of the weather front – just half a dozen Dunlin, a Redshank and at least 100 Black-tailed Godwit were present. A Little Tern briefly visited the lagoon and at least 1 Nightjar could be seen in front of the Lake Hide (please note use of playback is strictly prohibited).

Harbour update – posted 13/5/15

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

Wader numbers around the harbour continued to impress with at least 91 Sanderling at Pilots Point along with 13 Dunlin, single Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Whimbrel. Lytchett Fields still held 2 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ringed Plover with single Redshank and Spoonbill. Not wishing to be outdone Brownsea Lagoon yielded 55 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, 4 Sanderling, 4 Whimbrel and singles of Turnstone, Greenshank and Roseate Tern. This evening a Little Gull was over the main pit at Swineham whilst a Cuckoo could be heard on Arne Moors.

If visiting Lytchett Fields please be sure to follow all on site instructions, more details here: http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/new-lytchett-bay-path-opens

Do not park along Slough Lane as this could jeopardise future access

Harbour update – posted 12/5/15

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

Once again the newly created habitat at Lytchett Fields held some good birds with today’s best being 2 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Ruff and a Little Ringed Plover whilst the bay held 7 Sanderling – the latter being the first to be seen here in 24 years of recording. Two Spoonbill were still on Brownsea lagoon where there were also 302 Black-tailed Godwit. Middlebere also recorded 2 Spoonbill this morning as well as 7 Ringed Plover and a Yellow-legged Gull. 

Harbour update – posted 11/5/15

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

Lytchett Fields came up trumps again when a Wood Sandpiper dropped in this evening, also present were Spoonbill, Little Ringed Plover, 25 Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank. Brownsea lagoon hosted 2 Spoonbill and the evening tern roost boasted singles of Black and Arctic Tern amongst 130 Common Tern. Late news from yesterday concerns 3 Roseate Tern in the same roost and the Nightjar being back in front of the Lake Hide. A Wheatear was present on rough ground adjacent to the Twin Sails bridge in Poole. Just outside the recording area an Osprey was seen over Morden Bog.

Harbour Update – posted 10/05/15

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

Limited news from today, other than 4 Spoonbill, 19 Dunlin, decent numbers of House Martin, 2 Teal, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Bearded Tit, 1 Willow Warbler on territory (rare here), 3 Lapwing and 11 Cetti’s Warbler territorieson RSPB Lytchett Fields. An Update on the Poole Harbour Marsh Harriers from Peter Hadrill suggests that the hatching of at least one of the pairs could be any day now, with the second pair to follow soon after. The new third pair have apparently become ‘unstuck’ in Peters words, maybe due to inexperience or the cold north winds, but there is still time for them to hopefully try again.

Harbour Update – posted 09/05/15

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

A nice surprise was a Great Skua off South Haven, a species rarely recorded too close in shore in these parts. Also at South Haven were 1 Gannet, 2 Sanderling and 2 Dunlin. At Brands Bay 2 Gadwall, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 87 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, 22 Dunlin, 2 Swift and 1 Wheatear were present. Nightjar were heard churring at Studland and Arne. A brief early morning visit to Arne saw 2 late Brent Geese, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Wheatear, 4 Whimbrel and 1 Grey Plover.  There was also late news of a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver out in Poole Bay on Friday.

Harbour Update – posted 07/05/15

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

There was evidence of a small fall this morning, but only a tiny area of the harbour (Lytchett Bay to be exact) was being covered. Out in the bay was a stunning summer plumaged Grey Plover, also 3 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel and 36 Black-tailed Godwit with 1 Bar-tailed Godwit hiding in amongst them.  Also around the site were 3 Whitethroat, 4+ Sedge Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Swift and big numbers of hirundines passing through all day. On Lytchett Fields there were 12 Dunlin, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing and 32 Black-tailed Godwit.

I’ve also been continuing my night sound recording study from my Lytchett Matravers garden and have had some great results recently. Firstly I managed to get Coot added to my garden list with two separate birds over the garden on two nights on April 25th and 26th. I have also sound recorded several more Moorhen on various nights along with a nice range of Tawny Owl calls. But last night was the most productive night, especially for Whimbrel with individual birds and numerous flocks passing over-head between 9:30pm and 4:30am. Another surprise, and another garden tick was a Ringed Plover, which went over the garden around 2:15am. Below are two recordings of the Ringed Plover and one of three Whimbrel flocks that passed over-head in the dead of night.

Ringed Plover – Flight calls of a night migrant – Lytchett Matravers 07/05/15


Whimbrel flock – Flight calls of a flock migrating at night – Lytchett Matravers 07/05/15



Med Gull Info – posted 07/05/15

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

We recently received some info from Chris Thain, DWT warden on Brownsea, of a mini influx of Med Gulls on Monday 4th of May, 3 of which were colour ringed. He sent the details away and got a very quick response for each of the birds. Se the recovery details below…

Green ring 32LL, ringed as a pullus in Doel, Belgium in June 2011 has only been seen once before since then in Belfast, Northern Island, in April 2012.

Green ring 9M8 ringed as pullus at Sablines, Seine-et-Marne, France, June 2011 has been seen twice before: Cornwall July 2013, Ferrybridge Weymouth, March 2014.

Green RH22 ringed as a pullus at Polder de Sebastopol, Vendee, France in June 2012. Seen 3 times at Lodmoor in September 2012, Morocco in December 2012, then 6 times at Lodmoor and Radipole in 2013, and Weymouth area again, 4 times, in April and July 2014.

Harbour Update – posted 06/05/15

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

The wind apparently eases off tomorrow, hopefully giving the birds a chance to fly more than an inch off the ground without risk of being blown to Scotland! As a result there hasn’t been much news other than a short sea-watch off Branksome producing several groups of Swift, Swallow and a single House Martin in off the sea, plenty of Common and Sandwich Tern passing by and a few Gannet out in Poole Bay. At Lytchett Bay there were 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Wheatear, several Whimbrel dotted around the site, 1 Greenshank and 98 Black-tailed Godwit. Just outside the area there was a good report of a possible Common Crane over Lytchett Matravers.

I have also just finished writing up the trip report and species list from our recent Dorset Discovery Spring Tour, which you can read here –


If you want to get involved, and would like to see the best Dorset has to offer, then the details for our up and coming Summer Tour are available here –



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