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, 2018

Harbour Update – posted 31/12/18

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

As the year draws to an end we look back at another incredible year for our charity, which now seems to have come on such a long way from the simple beginnings back in 2012. Our environment needs us more than ever, and our New Years resolution is to tackle as much as we can head on, but in the most positive and effective manner possible, with the aim of making things better for both birds and people right across the harbour working with other NGO’s, landowners, farmers, councils and the public. So, here’s wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and lets make 2019 a flipping good one.

To see us out, there were no last minute surprises today but a nice selection of species that have kept us entertained during the latter part of the year. The Black Redstart that was along Elms Avenue, Whitecliff was seen again along Pearce Avenue. The drake Mandarin was on the small pond at Poole Park with several Goldeneye and Merganser on the main lake. and off Middle Beach, Studland there were 17 Black-necked Grebe. Along Holme Lane 10 Cattle Egret were in fields on the opposite side of Hog Lane and from Baiter Beach there were 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Northern Diver, 11 Goldeneye, 11 Great Crested Grebe and 52 Red-breasted Merganser. In Brands Bay a pale-belled Brent Goose was with the dark-bellied Brent flock and there were 95 Grey Plover. The juvenile White-fronted Goose was still in fields behind Curlews cottage, Swineham and 2 different Hen Harrier were seen heading towards Middlebere late afternoon.


Harbour Update – posted 30/12/18

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

Today was Poole Harbour WeBS day, and as always increased coverage provided higher than usual sightings. Starting the day off with a dawn watch from Shipstal Point, Arne saw 1 Slavonian Grebe, 6 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Northern Diver, 23 Goldeneye, 21 Spoonbill, 63 Red-breasted Merganser, 27 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Common Seal. From Middle Beach, looking out into Studland bay there were 21 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver and 7 Red-breasted Merganser and 7 Great Crested Grebe. Out from Bramble Bush Bay there was another single Great Northern Diver with another in Brands Bay, 17 Sanderling and another 4 Black-necked Grebe meaning there were a minimum f31 in and around the harbour today. A Marsh Harrier entered the harbour mouth as did a small flock of Lapwing and Little Sea was looking healthier with a decent sized group of Wigeon and Teal. At Bestwall the White-fronted Goose was still with Greylags and off Swineham Point there were 934 Lapwing and 3 Bearded Tit in the reedbeds and a single Pochard was on the main pit. At dawn 2 Marsh Harrier stirred in the mouth of the From and a pre-dawn walk on Hartland saw several Woodcock out feeding using our night-sight equipment. At Norden Sewage Works there were 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, c50 Redwing and just 1 Fieldfare, 2 Bullfinch and 6 Red-legged Partridge on the road. Along Holme Lane there were 10 Cattle Egret today with another7 in fields below the Worgret Manor Hotel along with 2 Egyptian Geese. The Mandarin Duck is still in Poole Park and grabbing the attention away from the more handsome Goldeneye.


Harbour Update – posted 29/12/18

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

Not a huge amount reported to us today other than 15 Black-necked Grebe out in Studland Bay!


Harbour Update – posted 28/12/18

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

With all this calm weather it’s made watching areas of open water and counting birds much easier. Out from Shipstal Point, Arne 25 Spoonbill, 10 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Slavonian Grebe were logged. Out in Studland Bay there were 15 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 5 Red-breasted Merganser and 4 Great Crested Grebe. From Jerry’s Point, Studland 5 Great Northern Diver were logged off the southern Brownsea shoreline. Some of the Cattle Egret flock (10) moved back to Nutcrack Lane whilst there were 5 along Holme Lane. Merlin were reported from Middlebere and Hartland and there were 2 different Short-eared Owl hunting with one on Slepe Heath whilst another was out at Swineham Point. The White-fronted Goose was still at Bestwall with the Greylag flock. With the still weather and warm sun its got plenty of Song Thrush on the go with numerous birds in full song around the harbour and species such as Dunnock and Great Tit have even begun to think its spring. However the longer term forecast looks as if cold weather sets back in by the end of January so enjoy this early snippet of spring while it lasts.


Harbour Update – posted 27/12/18

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

With a near perfect dawn we headed out and did a quick dash around the harbour this AM, checking numerous water bodies. Prior to dawn breaking we had 4 Woodcock on Hartland Stud and a Barn Owl at Middlebere. From Jerry’s Point there were 2 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 7 Red-breasted Merganser and 12 Grey Plover with 18 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Great Northern Diver off Middle Beach and a Firecrest in the car park and 5 Black-necked Grebe, 7 Goldeneye and 10 Spoonbill of Shipstal Point, Arne. Along Holme Lane there were 10 Cattle Egret and at Swineham 9 Bearded Tit were at the end of the footpath¬† along with a Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl was seen again over Hartland Moor. At Holmebridge a single Ruff was on the floods along with 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine and 3 Egyptian Geese. A Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was seen along Bog Lane.

Firecrest – Middle Beach car park – Paul Morton


Harbour Update – posted 26/12/18

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

Well, we hope you had a great Christmas. However, now that’s out of the way you can start thinking about your 2019 year lists and how you’re going to maximise on the number of species you hope/plan to see this year. Doing a year list is always good fun, and it just so happens we’ve recently just published our new 2019 BoPH tick list, so if you do fancy keeping track on all your records this year, pop into our BoPH HQ on the Quay and grab one! It seems there were a few people walking off their xmas lunch’s today as we revived a few sightings including 9 Egyptian Geese at Holmebridge, along with a good selection of other waterfowl including Pintail, Shelduck and Gadwall with the 10 Cattle Egret just up the road along Holme Lane. From the Coombe Viewpoint at Arne c700 Lapwing were logged plus c1000 Avocet (quite a sight). At Bestwall the White-fronted Goose was still with the Greylag flock. In Bramble Bush Bay the Red-necked Grebe was present and in Brands Bay there were 2 Great Northern Diver. On Hartland the Merlin was on its usual post at dusk and from Shipstal 23 Spoonbill were present. A Great White Egret was logged at East Holme again.


Harbour Update – posted 25/12/18

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

A very Merry Christmas to all our supporters and friends. It’s been an incredible 2018, but looking forward to 2019, we hope for it to be an even bigger and better year. We love what we do and can’t thank everyone enough for their kind words, donations and support, so whilst you all keep showing an interest in our work, we’ll keep plugging away for you, aiming to make things better for both birds and people around the harbour. A few sightings from today included 8 Cattle Egret along Holme Lane and at Middlebere there 4 Spotted Redshank, 846 Avocet, 1 Golden Plover, 474 Lapwing, 32 Grey Plover, 130 Dunlin, 1014 Teal and 68 Wigeon.


Harbour Update – posted 24/12/18

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

With conditions calming down now and a high-pressure system setting in, this is a great opportunity to get out and do some great winter birding over the Christmas period.¬† Highlights today included the Red-necked Grebe in Brands Bay and then near the harbour mouth, with 3 Great Northern Diver and 3 Black-necked Grebe there and 3 more Black-necked Grebe and a Slavonian Grebe in Shell Bay. There were several Fieldfare on Hartland Stud (they’re been pretty scarce this winter so far), c10 Grey Plover in Bramble Bush Bay. Along Holme Lane there were 10 Cattle Egret, with a Great White Egret down at East Holme and another at Little Sea, Studland.

Grey Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatcher – Bramble Bush Bay – Paul Swann

Red-necked Grebe – Studland – Paul Swann


Harbour Update – posted 23/12/18

Posted on: December 23rd, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today we hosted our last public bird boat of 2019 which really productive despite being a bit yuk to begin with. The Red-necked Grebe was in Bramble Bush Bay, there were singles of Great Northern Diver in the harbour mouth and North Channel, 8 Black-necked Grebe in central harbour and the White-fronted Goose was at Bestwall with Greylags. There were also 2 different Marsh Harrier in the mouth of the Frome and c15 Spoonbill flew across Arne Bay. Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe were spread thinly across the harbour and we didn’t log a single Goldeneye in 3.5 hours! The Browsnea Lagoon was fairly full of water but still good numbers of Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Grey Plover were on there with only 3 Greenshank. Peregrine were seen over Rempstone and a flock of c200 Lapwing were continuously unsettled over Swineham.¬†Elsewhere a Great Northern Diver was again close into the shoreline along the Baiter cycle path and 3 Goldeneye were in Parkstone Bay. There was a slight increase in Marsh Harriers present with 5 seen in the west of the harbour along with 2 Hen Harrier around Swineham/Keysworth and the Short-eared Owl was being pretty elusive again, showing briefly at dawn. Along Holme Lane, 10 Cattle Egret were still present with 12 Little Egret.

Great Northern Diver – Baiter Beach – Ian Ballam



Harbour Update – posted 22/12/18

Posted on: December 23rd, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A quick round up today with the Red-necked Grebe still off Baiter with 2 Great Northern Diver, 3 Goldeneye and 7 Red-breasted Merganser, although all were cleared out by a Kite Surfer which became active by mid-morning. One of the Great Northern Divers moved close in again to the cycle path at Parkstone Bay. In Bramble Bush Bay there were 2 Eider. On Shipstal there were c20 Spoonbill and in the PC World Drain 4 Chiffchaff were in the scrub. At Lytchett Heath 4 Bearded Tit were in the reed beds at the end of the heath and a single Firecrest was along the top footpath.


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