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 June, 2016

Harbour Update – posted 29/06/16

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

An Osprey seen drifting over the A35 near the Bakers Arms, heading towards Lytchett Bay was the presumed spring/summer lingerer that’s been around since late April, but its possible it could be a newly arrived bird as non-breeders can and have arrived in the harbour as early as late June and early July. At Lytchett Bay the summer plumaged Ruff was still present and a newly arrived Greenshank turned up, also 43 Black-tailed Godwit and 26 Redshank were present. On Lytchett Heath a juvenile Kingfisher was the first of the autumn and an adult Whitethroat was a presumed migrant there. 

Greenshank – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Ruff – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 28/06/16

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A beautiful still morning gave way to a band of wind and rain by mid afternoon. A morning watch from the Hamworthy Beach shoreline saw several Redshank and  Curlew feeding over on the Arne peninsular and both Common Tern and Sandwich Tern were taking advantage of a large ‘bait ball’ of whitebait just off the beach. The Marsh Harrier nest is still giving no sign as to how many chicks have fledged with only one present/viewable at anyone time. How many more are lurking down in the reedbeds? Before the rain set in 2 Hobby there were over Slepe Heath/Arne moors area. A Cuckoo was seen again on Slepe Heath and there was late news of a Short-eared Owl sat on the Brownsea seawall 2 weeks ago, which is certainly the first June record for this species we’ve ever heard about. 

We still have several spaces left on our Nightjar walk this coming saturday in partnership with Arne RSPB Reserve. To book on and for full information CLICK HERE

Harbour Update – posted 27/06/16

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

More wader passage today with a gorgeous summer plumaged male Ruff out on Lytchett Fields. We rarely see them in this plumage, as most of our birds tend to be fresh juveniles in the autumn. Out in Holes Bay north there were 5 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Common Tern.

Ruff – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Harbour Update – posted 26/06/16

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

Without a doubt, best bird of the day was a Little Ringed Plover that turned up on a bridleway on Stoborough Heath, which is bizarre enough in its self, however this bird was a completely fresh juvenile suggesting it could have been raised locally? If it hadn’t then I can’t believe it had come from too far afield but who knows. There are certainly waders on the move already and this was evident with the first Greenshank of the autumn out in Brands Bay and 2 Green Sandpiper out on Lytchett Fields. 

Little Ringed Plover – Stoborough Heath – Jackie Broadhouse


Harbour Update – posted 25/06/16

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

Crossbill’s are beginning to move about now with 4 passing over the Arne car park and likely Osprey distantly soaring over the Wytch Channel. Late June and throughout July is a good time to hear local Crossbills as they begin to move about in parties containing anything from 2-20 birds. They’re call is very unique as they pass over, so we’ve included a recording of a group of Crossbill passing over Ballard Down last year so you can familiarise yourself with their calls. 

23 Crossbill over Glebelands, Ballard 10/10/15

Harbour Update – posted 24/06/16

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

On a what could turn out to be a sad day for the environment, we hope that what ever happens from here on in our partners, our friends and our followers will do what ever they can to help support and fight for the protection our wildlife needs now and in the future, not just in Poole Harbour but across the whole country too. Certain areas of environmental protection sit under European law such as SPA’s (Special Protection Areas) and SAC’s (Special Area of Conservation) of which Poole Harbour has several of including the rich and vibrant heathlands and sand dune systems of Studland. No one knows what will happen when (if) we leave EU, but what is clear is that our environment will need us more than ever over the coming years so please get out and enjoy, monitor and help protect our local heritage.

Not much bird news to report today other than a Roseate tern was on Brownsea again briefly. 

Harbour Update – posted 23/06/16

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

evening visit saw 17 Curlew feeding in the top end and Redshank still displaying out on the Spartina. Little Egrets were continuously flying over the Arne peninsular into roost over in the Wareham Channel with a minimum of 20 just before dusk. Parties of Swift were also heading back to Wareham at dusk, feeding frantically in the twilight. Nightjars at Arne were again on good form, with several seen along Soldiers Road too. Juvenile Tawny Owls are now beginning to be heard with one at Arne and one at Holton Lee. At Lytchett Fields the Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing and Redshank numbers remained roughly the same as yesterday. A male Cuckoo was on wires above Slepe Heath along the Arne Road. 

Reed Warbler – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 22/06/16

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

The wader numbers on Lytchett Fields continues to grow with 40+ Redshank, 100+ Black-tailed Godwit and 40+ Lapwing. On Brownsea there were 18 Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Roseate Tern dropped onto the lagoon late afternoon. The tern situation on the lagoon is a bit fragile as the Med Gulls work their way through the Common Tern chicks but thankfully the Sandwich Tern chicks are now big enough to not be gobbled. A Hobby was over the top of Hartland moor and the Firecrest is still singing in the Arne car park. 

Harbour Update – posted 21/06/16

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

Great news today as it was reported that the first (and maybe only) Marsh Harrier chick semi-fledged today in Poole Harbour west with the female luring it out by dropping food on the ground. It will be fascinating to see how many bob their heads above the reedbed’s in the coming days. Will it be one, two, three or possibly even four like one the 2014 pairs raised? At Lytchett Fields a newly arrived winter plumaged Dunlin was found which for mid June is odd in its self, showing no sign of any black on the belly at all. Up on Hartland a Hobby was hunting briefly and at Arne, despite the mist and murk Nightjars were out in force again. On Brownsea there was a single summer plumaged Spotted Redshank

Harbour Update – posted 20/06/16

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

Today was the beginning of our first ever Dorset Discovery Summer Tour in partnership with the Dorset RSPB team. We’ll produce a full write up in the coming days but highlights from Arne included great views of Dartford Warbler, Firecrest, Stonechat, Grass Snake and Slow Worm, as well as an unbelievable display from a minimum of 6 Nightjar just before dark. There was also a late report of an Osprey in the Wytch Channel yesterday afternoon. At Lytchett Fields there was another Green Sandpiper and at Hatch Pond the Great Crested Grebes now have young. 


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