Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Archive for September, 2016

Harbour Update – posted 28/09/16

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

There was anice selection of rarities and scarcities today starting with the Lesser Yellowlegs which was on Lytchett Fields. Then at Arne, the weekly Wednesday walk came up trumps when a Wryneck flew over the group and landed in a pine tree near by and a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen in some scrub whilst the group were watching 2 Osprey in the Middlebere Channel. On Brownsea the 37 Spoonbill remained on the webcam for almost all of the day and at Lytchett Fields there was still 1 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and c100 Dunlin. There was also a decent pulse of hirundines pulsing through all day, mostly Swallow, but a Swift also passed over Stoborough Heath mid-morning. 

Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam



Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 27/09/16

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

Much of the same at the moment with the Lesser Yellowlegs staying for its tenth day on Lytchett Fields with 54 Snipe, 100+ Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Curlew, 1 Ringed Plover, 6 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and 1 Yellow Wagtail also on the fields. On the Brownsea Lagoon 37 Spoonbill remain and can be viewed during the mornings on our Brownsea Webcam, until around 2pm when the tide drops and they go off to feed.

We have also just uploaded our new events schedule on the website, including our new Family Birding for Beginners boat trips. For our full events schedule CLICK HERE

It was also announced yesterday that BBC Autumnwatch will be hosted at RSPB Arne this October which is great news for local environmental awareness. There are several local topics they’re interested in featuring and we’ll hopefully be able to help when and where we can. Autumn in Poole Harbour is a magical time of year so they’ll hopefully be able to showcase one of the countries most beautiful spots and help build a local environmental interest.


Harbour Update – posted 26/09/16

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

The long-staying Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Lytchett Fields for its ninth day and was joined by 4 Knot, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ringed Plover, c80 Dunlin, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. On the Brownsea Lagoon the Spoonbill total remained at 37 and there were still a handful of Curlew Sandpiper around. At Arne there were 3 Firecrest, 4 Blackcap, and 2 Chiffchaff in the car park. There was also late news of a great Poole Harbour record when a Little Owl was seen along Soldiers Road on Sept 19th. This is likely to be a dispersing juvenile from somewhere, but we have no idea where as Little Owl has been absent from Poole Harbour as a breeding bird for many years.  

Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson


Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Harbour Update – posted 25/09/16

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

Today was a busy day for sightings as it was the first Poole Harbour WeBS count of the winter. Highlights included a Great White Egret in Brands Bay with another (or the same) feeding off Long Island, opposite Arne and 18 Sandwich Tern roosting on the Long Island sand spit. At Lytchett Bay/Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was a nice addition to the WeBS list also 1 Ruff, 8 Green Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit were recorded. On Brownsea the Spoonbill total reach 37 and there were also 12 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 1 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 176 Black-tailed Godwit, 23 Curlew, 13 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 183 Redshank, 1 Sanderling, 138 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, 13 Ringed Plover, 22 Avocet, 2 Snipe, 73 Wigeon, 16 Shoveler, 6 Sandwich Tern , 1 Common Tern, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Wheatear and a Peregrine. From the Coombe Heath hide at Arne there were 36 Knot, 250 Dunlin, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Grey Plover and an Osprey in the dead trees. Up on Stoborough Heath there were still a few passerines around with 3 Whinchat, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff and 11 Stonechat with another c30 Stonechat and 6 Whinchat in the lower Frome Valley. 

Whinchat – Bestwall – Paul Morton


Great White Egret – Long Island (viewable from Arne) – Paul Morton


Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 24/09/16

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

Reports from around the harbour were pretty limited today with a Great White Egret and Osprey in Middlebere the highlights. At Lytchett Fields there was just a Ruff, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and c80 Dunlin

Harbour Update – posted 23/09/16

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

After a bit of a wait for several birders the Lesser Yellowlegs finally arrived onto Frenche’s Pools at Lytchett Fields today and was seen on and off throughout the day. Also present was a single Curlew Sandpiper, c80 Dunlin, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Firecrest and a single Kingfisher. At Arne an Osprey was on the nesting platform with a fish, there were 2 Firecrest and a Spotted Flycatcher in the car park and 19 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Bar-tailed Godwit from the Shipstal Hide. On the Brownsea Lagoon Spoonbill totals were at around 35 and there were 6 Curlew Sandpiper a Spotted Redshank and 4 Greenshank

Harbour Update – posted 22/09/16

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

After disappearing yesterday the Lesser Yellowlegs reappeared on Lytchett Fields again. Chances are it was around somewhere but just wasn’t located, it was also in the company of 100+ Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper and 6 Greenshank. In the Upton CP/Holes Bay area there was a single Wheatear near McDonalds, 2 Sandwich Tern fishing in Holes Bay south, 2 Spotted Flycatcher near the stone bench, 1 Firecrest in the Grove, a Peregrine went over and in Holes Bay, there were several hundred Black-tailed Godwit with a Knot mixed in with them and there were over 200 Wigeon. 

Harbour Update – posted 21/09/16

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

Today saw our first school bird boat of the autumn/winter season and although many birds still haven’t arrived back yet, there was still a great selection on show for the children. Highlights included a Great White Egret sat on the sea wall of the Brownsea Lagoon which it seems relocated to Middlebere about an hour later. On the lagoon there were 33 Spoonbill, 2 Ruff, 30 Avocet, 2 Spotted Redshank, several Greenshank, 2 Sanderling and 4 Ringed Plover on the shingle beach. Out in the harbour there were 6 Brent Geese back in Ower Bay. There was no sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs at Lytchett Fields today but a Curlew Sandpiper, 11 Grey Plover and 112+ Dunlin were the highlights and a Little Gull was out in the bay late evening. Night recording from our listening station in Old Town Poole over he last week has been really tough going with minimal numbers of birds going over but last night was a good night with plenty on the move. Totals included 8 Common Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Golden Plover, small flock of Ringed Plover at 03:30, 1 Dunlin, 1 Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit flock at 21:25, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit, 4 Meadow Pipit plus a decent passage at 04:20 for ten minutes, 20 Song Thrush calls and 1 Robin.

Bar-tailed Godwit & Golden Plover 20/09/16 @ 21: 25 Calls of night time migrants, Old Town Poole

Harbour Update – posted 20/09/16

Posted on: September 21st, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Lesser Yellowlegs was again at Lytchett Fields for its third day, arriving at around 8am then disappearing on the high tide and then returning about 4pm. Also there a Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff. At Arne the Wryneck was again on Coombe Heath and the Great White Egret and Osprey were in Middlebere mid morning. On Brownsea the 33 Spoonbill stayed on the lagoon for most of the day and there were still 2 Ruff and several Curlew Sandpiper

Osprey – Middlebere – Simon Kidner 


Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Paul Morton


Green Woodpecker – Middlebere – Simon Kidner 

Harbour Update – posted 19/09/16

Posted on: September 20th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Things just seem to be getting better for Lytchett Fields with a true red-letter day today. It began when a Great White Egret passed low over the fields around 9am and then news that the Lesser Yellowlegs was again present on the fields and stayed until around 11am. Then whilst watching the Yellowlegs a Spotted Crake was found at the back of the fields preening and having a wash. Plus, when you include a Wood Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper and all the Teal, Redshank, Dunlin, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe then it made for pretty impressive viewing! The Brownsea Lagoon was also looking just incredible with zero winds, flat calm water and BIG numbers of birds. The lagoon saw 33 Spoonbill, 9 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Spotted Redshank, 12 Greenshank, c40 Ringed Plover, c120 Dunlin, 142 Avocet, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Knot, 6 Turnstone, 2 Ruff, c150 Redshank and building numbers of Shoveler and Wigeon with 2 Firecrest and a Whitethroat in the woods behind the lagoon. In Middlebere an Osprey was still fishing regularly in the channel and the Great White Egret was again present. Finally, what better way to end a day that a member of the public finding a Wryneck on Coombe Heath, Arne.

Osprey – Middlebere – Simon Kidner


Avocet – Brownsea Lagoon – Paul Morton


Shoveler – Brownsea Lagoon – Paul Morton


Spoonbill – Brownsea Lagoon – Paul Morton



Sparrowhawk – Brownsea Lagoon – Paul Morton




Call 01202 641 003