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 April, 2019

Harbour Update – posted 09/04/19

Posted on: April 10th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There’s nothing quite like an April shower with a gentle easterly breeze, as this combination can often result in a downing of passing migrants and there was certainly some evidence of that this afternoon with 3 new Little Ringed Plover on the Sunnyside scrape and another 5 at Lytchett Fields, with 2 Greenshank and 2 Green Sandpiper whilst the springs 1stYellow Wagtail also flew overhead there and at Swineham GP c150 Sand Martin, c50 Swallow and c20 House Martin all hawked in close proximity low over the water, dodging the rain drops. The springs 1stHobby of the year was also forced low as it hung around the eastern end of Arne Moors and Marsh Harriers were seen over Giggers Island, Sunnyside and Swineham. Three Peregrine stoops were witnessed with one dropping down onto Black-tailed Godwits at Swineham, a second along the Arne approach road and a third at Sunnyside Farm as the local Lapwing breathed a sigh of relief as the ‘Peg’ only made one half hearted attempt. On the Browsnea Lagoon 2 Spoonbill remain faithful to the site and remaining waders included a few Avocet (hopefully remaining breeders), c20 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Greenshank.

The only Osprey news from today came from CJ7 being sat on the Middlebere nest platform for an hour or so, gazing in to the yonder, pondering when her Romeo may turn up. Don’t worry CJ7…there’s an Osprey for for everyone, just be patient!

  Freshly arrived Little Ringed Plover – Sunnyside Scrape

Osprey CJ7 looking into the distance, waiting for ‘her/a man’!!


Harbour Update – posted 08/04/19

Posted on: April 10th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was so warm today that heat haze even became a bit of an issue, and whilst we were carrying out an Osprey monitoring session we clocked three different individuals around the Arne penninsuer. One was obviously CJ7 busily touring the Middlebere/Arne area, the second was a left leg blue-ringed female which looked to read AX8 on the ring, which is the now three-year bird that first visited Poole Harbour almost exactly a year ago today, and was originally ringed as a chick near Inverness in 2016. The third Osprey was a migrating fly over individual which cruised high north over Rockley whilst being mobbed by a few gulls. At the Sunnyside scrape, a single Little Ringed Plover was present as were 2 Lapwing and 4 Teal. At Hatch Pond a newly hatched Great Crested Grebe family have been attracting a crowd with the humbug-headed youngsters often coming close enough for good photo opportunities.

Osprey AX8 feeding at Arne

Great Crested Grebe family – Hatch Pond – Phyl England

Harbour Update – posted 07/04/19

Posted on: April 10th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Despite the nice conditions, birding was fairly slow today with female Osprey CJ7 settling on the Middlebere platform briefly in the morning, catching a fish in Middlebere and then heading off towards the Wareham Channel. A Marsh Harrier flew over Middlebere too along with several Swallows. Up around Hartland Dartford Warbler were enjoying the sun with 23 seen across the area, along with 2 Wheatear a fly over Marsh Harrier and plenty Stonechat back on territory having been mostly absent across the harbour this winter. At Lytchett Fields the 3 Little Ringed Plover were still there as was 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Spotted Redshank. The Red-necked Grebe was on Swineham GP with 2 Reed Warbler singing along the Frome River walk, c50 Sand Martin over the gravel pit, 2 Bearded Tit were calling down near Swineham Point and a large female Peregrine was hunting Black-tailed Godwit over Bestwall.

Harbour Update – posted 06/04/19

Posted on: April 9th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A dawn visit to Swineham produced the Red-necked Grebe out in the centre of the gravel pit where c150 Sand Martin and a few Swallow left the reed beds and ‘buzzed/chirruped’ over head, heading north. In the reeds the harbours first Sedge Warbler of the spring was singing along with 3 Reed Warbler and a Willow Warbler was singing. At Arne Moors 7 Cattle Egret flew over heading towards Swineham. At Lytchett Fields 3 Little Ringed Plover were on the fields along with 163 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Wheatear. There wasn’t much Osprey activity around the nesting platforms today with CJ76 only making a brief visit to the Middlebere platform but one (and then possibly 2 others) were seen high over Brownsea, heading north and getting mobbed by gulls and another went over Lytchett Bay.

Harbour Update – posted 05/04/19

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

With it being the start of April and the forecast showing a strong SE wind, there was only one choice….sea watching. Well, not for us as we had a School Bird Boat which produced 2 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon along with c30 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank and just 2 Avocet. The sea watch retuned some good species from Branksome Chine including 1 Great Skua, 5 Manx Shearwater, 1 Kittiwake, 3 Arctic Tern, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Eider, 34 Common Scoter, 39 Med Gulls and several Gannet. At Lytchett Fields, up to 5 Little Ringed Plover were logged, along with 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 114 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 tardy Wigeon. At Poole Park the Knot was still present with 1 Greenshank, 324 Black-tailed Godwit, 20+ Redshank and 15 Med Gull and it was nice to hear 2 migrant Willow Warbler in the park too.

Osprey news saw 2 out in the Wareham Channel mid morning, despite the wind and rain, and a female, again, assumed to be CJ7 was on the Middlebere nest platform early doors.

Little Ringed Plover – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Med Gulls – Poole Park – Ian Ballam

 Osprey having a morning stretch – Middlebere

Osprey – Middlebere nest platform


Harbour Update – posted 04/04/19

Posted on: April 5th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Errrm. Where’s spring gone? Today was reminiscent of the stormy days of winter, not the hoped for glorious spring sunshine. Therefor it was no surprise that sightings were of a limited selection today. After only a few sporadic sightings, female Osprey CJ7 came and landed on the Middlebere nest platform late afternoon/early evening but only for a short period. Also in Middlebere 2 Spoonbill were feeding, 17 Grey Plover and 1 Marsh Harrier. At Lytchett Fields there were 3 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Ruff, 82 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 3 Gadwall whilst at Poole Park the Knot was still feeding with c300 Black-tailed Godwit.  

Harbour Update – posted 03/04/19

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

Female Osprey CJ7 was seen around the harbour again today at several sites, and an Osprey was seen at Morden Bog too which could have been her, or possibly a second individual? With the Red-necked Grebe showing well at Swineham, it was good to hear birders visiting the site and reporting other birds of note including a Hobby that dashed through the site and c100 Sand Martin, 4 House Martin and 3 Swallow with 1 Willow Warbler singing there too. At Sunnyside Farm the springs first Tree Pipit was settled and another was reported at Upton Heath singing too. In Poole Park 2 Willow Warbler were singing again, along with 1 Blackcap and out on the lagoon there were c280 Black-tailed Godwit and c20 Redshank. 

Harbour Update – posted 02/04/19

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

After yesterday exciting news, who we believe to be Osprey CJ7 reappeared on a foggy Middlebere nest early this morning. She spent the cold, grey part of the morning hunched up on the platform, only to then move off at 10am and wasn’t seen for the rest of the day. With only a few days until the Poole Park lagoon is refilled another decent count of birds was made which included 294 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Knot, 16 Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin, 17 Redshank, 17 Med Gulls, 6 Shelduck and there were also 2 Willow Warbler and a Swallow in the park too. At Middlebere, despite the Osprey going missing mid-morning, there were 14 Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover and 2 Swallow through. A Swift was reported over Creekmoor and at Lytchett Fields there were 40 Redshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 92 Black-tailed Godwit and a Marsh Harrier.

We also heard on the grapevine that our partners in our Osprey Translocation project today received the exciting news that they have been granted a licence to carry out a 5-year White-tailed Sea Eagle translocation on the Isle of Wight. The Roy Dennis Wildlife foundation have been working on the application for the last year or so and were given the good news some time this morning. We’re particularly excited as juvenile Sea Eagles tend to have a c100-c200km post fledging range, which means over the nest few years we could begin to see them over Poole Harbour airspace!!!!


Harbour Update – posted 01/04/19

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

Well, today was a good day for a whole range of reasons. Being April 1st it was a day of pulling peoples legs, and online a good range of random birds were reported to have been seen around the UK, getting heads in a real spin before people quickly (and some not so quickly) realised it was April fools day!

Secondly, we’re proud to announce the launch of our new Birds of Poole Harbour iPhone App which provides the public with the tools and information necessary to help self guide their way around new areas of the harbour whilst also giving you the opportunity to report your important bird sightings to our charity. For download info and a full overview read our News Blog Here.

Secondly, we had an exciting encounter this morning with an Osprey landing on our new Middlebere nesting platform and triggering our camera trap. Seeing an Osprey was exciting in its self, but when we saw the ring read CJ7 our pulses started to rise. To find out why read our News Blog Here.

Also, a good harbour spring bird turned up on Slepe Heath in the shape of a male Ring Ouzel, a real touch species to catch up with in the harbour during the spring. The Red-necked Grebe was still on Swineham all day and 150 Sand Martin with a single House Martin were logged too. At Lytchett Fields 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank and a White Wagtail were logged. At Sunnyside Farm a migrating flock of 50 Fieldfare were seen with 2 Willow Warbler singing and 2 Wheatear were on Stoborough Heath. A Red Kite drifted over Hatch Pond and previously over Poole. Apart from Middlebere an Osprey was also seen over Lytchett Bay with 100+ Med Gulls.

White Wagtail – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Ring Ouzel – Slepe Heath – Brittany Maxted

Female Osprey CJ7 – Middlebere Camera Trap

Harbour Update – posted 31/03/19

Posted on: April 1st, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Not much of a turnover of birds at the moment with just a small trickle of Sand Martin and Swallow pulsing through and small parties of Meadow Pipit. With April kicking in tomorrow we should begin to start seeing some numbers of birds arrive, hopefully in the shape of Pied Flyctacher or Nightingale, both of which a really, really tough birds to get in Poole Harbour in spring. But as April progresses species such as Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Swift and Spotted Flycatcher should become evident and of course, the odd rarity or two wouldn’t go down too badly either. Today the main sightings consisted of the Red-necked Grebe still at Swineham, 6 Cattle Egret at Bog Lane, 1 Osprey (and possibly a second) over the Wareham Channel, 1 Little Ringed Plover at Swineham and 21 Sandwich Tern back on Brownsea.

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