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 March, 2019

Harbour update – 07/03/19

Posted on: March 8th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This wind could do with disappearing soon…its making birding a tad tricky. We hosted a school bird boat and viewing was neigh impossible as a constant carpet of mini-white horses stampeded across the harbour. In total only about 10 Red-breasted Merganser were seen and the 9 Spoonbill were on Shipstal. On Holton Pools there were 3 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Redshank, 1 Med Gull, 2 Shelduck and 1 Marsh Harrier with another Marsh Harrier drifting low along the A31 near Lytchett Fields. 

Harbour update – 06/03/19

Posted on: March 8th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It continues to blow a hoolie, and doesn’t seem as if there’s much rest-bite in the near future. Not surprisingly, checking out the sheltered bays proved most productive with 2 Slavonian Grebe and 4 Black-necked Grebe were in Studland Bay with 8 Spoonbill sheltering on Shipstal Point in Arne Bay. At Lytchett Fields there was a single Spotted Redshank and on Holton Pools singles of Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and a passing Marsh Harrier. On the feeders what looked like a possible Continental Coal Tit was seen on the feeders briefly. 

Possible Continental Coal Tit – Holton Lee – Tony Furnell

Harbour Update – posted 05/03/19

Posted on: March 6th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Despite being a fairy yucky day in the end, a good range of species were logged across the harbour. Nothing really ‘springy’, but plenty of winter interest still about. A male Hen Harrier dashed across Arne Moors, heading towards Swineham, which is a new bird in. An Eider was off South Haven, Studland and the Black Brant was tucked in amongst 200 Brent Geese off Shipstal where there were also 8 Spoonbill. The White-fronted Goose was still out on Bestwall fields with a few Greylag Geese. At Lytchett Fields counts consisted of 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 1 Green Sandpiper. Before the wind and rain kicked in, a peaceful morning was enjoyed as four species of thrush were in full song at Holton Lee with Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Redwing. Everyone tends to be familiar with Redwing flight calls which is the thin descending ‘zeeet’ call they often use at night, but only in early March do we ever hear them actually sing before then departing later in the month. Also at Holton Lee the Little Owl was getting grief from the local Nuthatches and Goldfinch charm, a Woodlark was in song, a Peregrine was on one of the pylons and on the heath several Dartford and Stonechat were active. The big female Peregrine was again on the tall section of the Asda building.

Harbour Update – posted 04/03/19

Posted on: March 6th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There were few reports but some nice photos were kindly sent through today. Winter is still the main theme, and other than the early Sand Martin and Swallow we had a few weeks ago, winter birds are still the order of the day. Brent Geese, Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe off Baiter, 120 Black-tailed Godwit on Poole Park Lagoon and 8 Spoonbill at Shipstal.

Med Gull – Baiter Park – Rene Goad

Brent Goose – Baiter Park – Rene Goad

Great Crested Grebe – Baiter Park – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 03/03/19

Posted on: March 4th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Wet, windy and tough birding conditions with almost nothing reported today. So we’ll just use this time and space to remind everyone that our Poole Old Town Swift City fundraiser launched on Friday last week which is so far, going really well. For the full project brief and if you think you can help then CLICK HERE for our Just Giving Page to donate.

Also, don’t forget we’re hosting our BoPH HQ raffle for the whole of March and so raffle tickets are available in our HQ on Poole Quay, which is now on summer opening hours, Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 4:30pm (4pm on Sundays). All proceeds go straight back into local conservation projects and education work.

HUGE THANKS to everyone that visited us on our Birthday weekend and bought raffle tickets and cupcakes, along with everyone that also has so far donated to our Swift City fund. It’s been great to see so much local support, so, as long as we keep getting the support, we’ll keep on working hard to make the local area great for both birds and people.

Harbour Update – posted 02/03/19

Posted on: March 4th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was the second day of our Birthday Weekend, and with Cupcakes being guzzled in their hundreds in our HQ, some birds took a more sugar free approach and descended upon Poole Park Lagoon to feed on hundreds of Ragworm. We mentioned yesterday that the lagoon had seen an increase in Black-tailed Godwit numbers well today it had increased again to 342…an amazing inner-town total. What was most interesting is that many of them were in partial summer plumage, suggesting these were in fact newly arrived migrants. A report from southern Portugal stated last week that many of their over-winter Black-tailed Godwit had left early due unseasonably warm February, so it could be that we’ve seen an arrival of early migrant ‘Blackwit’ in to the harbour. Also on the lagoon were 3 Greenshank, c20 Redshank, 7 Med Gulls and a huge number of Black-headed Gulls. The male Black Redstart was…yep…still behind the Thistle Hotel. 7 Cattle Egret were along Bog Lane and a Great Northern Diver was off the northern Brownsea shoreline, visible from our HQ. Thomas, one of our HQ team, captured footage on one of our Brownsea webcams of a colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull which has come back as being ringed as an adult on 24/05/17 in Belgium.

Colour-ringed Med Gull – Brownsea Lagoon – Originally ringed in Belgium on 24/05/17

Harbour Update – posted 01/03/19

Posted on: March 2nd, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Pinch, punch first of the month and many happy returns! Yes, today was the 1st birthday of our engagement HQ on Poole Quay and to celebrate we launched our March raffle which has seen many great prizes donated to us by local (and some not so local) businesses. It’s been an incredible 1st year that has seen just over 21,000 people visit us in that time period. We’ve met many amazing and kind new supporters of our work, and we hope we can build on this and make 2019 an even bigger and better year for our charity. As a fundraiser we’re hosting a raffle during March which has a great range of prizes that have been donated to us by local and not so local businesses, so please, if you can, head down to our HQ which is now on summer opening hours (Tuesday – Sunday) and buy some raffle tickets.

The 1st of the month kick-started with some decent records being sent in too, which included some amazing counts from the Poole Park Lagoon such as 298 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, 93 Oystercatcher, 20 Redshank, 10 Mediterranean Gulls and 1 Water Rail. And with Spring migration now underway, chances are many other birds will start using this site as they pass on through. At Baiter a single Great Northern Diver, 2 Goldeneye, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Sandwich Tern, 14 Turnstone, 5 Med Gulls, 42 Brent Geese and 5 Great Crested Grebe were logged. The male Black Redstart was still behind the Thistle Hotel. A night survey at Sunnyside Farm produced 8 Jack Snipe, 8 Common Snipe and 2 Woodcock and the 1st winter White-fronted Goose was again at Bestwall late afternoon. At Little Sea, Studland 1 Pochard and a Marsh Harrier were seen, off Middle Beach 8 Black-necked Grebe and 4 Med Gull were logged, in Shell Bay there were 36 Sanderling and 3 Black-necked Grebe with another 14 Sanderling and 3 Grey Plover by the houseboats. At Bog Lane there were still 8 Cattle Egret and a Marsh Harrier was over Slepe Heath.

Finally, we’ve also just launched our first ever crowd funding campaign which seeks to raise £1700 for our Swift City Project we’ve set up in partnership with local business Saltwater Stone. A full blog describing the project can be found HERE, and if you’d like to donate towards the project you can visit our Just Giving page HERE.

Black-necked Grebes – Shell Bay – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 28/02/19

Posted on: March 2nd, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Bit of a slower day today as we’re getting prepped for our Birthday weekend. Highlights were the Black Redstart still behind the Thistle Hotel, 1 Water Pipit, 2 Spoonbill and a Spotted Redshank at Lytchett Fields and ‘Storkwit’, the albino Black-tailed Godwit out in Lytchett Bay.

‘Storkwit’ the Black-tailed Godwit – Lytchett Bay – Shaun Robson

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