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 August, 2017

Harbour Update – posted 19/08/17

Posted on: August 22nd, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Middlebere again saw a good deal of coverage with 9 Spoonbill, 3-4 Osprey but no sign of the Great White Egret. The first fledged juvenile Hobby of the summer were seen out over Hartland Moor and Marsh Harrier were seen at Lytchett Bay, Middlebere and Wareham Channel. A ringing session at Lytchett Bay produced 55 Sedge Warbler, 17 Reed Warbler, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit and a Cetti’s Warbler whilst out on Lytchett Fields there were 90+ Dunlin, 6 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Tree Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat. On the Brownsea Lagoon there was a single Little Stint with c200 Dunlin, 15 Avocet, c200 Black-tailed Godwit and 11 Ringed Plover.

Harbour Update – posted 18/08/17

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

Middlebere is receiving a lot of attention at present, and for good reason too. There were 8 Spoonbill, 3-4 Osprey and 1 Great White Egret, 8 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 400 Black-tailed Godwit and a Barn Owl there today. An Osprey was also seen leaving high to the south this AM although it was a presumed adult rather than one of our chicks. In the Wareham Channel 2 Marsh Harrier and another Osprey were out near the mouth of the Frome. 

Osprey – Middlebere – Phyl England

Harbour Update – posted 17/08/17

Posted on: August 18th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was no sign of any Great White Egret today but 2 Cattle Egret were seen late yesterday afternoon, suggesting that (at least some of) the eight from yesterday morning were still hanging around. A Pied Flycatcher was seen at Arne and Redstarts were on Hartland and Slepe Heath. Ospreys were seen in Middlebere and off Shipstal Beach, Arne. 

Harbour Update – posted 16/08/17

Posted on: August 18th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today, amazingly was a THREE egret day! Being late summer, good numbers of Little Egret are now back in the harbour and this morning 1 (possibly 2) Great White Egret were seen along the southern edge with one flying in over SW over South Haven towards Brownsea with another (or the same) seen in Middlebere later on. The most incredible report was 3 Cattle Egret flying into Middlebere with 5 Little Egret at 8:30am. However upon closer inspection of the photo the 5 Little Egret were in fact juvenile Cattle Egret meaning 8 flew in together!! This constitutes the largest Poole Harbour gathering of this species and could be a sign of things to come for the coming years? How prominent will they be this autumn and winter? Also in Middlebere were 7 Spoonbill, 4+ Osprey and 8+ Greenshank with a Whinchat along the entrance track. On the Brownsea Lagoon the Bonaparte’s Gull was still present with a Little Stint, 11+ Greenshank, 14 Avocet, 112 Little Egret, 160 Redshank, 3 Spotted Redshank, 110 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot, 325 Dunlin, 59 Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 30 Teal, 1 Osprey, 1 Hobby and 4 Kingfisher

Harbour Update – posted 15/08/17

Posted on: August 18th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

An early morning stroll to Holton Lee was worth it when a juvenile Cuckoo was found feeding near the car park, in the horse field. It spent much of the morning feeding on worms, seemingly not bothered by us stood 20m away photographing and filming it. At Lytchett Fields there were 104 Dunlin, 64 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 20+ Green Sandpiper, 60+ Redshank and 1 Spoonbill whilst elsewhere in Lytchett Bay a ringing session produced 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 11 Reed Warbler and 14 Sedge Warbler. Migration through Ballard Down consisted of 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 11 Common Whitethroat and several Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 2 Greenshank, 11 Avocet, 60 Redshank, 4 Common Sandpiper and a presumed Razorbill off the Brownsea Quay. Ospreys were seen over Brownsea, Middlebere and Arne. 

Cuckoo – Holton Lee – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 14/08/17

Posted on: August 16th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With the increase in breeding totals of Great White Egret elsewhere in the country its no surprise these large white herons are becoming a more regular visitor to the harbour. This morning one went over the southern shores of the harbour and was later seen in the Wareham Channel. The Spoonbill total has now risen to 9 which is typical for early/mid August and we expect that number to continue to increase up until mid October with last year seeing a UK record of 60 Spoonbill in the harbour. Lytchett Fields was busy again with 106 Dunlin, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Greenshank, 27 Little Egret, 80 Redshank, 70 Lapwing, 6 Common Sandpiper and 15+ Green Sandpiper. Migration through Ballard Down included 1 Redstart, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, several Common Whitethroat, 10+ Willow Warbler, a few Blackcap and a juv Great Spotted Woodpecker. All 8 Osprey chicks continue to do well and are now becoming more frequent in other areas of the harbour. Arne and Middlebere are still great places to look but they’ve also started venturing towards the Wareham Channel too which is great news. 

Common Redstart – Ballard Down

Juv (left ) and adult (right) Common Whitethroat – Ballard Down

Grasshopper Warbler – Ballard Down


Harbour Update – posted 13/08/17

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

Hoorah! Summer is back! For a few days at least. Another nice selection from around the harbour today including 2 male Golden Pheasant on Furzey Island, a species that’s been in much decline on Brownsea over the last few years due to mass Rhododendron removal. Furzey on the other hand has kept vast amounts of this ornamental scrub giving the Golden Pheasant their favourite hiding place.  In Wytch Lake the over-summering 2 Brent Geese were still there with 1 Yellow-legged Gull and 3 Avocet with Yellow and Pied Wagtail over and a Pied Flycatcher at Fitzworth. On Brownsea an Osprey passed over the lagoon where 3 Spotted Redshank were feeding. At Lytchett Fields there were 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 60+ Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 20+ Willow Warbler, 6 Sedge Warbler and 4 Whitethroat. At Arne 3 Osprey were flying above Coombe Heath together with 6 Spoonbill, 1 Redstart and 4 Greenshank around the Middlebere area and a Barn Owl sat out in broad day light out in front of the Middlebere hide.

Golden Pheasants – Furzey Island – Nick Hopper

Harbour Update – posted 12/08/17

Posted on: August 12th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Earlier this week we released our last two chicks, LS2 and LS4. Both have had an excellent five days flying time and have fitted right in with the other six. So, as it stands all eight of this years birds are now flying and doing brilliantly. Already many of them have spent time touring the SW and southern areas of the harbour with Arne/Middlebere being a particularly good place to try and see them. Phew! We’re so happy to be at this stage now and to see them all doing so well is just fantastic.

There was another good suit of birds today with the highlight being a Melodious Warbler at Greenland’s Farm, Studland down behind the empty barn at the western end with 1 Pied Flycatcher, 11 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Redstart, 4 Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat and several Willow Warbler. On Brownsea the Bonaparte’s Gull was seen again and the Little Stint was with Dunlin out on the central mud bank also 3 Spotted Redshank, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Firecrest on the island. Migration through Ballard this morning included 2 Grasshopper Warbler (one adult, one juvenile), 10 Willow Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and 3 Whitethroat. At Swineham migrants included 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 13 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler and an adult male Marsh Harrier. At Lytchett Fields there was evidence Teal had bred on site with a female and 4 young still in tow on Sherford Pools, also 78 Lapwing, 92 Teal and 4 Common Sandpiper.

Pale, worn adult Grasshopper Warbler – Ballard – Olly Slessor

Olive, fresh juvenile Grasshopper Warbler – Ballard – Olly Slessor


Harbour Update – posted 11/08/17

Posted on: August 12th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A still dawn with cloud cover just sat off the coast dropped a number of migrants early doors with passage through Ballard including 1 Cuckoo, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 fresh juvenile Firecrest suggesting local breeding, 12 Willow Warbler, 8 Common Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler, 4 Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaff. Along the Wytch Channel there were 2 Redstart, 5 Common Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and 4 Stonechat. On Brownsea the Bonaparte’s Gull and Little Stint were seen early doors but not later in the day but 23 Little Egret, 11 Avocet, c45 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank and 1 Kingfisher put in afternoon appearances. There were 7 Spoonbill in Middlebere and at Lytchett Fields 9 Common Sandpiper were out on the fields with 21 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 2 Snipe, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Kingfisher, 11 Sedge Warbler, 4 Willow Warbler and 2 Whitethroat.

Male Firecrest – Ballard 

Common Whitethroat – Ballard 

Harbour Update – posted 10/08/17

Posted on: August 12th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A fairly quiet day today but Brownsea got a good look with the Bonaparte’s Gull seen around lunch time, 1 juv Little Stint, 113 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plover, 10 Greenshank, 84 Redshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 228 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Avocet, 549 Oystercatcher, 13 Little Egret, 1 juv Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Med Gull, 1 Shoveler, 12 Teal and 8 Gadwall. In Holes Bay a juv Marsh Harrier passed over the north end during the morning, also 12 Yellow-legged Gull in the southern area of Holes Bay with 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel and 1 Wheatear.


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