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, 2017

Harbour update – posted 31/12/17

Posted on: December 31st, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The final day of the year didn’t yield any great surprises but, as you would expect, did produce some sightings which other areas would be envious of: 2 Great Northern Diver were seen from North Haven and at the opposite end of the harbour a Slavonian Grebe was in Arne Bay. 20 Spoonbill were roosting on Shipstal Point with another 2 feeding in Lytchett Bay where a Peregrine was causing havoc. Single Peregrine and Merlin were seen at Middlebere where 450 Avocet and 650 Black-tailed Godwit were counted. A couple of Spotted Redshank graced Lytchett Bay whilst nearby 2 Water Pipit crept around the Pools Field. Lastly, but by no means least as they are such stunning birds, a Firecrest was at Arne Farm.

A big thank you to all who have contributed during 2017 and without doubt 2018 is shaping up to be absolutely amazing – Happy New Year and good birding to all.

Harbour update – posted 30/12/17

Posted on: December 30th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Most of today’s action centred around Arne RSPB where there were 16 Spoonbill out on Shipstal Point, at least 2 ringtail Hen Harrier were seen in the area as were Peregrine & Marsh Harrier. Around the main car park at least 3 Firecrest were in evidence and a Woodcock was seen elsewhere on the reserve. 2 Green Sandpiper were on Lytchett Fields RSPB and in Poole Park there was a tight group of 11 Little Grebe as well as 6 Goldeneye.

Harbour update – posted 29/12/17

Posted on: December 30th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

After yesterday’s extensive coverage the very changeable weather today clearly deterred people from venturing out for fear of getting drenched. With both Iceland and Glaucous Gull seen further west in the county in recent days we are still hopeful that a “white-winger” gives itself up before the year end especially given the recent weather systems.

The awesome spectacle of last year’s Starling murmuration has yet to be repeated so far this winter but as the winter progresses hopefully the smaller scattered roosts will all come together again to delight the crowds. The only reports received today were of a Greenshank on Holton Lee scrape with the continued presence of the Hawfinch around Priory Farm, East Holme.


Harbour update – posted 28/12/17

Posted on: December 29th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Black Brant was seen again for a short period at Middlebere but remains otherwise elusive. In Holes Bay northeast 20+ Pintail were counted amongst the usual throng of birds feeding here. Poole Park is another good place to see birds close up and today 57 Tufted Duck were present as well as 6 Little Grebe. 3 Common Scoter flew west past Branksome Chine in the morning and another 2 were tucked up in Bramble Bush Bay where the female Velvet Scoter joined them. A single Red-throated Diver flew west past Branksome Chine and 4 Great Northern Diver were off Middle Beach with another in the harbour off Goathorn. The rarer grebe species were better represented today with single Slavonian Grebe off Middle Beach and Ower Bay. Black-necked Grebe numbered 15 off Middle Beach, 6 in Bramble Bush Bay and 2 in Ower Bay. Great White Egret were seen from Coombe viewpoint and along the foreshore at Goathorn. 13 Spoonbill were on Brownsea Lagoon with 22 feeding on Long Island later in the day with another bird present in Lytchett Bay. In the west a male Merlin, 2 Hen Harrier and 2 Marsh Harrier were seen in the afternoon and another 2 Marsh Harrier were watched flying west off Branksome Chine presumably fleeing colder weather elsewhere. Single Merlin and Hen Harrier were also seen at Lytchett Bay. The Stilt Sandpiper was still on Brownsea Lagoon where there was also 4 Spotted Redshank and 10 Greenshank. 30 Knot were counted on the lagoon. Just 1 Ring-necked Parakeet was seen in Studland village, have the rest of them decamped to Swanage where a small group has been seen recently? Along the Wytch Causeway 3 or 4 Water Pipit were present whilst nearby there were 27 Fieldfare along Soldiers Road and at least 10 Chiffchaff were at Norden Sewage Farm. Lastly, a female Hawfinch was again around Priory Farm in East Holme.

Harbour update – posted 27/12/17

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With the continued pressure on Hen Harrier elsewhere around the country it is good to know that Poole Harbour provides a safe haven for this magnificent creature with a total of 4 currently using the harbour to feed and roost. Middlebere is still the best place to wait patiently for this species to perform an all too brief fly-past – wrap up warm though! 4 Spoonbill were feeding out on Lytchett Fields and the Spotted Redshank was showing well again in Holes Bay northeast. A Merlin continues to appear late in the day in the west of the harbour and winter thrush numbers swelled with birds moving down from further north.

Harbour update – posted 26/12/17

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Holes Bay is always a good place to see birds up close and personal and today a Spotted Redshank was performing admirably just off the PC World Drain outflow. Wigeon, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Redshank and Dunlin can usually be seen close to the cycle path in the northeast section of the bay as well it being a good spot to see Little Egret and, occasionally in very cold weather, Spoonbill.  At the moment the Spoonbill are a bit spread out around the harbour but haven’t visited Holes Bay much yet this winter, today’s reports were of 9 on Shipstal Point and 2 in the Middlebere Channel. A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen again from the Avocet Hide at Middlebere.

Harbour update – posted 25/12/17

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE and many thanks for all your support in 2017. We’re really looking forward to an exciting and full 2018 and hope you can join us along the way!

All of today’s avian action was at Middlebere where a Black Brant was found amongst 238 (Dark-bellied) Brent Geese. This is presumably last years returning bird which proved quite difficult to track down as most likely its favoured feeding spot is not easily viewable from public areas. The following were also noted in the channel: Teal 248, Yellow-legged Gull 1 1cy (first calendar year), Avocet 488, Spotted Redshank 1, Spoonbill 2, Hen Harrier 1 ringtail and a Peregrine.

Harbour update – posted 24/12/17

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Few reports were received today the best of which was 4 Common Scoter off Hamworthy Park as well as a Guillemot in amongst the usual Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe. A lone Spoonbill was feeding out in Lytchett Bay along with 80 Avocet.

Harbour Update – posted 23/12/17

Posted on: December 23rd, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Dark and overcast day today, made brighter with the discovery of 4 Hawfinch in East Holme, at Priory Farm. They were in trees right next to the ford that crosses the road. A large Yew Tree is situated there, which is why we assume the birds are present. In Poole Harbour west 3 Hen Harrier were present late afternoon as were 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine and a Kestrel. Spoonbills were on Lytchett Fields (with 1 Spotted Redshank, and 3 Avocet), Shipstal Point, Arne and on Brownsea. 

Harbour Update – posted 22/12/17

Posted on: December 23rd, 2017 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today we hosted our annual Christmas ‘Birding for Beginners’ boat trip around the harbour. Yet again with flat calm waters, viewing was made easy and a great selection of birds encountered. Out on the water there were 3-4 Great Northern Diver off the NE end of Brownsea, off Whitely Lake and in the North Channel. Out in central harbour the Velvet Scoter and a Common Scoter were with several Goldeneye with another c40 Goldeneye present around the rest of the harbour along with 3 Guillemot. Also c150 Red-breasted Merganser and c50 Great Crested Grebe were logged. In total 10 Black-necked Grebe were counted with some in central harbour and more off Jerry’s Point. 15 Spoonbill were gathered on Shipstal Point, Arne with another 15 on the Brownsea Lagoon. At Lytchett Fields there were 3 Water Pipit and several Chiffchaff were recorded around the Lytchett Bay area. Merlin, Marsh and Hen Harrier were all logged from Middlebere and a decent flock of Fieldfare were hanging around on the top of Hartland. 


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