Poole Harbour sightings blog

A record of all interesting and notable sightings from around the harbour throughout the year.

Latest Sightings

Archive for January, 2018

Harbour update – 30/01/18

Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Great Northern Diver was still in Poole Park but seems to be sticking more to the centre of the main lake, also there were 6 Goldeneye. Two Great Northern Diver and 3 Black-necked Grebe were in Shell Bay with a further 3 of the latter in the centre of the harbour and 7 more in Studland Bay where a Red-throated Diver was seen. At least 6 Great Northern Diver were scattered around the harbour with a Black-throated Diver seen off the Houseboats where the female Velvet Scoter was still in the company of 2 female Common Scoter. Lytchett Fields RSPB held singles of Spoonbill, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. With water levels beginning to drop on Brownsea Lagoon a few more waders are starting to appear and at least 7 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank were seen from the school bird boat. An adult Caspian Gull spent a few minutes loafing around in Poole docks viewed from the office window on the quay – fingers crossed it reappears!

Harbour update – 29/01/18

Posted on: January 30th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The juvenile Great Northern Diver was still in residence in Poole Park with 6 Goldeneye and 4 Red-breasted Merganser. There were 16 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point with 2 still on Lytchett Fields RSPB. 2 Black-necked Grebe were off Hamworthy Park with 3 off Middle Beach, 4 in Shell Bay and 2 in Bramble Bush Bay where the Velvet Scoter was still with 2 Common Scoter and a Black-throated Diver. Mediterranean Gull are starting to reappear in the harbour with several seen in Ower Bay and then moving west through the harbour in the evening.

Harbour update – 28/01/18

Posted on: January 29th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Between Round Island and Green Island the Red-necked Grebe was seen again as well as 54 Goldeneye and along the shoreline were 964 Brent Geese, 64 Bar-tailed Godwit and 20 Spoonbill. In the Warehan Channel there was also good numbers of birds such as: 5 Spoonbill, 1,300 Lapwing, 370 Teal, 114 Grey Plover, 128 Curlew, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Spotted Redshank. A Black-throated Diver was seen off Hamworthy Park along with 3 Black-necked Grebe and the Great Northern Diver was still in Poole Park. Lytchett Bay still held 1 Spoonbill in addition to 3 Greenshank. Wytch Causeway is a traditional site for wintering Water Pipit and sure enough there was at least 1 bird seen there today. Single Hawfinch were seen near Newton Bay and again near Norden Sewage Works where there was also a Firecrest and at least 6 Chiffchaff. A Marsh Tit was again on feeders in the NT car park at Corfe Castle and the Hooded Crow was still at Manor Farm, Studland.

Harbour update – 27/01/18

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today’s undoubted highlight for one lucky observer was of 2 Crane watched flying over Stoborough Heath. A Spotted Redshank was still present in Lytchett Bay and at Norden sewage works there was 1 Firecrest, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Grey Wagtail but there was no sign of the 2 Hawfinch just north of there. 

Harbour update – 26/01/18

Posted on: January 28th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The 1st-winter Great Northern Diver is still in Poole Park and at Lytchett Bay there was a ringtail Hen Harrier early morning plus 1 Spoonbill. Arne Bay held 9 Black-necked Grebe with just 3 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point. The number of Purple Sandpiper has doubled (!) at North Haven with 2 seen today in front of the Sandbanks beach office. A Marsh Tit was on feeders in the NT car park at Corfe Castle which is just inside our harbour boundary. Lastly, the Hooded Crow was seen again at Manor Farm, Studland.

Harbour update – 25/01/18

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Great Northern Diver continues to delight visitors to Poole Park along with 5 Goldeneye and 4 Red-breasted Merganser. 1 Spoonbill was feeding in Lytchett Bay whilst there were another 2 on nearby French’s Pools. After a bit of an absence a Great White Egret was seen on East Lake, Studland. A single Spotted Redshank was present in Lytchett Bay. The Hooded Crow made another appearance at Manor Farm, Studland. 2 Crossbill flew over Salterns Copse, Arne, and 2 Hawfinch were seen again in trees to the north of Norden sewage works. 

Harbour update – 24/01/18

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

As yet another wet and wild winter storm hit these parts it was perhaps unsurprising that nobody appeared to venture out and consequently no records were received.

Harbour update – 23/01/18

Posted on: January 24th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The resident Great Northern Diver was still in Poole Park along with 6 Goldeneye and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser. In Lytchett Bay there were 3 Spoonbill whilst a ringtail Hen Harrier quartered the reedbed at the far side from Turlin Moor and nearby 2 Lesser Redpoll were along Lytchett Way. An adult white-winged gull was also seen heading south over Arne Moors mid morning bust sadly a confimred ID couldn’t be had.

We also had an incredible piece of news this evening from our project partners in the Poole Harbour Osprey translocation project. Tim Mackrill received news from a warden friend of his in Western Senegal that one of our chicks from the 2017 release, LS7, has been seen safe and well in the Sine-Saloum Delta. This is just brilliant. This area is a well know Osprey over-wintering hot spot that Tim has visited before in which he states “you couldn’t choose to be anywhere better during the winter if you’re an Osprey than there…LS7 has chosen well”

The worry and mystery we felt after all 8 of our chicks left Poole Harbour during August and September last year was so intence, not knowing how they were going to fare. To know one is safe and well and in an good over-wintering spot fills the project with so much promise. We’d like to thank Adama Lene for getting the news to us quickly from Africa and we hope for more reports and sightings like this of other Poole harbour chicks over the coming years. Tim Mackrill will be writing a blog post about LS7 and its over-wintering spot which will be available tomorrow. TOP WORK LS7!!!!!

LS7’s original UK and current African location


Harbour update – 22/01/18

Posted on: January 24th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The adult Black Brant again paid a brief visit to Middlebere but coinciding a visit for when it is in view remains a lottery. From today’s School Bird Boat the Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Scoter, 3 Black-necked Grebe and a Great Northern Diver were all seen in Bramble Bush Bay. The resident Great Northern Diver remains in Poole Park now gaining local celebrity status. Spoonbill were in their usual haunts around the harbour with 20 on Shipstal Point, 2 on Brownsea Lagoon and 1 still on Lytchett Fields RSPB. The lone Purple Sandpiper was again on the groynes and small outcrops at North Haven with 25 Sanderling in attendance. At Holton Lee a couple of Woodlark were seen as well as 1 Common Crossbill, 5 Lesser Redpoll and 45 Siskin. The scrape there held singles of Green Sandpiper and Greenshank whilst a Marsh Harrier patrolled the reeds.

Purple Sandpiper – North Haven – Ian Ballam

Dunlin in amongst Sanderling – North Haven – Ian Ballam

Harbour update – 21/01/18

Posted on: January 21st, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It may have been a rather damp and miserable day but that didn’t deter the enthusiasm on today’s public bird boat and we were duly rewarded for our efforts. Undoubted highlights were a Red-necked Grebe out in the middle of the harbour and as we returned to the quay an adult Little Gull flew between the boat and Brownsea heading towards the Wareham Channel. At least 7 Great Northern Diver were dotted around the harbour but just 1 Black-necked Grebe was seen. Brownsea Lagoon was busy with 20+ Pintail and good numbers of Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall in addition to 70+ Bar-tailed Godwit including the breeding-plumaged bird. Other waders on the lagoon included a couple of Greenshank, 3 Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit and plenty of Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Avocet3 Spoonbill were tucked up in the far corner of the lagoon and a further 15 birds were in their usual spot on Shipstal Point. A single Razorbill was bombing around between Brownsea and Brand’s Bay and 2 Guillemot were off Poole Quay. Rafts of Red-breasted Merganser were a delight to see so close to the boat and probably numbered around 150 with lesser numbers (c20) of Goldeneye. Lastly, a Peregrine was seen over the boat near the docks and c10 Ringed Plover were on the quay wall.

Starling – Baiter – Ian Ballam

Great Northern Diver – Central Harbour – Paul Morton


Call 01202 641 003