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 December, 2015

Harbour Update – Posted 21/12/15

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

Another yucky wet and windy day with sightings few and far between. The Great Northern Diver was still feeding just meters off the beach at Baiter near the Fisherman’s Dock end and a Guillemot was seen again within the seawall. 12 Turnstone and 8 Ringed Plover were on the beach there. There were 21 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon, 6 Spotted Redshank and 400 Avocet.


Harbour Update – Posted 20/12/15

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

Today saw the harbour receive coverage from almost all corners as the WeBS counts (Wetland Bird Survey) took place. The low pressure system that has been bringing wind and rain for weeks was also playing havoc with the tides too as there was very little movement at low tide, resulting in much of the mud staying under water. From Shipstal Point, Arne a Great Northern Diver was off the beach with 14 Goldeneye, 22 Great Crested Grebe and 40 Red-breasted Merganser with 8 Spoonbill further up in Wytch Lake. From Coombe Heath there was a good spread of raptors with 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Kestrel, 1 Short-eared Owl and 18 Little Egret went into roost. From Swineham Point 740 Dunlin were feeding and 17 Spoonbill were feeding further up the Wareham Channel. From Goathorn there was another Spoonbill, 33 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Goldeneye and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit. In the Wytch Channel there were another 9 Spoonbill, 3 Knot, 2 Turnstone and a ringtail Hen Harrier went through. In Brands Bay, Studland the Great White Egret reappeared, there were 4 Spoonbill, 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Northern Diver and 2 Sandwich Tern. The Smew was again in Holes Bay south with 3 male Goldeneye.


Harbour Update – Posted 19/12/15

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

Today we hosted a joint partnership field trip with the Dorset Wildlife Trust around the Holes Bay Nature Park, starting at Upton CP and walking round to Holes Bay NE. This walk provides wonderfully close views to a whole range of winter species. Our group managed to gather quite a list and some of the views were spectacular.  From ‘the stone bench’ out the outskirts of Upton CP we saw 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 200+ Avocet, 25 Dunlin, 200+ Teal, 200+ Wigeon, 11 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall plus Redshank, Curlew, Little Egret, Shelduck and Grey Heron. As we walked through the woods along to Holes Bay the Black-tailed Godwits made their way to feed into one of the fields behind us with 150+ Canada Geese and 2 Mistle Thrush. Up in Holes Bay NE it was more of the same plus 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Med Gull, 1 female Goldeneye and 2 Great Crested Grebe. Studland received some good coverage again today. A seawatch from South Haven saw 4 Red-throated Diver, 23 Gannet and 10 Auk sp south and in the bay 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Black-necked Grebe (2 at the Housboats with 13 Sanderling) and 1 Razorbill. In Brands Bay there were 9 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Marsh Harrier and c200 Black-tailed Godwit. And from Middle Beach 4 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 14 Black-necked Grebe and 2 Common Scoter. Of minor interest, during a ringing session at Holton Lee a Blue Tit was caught that had originally been ringed as an adult on the 13/11/10 making the bird a minimum of six years old…hardy little thing! Also 1 Lesser Redpoll and 4 Nuthatch were ringed. 


Harbour Update – Posted 18/12/15

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

A few bits and pieces reported today, mostly from around Studland. From Jerry’s Point there was 1 Great Northern and 1 Black-throated Diver. Off Middle Beach there were 8 Black-necked Grebe and 8 Med Gulls. In Shell Bay there were 18 Sanderling and 2 Sandwich Tern and a Firecrest was near the Rees Cox hide on Littlesea. From Baiter the Great Northern Diver was again close inshore at the Fishermans Dock end with a Guillemot, Little Grebe and 3 Red-breasted Merganser. At North Haven, Sandbanks there were 2 Purple Sandpiper on the rocks with 20 Ringed Plover and 8 Sanderling


Harbour Update – Posted 17/12/15

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

At the Fishermans Dock end of Baiter the Great Northern Diver was again feeding close into the shoreline with a Guillemot in tow and 3 Red-breasted Merganser and a Little Grebe. The Pale-belled Brent Goose was still in the Brent Goose flock and the Turnstone and Ringed Plover flock were again on the eastern Baiter Beach tide line. There were several raptor battles today with a Merlin dive bombing a ringtail Hen Harrier out in the Wareham Channel, a Short-eared Owl and Marsh Harrier also seen having a ding-dong and then towards the end of the day two ringtail Hen Harrier had a bit of a spat near Slepe Heath. Also a grey male Hen Harrier was seen out over Arne Moors. The Red-necked Grebe remained off Middle Beach, Studland and a Great Northern Diver was off Jerry’s point. 


Harbour Update – Posted 16/12/15

Posted on: December 17th, 2015 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The brisk SW wind blew a few birds over to the northern shores including a Great Northern Diver that was at times feeding six feet off the beach at Baiter giving excellent views. Also at Baiter a Pale-belled Brent Goose in the main Brent flock, 10 Turnstones on the beach, 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Rock Pipit, 4 Great Crested Grebe and 4 Red-breasted Merganser. There were a further 2 Great Northern Diver off Brownsea and the Red-necked Grebe was still off Middle Beach, Studland. On the Brownsea Lagoon the 22 Spoonbill remained also there 1700 Herring Gull, 16 Greenshank, 8 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper (on the north shore), 1024 Dunlin, 154 Grey Plover and 300+ Avocet. Lytchett Bay was a bit of a raptorfest today with 2 Peregrine and 2 Marsh Harrier all feeding in and around Lytchett Fields at the same time, also a male Hen Harrier went through the bay with Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk all present too. There are still several Firecrest in the Arne car park and a Merlin was out on the Moors at dawn. 


Harbour Update – Posted 15/12/15

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

With the SE wind a sea watch was attempted from Branksome Chine early morning, but visibility soon decreased to 200m and the watch had to stop. From 8am to 9am 2 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Razorbill, 9 Brent Geese and 4 Shelduck were noted. In Middlebere a male Merlin was sat on a post in front of the hide, plus there was at least 1 Marsh Harrier, 500+ Avocet, 350+ Lapwing and 10 Spotted Redshank. There were finally 3 Purple Sandpiper back on the rocks in front of the Haven Hotel, Sandbanks. In Holes Bay the Smew was still in Holes Bay south and a Common Sandpiper was near the out flow in HB north. On Baiter Beach both Turnstone and Ringed Plover were feeding on the low tide near Fishermas Dock. 


Harbour Update – Posted 14/12/15

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

There was a lovely selection of birds in the harbour today including the discovery of a Black Guillemot off the SE corner of Brownsea Island. It was in exactly the same spot as the bird from the 20114/15 winter period so more than likely it’s the same bird. There was a Great White Egret on Round Island which then later moved to Long Island (viewed from Arne) with a Great Northern Diver off Shipstal too. The Smew was again in Holes Bay south near the railway bridge. On the Brownsea Lagoon 34 Spoonbill huddled together to shelter from the SE wind. A new grey male Hen Harrier joined the harrier party at dusk with a Short-eared owl hunting on Arne Moors and only 3 Marsh Harrier in the west harbour roost. From South Haven there were 6 Great Northern Diver, 3 Sandwich Tern and an auk sp. In Brands Bay there were 12 Black-necked Grebe and an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 7 Gannet out from Middle Beach. A Black Redstart was having a ding dong with a Robin above the entrance to Salterns Marina, Poole mid afternoon. 


Harbour Update – Posted 13/12/15

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

Finally a calm, still day and overcast which actually makes watching the harbour a bit easier. At Lytchett Bay there were still 2 Water Pipit on the Poole Field and 2 Green Sandpiper there too.  In Brands Bay the Great White Egret reappeared and there was also a Spoonbill there too. The ‘inner’ Poole Harbour evening Black-necked Grebe roost was off Jerry’s Point and was comprised of 24 individuals with another 14 off Knoll Beach in the ‘outer’ Poole Harbour Black-necked Grebe roost, also a Slavonian Grebe off Knoll Beach too and the Red-necked Grebe remained. In the north of the harbour another Woodcock was ringed by the Stour Ringing group and a Firecrest was ringed in Upton. Today also saw the first joint partnership bird boat trip between the National Trust and RSPB. A good day was had by all with 5 Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebe, plenty of Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and 32 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon. There were another 3 Great Northern Diver in Studland Bay. The Smew was in Holes Bay again with a Common Sandpiper and a Sandwich Tern was near the harbour mouth.


Harbour Update – Posted 12/12/15

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

There was a male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker in Chads Copse, Boarder Road in Lytchett Bay in the morning.  A Great Northern Diver was off Shore Road, Whitley Lake and another off Baiter. The Spoonbill flock was mostly on Brownsea and a Merlin dashed by there. A Short-eared Owl was again along the Arne Road at dusk and 2 Woodcock were flushed from Slepe Heath. In Holes Bay there were 10+ Pintail, 100+ Avocet and 200+ Black-tailed Godwit.


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