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, 2018

Harbour Update – posted 29/08/18

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

Today was due to be our last Osprey cruise of the autumn but with another 5 Osprey and a surge on public interest we’ve decided to put on one last trip on Sept 6th at 9am. If you’d like to join us for this very last trip then you can do by clicking HERE. To add to our Osprey bonanza a gang of 4 Common Seal on the resting platform off Shipstal Beach, Arne was an unexpected surprise. Yet again, wader interest on the lagoon was similar to recent days with 3 Turnstone, 5 Sanderling, 2 Knot, 3 Greenshank, c100 Dunlin, 22 Avocet, c40 Ringed Plover, c150 Black-tailed Godwit and the 16 Spoonbill. In Middlebere a Lesser Yellowlegs was reported with a small flock of Greenshank but sadly couldn’t be confirmed or re-found later. Also a Woodchat Shrike was reported on the western edge of Hartland Moor but again, sadly disappeared too quickly before being confirmed. At Middlebre there were 2 adult Osprey, 16 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Grasshopper Warbler. At Holton Lee another adult Osprey flew low over Holton Pools and headed toward Wareham Forest. The autumns first Pintail was on Lytchett Fields with 1 Spotted Redshank, 28 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover. The young Hen Harrier was seen out again along the mouth of the Frome.

Harbour Update – posted 28/08/18

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

We don’t want these Osprey cruises to end! On todays tour we had 5 Osprey out in the Wareham Channel again with birds either circling or fishing for a good period of time. In the SW of the harbour one of our translocated juveniles gave a close fly by and then near the harbour mouth a juvenile Hobby flew in from South Haven and straight over of boat full of people. On the Brownsea Lagoon the 16 Spoonbill remained faithful to their normal saluting spots at the north end and a good selection of passage waders including Turnstone, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Greenshank all accounted for. Over Lytchett Minster another Hobby was seen hunting hirundines. Migrant passerines are still coming through in good numbers, so getting out early and tracking them down should reward you with a nice selection. Up on Ballard a good day was had with 14 Willow Warbler, 45 Sedge Warbler, 11 Reed Warbler, 35 Grasshopper Warbler, 41 Blackcap, 9 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 20 Common Whitethroat all logged moving through the area. An Ospreywas seen hunting over Littlesea, Studland which is a very rare occurrence and possibly one of the translocated juveniles? Best of the rest from other sites included 4 Yellow Wagtail on Hartland Moor and 6 at Middlebere Fields, 9 Greenshank and 4 Spotted Redshank in the Wytch Channel and at Swineham/Bestwall 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Hobby, 3 Osprey (over Arne Moors) and 50+ Black-tailed Godwit.

Harbour Update – posted 27/08/18

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

Things were back to normal today and we were able to host our Osprey cruise without the rude interruption of rain. It was another great trip with 4-5 migrant Osprey seen in the Wareham Channel and a flying display of one of the translocated juveniles near Middlebere. We also had a large adult female pass the boat low across the water and 2 Marsh Harrier. Passerine migrants are still passing through in good numbers with 4 Whinchat at Sunnyside Farm plus 1 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Spotted Flycatcher. At Greenland’s Farm there was 1 Whinchat, 8 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Redstart and an Osprey was in Brands Bay. On Brownsea there were 14 Spoonbill, 5 Sanderling, 2 Knot, c15 Ringed Plover and an Arctic Tern was out off Poole Quay in a tern flock. On Lytchett Fields there was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and the Purple heron came into the Littlesea roost at 20:20. A nocturnal sound recording session at Lytchett Heath produced the sites first Ortolan Bunting flying over at 22:58 (sound recording below).

Ringed Plover – Baiter Park – Clare Slade

Dunlin – Baiter Park – Clare Slade

Turnstone – Baiter Park – Clare Slade

Harbour Update – posted 26/08/18

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

Ergh! What a day. It was so dire we had to cancel todays Osprey cruise which was just as well really as the forecast was spot on. A wader count at Lytchett Fields pre the wind and rain saw 10+ Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, c10 Greenshank and 1 Spotted Redshank with 2 Osprey low over the approach field and 6 Yellow Wagtail on the fields. The Purple Heron was again at the Littlesea roost. The young male Hen Harrier was in the west of the harbour again between Swineham and Arne Moors and a Whinchat was along the cycle path at Holes Bay. Young Kingfisher are now dispersing around the harbour so look out on the Brownsea Lagoon, Holton Pools, Poole Park and Holes Bay NE for a dash of blue over the coming weeks.

Whinchat – Holes Bay – Rene Goad

Kingfisher – Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 25/08/18

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

Today was our fourth Osprey cruise of the week and the target species didn’t disappoint. We had two hunting/fishing in the Wareham Channel both of which headed off north with a fish, with another already well placed with breakfast in talons perched up on a favourite perching branch on the Arne shoreline. Then, out of the blue one of our translocated chicks (008) came into the Wareahm Channel and spent 20 minutes practice fishing which was a sight to behold and and a very proud moment. We then also had anoth two of our translocated juveniles soaring over the mouth of Wytch Lake giving a great flight display…pure bliss. Then a real early autumn bonus popped up as a juvenile Hen Harrier hunted actively along the Keysworth shoreline wowing the crowd with a Marsh Harrier showing briefly a bit later too. Too add to the species list we had 11 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon along with 2 Sanderling, c20 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, c500 Oystercatcher, 25 Avocet and c60 Dunlin. Later in the day a more accurate set of counts were made which added 2 Curlew Sandpiper to the list along with 12 Greenshank, 78 Redshank, 2 Med Gulls and 204 Cormorants. There were also 2 Pied Flycatcher and 3 Spotted Flycatcher in a tit flock containing 15+ Coal Tit. It certainly seems a few more migrants are coming through now and up on Ballard 15 Willow Warbler, 27 Sedge Warbler, 9 Grasshopper Warbler, 36 Blackcap, 4 Garden Warbler, 20 Common Whitethroat, 1 Redstart and 1 Whinchat moved through. The high water levels on the Brownsea Lagoon seem to be pushing birds towards Lytchett Fields which saw 128 Redshank, 18 Dunlin, 14 Green Sandpiper, 10 Greenshank, 7 Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank and 3 Common Sandpiper along with 10+ Yellow Wagtail, 6 Sedge Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler and 1 Tree Pipit also logged. In Holes Bay north things are shaping up nicely for the winter with 300+ Black-tailed Godwit, 129 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, 14 Curlew and 2 Common Sandpiper on the low tide. At Greenlands Farm there were 25 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Common Redstart, 4 Wheatear, 5 Common Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Willow Warbler and Whimbrel calling in Brands Bay. At Arne it seemed busy with migrants too with 1 Whinchat on Coombe Heath, 1 Whinchat and 1 Redstart on Arne Farm and a good general number of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler around the area.

Shelduck – Brownsea Lagoon – Nick Gadeene

Swallow – Brownsea Lagoon – Nick Gadeene

Translocated Osprey chick 008 – Alison Copland


Harbour Update – posted 24/08/18

Posted on: August 25th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It really is beginning to feel like autumn now. We hosted our third Osprey boat cruise this morning which saw woolly hats and even gloves being worn which highlights the real change in weather systems we’ve encountered in the last few days. Still, despite the cold and the wind the trip was as lovely as ever with 1 migrant Osprey seen in the Wareham Channel feeding on a fish on the Arne shoreline and 4 of the translocated juveniles seen in the SW of the harbour. Also seen were 11 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon (2 up from yesterday), c20 Avocet, 2 Sanderling, c20 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone, c40 Black-tailed Godwit and c200 Oystercatcher. The sound of young Common and Sandwich Tern around the fringes of the harbour is a welcome sound as small pulses of Swallow and Sand Martin skimmed low over the water as they begin heading south. At Lytchett Fields there were 20 Yellow Wagtail, 16 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 12 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Dunlin, 4 Tree Pipit and 1 Common Redstart.

Harbour Update – posted 23/08/18

Posted on: August 25th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was our second Osprey cruise out of eight with both migrant and translocated Ospreys seen in the Wareham Channel and in the south west of the harbour. One bird was up on the north Arne shoreline eating a fish and then later flew towards Ridge with another seen actively flying up and down Shipstal Beach and Middlebere. Also seen were 9 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon and a Hobby was chasing down a Peregrine over the western end of Brownsea. In Middlebere there were 9 Greenshank, 9 Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover and 2 Common Sandpiper along with an un-ringed adult Osprey and a Marsh Harrier. At Littlesea the Purple Heron came into roost yet again. At Lytchett Fields there was a Ruff on Sherford Pools along with a Marsh Harrier, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Spotted Redshank.  

Greenshnak – Brownsea Lagoon – Nick Gadenne

Harbour Update – posted 22/08/18

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour


Ballard Down and Old Harry – 1 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Common Redstart, 14 Common Whitethroat, 50+ House Martins, several Sand Martin and Swallow, 10+ Chiffchaff.

Brands Bay – 18 Great Crested Grebe, 138 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin.

Middlebere – 5 Grey Plover, 1 Osprey, 1 Green Sandpiper.

Wytch Channel – 3 Greenshank, 4 Spotted Redshank, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 (juv) Osprey, 1 Marsh Harrier

Wareham Channel – 2 Osprey, 1 Marsh Harrier, lots of juv Sandwich and Common Tern

Brownsea Lagoon – 9 Spoonbill, c100 Dunlin, c25 Ringed Plover, c20 Avocet, 1 Greenshank

Lytchett Fields – Aquatic Warbler (reported), 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 2 Yellow Wagtail

Lytchett Heath – 1 Common Redstart, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 20 Sedge Warbler, 13 Reed Warbler, 15 Willow Warbler.

Hartland Moor – 2 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 7 Yellow Wagtail.

Harbour Update – posted 21/08/18

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There were 8 Spoonbill on Brownsea. 9 Grey Plover, 1 Marsh Harrier, 90 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Osprey in Middlebere. 5 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Green Sandpiper on Lytchett Fields. 1 ringtail Hen Harrier over Swineham.

Harbour Update – posted 20/08/18

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Great White Egret infux continues with 2 in Holes Bay NW today. There was also a Wood Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Hobby and a Pied Flycatcher at the Sunnyside Scrape. In Middlebere 2 Spoonbill, 2 Osprey. On Lytchett Fields 1 juvenile Spotted Redshank.

Great White Egrets – Holes Bay – John Pick


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