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, 2016

Harbour Update – posted 29/04/16

Posted on: April 30th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There were 3 Little Tern in Middlebere again, but no sign of the Osprey, however a Red kite drifted over there and 2 Whimbrel were in the channel. At the PC World drain a Spotted Flycatcher was feeding in the treeline, also 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap and 2 Willow Warbler there. At South Haven 14 Pale-bellied Brent Geese passed and a Cuckoo was calling. At Lytchett Fields 61 Whimbrel passed over also on site 154 Shelduck a late Snipe, 3 White Wagtail, 30+ Pied Wagtail and 1 Yellow Wagtail.

Spotted Flycatcher – PC World Drain – Paul Morton


Whimbrel – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 28/04/16

Posted on: April 30th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Yesterdays Osprey was again seen in Middlebere in the usual dead trees, where there was also 3 Little Tern and a summer plumaged Grey Plover. At Lytchett Fields there was a single Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear and the sites first Swift of the year, also 18+ Whimbrel over the bay where 4 Whimbrel were feeding with 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 160+ Black-tailed Godwit. There was Cuckoo at Arne early morning. Up on Hartland a small flock of 8 Wheatear were on the fields. 

Wheatear – Hartland Fields – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 27/04/16

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

More mixed weather, more cold winds, more heavy rain, more glorious sunshine, more confused birds! A late returning Osprey was circling above Brands Bay around 8am, heading towards Goathorn Point. Maybe it may stick around with these northerly winds? A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at Lytchett Fields at dawn but waders were thin on the ground with just 14 Black-tailed Godwit present and still only 3 Reed Warbler are back on territory. Also at Lytchett Fields 68 Shelduck and 8 Gadwall. The ringtail Hen Harrier was seen over Swineham and a single Spoonbill was on Brownsea. 

Song Thrush – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 26/04/16

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

I think we experienced pretty much every type of weather you could possibly think of in just one day today from snow (yes snow), to hail, to thunder, to strong winds to glorious warm sunshine…what’s going on?? Despite this several areas were covered starting at Challow Hill where the Nightingale showed briefly, also present were 5+ Whitethroat, 2 Dartford Warbler, 5+ Yellowhammer, 2 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler. Up on Hartland Moor a Cuckoo showed briefly with 5 Wheatear out on the open pasture. In Middlebere 16 Ringed Plover dropped in 12 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel and c10 Black-tailed Godwit. In the lower Frome Valley 8 Ringed Plover dropped on to Arne Moors with a Little Ringed Plover, 3 Swift dashed overhead and the ringtail, Hen Harrier passed over, heading towards Hartland before having a bit of a one-two with a Hobby. On Lytchett Fields a Yellow Wagtail was on one of the pools with a Spotted Redshank. On Brownsea it was fairly quiet with highlights being 2 Greenshank, 1 Common Tern, 1 Golden Pheasant, 3 Avocet and 2 Brent Geese.

Yellowhammer – Challow Hill – Paul Morton


Yellow Wagtail – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 25/04/16

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The NW wind built throughout the day, but in sheltered areas it was actually quite pleasant. A nice surprise came in the shape of 2 Little Tern in Middlebere mid-afternoon along with 4 Ringed Plover, 1 summer plumaged Grey Plover, 1 Knot, 40+ Dunlin and 4 Wheatear and a Woodlark on Coombe Heath. At Lytchett Fields waders were again the main feature with 3 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and 4 Spotted Redshank with 1 Wheatear, 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler also seen. At Swineham 2 Swift were over the Gravel Pits and on Hartland the ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again. 

Whimbrel – Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 24/04/16

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The cold NNW wind started creeping up on us today which looks as though it will be with us for quite some time, potentially killing off any migration for northbound birds. However, although it seems passerines are struggling to get through at present, waders continue to show up at regular sites. At Lytchett Fields there was 1 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 2 Dunlin, 2 Spotted Redshank , 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Whimbrel with another Red Kite over and a Wheatear in the Arable field. At the Wytch Causeway 2 Spotted Redshank were in the marsh with a Greenshank. Off Sandbanks there was a single partial summer plumaged Great Northern Diver.

Reed Warbler – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 23/04/16

Posted on: April 24th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This morning was our monthly field trip, this month hosted at Challow Hill, near Corfe Castle. Despite the cold NE wind, the Challow Ridge provided shelter and a good range of species including 1 Nightingale, 2 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 3-4 Dartford Warbler, 5+ Yellowhammer, 5+ Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap and several Chiffchaff, House Martin and Swallow. At Swineham GP a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit had settled on the newly cleared area with a Common Sandpiper and Greenshank also there. Around the pits several species of warbler were counted including 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and 6 Cetti’s Warbler. On Lytchett Fields 2 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover flew in together, also 2 Greenshank and 5 Spotted Redshank were observed with 1 Whitethroat and 1 Cetti’s Warbler. Local Harrier water Peter Hadrill has confirmed that a pair of Marsh Harrier have been courting all spring with the female now on eggs in the west of Poole Harbour. 

Bar-tailed Godwit – Swineham – Peter Moore


Lesser Whitethroat – Swineham – Peter Moore


Common Sandpiper – Swineham – Peter Moore


Birds of Poole Harbour Field Trip – Challow Hill – Barbara Bisset

Harbour Update – posted 22/04/16

Posted on: April 24th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Constant drizzle all day would be a standard day of misery for many but for birders in spring, these are very much welcomed conditions, providing an opportunity to see ground migrants as they shelter from the rain. Evidence of this situation was prominent at the PCW Drain where a Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Common Whitethroat, 10+ Blackcap and 2 Willow Warbler were feeding and tucked away. Out on Lytchett Fields there were 3 Spotted Redshank, 11 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and 110 Black-tailed Godwit. At Middlebere a Cuckoo called early morning and a Tree Pipit called overhead. On Brownsea 5 Spotted Redshank were on the lagoon with numbers of Sandwich Tern still building slowly. 

Reed Warbler – Swineham – Peter Moore


Cetti’s Warbler – Swineham – Peter Moore

Harbour Update – posted 21/04/16

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Migrants are still trickling through but not in any great numbers. A fine male Whinchat was at Lytchett Fields with 6 Whitethroat and a Red Kite drifted low over the fields. Out in Lytchett Bay there were 2 Whimbrel. At Upton CP 3 Whimbrel were near the stone bench and a female Redstart was in the field behind. At Arne a Redstart, several Whitethroat, 2 Woodlark, Swallows and plenty of Dartford Warbler were present. At Swineham there was single Sedge Warbler with a showy Cetti’s Warbler. At Holton Lee, what was we assume the same Red Kite at the Lytchett Fields bird drifted over the heath, also still Tree Pipit singing, Whitethroat, Woodlark, Dartford Warbler, Chiffchaff and Linnet all out on the heathland. 

Cetti’s Warbler – Swineham – Clive Hargrave


Sedge Warbler – Swineham – Clive Hargrave 


Red Kite – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam


Whitethroat – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 20/04/16

Posted on: April 22nd, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Lytchett Fields seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment and today the rewards came in the shape of 3 Little Ringed Plover, 1 male and 1 female Redstart, 1 Red-legged Partridge (rare here), 1 Wheatear, 1 Whimbrel and a Green Sandpiper. There were 2 Wheatear along Baiter late afternoon. At Holton Lee a Cuckoo was seen near the bird hide and a Wheatear was in the field behind. A night recording session in the Lower Frome Valley picked up 1 night migrating Little Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Common Snipe

 Little Ringed Plover – Call of a night time migrant – Arne Moors 


Spotted Redshank – Call of a night time migrant – Arne Moors


Little Grebe – Call of a night time migrant – Arne Moors 19/04/16


Greenshank – Call of a night time migrant – Arne Moors – 19/04/16


Redstart – Lytchett Fileds – Ian Ballam


Cuckoo – Holton Lee – Richard Stephenson


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