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 21/12/18

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

The White-fronted Goose relocated to Bestwall today, still with the Greylag flock but in a more visible and accessible place from the Wareham to Stoborough causeway. The Red-necked Grebe was still off Baiter as were 2 Great Northern Diver in Parkstone Bay. The Mandarin was in Poole Park still with 2 Goldeneye and 4 Red-breasted Merganser on the main boating lake. Along Holme Lane 4 Cattle Egret were still in the fields to the west of the Springdale Hotel.

Harbour Update – posted 20/12/18

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

The wind had built during the course of the morning making viewing open water species a tad tricky. Saying that, there were 2 Great Northern Diver off Hamworthy Beach and another 2 off Baiter along with the Red-necked Grebe near the house on stilts structure. Although its likely they’ve been present the whole time, the Cattle Egrets hadn’t been reported for a while, so it was nice to see 8 still along Holme Lane. On Shipstal 18 Spoonbill were present and there were 2 Eider in Bramble Bush Bay. Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye totals seem to be way down this winter, with only small groups out in open bodies of the harbour. Across the whole harbour yesterday we only counted around 10 and mergansers were around 75-100. At Middlebere a male Hen Harrier flew across in front of the hide and the ringtail was again seen out from Swineham Point.

Great Northern Diver – Off Baiter – Simon Kidner

Harbour Update – posted 19/12/18

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

With the wind and the rain heaving down over night it was a pleasure to see the wind ease off at dawn for our School bird boat. It was one of the most productive of the year so far with 7 Great Northern Diver (2 off Baiter, 1 central harbour, 1 off Goathorn and 3 near the harbour mouth), the Red-necked Grebe at one point wasjust 10ft off the side of the boat at one point, next to the old flying boat control structure which would be visible from Baiter, also 4 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Eider, c15 Goldeneye, c75 Red-breasted Merganser, c15 Spoonbill and a good selection of waders on the Brownsea Lagoon. The Slavonian Grebe was still in Parkstone Bay and there were 3 Goldeneye and 2 Red-breasted Merganser on Poole Park boating lake. There were both adult male and female Hen Harrier in the harbour today sighted around the Swineham area.

Harbour Update – posted 18/12/18

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

Another wet and wild day as it seems the jet stream is sat right over southern Britain currently, although we hear on the grape vine that post Christmas we could begin to see the beginnings of a beast from the east…media gossip? Or metrological fact?  Lest wait and see. With 30mph winds and heavy rain, it was a surprise when it was reported to us that the Slavonian Grebe was out in Parkstone Bay, but when we learnt it was local birder Ian Ballam that had reported it we weren’t that surprised at all! Interestingly the playing fields at Baiter were relatively quite all day with just a few gulls, some Black-tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher, but when we checked after work in the dark, using our thermal imaging camera there were around 400 Dunlin feeding out on the fields which shows these large areas of grass in the centre of town can play an important role after sunset.

Harbour Update – posted 17/12/18

Posted on: December 18th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was a blissful start to the day with no breeze and flat calm waters. As a result it made viewing open bodies of water across the harbour easy and pleasant. Determined to find the Red-necked Grebe that had been seen entering the harbour several times over the last couple of weeks, we scanned several sights before finally finding it off Baiter, feeding around the standings of the old flying boat terminal structure. It was present with 2 Great Northern Diver and 6 Red-breasted Merganser too and in searching for the grebe we also found a Black Redstart along Pearce Avenue, Poole. In Parkstone Bay off Baiter the Slavonian Grebe was present for a second day and was feeding with 3 Goldeneye and 4 Great Crested Grebe. Out in Poole Bay, a scan out from the top of Cliff Drive produced 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Razorbill and 8 Great Crested Grebe. In Lytchett Bay there were 44 Brent Geese, at dawn the flock of 18 Cattle Egret were seen heading up the Frome Valley and there were 3 Marsh Harrier and the ringtail Hen Harrier seen in the mouth of the Frome off Swineham.

Slavonian Grebe – Baiter Park – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 16/12/18

Posted on: December 16th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Finally a break in the weather and some good birding was to be had around the harbour. Many of the bays were busy with waders and wildfowl especially in Holes Bay and Lytchett Bay. We hosted the practical session of our Winter Waders of Poole Harbour ID course today in Holes Bay and we’re glad we did as it was ‘stuffed’ with birds. From the Stone Bench at Upton CP there were c20 Pintail, c200 Wigeon, c20 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 11 Avocet, c300 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Little Grebe under the railway line. In Holes Bay north east there was even more including 2 Knot, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, c50 Avocet, c400 Black-tailed Godwit, c600 Dunlin, c400 Wigeon, c200 Teal, 1 Peregrine and 1 Sparrowhawk. In the SW sector of Holes Bay there were 4 Goldeneye. There were also 2 Firecrest next to Upton House. At dawn the Red-necked Grebe flew into the harbour mouth again and headed north around Brownsea. Also through at dawn were 2 Great Northern Diver, 6 Eider, 3 Sandwich Tern and 35 Grey Plover.  Lytchett Bay was busy and saw 6 Spoonbill, 235 Avocet, 546 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 79 Shelduck and Bearded Tit at the Turlin Moor screen.

Winter Waders ID Course Group – Holes Bay – Debbie Parker

Bar-tailed Godwit – Holes Bay NE – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 15/12/18

Posted on: December 16th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The less said about today the better! Although a 1st winter Kittiwake hunkering down on Baiter was certainly noteable. On the plus side, with so much water sitting in the river valley’s and on the farm fields, it could end up attracting a number of birds in.

1st winter Kittiwake – Baiter Park – Ian Ballam

1st winter Kittiwake – Baiter Park – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 14/12/18

Posted on: December 16th, 2018 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was slightly calmer today (and certainly the calm before the storm forecast for tomorrow). This allowed for a grebe roost count in Studland Bay which saw 18+ Black-necked Grebe also 85 Med Gulls, 15 Sanderling and 323 Brent Geese were logged. In Brands Bay there were 3 Great Northern Diver, 3 Black-necked Grebe, 380 Wigeon, 57 Pintail, 31 Grey Plover, 1 Greenshank, 3 Knot and 300+ Dunlin. Along Holme Lane there were 18 Cattle Egret and a Merlin was seen on Upton Heath. In the mouth of the Frome there were 7 Spoonbill and 3 Marsh Harrier. In Poole Park the Mandarin was on the main boating lake and the Guillemot was still off Poole Quay. Off the south shore of Brownsea there were singles of Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver and Eider and the Brownsea Lagoon saw 208 Avocet, 60 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank and 124 Dunlin.

Harbour Update – posted 13/12/18

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

Again, windy conditions made things tricky but in Lytchett Bay there were 8 Spoonbill, 78 Brent Geese, 10 Red-breasted Merganser, 414 Black-tailed Godwit, 100+ Avocet, 2 Greenshank, 1 Peregrine and 1 Blackcap. There were also 30+ Spoonbill on Shipstal Point. 2 Crossbill passed over Challow Hill and there were 2 Chiffchaff and 1 Firecrest at Norden sewage works, Corfe.

Harbour Update – posted 12/12/18

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

A few species of note reported to us today including 17+ Cattle Egret along Holme Lane in the co field to the north, a ringtail Hen Harrier over Swineham Point, the 1st winter White-fronted Goose at Swineham, 1 Black Brant still in Lytchett Bay, the Mandarin Duck was at Poole Park, 6 Black-necked Grebe in Studland Bay 2 Great Northern Diver off Bramble Bush Bay


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