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 June, 2017

Harbour Update – posted 19/06/17

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was another blisteringly hot day which kept many birds low and hidden in the shade. A Red Kite drifted over Arne at around 1pm heading NW and an Osprey was sat on the perching post early morning feeding on a fish. There were also Hobby at Arne, out over the Middlebere Marsh and a Marsh Harrier was in the Wareham Channel.  On the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill were still present with 3 Avocet and a few more Redshank appearing too. On Lytchett Fields there was 1 Green Sandpiper, 17 Redshank and a single drake Teal.

Harbour Update – posted 18/06/17

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

Too hot for anything today really. The male Osprey was seen again on the perching post early morning and at Lytchett Fields. 2 Hobby were over the Arne Road and most interesting record of the day goes to (what’s likely to be a failed breeder) Nightingale in a suburban garden in Poole, providing short bursts of song mid-morning. Just outside the recording area a female Red-footed Falcon was found at Morden Bog. 

Harbour Update – posted 17/06/17

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

This evening we carried out the commentary on a Brownsea Island Ferries led boat tour to go and see the Puffins over at Dancing Ledge, and although this is well outside our Poole Harbour recording area it was great to meet so many new people and be able to discuss our work with them. Plus, with the boat leaving from and returning to Poole Quay, for more than 50% of the trip we were within our Poole Harbour recording area any, plus…we just wanted to see some Puffins! And why not? It was a stunning evening and we had some great birds too. As we passed the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill were an added mid-summer bonus as Sandwich and Common Terns hawked past the boat. Out in Poole Bay several Gannet showed well, one right over our boat and a single adult Kittiwake headed west. Up on Old Harry, we were able to locate the Peregrine nest which still had 2 not quite, but very nearly fledged chicks in it, with one of the adults standing guard not too far away. Then, as we approached Durlston the Guillemot colony came into view as birds dashed back and fourth low across the water. And then finally, the grand finale welcomed us as we approached Dancing Ledge with several Puffin sat on the water and a few up on the cliffs too. In total we must have seen a minimum of 7-8 birds…just stunning. There were also several sightings of Osprey around the harbour with birds seen over Lytchett Bay, Middlebere and the Frome Valley, almost certainly all involving the 2 birds that have been around these last few weeks. There were more signs of autumn passage getting underway with 3 newly arrived Green Sandpiper on Lytchett Fields and a really early returning Snipe, also 32 Lapwing, 18 Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Redshank all out on the fields. Finally, there was a slightly odd record of a Little Tern on the Brownsea Lagoon, which is only odd due to the time of year as this species is more frequent during peak passage times in spring and autumn. 

Harbour Update – posted 16/06/17

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

There was a fine scene in Middlebere this afternoon when both the male and female Osprey were seen sat on the nesting platform for a short while, before one then headed off to the dead trees at the back of the marsh. Although this all looks very encouraging, we have been seeking advice from a couple of experts who were involved in the Rutland project who explained that although this behaviour and activity around the nest is exciting it doesn’t necessarily indicate a sign of things to come. As we know the male is a 2nd summer individual and it’s likely the female is too. The over-summering of 2nd summer Osprey in a fish rich area is classic behaviour for a bird of this age and although it may like it here, their own biology prevents them colonising and pioneering new sites other than in very rare occurrences and its likely (the male at least) will venture back to Rutland next spring, or the year after ready to breed. We’ll certainly be keeping our fingers crossed, but the key is to attract as many birds (male and female) as possible to hang around in the harbour during the early spring (March and April) for the best chances of them remaining to breed. There were further signs of autumn passage getting underway with the first Little Ringed Plover arriving back on Lytchett Fields with 35 Lapwing also back (almost certainly failed breeders or first year birds) and 24 Black-tailed Godwit. At Holton Pools a large mixed-tit flock bounded through the Silver Birch with lots of young Chiffchaff mixed in…not long before the Willow Warbler join them too! Well, a good 4 weeks anyway. 

Harbour Update – posted15/06/17

Posted on: June 15th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Sometimes, you just never know what’s going to turn up. Hard core patch watcher Ian Ballam has been monitoring Lytchett Fields almost daily for about 3 years now and has had some decent rewards. This spring however has been rather slow for scarcities, not just at Lytchett Fields, but across the whole harbour. So it was welcome news when Ian phoned this morning saying he had a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on French’s Pools, Lytchett Fields. This is only the second ever Poole Harbour record of this rare North American visitor and to have it in June is even more scarce. A typical time of year for this species would be late August or early September when youngsters moving south get blown across the Atlantic on their maiden voyage to their wintering grounds in South America. Sadly it didn’t stick around long and was gone before many other people got to see it. It could still be around somewhere so worth checking Lytchett Fields, Holton Pools, Brownsea Lagoon or any recently ploughed fields! The male Osprey was still hanging around the Arne peninsular with reports of one catching a fish right in front of the Shipstal Hide and 2 Hobby were over Slepe Heath, Middlebere area. The 5 Spoonbill were still on Brownsea too.

There’s also a Purbeck Coastline Puffin Cruise on Saturday evening leaving from Poole Quay and hosted by Brownsea Island Ferries, but we’re doing ‘the guest commentary’ so if you fancy an evening out on the water then you can book on by calling 01929 462383. The weather forecast is looking fab so for more INFO CLICK HERE

Buff-breasted Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 14/06/17

Posted on: June 15th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today it seemed both the male (S1) and female Osprey spent time on the Middlebere nesting platforms, albeit at different times of the day. On the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill spent all day roosting and feeding, having decided they’d had too much off Lytchett Fields for the time being. Although a nice summer-plumaged Grey Plover obviously took a fancy to Lytchett Fields late afternoon. 

Harbour Update – posted 13/06/17

Posted on: June 15th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Still, the only regular reported news currently is of the male Osprey S1 commuting between Morden Bog  and Poole Harbour with him being seen in the Wareham Channel early morning and then in Wareham Forest later in the day. 

Harbour Update – posted 12/06/17

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

We had some good news today when we were able to obtain the ring details of the male Osprey that’s been hanging around for 3 weeks. One of our team, Olly spent time up at Arne all last week waiting for the bird to come in on the nesting platform but the wind seemed to keep it at bay. However, as soon as the wind dropped off today, he was back and with a strained eye and good optics the ring number was read as S1. We contacted the team at Rutland who confirmed this is one of their birds, a male that hatched in 2015. As expected he wasn’t seen last year by the team as Osprey tend to spend their first summer down in Africa, however it seems S1 is now back and taking in the sights. Ringing data can provide so much and just by simply obtaining the ring number we’re able to tell you a bit more about this bird. S1 was actually sighted back at Rutland this spring on May 10th and was hanging around and causing mischief by gate-crashing other nests at Rutland. You can read a blog entry about this from the Rutland Team HERE. He was last seen at 16:00 at Rutland on May 24th which co-insides perfectly with a colour ringed Osprey being sighted in Poole Harbour on May 25th. Several weeks past without us knowing where this bird had come from but thankfully today the ring number was obtained and we can start piecing together his movements. Then today, early AM, local raptor watcher Peter Hadrill emailed through stating there was in fact another Osprey in the Wareham Channel this morning too. Ospreys in the harbour in June is unusual but it’s not unheard of and data provided by Jol Mitchell from Dorset Bird Club, shows that over a 10 year period (2004 – 2013) Poole Harbour has had small number of visiting Osprey mid-summer. Who knows where these birds will head to next year when they arrive back, but they’re obviously enjoying their time down here in sunny Dorset. Finally, the 5 Spoonbill were again on Lytchett Fields.

Total number of Poole Harbour Osprey ‘bird days’ 2004-2013 (Months split into early month and late month)

Osprey (S1) – Middlebere – Simon Kidner

Harbour Update – posted 11/06/17

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

At Middlebere there was a Cuckoo along the track and a Hobby out over the reedbed. The Osprey was seen in Wareham Forest again with a fish so its assumed it was in the harbour for a period before 10am. 4 Spoonbill were on the Brownsea Lagoon. 

Harbour Update – posted 10/06/17

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

A very quiet Saturday with just the male Osprey seen again in the Wareham Channel and then in Wareham Forest. 

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