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 July, 2017

Harbour Update – posted 11/07/17

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

Normally on wet, windy, miserable days like this there isn’t much to shout about and certainly not often much to get excited about. However, today was a momentous day as our first 8 Osprey chicks arrived safe and sound here in Poole Harbour after a long 630-mile trip from Scotland. After weeks of sun and sweltering heat the weather took on a traditional Scottish feel today to welcome our new visitors and within an hour of their arrival they were snuggling up in their new 5 star holding pens and chowing down on some top grade salmon and trout…not a bad welcome present. The chicks were split into our three holding pens based on those that were stronger and could feed them selves more efficiently. Each of our chicks is ringed with a blue ring on the right leg with white lettering with Osprey number one wearing LS0 and the last LS7 (with LS1, LS2, LS3, LS4, LS5 and L6 in between).  A write up of their arrival can be read HERE. There’s obviously going to be a lot to update you all on over the coming weeks but at least they’re here now and we can keep a close eye on them.

Elsewhere in the murk the 6 Spoonbill were again on the Brownsea Lagoon with 2 Spotted Redshank and 1 Common Sandpiper. On Lytchett Fields a whopping 20 Green Sandpiper were recorded with 5 Common Sandpiper and 1 Common Tern fishing over the fields. At Swineham there was a single juvenile Little Ringed Plover and an adult male Yellow Wagtail. Maybe some more birds will appear after the dross clears away tomorrow morning?

Freshly arrived Osprey chicks in Poole Harbour for translocation project


Harbour Update – posted 10/07/17

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

As July progresses, more signs of migration begin to emerge with an adult Willow Warbler ringed this morning in Poole Harbour north at a site they definitely don’t breed at. It could have come from somewhere fairly local seeing as it was in heavy wing moult but it does show that some passerines are already on the move. At the same site near Holes Bay north a decent total of 42 juvenile Blackcap have been ringed too over just three mornings. These will be a mixture of fledged juveniles from the site plus other birds that have moved in to the area because of rich food sources. After an absence of several weeks, 3 Cattle Egret were seen briefly on the Wareham Channel side of Arne Moors with 16 Little Egret. An Osprey was yet again in the Middlebere Channel and on Brownsea 6 Spoonbill came in late evening. At Lytchett Fields there was a nice mix of common waders again with Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Lapwing all present with a roosting Common Tern on one of the islands, which is slightly out of character.  

Osprey Translocation Update

Not much to say other than…NOT LONG NOW!


Harbour Update – posted 09/07/17

Posted on: July 10th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The final preparations are getting underway for our Osprey chicks arrival mid week and it looks as if they’ll be bringing some classic Scottish weather with them! Despite the rain forecast, it hopefully won’t dampen the mood or sprits of this exciting arrival to Poole Harbour and we’re really looking forward to giving you some positive news upon their safe arrival. By all accounts they’re feeding well, each is very strong and they’re in really good hands so its all looking good. There has been a huge amount of work gone in to this project so far, and it hasn’t really even began yet. The real hard work starts this coming week, attending to, feeding and monitoring our eight new arrivals, making sure we give them the best possible start before release in a few weeks. As we said yesterday, we’ll be updating you as much as we can on the project over the coming weeks but don’t worry…we won’t just get lost in Ospreys….the full force of autumn migration is just around the corner so we can’t wait to hear about all the great birds you see around the harbour over the coming weeks with plenty sure to be on offer no matter where you go.

Today was another hot one with a Roseate Tern and 3 Spotted Redshank again on the Brownsea Lagoon, an Osprey (S1) in Middlebere, at Lytchett Fields 14 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank and 1 Whimbrel were recorded. A Red Kite drifted over Ridge and then Arne. 

Harbour Update – posted 08/07/17

Posted on: July 9th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

As we mentioned yesterday our partners in the Poole Harbour Osprey translocation project, The Roy Dennis Wildlife foundation have been busy up in Scotland this weekend collecting chicks ready to bring down next week. We’re so close now and we can’t wait to meet our new arrivals soon. We’ll get a final update tomorrow as to how they’ve done and whether the team have managed to get all eight chicks for the project but as things stand its looking promising. We’ll be keeping you up to date with all the developments this coming week so make sure not to miss anything! As a reminder, Roy has written a detailed overview of the project on the Foundations website which will provide you with much of the reason behind the project and our collective objectives for the species. Poole Harbour Osprey Project – Roy Dennis

Elsewhere around the harbour the beginnings of autumn migration continued to bubble along and Lytchett Fields saw a decent total of 14 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 96 Redshank, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 51 Lapwing and 1 Little Ringed Plover. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were definitely 2 Roseate Tern which were seen together. In Middlebere an Osprey was in the dead trees mid morning. A female type Marsh Harrier was floating around the mouth of Middlebere/Wytch Lake late afternoon and Hobby were over Arne, Hartland Middlebere. 


Harbour Update – posted 07/07/17

Posted on: July 8th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With the Sandwich Terns now beginning to fledge on Brownsea and the Common Terns to follow shortly, its safe to say it’s been a bumper year for both species. Rough counts of chicks for Sandwich Tern is said to be around c60 and Common Tern came in at around 101! This is great news seeing they’ve struggled in recent years. The Avocet is still sitting tight at her nest site, although things are getting a little late. Will the pair pull it out of the bag and hatch the first Avocet young in Dorset for many years or will this story have a sadder ending? There’s still time for a happy ending so we’re all still keeping fingers well and truly crossed. A Roseate Tern was on the lagoon again as were the 6 Spoonbill. At Arne there were 2 Osprey again around the Middlebere area and the Hobby camera was getting a lot of attention in the visitors centre. There was also a Turtle Dove reported from a private garden near Studland. 

Osprey Translocation Update

It’s been a couple of weeks now since we announced the exciting news we’re helping facilitate an Osprey translocation project here in Poole Harbour. Our partners in the project include Jason Fathers from Wildlife Technology Company Wildlife Windows, and Jason has been slogging away over the last month getting everything in place ready for the chick’s arrival. Our other partners are the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and this week they’ve been busy assessing nest sites up in Scotland and even began collecting chicks today ready to bring down to Poole. Depending on how the next couple of days go we are hoping to see ‘the class of 17′ arrive early next week, which is beyond exciting. As we hope you’ll understand, the location of the holding pens has to remain confidential but we’ll be blogging and providing updates on the chicks progress, and as they’re only in the holding pens for a couple of weeks, it won’t hopefully be long until they’ll be flying free around the harbour. Today we received some photos from Tim Makrill and Roy Dennis, which provide the first images of the two of our eight Poole bound Osprey chicks. More to follow over the coming days and next week will certainly be worth waiting for.

Roy Dennis with two Poole bound Osprey chicks for the Poole Harbour translocation project



Harbour Update – posted 06/07/17

Posted on: July 8th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Things were pretty quiet today with just a couple of Little Ringed Plover on Lytchett Fields along with a Common Sandpiper and the colour ringed Greenshank. On Brownsea a Roseate Tern was reported again with a single Spotted Redshank, 6 Spoonbill and 40+ Redshank also present. In Middlebere an Osprey was on the pole again. Not that you need an excuse to visit Arne but there is even more of a reason as they now have a live stream running into their visitors centre of a Hobby nest out on the reserve. Technology and forward thinking conservation is a great combination, and when they do combine great things happen. Just like the decoy Osprey nests the RSPB/Wildlife Windows put up several years ago they also did exactly the same for Hobby, with Jason Fathers from Wildlife Widows building several Hobby nests out of hanging baskets and placing them in suitable areas around the reserve. After several frustrating years its now paid off and you can enjoy all the comings and goings of this spectacular species when you visit Arne. 

Hobby nest cam – RSPB Arne – Arne Team

Harbour Update – posted 05/07/17

Posted on: July 8th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There seems to be a couple of Roseate Terns on Brownsea currently with two likely to be present on the ‘Boomerang’ today along with the 6 Spoonbill again and a gradual but continued rise in wader numbers with 2 Spotted Redshank again.  On Lytchett Fields there were 8 Little Ringed Plover, 8 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper and the colour ringed Greenshank is back again for its third year. At Middlebere there were two Ospreymid-morning with one hunting in the Wareham Channel later in the afternoon. In Middlebere a single Grey Plover and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were feeding on the falling tide with c60 Black-tailed Godwit.

Harbour Update – posted 04/07/17

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was mostly about Brownsea, which saw the first 2 returning Spotted Redshank of the autumn along with 8 Avocet, 6 Spoonbill, 1 Roseate Tern, 25 Little Egret and a good number of Black-tailed Godwit and 18 Redshank. There were 3 Osprey in the Wareham Channel this evening, one of which was S1 another looked to be a female type but the third couldn’t be sexed, hopefully it will stick around for a few days. At Lytchett Fields there were 6 Little Ringed Plover today with 3 Common Tern fishing out over the fields and in the ditches which seemed unusual for the site. At Arne, a Hobby was out over Shipstal and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were in Middlebere. As mentioned earlier in the week, there seem to be good numbers of juvenile birds around and there was a report of the first juv Willow Warbler of the autumn heard calling near Wallisdown Road, Poole…and give it a few weeks and there will plenty of gems moving through as  their soft ‘woowheet’ gives away their presence. 

Harbour Update – posted 03/07/17

Posted on: July 5th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The 6 Spoonbill spent early morning on Lytchett Fields before returning to Brownsea Island where wader numbers were creeping up slowly. Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank numbers were up with 5 Avocet on the lagoon too. The Common and Sandwich Tern chicks continue to flourish and it won’t be long before some of the Sandwich Terns begin to make their maiden flights. Back at Lytchett Fields there were 3 Green Sandpiper, a good scattering of Lapwing and Redshank and 6 Little Ringed Plover. In the Wareham Channel this evening there were 2 Osprey fishing which were later seen in Middlebere. 

Moulting male Teal – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Spoonbill – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Green Woodpeckers – Lytchett Heath – Ian Ballam

Sand Lizard – Lytchett Heath – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 02/07/17

Posted on: July 3rd, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It’s always nice when a Roseate Tern drops in unexpected on to the Brownsea Lagoon, which is exactly what happened today around midday. An adult was out on the ‘Boomerang’ in front of the lower hide, which at this time of the year is possibly a failed breeder from further north. A new Spoonbill joined the group of 5, which have been splitting their time between the Brownsea Lagoon and Lytchett Fields with all 6 together on the lagoon mid-morning. In recent years, numbers of returning Spoonbill haven’t begun to arrive back on Brownsea until early to mid August so having 6 back already is a good start to trying to break another UK record total like we saw in 2015 and 2016 where the harbour reached a peak of 60 Spoonbill by mid October. Also on the Lagoon today were singles of Whimbrel, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Ringed Plover. At Lytchett Fields the Little Ringed Plover total has now risen to 10 which for early July is quite exceptional, there were still also 7 Green Sandpiper on the fields too. Our second Nightjar walk of the weekend at Arne was another wonderful evening with the wind dropping off (along with the temperature), and a wonderful display of several calling males complete with wing clapping and fly-by sightings. The Barn Owl was again hunting over on the opposite side of Middlebere, more Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Shelduck were all moving about the channel as Swift, Grey Heron and Little Egret all followed regular flight paths back to their roost sites.


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