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 December, 2016

Harbour Update – posted 29/12/16

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

Its great when the harbour gets so much coverage as it allows us to paint a bigger and better picture as to what’s going and what’s about.  Amazingly today 3 different Great Grey Shrikes were seen within the harbour area with one on Godlingston Heath, another on Hartland and the Canford Heath bird. For a scarce winter migrant that’s a pretty incredible total! Holes Bay north was busy again, mostly on the Upton CP side with 300+ Avocet, 400+ Dunlin, 600+ Black-tailed Godwit and the Ruff was still in the field just north of the stone bench. On Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal were still present with a Marsh Harrier over. The Cattle Egret was along Holme Lane again and on Littlesea, Studland the Great White Egret was present again and on the Brownsea Lagoon 22 Spoonbill were present with 3 Spotted Redshank. Off Jerry’s Point a Great Northern Diver and 4 Goldeneye were feeding. Another Woodcock ringing session up near Hartland saw 5 new birds ringed and we also caught a re-trap that was originally ringed in February 2014. 

Woodcock – Hartland – re-caught tonight but originally ringed in Feb 2014


Harbour Update – posted 28/12/16

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

We’re going through a spell of incredible post Christmas weather with calm waters and still conditions making for perfect mid winter walks. There are plenty of places to visit and still lots of good birds about. The Cattle Egret is still along Holme Lane, feeding with up to 12 Little Egret. After a slight lull in numbers there are now up to 7 Marsh Harrier and 2 Hen Harrier frequenting Poole Harbour west with a Merlin on Slepe Heath and Peregrines on Brownsea and Hartland Moor. The Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal were still on Lytchett Fields. A Great White Egret was on Littlesea, Studland and after an absence of several weeks there are now 3 Purple Sandpiper at North Haven. The recent cold snap has seen a moving off of Woodcock from favoured haunts with just 1 seen at Arne Farm (usually 8-10 present). Along Slough Lane, Lytchett Bay there was a Firecrest with another at the PC World Drain. At Poole Park boating Lake up to 6 Goldeneye were still displaying. 


Harbour Update – posted 27/12/16

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

 Today was a perfect Poole Harbour day, cold crisp and perfectly still. Plenty reported to us, starting with the Studland area where 29 Black-necked Grebe were counted in the Knoll Beach evening roost with another 4 off Jerry’s point. Also 4 Great Northern Diver in the area with 2 off Jerry’s Point and 2 off Middle Beach. Also in the area was a Marsh Harrier near Brands Bay, 36 Sanderling and 16 Ringed Plover off the Houseboats and 100+ Lapwing in Brands Bay. At Lytchett Fields the Green-winged Teal was on French’s Pools and the Lesser Yellowlegs was on Sherford Pools with a Water Pipit on the Pools Field along Slogh Lane and a Woodcock and Firecrest along there too. This evening a Great White Egret flew towards Arne and the Cattle Egret was still along Holme lane. There was also a report of a Cattle Egret at Upton CP ‘with cattle’ which is worth checking up on and near the ‘Stone Bench’ just on the outskirts of Upton CP 11 drake Pintail were close to the wooden bridge with Avocet, Redshank and Wigeon. In the harbour entrance there were 3 Razorbill feeding. At Arne 15 Spoonbill were on Shipstal and a decent sized raft of Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser were out in central harbour late afternoon/early evening. 

Red-breasted Merganser – Baiter – Keith Rawling

Razorbill – Poole Harbour entrance – Nicky & Larry Sweetland

 Turnstone – Sandbanks – John Pick


Harbour Update – posted 26/12/16

Posted on: December 27th, 2016 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Boxing Day blues can easily be blown away with a brisk walk out around the harbour and with so many good birds about you could be mistaken for still thinking its Christmas Day! The Lytchett Fields Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal and the Holme Lane Cattle Egret are all still present and correct and should hopefully be three nice ‘list boosters’ for anyone looking to start a year list on Jan 1st. At Lytchett Bay 22 Barnacle Geese passed over before looking as if they were heading back to Swineham. At Arne there were 18 Spoonbill out on Shipstal and Marsh Harriers were in Middlebere, Lytchett Bay and out in the Wareham Channel. Out on Hartland a Peregrine was on one of the obvious posts and a Merlin was seen along Soldier Road. The rising tide at Middlebere saw c400 Avocet and c350 Brent Geese. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Green Sandpiper. Finally, there was a report on Rare Bird Alert of a 1st winter Caspian Gull at Poole Park Lake. If anyone has any further information about this sighting we’d be really keen to get some details.


CHRISTMAS DAY 25/12/16

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE and many thanks for all your support in 2016. We’re really looking forward to an exciting and full 2017 and hope you can join us along the way!

And, what better way to spend christmas morning than to get out early and see some great birds, with Middlebere producing 4 different Marsh Harrier, the ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Peregrine, a Black Brant in amongst the c140 Brent Geese next to the hide and 200 Lapwing. Along Holme Lane the Cattle Egret was still there with 12 Little Egret and at Arne 17 Spoonbill were on Shipstal. 

 Marsh Harrier – Middlebere – Simon Kidner


Harbour Update – posted 24/12/16

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

A few people seemed to be out for pre-Christmas birding walks today with a good variety reported to us, starting at Lytchett Fields where the Lesser Yellowlegs and Green-winged Teal were both present. At Holme Lane, the Cattle Egret was in the next cattle field along from its usual field, where 6 Woodlark, 2 Firecrest and c40 Redwing were present. Up on Slepe Heath a Merlin was perched on a dead tree stump and 3 Marsh Harrier were out hunting over Arne Moors. From Middlebere another 3 Marsh Harrier were lazily bouncing in the wind and c400 Avocet followed up the tide in the late afternoon. At Arne, 21 Spoonbill were on Shipstal Point and there were apparently 2 Eider in Lytchett Bay too, which would be a site ‘tick’. The 6 Poole Park Goldeneye were also still showing off all day.

Goldeneye – Poole Park – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 23/12/16

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

Very quiet from reports of around the harbour today, we assume everyone is gearing up for festive activities. The only news reported to us was of 2 Marsh Harrier at Middlebere and 11 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point, Arne. There were also 2 small Starling murmurations over the Hamworthy area with flocks of 200 and 300 finally gathering together and settling down behind Co-op. That’s not to say there isn’t stacks of great birds to go and see as there certainly are! You just need to go and find them 😉


Harbour Update – posted 22/12/16

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

Another great today with not one but two Great Grey Shrikes present with one on Hartland Moor again and the Canford Heath bird also seen. Bird of prey totals have dwindled somewhat with only 3 Marsh Harrier coming into roost in Poole Harbour west and just a single Hen Harrier with at least 2 Merlin still present on Hartland. The Brownsea Lagoon was fully surveyed today with highlights being 8 Spoonbill, 51 Knot, 7 Spotted Redshank, 123 Grey Plover, 6 Greenshank, 138 Bar-tailed Godwit and a pre-roost of 1500+ Herring Gull that came in before dusk. Also on Brownsea was a female Merlin, 3 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 80 Siskin and a male Golden Pheasant. On Poole Park Lake there were 7 Goldeneye, most displaying wonderfully close to the edges of the lake. The Lesser Yellowlegs was still on Lytchett Fields. 

Goldeneye – Poole Park Lake 


Harbour Update – posted 21/12/16

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

The Arne Wednesday walk was productive today, although sadly last weeks Great Grey Shrike didn’t reappear. A male Merlin dashed through Middlebere and 2 Marsh Harrier were out hunting again. From Coombe Fields at Arne c20 Spoonbill were feeding and there were at least c340 Brent Geese and c350 Avocet. Up on Coombe Heath its self, Dartford Warbler and Bullfinch were seen. Out in Shell bay there were singles of Great Northern Diver and Black-necked Grebe. Out in Bramble Bush Bay a good count of 41 Sanderling were noted with 10 Turnstone, 16 Ringed Plover, 2 Goldeneye and a small (but distant) flock of Black-necked Grebe. A late night lamping session saw 9 Woodcock at Arne Farm with 2 new birds ringed and c20 Woodcock seen in the Lower Frome Valley with 3 new birds ringed. Also 2 Jack Snipe were seen. ‘Urban Kingfishers‘ have recently been seen on Poole Park boating lake, along the Holes Bay cycle path, off Poole Quay and in the PC Word Drain.

Kingfisher – Holes Bay – John Pick


Harbour Update – posted 20/12/16

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

Not much change today with the Cattle Egret still along Holme Lane and the Lesser Yellowlegs at Lytchett Fields. At Arne 2 Marsh Harrier were seen along with 14 Spoonbill on Shipstal. The Ruff on the outskirts of Upton country park was still in the field to the north of the stone bench and a good number of Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Pintail and Shelduck on the Spartina marsh just in front of the bench. Off Baiter looking out towards Parkstone Bay 6 Goldeneye were courting and several Red-breasted Merganser were also feeding. Near the harbour entrance 2 Great Northern Diver were seen from North Haven and 6 Black-necked Grebe were off Jerry’s Point.  


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