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 September, 2018

Harbour Update – posted 18/09/18

Posted on: September 19th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Windy? Errr…yep! There’s literally no chance of finding much ‘small stuff’ over the next few days unless you fancy doing some sea watching and you happen to come across a Grey Phalarope or two. Sadly a strong SW wind isn’t very productive for Poole Bay bird watching but species like Gannet, Fulmar and Kittiwake have all been blown into the harbour in conditions like this with some even ending up of Wareham town centre! Holton Pools, Lytchett Bay, Brownsea Lagoon and Sunnyside will all be worth checking as species look to take shelter and by scanning through gull flocks you never know when you’re going to come across a Little Gull, Black Tern or something rarer. On Brownsea there was still 1 Curlew Sandpiper present and 111 Avocet. In Middlebere there were 8 Spotted Redshank and 10 Greenshank with another Spotted Redshank on Lytchett Fields with 1 Knot, 7 Greenshank, 40+ Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 30 Redshank and first 3 Little Grebe of the winter in Lytchett Bay. Peregrine flew over Holes Bay, Middlebere and Brands Bay. At Holton Pools Greenshank were feeding close to the hide and the Kingfisher was seen again.

Harbour Update – posted 16/09/18

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was the first Poole Harbour WeBS count of the 2018/19 autumn/winter season which saw a good number of waders logged but not very many over-wintering duck have returned yet, but seeing as its only mid-September that’s not very surprising. Highlights included 2 Great White Egret in Holes Bay NW (Upton CP), 20 Spoonbill at Arne, 1 Common Sandpiper in Holes Bay SE and still good number of Sandwich Tern hanging around. Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Curlew and Dunlin were well represented for so early on in the season. At Sunnyside 10+ Yellow Wagtail were on the scrape, and Lytchett Fields there were 7 Green Sandpiper and 1 Marsh Harrier.

Harbour Update – posted 15/09/18

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This morning the Stour Ringing Group hosted a ringing demo for the Dorset Wildlife trust in which we supported and a nice selection of common migrants were ringed with Reed and Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and Blackcap all logged. Sadly, yet again low numbers of Chiffchaff were caught with just 2 netted and even more frustratingly the best bird of the morning was caught as we were packing up and everyone had left…an adult male Bearded Tit! Near by at Lytchett Fields it was all about the waders with 1 Ringed Plover, 10 Greenshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, c30 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 4 Greenshank plus 7 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine. Out in Lytchett Bay a flock of 100+ sinensis Cormorant were feeding. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper still and 3 Spoonbill. In Poole Park a Kingfisher is back (and will now stay for the winter so keep an eye out) plus out on Baiter 9 Turnstone, 11 Oystercatcher and 2 Little Egret. Marsh Harrier are appearing at a few sites now and its thought 3-4 have been present this last week with a new female in this AM and others sighted today in Middlebere and Holton Pools.

Curlew Sandpiper – Brownsea Lagoon – Clare Slade

Spoonbills – Brownsea Lagoon – Clare Slade

Sedge Warbler – Lytchett Heath 

Bearded Tit – Lytchett Heath 

Harbour Update – posted 14/09/18

Posted on: September 17th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was fairly quiet with a few ‘odds and sods’ reported including 7 Yellow Wagtail and a Whinchat at Lytchett Fields, an Osprey in Middlebere, 2 Kingfisher in the mouth of the PC World outflow in Holes Bay NE, a reasonable pulse of hirundines, mainly House Martins pushing through, a Wheatear at Holes Bay (they’ve been very scarce this autumn), 2 juvenile Hobby at Morden Bog and on Baiter beach the small Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Dunlin flock were feeding along the tideline at low-tide. Up on Ballard there was an obvious movement of Blackcap with 73 ringed along with 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 19 Chiffchaff, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Reed Warbler and 3 Sedge Warbler.

Ringed Plover – Baiter Beach – John Pick

Harbour Update – posted 13/09/18

Posted on: September 14th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We were planning on placing our night sound recording gear out last night as it looked as if a blanket of cloud cover would produce the goods and get birds moving. However, at dusk the clouds disappeared and a crystal clear (and very cold) night followed so we didn’t bother placing our gear out as these conditions in the past have been useless for recording night migrants. We made a mistake. As it transpired the drop in temperature further north prompted a large movement of birds and this morning good numbers of migrants were recorded at many sites. At the PC World drain there were singles of Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, c20 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Kingfisher and 2 Jay. At Lytchett Heath an impressive 54 Blackcap, 24 Chiffchaff, 12 Sedge Warbler, 7 Reed Warbler and 2 Common Whitethroat moved through the site. On the Brownsea Lagoon a Great White Egret was present for a while and another (or the same) flew across the Studland Road towards Littlesea. In Middlebere there was Marsh Harrier, 1 Spoonbill, 5 Grey Plover and 16 Knot. On Lytchett Fields a Sanderling was a nice surprise.

Pied Flycatcher – PC World Drain (Fleets Corner) – Paul Morton

Pied Flycatcher – PC World Drain (Fleets Corner) – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 12/09/18

Posted on: September 14th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Here’s a quick round up of today. In Lytchett Bay there were 4 Yellow-legged Gull, 87 Wigeon, and 300+ Black-tailed Godwit and a Spotted Redshank was on Lytchett Fields. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 87 Dunlin, 9 Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 85 Avocet. At Arne there were 19 Spoonbill. Osprey’s were in Middlebere and at Lytchett Bay.

Harbour Update – posted 11/09/18

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A grey cold, blustery day saw a few new additions to the Brownsea Lagoon including 5 Curlew Sandpiper which leapt to 13 individuals by mid afternoon. We also received some limited news back from the colour-ringed Redshank we saw on the Brownsea Lagoon last weekend which has been confirmed as being originally ringed in SW Norway at a site in Klepp, although we’re awaiting the full set of information. In Middlebere there were 36 Yellow Wagtail, 540 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Spotted Redshank, 21 Greenshank, 70 Dunlin, 7 Grey Plover, 3 Avocet, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Hobby. Highlights from Lytchett Fields included an adult Spotted Redshank.

Harbour Update – posted 10/09/18

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We’re not quite sure what’s going on with Spoonbills at the moment. We should be (if trends over the last 7 years were to be followed) seeing an almost daily increase on the Brownsea Lagoon. On Saturday last week a peak of 21 was reached but the birds only stayed briefly before moving back to their now already favoured site of Shipstal Point, Arne which normally isn’t adopted until at least mid to late October. Like everything else, it may just be that they’re going to arrive late, but considering the harbour reached a peak of 75 last October we’ve got some serious catching up to do if the record is to be broken again for the eighth consecutive year. There were 3 Curlew Sandpiper again on the lagoon today with 12 Greenshank, c80 Avocet and smaller numbers of Dunlin, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. Migrant Osprey sightings are now definitely reducing although we still have three of our translocated juveniles hanging around. Our best guess is that the next break in the weather (likely Thursday) will see them depart for their first migrations south, although they seem quite settled and happy being fed twice a day still…typical youngsters!

Harbour Update – posted 09/09/18

Posted on: September 12th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Not many sightings reported today so we’ll just provide a nice selection of photos that have been sent to us instead. Sightings that were reported to us today included 3 Firecrest on Brownsea along with 16 Spoonbill, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, c250 Dunlin, 9 Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 99 Avocet, 33 Shoveler, 16 Greenshank and a Peregrine. An Osprey flew over Swineham and another was in Lytchett Bay with 2 Hobby, 3 Knot, 1 Spotted Redshank and 38 Dunlin also on Lytchett Fields.

Kingfisher – Holton Pools – Clare Slade

Whinchat – Lytchett Fileds – Ian Ballam

Wheatear – Baiter Park – John Pick

Turnstone – Baiter Park – John Pick

Ringed Plover – Baiter Park – John Pick


Harbour Update – posted 08/09/18

Posted on: September 10th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It’s looking as if it could be another Cattle Egret winter with birds ‘popping up’ all over the county. Today at Lytchett Fields two appeared with the cattle at the end of Slough Lane and then a Great White Egret appeared later in the day, meaning Lytchett Bay experienced its first ever egret hat-trick (Little, Cattle, Great) in a single day. There was also another Great White Egret at Middlebere too and a Ruff on Lytchett Fields. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, c250 Dunlin, 14 Greenshank, 9 Knot, 18 Spoonbill, 99 Avocet, 33 Shoveler and 1 Wigeon. At Sunnyside Farm there were 2 Whinchat, 3 Redstart, and 10 Yellow Wagtail. Osprey’s were seen at Coombe Heath, Arne and Lytchett Bay and a Marsh Harrier was at Holton Pools. On Baiter Beach during the low-tide Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone were feeding along the shoreline.

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