Poole Harbour sightings blog

A record of all interesting and notable sightings from around the harbour throughout the year.

Latest Sightings

Archive for November, 2015

Harbour Update – Posted 29/11/15

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

Not much to report today other than a minimum of 6 Water Pipit on the Pools Field at Lytchett Bay. Spoonbills were on Brownsea and at Middlebere. So, to make up for the lac of sightings, here is a video of one of the Lytchett Pools Water Pipits.

Water Pipit – Lytchett Pools – 29/11/15

To watch in HD click on cog shaped symbol and select 1080

Harbour Update – Posted 28/11/15

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

Another blustery day with no let up it seems. Few reports but a Short-eared Owl and Marsh Harrier were hunting over Hartland at dawn and a ringtail Hen Harrier was near the cottages at Middlebere. At Lytchett Fields there were a minimum of 8 Water Pipit around the site plus the usual array of waders and wildfowl. From Middle beach, Studland 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 9 Black-necked Grebe 7 Common Scoter and 2 Razorbill were seen. 

Harbour Update – Posted 27/11/15

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

Nice to see all three diver species present within the recording area today with a Red-throated Diver off the Houseboats at South Haven with 2 Great Northern Diver and 6 Black-necked Grebe and a Black-throated Diver off Middle Beach with another Red-throated Diver, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 14+ Black-necked Grebe, 5 pale-bellied Brent Geese, 7 Common Scoter, 1 Razorbill, 1 Guillemot, 5 Kittiwake and a Sandwich Tern. From South Haven another Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Merlin. The Smew was seen again off Shipstal Point, Arne. At Lytchett Fields there were an incredible 13 Water Pipit with 10 on the pools field and 3 next to French’s Pools. From a school bird boat 35 Spoonbill were on the Brownsea Lagoon and the dark looking Peregrine, also c300 Avocet, 10+ Spotted Redshank and c300 Dunlin. Out in central harbour Red-breasted Merganser, Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe numbers are building nicely and a Guillemot was several yards off Poole Quay. 

Harbour Update – Posted 26/11/15

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

The big low tides are exposing huge areas of mud and sand at the moment, giving wading birds and gulls lots of space and opportunity to feed. In Brands Bay, Arne, Holes Bay, Middlebere and off Baiter good numbers of the usual waders such as Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Dunlin the odd Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank could all be seen really easily and in the shallow channels out in central harbour many Red-breasted Merganser, Great-crested Grebe and Goldeneye fed in close quarters to each other. The best bird of the day was a redhead Smew 300m off Shipstal Point, Arne closely followed by a Red-throated Diver which up’d and left, heading towards Poole late afternoon. There were 4 Water Pipit on the pools field at Lytchett Bay, along Slough Lane. From Middle Beach, Studland the Red-necked Grebe remained plus 20 Black-necked Grebe and 7 Common Scoter with another 6 Black-necked Grebe off the Houseboats at South Haven. At PC World there were 7 Common Chiffchaff in the channel and 6 Spoonbill were in Holes Bay north. 

Birds of Poole Harbour Logo Competition

Don’t forget we’re inviting YOU to help design our official Birds of Poole Harbour logo in our new competition that runs from November 15th 2015 to March 31st 2016.


Harbour Update – Posted 25/11/15

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

A bit of a slow day with a few odds and sods reported through. Best bird was a Siberian Chiffchaff with c10 Common Chiffchaff at PC World, also there was a Kingfisher and 2 Lesser Redpoll. There were 28 Red-breasted Merganser out in Whitley Lake, Shore Road with 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Goldeneye. At Lytchett Pools there were 5 Water Pipit all together at the back of the field and good numbers of Lapwing, Dunlin and Snipe out on the fields. Out in Brands Bay 20 of the over-wintering Spoonbill were feeding off Jerry’s Point. Via Ian Ballam we’ve also had info back on a colour-ringed Spoonbill that was noted in Holes Bay on the 23rd of November. The bird was ringed as a chick in the Netherlands on the 10/09/06 and has been visiting Poole Harbour annually since the 09/11/07.


Starlings of Poole Harbour – A winter roost survey

Each winter many thousands of Starling enter the UK from mainland Europe often forming large evening murmurations in rural, urban and semi-urban areas. Roost sizes can vary greatly year on year, and in this report Nick Hopper focuses on the winter roost behavior during the 2014/15 winter period within Poole Harbour.

Starlings of Poole Harbour – A winter roost survey


Poole Park Photo Mosaic

Many of you will have a soft spot for Poole’s favourite park. Over the years it’s hosted some great birds and no doubt you’ve spent some quality time with friends and family around the park grounds over the years.

Poole Park is 125 years old. It is getting tired and needs a refresh so Borough of Poole are currently preparing a funding bid to help give Poole park the refurb it thoroughly deserves. Part of the funding bid relies on community-raised match funding and here is how you can help.

One of the ways they are trying to raise funds is by creating a photo mosaic in the refreshed park. This creates the opportunity for you, your family or your business to have your photos permanently placed in a wider art installation. The photos can be of anything you like, a scenic shot of the harbour, a family photo or of course some stunning bird photos.

Take a look at the link. I hope that it is of interest and that some will support this opportunity to improve the park for people and wildlife.

We’ve already uploaded our photos!


Harbour Update – Posted 24/11/15

Posted on: November 25th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

As expected, a pretty dark grey, damp day didn’t produce too much but with all the nonsense on the news there’s no better time to get out and enjoy the true beautiful things in life. A Song Thrush in full voice at Upton CP this morning was enough to pick anyone’s mood up off the floor. Behind PC World there were a minimum of 10 Common Chiffchaff and 1 possibly 2 Siberian Chiffchaff. A Red-throated Diver was out in the Brownsea Channel and off the Houseboats at South Haven there were 2 Great Northern Diver and 4 Black-necked Grebe. In Shell Bay a Great Northern Diver and 1 Black-necked Grebe were feeding and 5 pale-belled Brent Geese were off Middle Beach. On the Pools Field at Lytchett Bay there were 2 Water Pipit and in Upton CP two Bearded Tit (male and female) were feeding in front of one of the viewing areas.

Birds of Poole Harbour Logo Design Competition

Since our charity launched in 2013 we’ve never had an official logo so we’re turning to you, the public for help.

Over the next 4 months we are inviting anyone and everyone who has an interest in local conservation and an artistic eye to help us design our official Birds of Poole Harbour logo.

This is a great opportunity to get creative and have the chance to see the winning logo popping up around Poole Harbour. So why not take the chance and have a go at helping us build our presence in and around the harbour by designing our official ‘crest’

For Full Competition details CLICK HERE

Harbour Update – posted 23/11/15

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

The first real frost of the winter hit the ground (and our cars) hard as crisp and crunchy footsteps broke the silence of a still calm morning. It was once again great conditions for Wood Pigeons as more began to move north in good numbers with 17,785 passing over Lytchett Bay in just 40 minuets. Spoonbills are now focusing on new feeding areas on the low tides with 2 in Lytchett Bay and 9 in Holes Bay often giving incredible views of down to 10 meters, especially by the outflow channel in Holes Bay north. Up at Gleblands, small numbers of finches were moving but it seems a Woodlark is over wintering somewhere with one calling from the ploughed Ballard fields and a Marsh Tit was in scrub at the entrance gate to Glebelands. There were also 2 Marsh Tit at Holton Lee. Off Middle Beach there were 12 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Common Scoter. Out in central harbour, viewed from Shipstal Point, Arne the evening duck/grebe roost consisted of of over 100 Red-breasted Merganser, c50 Great Crested Grebe, c20 Goldeneye and a Great Northern Diver.      

  Spoonbill – Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 22/11/15

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

Today finally saw the first cold, crisp and still morning of the winter, a beautiful day with lots of birds to see. There were two undoubted highlights, the first being from Lytchett Bay when a vis-mig session was being conducted from Lytchett Bay and 2 Penduline Tits passed low overhead calling and disappeared into some scrub. The birds were searched for over the next hour, but unbeknown to the search party the birds had made their way all the way over to Longham Lakes by early afternoon! This was the second record of this species in Lytchett Bay, with one over-wintering in Jan-Feb 1998. Its not inconceivable to think that perhaps with the amount reedbed in Poole Harbour, Penduline Tit could actually be a regular over-winterer but finding them is a different matter. The other highlight was a mass Wood Pigeon movement over the harbour where an incredible 140,618 had flown NW by late morning. At times a huge snake like trail of Wood Pigeons, made up of thousands of birds could be seen stretching across the skyline. This phenomenon is actually an annul occurrence but the volume of birds is very weather dependent year on year. This is the latest (as far as I’m aware) that the Pigeons have decided to move, but with all the grotty, windy weather recently its no surprise they decided to wait for a beautiful still day. Other sightings from around the harbour included 1 Red-necked Grebe, 4 Great Northern Diver, 25 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Goosander, 10 Common Scoter 9 Spoonbill and 5 Pale-bellied Brent Geese around the Studland peninsular. At Lytchett Bay view, just prior to the Penduline Tit excitement a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker passed overhead and 17 Shoveler (a bay record) were counted. There was also a late Swallow over Lytchett Fields. Spoonbill are now using Holes Bay with 11 at lunch time along with several Avocet and good numbers of wildfowl. On Brownsea an over-wintering Common Sandpiper was found and on the lagoon were 10 Spoonbill, 16 Spotted Redshank and a Brownsea rarity…5 Lapwing. Along Shore Road, Sandbanks 28 Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Sanderling are now feeding on the exposed sand on a low tide, giving views of down to a few meters! The Short-eared Owl was again over the Wareham bypass near the Red-footed Falcon bridge and Marsh and Hen Harriers were noted at Middlebere, Arne and the Wareham Channel. 

Harbour Update – posted 21/11/15

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

What started off an exceptionally breezy day, actually turned out to be a beautiful cold crisp winter evening. Bird was made very difficult first thing but around 5000 Wood Pigeons tried their best to migrate across the harbour just after dawn. At Arne a Snow Bunting was reported on Shipstal Beach by 3 people but unfortunately couldn’t be relocated. There were 3 separate Short-eared Owls before dusk with one out hunting on Arne Moors (viewed from up on Slepe Heath), another hunting along the edge of Hartland Moor and a third from the bridge on the Wareham bypass looking west (on the opposite side of the road from where the Red-footed Falcon was earlier in the year. A Great Northern Diver was off Jerry’s point. Hen Harriers were seen from Middlebere, Arne’s new raptor hide and Hartland Moor. Also from Middlebere were 2 Peregrines and a Merlin. At South Haven a hard going vis-mig was tried with the best being 3 Brambling north. 

Harbour Update – posted 20/11/15

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

There was a nice selection of winter species in the harbour today starting with 25 Barnacle Geese flying low east across Littlesea, Studland. A redhead Goosander was on the beach at Shipstal, Arne with a few Red-breasted Merganser. There were 3 Firecrest in a garden in Wareham with another 2 in the Arne car park. In Brands Bay, Studland the Great White Egret appeared, also there 1 pale-belled Brent Goose, 90 Pintail, 3 Goldeneye, 29 Grey Plover, 282 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot and 4 Fieldfare. There were 3 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Great Northern Diver off the houseboats at South Haven and off Middle Beach 4 Great Northern Diver, 17+ Black-necked Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe and 1 Razorbill. A single Great Northern Diver was off Baiter. At Lytchett Bay 2 Spoonbill were in the bay and 2 Water Pipit were on the fields. 


Call 01202 641 003