Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Archive for July, 2016

Harbour Update – posted 30/07/16

Posted on: July 31st, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

At Holton Heath some passerine passage was in evidence as 2 Willow Warbler and4 Spotted Flycatcher were seen feeding together in dead trees near the train station. On Holton Pools there were 7 Greenshank, whilst on Lytchett Fields a great count of 14 Green Sandpiper was almost knocking on the ‘record count’ door, but not quite as 4 Greenshank, 7 Common Sandpiper and 500+ Black-tailed Godwit were also counted. 

Harbour Update – posted 29/07/16

Posted on: July 31st, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

At Lytchett Fields the wader theme continued as 1 Little Ringed Plover, 8 Common Sandpiper, 5 Green Sandpiper, 13 Dunlin and 2 Greenshank were noted as the highlights in amongst the Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Lapwing. A night sound recording session at Holton Lee as part of the Big Wild Sleep Out included 1 Woodlark, 1 Greenshank, 3 Oystercatcher, a Curlew flock, 1 Nightjar and a Tawny Owl.

Harbour Update – posted 28/07/16

Posted on: July 31st, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Sightings a bit thin on the ground today other than a few more signs of autumn with the first Garden Warbler of the season ringed in Poole Harbour north with 6 juv Blackcap and 4 juv Chiffchaff. At Lytchett Fields; Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed godwit, Lapwing, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover and Snipe were all recorded. On the Brownsea Lagoon 5 Spotted Redshank were present with 13 Avocet and a Knot.

Juvenile male Blackcap going through post-juvenile moult – Poole Harbour north


First Garden Warbler of the autumn – Poole Harbour north

Harbour Update – posted 27/07/16

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

A slightly slower day compared to recent days with 1 Knot and 5 Spotted Redshank on the Brownsea Lagoon and rising numbers of Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank. On Lytchett Fields there were 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and the usual spread of Redshank, Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit

Harbour Update – posted 26/07/16

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

It was nice to hear that a Melodious Warbler was trapped and ringed at Durlston early morning, which although isn’t Poole Harbour, shows that its well worth keeping an eye out for species like this now. Wryneck is also another classic August-September bird and could literally turn up anywhere. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 5 Spotted Redshank, one still in full summer plumage, 157 Redshank, 51 Little Egret, 9 Greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 13 Avocet, 1 Knot, 1 Turnstone, 5 Common Sandpiper and 2 Kingfisher. At Holton Heath there were still 5 churring male Nightjar and a possible Wood Sandpiper called overhead along with a Greenshank. At Lytchett Fields ‘the usual’ Common Sandpipers, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Lapwing were all present with a record-breaking number of Black-tailed Godwit for the site totaling 618! 

Harbour Update – posted 25/07/16

Posted on: July 26th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

July leading into August is Yellow-legged Gull season and even though Poole Harbour hosts the only pure bred breeding pair in the UK we see an influx of these birds every year from southern Europe. In Middlebere there were 9, at Brands Bay there were 6 and in Holes Bay 3. The adults are bigger and bulkier than Herring Gull with a darker mantle (back) and of course they have yellow legs. However, so do Lesser Black-backed Gulls but these tend to be a bit smaller and daintier. Also in Brands Bay were 32 Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Curlew and 2 Whimbrel. On the Brownsea Lagoon 8 Avocet were still present with 2 Spotted Redshank. On Lytchett Fields up to 10 Green Sandpiper were tucked up in amongst the grass and reeds with 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Redshank, 61 Lapwing, 4 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 1 Garganey and a Hobby.

Garganey – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 24/07/16

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Well, only yesterday were we talking about Garganey are rarely reported during the autumn as one had arrived on Brownsea, then low and behold another (or possibly the same) turns up on Lytchett Fields, feeding out from Sherford viewpoint. That feeling of total and utter possibility has certainly now arrived meaning you should be on your guard for anything to turn as autumn migration is well and truly underway. There’s also an interesting wind pattern with the Jetstream traveling all the way from North America and dumping right on the UK brining with it all kinds of possibilities. The UK has already this week seen Western, Baird’s and White-rumped Sandpipers. Will Brownsea get its second ever Stilt Sandpiper or could perhaps Poole Harbour see its first ever Least Sandpiper or Greater Yellowlegs? Now back to reality where also on Lytchett Fields along with the Garganey  there were 3 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Snipe and still plenty of Sedge Warbler.  A ringing session in Poole Harbour north saw more juvenile Blackcap and Chiffchaff ringed, along with a ringed juvenile Chiffchaff that was ringed at Lytchett Bay on July 14th this year.

Garganey – Lytchett Fields – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 23/07/16

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Autumn really picked up the pace today with the first Garganey appearing on the Brownsea lagoon. We say the first, but it could actually end up being the only Garganey of the autumn as they’re rarely reported this time of year due to the fact they look very similar to female and juvenile Teal, and any male that arrives will almost certainly be in eclipse plumage. Also on Brownsea was a whopping 22 Common Sandpiper on the southern shoreline and on the lagoon was the lone Spoonbill still, 4 Spotted Redshank, 15 Greenshank, 113 Common Redshank, 8 Avocet, 10 Curlew and 5 Dunlin. On Lytchett Fields there were 10 Green Sandpiper, 6 Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin and 8 Little Ringed Plover whilst in Lytchett Bay 3 Greenshank were feeding and 2 Bearded Tit were in the reedbed.  The Arne Nightjar was still impressing the crowds and a Marsh Harrier was in Middlebere.

Harbour Update – posted 22/07/16

Posted on: July 25th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There’s still a nice run of birds on Lytchett Fields with 8 Green Sandpiper, 205 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Common Sandpiper, 6 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Greenshank. The site also has plenty of Sedge Warbler moving through it at present, so whilst stood at the viewpoints see if you can see or hear them in the hedges as they pass through. 

Harbour Update – posted 21/07/16

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

New birds in today included 3 more Grasshopper Warbler ringed at Lytchett Bay with several Sedge Warbler too. The 6 Avocet, 1 Spoonbill and 2 Spotted Redshank were on Brownsea again. Several Little Ringed Plover remained on Lytchett Fields with the other ‘usual cast’ of waders. 

We also wanted to congratulate these two bruisers who have worked their socks off at warning us away from their two healthy and now fledged chicks every time we went to go and check conditions from our nocturnal listening station in Old Town Poole. They decided to nest just feet away from where we set up our sound recording gear and although it meant we couldn’t record for a few months, we feel like proud parents that the chicks have now grown up and fledged away from our office roof! There are still plenty of young gulls on roofs locally, so its still not exactly quiet at night, but we managed to run our first nocturnal listening session for several months a few nights ago with 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper and a Water Rail recorded.

Mr and Mrs Herring Gull that nested right on top of our nocturnal listening station in Old Town Poole



Call 01202 641 003