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 August, 2016

Harbour Updates – posted 19/08/16

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

Amazingly, despite the wader fest at Lytchett Fields it was actually a Wryneck that took centre stage today which darted out of a gorge bush, sat on the viewpoint sign for several seconds and then disappeared! Wader-wise an incredible 6 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Little Stint, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 10+ Ringed Plover, 90+ Dunlin, 800+ Black-tailed Godwit, 200+ Redshank, 15+ Green Sandpiper, 8 Greenshank and 150+ Teal were counted. On Brownsea there were 6 Spoonbill, 1 Little Stint, 2 Ruff, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 1 Knot and 4 Curlew Sandpiper

Harbour Updates – posted 18/08/16

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

With the wader potential creeping up a notch in the harbour more and more people seem to be visiting Lytchett Fields, with 1 Spoonbill, 2 Ruff, 2 Little Stint, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 150+ Redshank, 11 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 16 Green Sandpiper, 25 Snipe, 10 Ringed Plover and 40+ Dunlin present there today. Just outside the area were 2 Osprey at Morden Bog which will almost certainly be commuting to the harbour and back to feed. 

Harbour Updates – posted 17/08/16

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

We apologise for the lack of sightings over the last week, just as it seems as the harbour has gone wader crazy! We returned from Birdfair on Monday morning and have been playing catch up ever since. We will update a full list of sightings as of today and we hope that over the last week you’ve been able to catch up with the wealth of bird life the harbour had had to offer! Starting at of course Lytchett Fields where waders were still the order of the day with 2 Little Stint, 1 Ruff, c40 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, and Redshank, Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit. Also there a Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Peregrine and a Yellow-legged Gull. Spoonbills were spread between Brownsea and Middlebere with 5 on the lagoon and 3 in the Middlebere Channel.  

Harbour Updates

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We apologise for the lack of sightings over the last week, but we were away at the Birdfair from mid-last week and are catching up on sightings now. We aim to have all up to date days and sightings up on the website by Wednesday evening.

In the mean time, if you have any sightings from within the Poole Harbour area please send them to us at info@birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk


Harbour Update – posted 16/08/16

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Lytchett Fields was a real wader fest today with 12 species recorded. Highlights from the site included 2 Little Stint, 1 Ruff, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Ringed Plover, 8 Snipe and several Common Sandpiper as well as Redshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. There was also a site rarity as a Yellowhammer pitched down in one of the hedgerows and 2 Yellow Wagtail were out on the fields. A ringing session from Lytchett Bay saw only a small passage of Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler with Whitethroat and several Willow Warbler also ringed. In scrub at the north end of Holes Bay Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were all noted. On Brownsea up to 9 Spoonbill are back now with numbers likely to increase all the way through September and in to October. Poole Harbour hit a national record of 60 Spoonbill on October 17th 2015…will we exceed that total this year? Also on Brownsea today were 41 Avocet, 20 Ringed Plover, 5 Greenshank, 1 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper and 21 Curlew. At Arne an Osprey was seen several times between the Wareham Channel and Middlebere also a Marsh Harrier there. Our efforts of night migration sound recording are going from bad to worse again with just 2 Tree Pipit recorded. There were several very distant wader calls but none that were really identifiable other than some passing Oystercatcher.

Common Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 15/08/16

Posted on: August 16th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This is nice now, seeing Osprey appear on our sightings page on a daily basis now with one seeing multiple times during the day as it first entered the harbour early morning and was later seen again around the Arne peninsular at 11am and then again at 3pm. Later on in august and by the beginning of September its not unusual to have sightings of two sometimes three together so here’s hoping more arrive over the next couple of weeks. At Lytchett Fields 2 Little Stint arrived and were settled on the fields with 1 Ruff, 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Green Sandpiper, 10 Snipe, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Stonechat. At South Haven, Studland there was 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Tree Pipit and 2 Garden Warbler. Last nights sound recording session was again fairly quiet but Tree Pipit are now a regular feature (or have been for the last three nights anyway). Also recorded was 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Redshank, 1 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover and a single passerine call. 

 Green Sandpiper – Calls of a night time migrant – Old Town Poole 01:42

Tree Pipit – Calls of a night time migrant – Old Town Poole Listening Station 02:17

Harbour Update – posted 14/08/16

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was another early Merlin that dashed across Arne moors early morning and the third new Marsh Harrier of the week arrived in the Wareham Channel. At Lytchett Fields the juv Ruff was still present with 5 Greenshank, 7 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 10 Snipe, 20+ Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover whilst migrants around the fields included a Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Sedge Warbler and 3 Willow Warbler. Night recording from our listening station in Old Town Poole picked up slightly with the first recording of Tree Pipit of the autumn around 1am and two passerine calls, likely to be either Pied or Spotted Flycatcher. Also recorded between 21:30 and 04:30 were a small flock of Common Tern just after midnight, 1 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 3 Oystercatcher.

Harbour Update – posted 13/08/16

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

From the Arne/Middlebere area there was late news of a Great White Egret yesterday in Middlebere with 35 Curlew also in the Channel and 1 Redstart on the heath. On Lytchett Fields The Ruff was still present with up to 16 Common Snipe, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Lapwing, 2 Yellow Wagtail and plenty of Black-tailed Godwit. This morning was also our monthly field trip, this time hosted up on Ballard Down, an area we’ve never visited on one of our trips before and it was absolutely stunning. Migrants were in evidence but slightly thin on the ground as 1-2 Lesser Whitethroat, 5+ Common Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 5+ Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, a few House Martin and Swallow over plus a big flock of 70+ Linnet moving through along the cliff top. Out in Studland Bay Sandwich Terns and Med Gulls were feeding in a mixed flock and a Gannet was out off Old Harry. Along Soldiers Road, Hartland a Whinchat was on a barbwire fence feeding with 2 Stonechat.  An Osprey passed over/near the northern shores of the harbour. Night recording from our listening station Friday night into Saturday was again very quiet with no sign of night passage. 

Old Harry and Ballard Field Trip – Barbara Bisset


Ruff – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam



Harbour Update – posted 12/08/16

Posted on: August 13th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Migration is still a bit sluggish at present with little or no sign of any big passage of birds yet. Don’t get us wrong, waders are moving through in small numbers and passerines are now begging to appear but we’re just being impatient! Today 2 Little Tern were out in Shell Bay and a Redstart was at South Haven with a Whitethroat. At Middlebere 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Shelduck, 1 Curlew, 1 Greenshank, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Hobby and 6 Little Egret were recorded with Whitethroat still feeding young along the track. At Lytchett Fields there were 22 Lapwing, 1 Knot, 10 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Yellow Wagtail. On Brownsea counts consisted of 6 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 4 Spotted Redshank, 9 Greenshank, 216 Redshank, 268 Black-tailed Godwit, 31 Avocet, 71 Oystercatcher, 59 Ringed Plover, 2 Red Knot, 324 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Kingfisher, 48 Teal, 6 Common Sandpiper and a family party of Firecrest near the Mac Hide entrance. In Holes Bay north a Lesser Whitethroat was sin scrub with 10+ Willow Warbler, 5+ Chiffchaff and several Blackcap.

Night recording last night from our listening station in Old Town Poole produced a bit of quality rather than quantity as two (night recording) year ticks were encountered. The first was a Little Ringed Plover that passed over at 23:54 and even more surprisingly an Arctic Tern at 23:07. 

Little Ringed Plover – Calls of a night time migrant 23:54 – Old Town Poole 11/08/16

 Arctic Tern – calls of a night time migrant 23:07 – Old Town Poole 11/08/16

Harbour Update – posted 11/08/16

Posted on: August 12th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It seems amazing to think that by this time last year we had already had 2 Osprey in the harbour for almost two weeks, however our first ‘hunting’ Osprey of the autumn didn’t arrive until today with one catching a fish in the Wareham Channel area before making its way over towards Arne. In Middlebere early evening there were 2 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 4 Greenshank and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. At Lytchett Fields the Ruff was still present with 25 Dunlin, 1+ Common Sandpiper, 8 Ringed Plover and a large juvenile Peregrine was upsetting all the Black-tailed Godwit. In Holes Bay north a fresh juvenile Sparrowhawk was getting harassed by 10+ Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. There was also a nice sign of ‘heron’ migration as 2 Little Egret passed Old Harry rocks, presumably to enter the harbour and add to the many hundred that are currently present. Night recording was again pretty fruitless with just one 1 Redshank and a possible Golden Plover sound recorded all night!

Common Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson


Juvenile Sparrowhawk – Holes Bay north – Paul Morton

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