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 May, 2017

Harbour Update – posted 19/05/17

Posted on: May 21st, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This morning another or possibly the same as yesterdays Golden Oriole was seen at the 7th holes of the Purbeck Golf Course, along the Corfe to Studland Road. It sang very briefly before flying off north towards Studland Heath. In the search for the Oriole later in the day a Hobby was seen over Greenland’s Farm, Tree Pipits were singing on Rempstone, Cuckoo’s were on Hartland, Studland, Rempstone and Whitethroat were singing at Greenland’s and Studland Heath. On the beach at Shell Bay 47 Sanderling, many in summer plumage were present with a single late Wheatear. Late afternoon there were 2 Hobby hawking over Arne Moors and the pale-headed Egyptian Goose was on Swineham GP. 

Harbour Update – posted 18/05/17

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was good to finally get into the spring action today although today’s top bird was only seen by one individual. A Golden Oriole was seen in woods in the SE corner of Hartland Moor at around midday but despite much searching it couldn’t be re-found. There were several Spotted Flycatcher found in that area though during the search. At Holton Lee 2 Whimbrel flew over Lytchett Bay and on Lytchett Fields there were 5 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel and usual waders. At Arne a Marsh Harrier was in Middlebere, a Hobby was over Coombe Heath and Peregrines were over Old Harry and Hartland. 

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Holton Lee – Connie Leicester

Goldfinch – Holton Lee – Connie Leicester

Harbour Update – posted 17/05/17

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Summer doldrums beginning already with 5 Lapwing, 3 Whimbrel and 15 Black-tailed Godwit reported from Holton Pools and 30 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plover and 40+ Black-tailed Godwit at Lytchett Fields. There are now lots of juvenile’s around of many different species with the first fledged Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Starlings, Long-tailed Tits and Blackcaps bringing the woodlands and hedgerows to life with the sounds of new life.

Harbour Update – posted 16/05/17

Posted on: May 17th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A few months ago we, ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ began a small project at Holton Lee which involved re-furbing an existing hide, adding some screening and improving the habitat out in front of the hide. The project is now almost complete with just a few minor finishing touches to carry out. The owners of the site, national charity ‘Livability‘ have kindly stated that birders are welcome to use the site and new hide facility and request that anyone visiting to please use the new car park situated outside the main buildings at the end of the access road. Please do not park on road verges anywhere along the access road at any time. To be honest, the main car park gives you quickest access to the hide anyway. Anyone finding themselves visiting regularly should also consider becoming a ‘Friend of Holton Lee’ which is a small annual fee which goes into the running of the site. You can enquire about joining and donating in the main reception building. 

Huge thanks to Livability for allowing us to carry out this project and we hope it proves to be a successful new site for birds and birders. Through the development process we have already had Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Grey Plover and Green Sandpiper on the new scrapes so hopefully in autumn it will attract a few goodies too. We will be christening it ‘Holton Pools’! Please let us know what you think in the sightings log that’s been placed in the hide. A map guiding to the hide can be found below.

Sightings from today were again few and far between, indicating that spring migration is now nearly up, however an Osprey along the southern shores near Arne was a bit of a surprise. With Marsh Harriers at Keysworth and Wytch Lake. With all the newly felled areas of conifer plantation around the harbour it seems to have had a positive increase on the Poole Harbour Tree Pipit population. There was a Cuckoo in Ashley Cross. 


Harbour Update – posted 15/05/17

Posted on: May 17th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This mornings strong southerly breeze and murky weather seemed perfect for a sea watch so several hours were put in watching Poole Bay from Shore Road. Highlights included 1 Pomarine Skua, 73 Manx Shearwater, 3 Fulmar, 50 Gannet, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Gadwall, 1 Common Scoter, c50 Commic Tern, 2 Med Gull and 4 Swallow. On Lytchett Fields there were 96 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 Whimbrel and a Cattle Egret flew out across the bay. Another Cattle Egret was reported flying out into Poole Harbour from the mouth of the Frome. Common Tern numbers on the Brownsea lagoon are building nicely but it seems some of the early nesting Sandwich Terns have already lost their eggs sadly. 

Harbour Update – posted 14/05/17

Posted on: May 17th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Very windy today and still pretty cold. Cuckoo’s were at Canford heath, Arne and Slepe Heath. Hobby were over Middlebere and Arne Moors. Waders were few and far between with just 3 Whimbrel in Brands Bay and a handful of Grey Plover in Middlebere. There was a Spotted Flycatcher at Arne. 

Harbour Update – posted 13/05/17

Posted on: May 14th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was our first ever ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ Spring bird boat tour which saw us take a group up the Wareham River, into the mouth of the River Frome and head up towards Redcliff. This was a really unique experience, offering views out across the river valley’s which aren’t normally accessible from the mainland. Obviously all our winter species have now departed so the focus was spring birds and Cetti’s, Reed, and Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Marsh Harrier, Sandwich Tern and Kestrel, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Great Crested Grebe and Med Gull were all enjoyed as well as spectacular scenery keeping us entertained for the full 2.5 hours. Sadly we have no more running this spring but we’ll certainly be putting more on next year. On Lytchett Fields there were 138 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin

Spring Bird Boat Tour – Barbara Bissett

Harbour Update – posted 12/05/17

Posted on: May 13th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Cattle Egret run continued with an absolute corker in summer plumage at Lytchett Fields. Whether any are nesting in the UK after this winters influx into SW Britain is still unknown but with many turning up around the region looking like the below bird, its hard to believe they’re not nesting somewhere. Also at Lytchett Fields 7 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff, Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Greenshank, 1 Lapwing, 100+ Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel. Up the Frome Valley good numbers of Sedge Warbler still seem to be on territory with a Cuckoo being seen off by several Reed Warbler. Also plenty of Swift and Hirundines over Swineham GP. Up on the Hartland road 2 Spotted Flycatcher were feeding in the treeline and a Cuckoo was singing. 

Cattle Egret – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Spotted Flycatcher – Hartland – Ian Ballam



Harbour Update – posted 11/05/17

Posted on: May 13th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Just a few reports today with summer plumaged Grey Plover, 9 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin and 3 Greenshank at Lytchett Fields. Cuckoo’s at Arne and Hartland. Avocets at Middlebere and Brownsea Lagoon.

Harbour Update – posted 10/05/17

Posted on: May 11th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was a nice scattering of common migrants across the harbour with Spotted Flycatcher along the Arne Road, at Arne and Middlebere. At Lytchett Bay a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling. A Garden Warbler and 2 Common Whitethroat were reported along the Hartland Road. Swifts were still passing through in three’s and four’s but there seemed to be fewer Swallow and House Martin. There was a Hobby at Arne, 2 over Slepe Heath and 1-2 reported over Hartland. Cuckoo’s were calling at Studland, Hartland and Upton Heath. At Lytchett Fields there were 10 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 male Ruff, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Avocet, 1 Spotted Redshank calling over the bay, 145 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Greenshank. With the full moon rising over clear sky’s last night too and the wind dropping right off it seemed perfect for our first venture out of the summer to listen to Nightjars and sure enough at around 9:15pm between 3-4 males started ‘churring’ at Arne, giving great if not brief views. We also saw Barn Owls at Arne, Middlebere and Swineham too. 

A perfect Nightjar night – Arne RSPB

Nightjar – Song of male – Arne RSPB – 10/05/17 @ 21:02 

 Grasshopper Warbler – Song of male – Lytchett Bay – 10/05/17 @ 8:50am

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