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 October, 2016

Harbour Update – posted 19/10/16

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

The harbour is beginning to see some big totals now as early calculations show that on Sunday(16th) around 15,000 wetland birds were counted in the harbour as part of the monthly WeBS counts, consisting mainly of Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew . A Great White Egret was off Shipstal Point at Arne and a Common Scoter was off out in central harbour. On Brownsea there were 34 Spoonbill. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was of course still on the fields with 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 2 Green Sandpiper, 120+ Dunlin and a Marsh Harrier passed over. Brent Geese numbers are now building with birds appearing at Shore Road, Sandbanks, Middlebere, off Middle Beach and on the Brownsea Lagoon.

We’re also please to announce that a new viewing mound that was part funded by us and the other half by Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Council is now fully complete and ready to use. The new large vantage point can be found at the eastern end of Lytchett Bay, just off Boarder Road. It gives great views out across the reedbeds and bays and also doubles up as a great ‘vis-mig’ vantage point throughout September and October. We hope you enjoy using it, and look forward to receiving your feedback. 

New viewing mound at Boarder Road, Lytchett Bay


Harbour Update – posted 18/10/16

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

Although not within the Poole Harbour boundary, a Great Grey Shrike was at Morden Bog today, which gives perfect reason to keep an eye out for others out on the heaths around the southern shore of the harbour, especially the Hartland Moor and Soldiers Road area.  On Brownsea there were still 37 Spoonbill along with 4 Turnstone, 8 Grey Plover, 12 Spotted Redshank, 3 Knot, 6 Brent Geese and 1 Kingfisher. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs is still present with 2 Knot, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 male Marsh Harrier and good numbers of Snipe, Lapwing, Redshank and Teal. Another ringing session for Jack Snipe and Common Snipe in the lower Frome valley 4 of the latter and 2 of the former ringed, including a re-trap Jack Snipe from earlier in the week. 

Jack Snipe – Lower Frome Valley


Lesser Yellowlegs – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 17/10/16

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Brownsea was the place to be with the big high tides at the moment it pushed big numbers of birds on to the lagoon. Totals included 39 Spoonbill, 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 15 Spotted Redshank, 28 Greenshank, 8 Knot, 10 Grey Plover, 611 Dunlin, 196 Redshank, 8 Turnstone, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe, 38 Curlew, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 411 Avocet, 778 Oystercatcher, 2 Sandwich Tern, 325 Cormorant, 4 Med Gull, 2 Kingfisher and 567 Teal. Some vis-mig from the end of Brownsea produced 23 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 10 Crossbill, 16 Siskin, 9 Linnet, 5 Song Thrush and an adult male Merlin, whilst near the Mac Hide, there was yet another Yellow-browed Warbler with 4 Firecrest, 12+ Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. At Middlebere the Great White Egret was present again. At The PC World Drain there were up to 20 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. At Lytchett Fields the highlights from a high tide count included the Lesser Yellowlegs, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 300+ Dunlin, 200+ Redshank and nearly 1000 Teal. There was late news of a Bittern at Swineham on Friday afternoon.  

Harbour Update – posted 16/10/16

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

Today was the second Poole Harbour WeBS count of this autumn/winter period and on first impressions it looks as if the harbour is holding a good number of wetland bird species. The Wareham Channel was particularly busy, as were the southern shores. Highlights included a drake Scaup off Arne, 1 Common Scoter in the Wytch Channel, 38 Spoonbill off Fitzworth plus good early winter totals of Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and Shoveler. At Norden Train Station a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen. In the Lower Frome Valley near Sunnyside a late Whinchat was present. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still present along with 150+ Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Greenshank, 260 Dunlin, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine Falcon. Along the Arne Road a flock of 5 Woodlark were flushed. In The Arne car park still at least 3 Firecrest can be found. Up on Hartland at least 1 Merlin was seen and out in the Wareham Channel 2 Marsh Harrier were hunting. General birding in the harbour can be hugely rewarding this time of year, not to mention being very good for your physical and mental well being. With deer rutting, numerous fungi species growing in the fields, autumn migration in full swing, big numbers of over-wintering species arriving, dramatic skylines, orange and golden avenues of trees…we can’t encourage you to get out enough!

Spoonbills and Black-tailed Godwit – Brownsea Lagoon – Paul Morton


Avocet – Brownsea Lagoon – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 15/10/16

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

With the rain coming and going throughout the day, any birding opportunities had to be timed well. At Lytchett Fields, just after the early morning downpour the Lesser Yellowlegs was found on French’s Pools, Lytchett Fields with 109 Dunlin, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 155 Redshank, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe and 1 Marsh Harrier, 6 Skylark and 1 Rock Pipit were also recorded on site. In Middlebere the Great White Egret was again seen early AM with c500 Avocet, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Pintail, 1 Kingfisher right in front of the hide and a pretty dramatic Peregrine chase. Tonight our local ringing group carried out its first winter Woodcock lamping session of the season, and although no Woodcock were back on site yet, we did encounter 10 Jack Snipe (and ringed 3) and c20 Common Snipe (and ringed 1).

Jack Snipe – Lower Frome Valley – Paul Morton


Common Snipe – Lower Frome Valley – Terry Elborn



Kingfisher – Middlebere – Simon Kidner


Harbour Update – posted 14/10/16

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

Things are getting very autumn like now as bellowing Sika Deer can be heard in many locations around the harbour and Redwing and now a handful of Fieldfare welcome us at dawn. In Middlebere the Great White Egret flew in around 8:30am and landed on the marsh to the left of the Middlebere Hide and out in the channel c500 Avovet and c300 Black-tailed Godwit were roosting, a Marsh Harrier passed over and a Peregrine dashed through. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was on French’s Pools with 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Grey Plover. Up on Hartland a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen briefly along with 2 Merlin and 2 Marsh Harrier were in Poole Harbour west.

Great White Egret – Middlebere – Simon Kidner

Harbour Update – posted 13/10/16

Posted on: October 14th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Reports were few and far between today with just the Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Grey Plover, 80+ Snipe, 6 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 1  Curlew Sandpiper  and 1 Marsh Harrier at Lytchett Fields. There are till 20-30 Spoonbill out on Shipstal Point, and good numbers of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit in the Middlebere Channel. Over at Shore Road, Sandbanks both Bar-tailed Godwit and Sanderling can now be found feeding on the low tides. In Poole Harbour west there are still 4 Marsh Harrier emerging from the roost each day and up on Hartland there were both male and female Merlin. A night sound recording session from our listening station in Old Town Poole produced 178 Redwing calls, 167 Song Thrush calls, 6 Blackbird calls, 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Redshank.

Sanderling – Shore Road – Simon Kidner

Bar-tailed Godwit – Shore Road – Simon Kidner


Harbour Update – posted 12/10/16

Posted on: October 14th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A bit of a quieter day today but a vis-mig session at South Haven proved fairly fruitful with 269 Redwing, 11 Song Thrush, 96 thrush sp, 11 Fieldfare, 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Blackbird, 1 Mistle Thrush, 167 Goldfinch, 47 Siskin, 27 Linnet, 1 Crossbill and a Sparrowhawk. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs made its way back on French’s Pools now that all the work is complete with 1 Knot, c30 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, c100 Snipe and 3 Fieldfare also in the area. At Arne there were still 30 Spoonbill on the spit at Shipstal and at least 2 Firecrest in the car park. In Middlebere the Avocet flock is building with c400 birds at present and Marsh Harrier are present there most days now.

Over the last week Alaska have been carrying out site improvement works at Lytchett Fields thanks to a grant from the Dorset Bird Club where they have created new high tide roost islands, cleared some vegetation that was obscuring some of the views and also created a small viewing mound. The work was carried out specifically to improve the site for both birds and people and we hope that you’ll be able to get down there soon to enjoy the new set up. 

New island creations on Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson


Harbour Update – posted 11/10/16

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

Incredibly, a 6thYellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was trapped and ringed this morning, this one at Lytchett Heath making it the 21st record for Poole Harbour alone since September 28th. Up on Ballard Down 5 Ring Ouzel were at the Glebeland’s end with a reasonable passage of Goldfinch, Linnet and Siskin, a strong passage alba wagtails and Meadow Pipits, c50 Swallow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Yellowhammer, 3 Reed Bunting and a handful of Chaffinch. In the scrub on top of Ballard there were good numbers of Chiffchaff and Blackcap creeping through with several newly arrived Goldcrest too. A Great White Egret was on Slepe Moor, near Middlebere. A Hobby dashed through Lytchett Bay and the Lesser Yellowlegs was on Lytchett Fields, a Woodlark passed over Lytchett Heath and a few Redwing and Song Thrush passed over Boarder Road. At Arne there were still several Firecrest in the car park area and 30 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point. 

Ring Ouzel – Glebelands, Ballard Down – 11/10/16 – Two migrants flushed by a dog walker

Yellow-browed Warbler – 6th to be ringed in Poole Harbour within the last week! – Lytchett Bay Shaun Robson

Harbour Update – posted 10/10/16

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

Just a quick round up of todays sightings with the Lesser Yellowlegs in Lytchett Bay, a Yellow-browed Warbler at Boarder Road, Lytchett Bay and another in the Arne car park with 3 Firecrest. At the PCW Drain a minimum of 30 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and a Kingfisher. At Arne still 40+ Spoonbill.

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