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 June, 2019

Harbour Update – posted 20/06/19

Posted on: June 20th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Hoorah! Its getting mild(er). More bugs and it seems more birds. At Sunnyside scrape a decent group of Swallow were feeding over the pool along with 2 territorial Lapwing defending 3 chicks and there were 2 Egyptian Geese there too. At Holton Lee a good Swift gathering of c30 birds was high over the arable fields. An Osprey was seen hunting out in the Wareham Channel mid-afternoon and on Holton Pools 24 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Gadwall were in front of the hide. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 6 Avocet but sadly no signs of breeding yet this year, also 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 82 Oystercatcher, 3 Spoonbill and 134 Sandwich Tern chicks.

Harbour Update – posted 19/06/19

Posted on: June 19th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It’s almost the longest day of the year, and things are due to warm up considerably next week so maybe we’ll get that summer feeling soon after all? There are an abundance of young common birds around the harbour currently with post breeding Starling flocks now forming in various areas and a group of nearly 200 along the Slepe Heath edge heading into an Arne Moors reed bed. At Holton Lee a really tatty female Marsh Harrier lofted over the heath and out towards the Bay both Ospreys CJ7 and LS7 drifted east towards the Wareham Channel. On Holton Pools there were 22 Black-tailed Godwit and at Lytchett Fields there were 172 with 7 Redshank and 3 Teal. At Middlebere a Cuckoo was still calling and a Hobby was over Slepe Heath.

Harbour Update – posted 18/06/19

Posted on: June 19th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Things seem to be getting a bit milder at last and the birding interest hotting up…slightly! Todays star bird was undoubtedly a Stone Curlew that flew north over Lytchett Heath at 8:30am. This is only the 8th Poole Harbour record, so it’s quite a significant find! Two Osprey, assumed to be LS7 & CJ7 were seen off Hydes Heath out in the Wareham Channel and one was also seen briefly at Morden Bog. This evening we hosted our 4thNightjar walk of the summer which was an absolute belter. We had a minimum of 4 Nightjar flying around us really close, a post breeding flock of c30 Mistle Thrush on Slepe Heath, 1 Willow Warbler singing and 1 Cuckoo. On Brownsea the 4 Spoonbill were still there and Hobby were over Holton Lee and Lytchett Fields.

Harbour Update – posted 17/06/19

Posted on: June 18th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another wet and blowy day meant sightings were few and far between. Still, both the Ospreys were seen on the outskirts of Wareham Forest which allowed better viewing of the male and his leg ring, which proved that we read the leg-ring incorrectly last week upon his discovery. Initially we thought it was LS1 that had returned back, but due to an ill positioned piece of mud, it was actually LS7 who was our safe returner! This actually makes a bit more sense as he was the first to be released, the first to leave on migration, the first to be seen in West Africa and now the first to arrive back. And the fact they both have ‘7′ on their leg rings can  only mean good luck??!!

At Holton Pools there were 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper and 3 Lapwing and at Lytchett Fields 172 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 8 Teal, 30 Gadwall and a Marsh Harrier too. At Sunnyside Scrape the 3 Lapwing are all still present and in tact and a pair of Gadwall had young too which is a good Poole Harbour record, as was the female Shoveler which also had ducklings following her along on the Brownsea Lagoon today. At Arne there were numerous Dartford Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a Hobby through over Coombe.

Harbour Update – Posted 16/06/19

Posted on: June 16th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Windy westerlies today with some sun, looking way better than the last few days anyway! A Brownsea webcam count reveals some long-time-no-see arrivals of 1 Redshank and 3 Teal, otherwise 1 Greylag, 21 Canada Geese (6 Juveniles), 2 Mute Swan, 87 Shelduck (10), 7 Gadwall, 2 Mallard (4), 2 Moorhen, 2 Avocet, 83 Oystercatcher and it appears there are 2 nests, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 204 Black-headed Gull (60), 3 Herring Gull, 28 Great Black-backed Gull (4), 89 Common Tern (22), 139 Sandwich Tern (92), 23 Cormorant, 2 Little Egret, 4 Spoonbill, as well as Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Starling and Pied Wagtail

Hyde’s Heath, at Arne saw Great spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Woodlark, Stonechat, Raven, Dartford Warbler, Buzzard, Nightjar, and 3 Swift at Coombe Heath, Arne. A seawatch at Branksome cliffs out to Poole Bay shows Manx Shearwater, 3 Gannet, 3 Sandwich Tern, and 2 Mediterranean Gull. At Holton Pools 2 different Marsh Harrier were logged too.


Harbour Update – posted 15/06/19

Posted on: June 15th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Easy breeze today and the weather has taken a better turn later in the day! Lytchett Fields saw 270 Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Gadwall, 1 Redshank, 3 Lapwing and an unusual sighting of a Little Ringed Plover. Holton Lee saw similar with 100 Black-tailed Godwit, Teal, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Lapwing, and 3 Curlew. On local heaths unnamed, sightings included Dartford warbler, Stonechats, Linnets, Firecrest, Siskens – all showing signs of breeding or having young. Nightjars have also been noted over local heaths. 

Harbour Update – posted 14/06/19

Posted on: June 15th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Sadly no sign of any Osprey today but that’s not surprising, as newly arrived 2 year olds often go missing for days even weeks at a time before dropping back into their local haunt. We’re now so full of optimism that we’re half expecting another one of ours to turn up in the coming weeks. Here’s hoping!

There was a decent selection of birds around the harbour today including another new arrival in the shape of a male Marsh Harrier at Holton Pools. There has been a Marsh Harrier in the harbour these last few weeks but it’s been a juv/female type, so we know this male is new in. At Upton CP there were 3 different singing Firecrest which is a great total. At Lytchett Fields this AM there were 242 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Lapwing, 1 Dunlin and 1 Oystercatcher. Also, being concerned about the lack of Swifts in the local area we recruited volunteer Jacob Ball to go and check various Poole colonies and the results so far are as follows, ‘Upper Poole’ (Hospital area) 41, Old Town Poole 2, Hamworthy 9 with a nest location identified too. We still plan to check Parkstone and Wareham colonies too but with these totals, it doesn’t look as if it’s going to be a productive season this year. Oddest sighting of the day goes to a drake Pintail at Wareham Quay that was feeding on bread, so no doubt an escapee from somewhere. At Holton Pools the 3 Lapwing chicks were still present and a Little Ringed Plover was on the scrape. On the Browsnea Lagoon 4 Spoonbill were still present.

Harbour Update – posted 13/06/19

Posted on: June 13th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another cold and wet day, with much stronger winds after the calmer breeze we had yesterday. Great Spotted Woodpecker with it’s juvenile has been back on the Holton Lee webcams most of the day. 14 Bar-tailed Godwit were feeding at Baiter Park this morning alongside 40+ Oystercatcher, showing how important wet parkland as a habitat can be for our waders even through the summer! Lytchett Fields saw 121 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 2 Redshank, 1 Lapwing, 1 Teal and 27 Gadwall. Brownsea lagoon still has the 4 Spoonbill feeding and roosting, and the oldest Black-headed Gull chick turns a month old today as the earliest report of a day or two day old hatchling was 14th of May! In Brands Bay the over-summering Brent Goose was still present and a blue-ringed Osprey attempted to fish in the Middlebere Channel at around 11:30am

Osprey LS1 is back! We have seen him yet again today in the harbour mingling with CJ7 this AM. If you would like a fuller report see the link below, we will certainly keep everyone updated with his movements and interactions with CJ7. The team are thrilled to hear he’s back, and we are excited to see what happens over the upcoming weeks!!


Harbour Update – posted 12/06/19

Posted on: June 12th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

VERY exciting news today of a blue-ringed, male Osprey sighted this AM on one of the nests with CJ7. Finally, a male Osprey in the harbour! It was then later tracked down and confirmed to be one of our 2017 translocated chicks LS1. THIS HUGE NEWS, and a big first step towards colonisation here on the south coast. We’ll be doing a full write up in due course. 

Cool temp, calm winds today with short showers – how is this June!? Flocks of c20 Swift flying with House Martin around Poole Park and Baiter Park this AM. Alpine Swift was seen at Durlston yesterday evening so worth keeping an eye out! Reed Warblers seen at Holton Lee, whilst reported Firecrest, Nightjars, Stonechats and Dartford Warblers were also sighted around unnamed local heathland sites. c4 Firecrestseen around Upton Country Park. Well worth learning their high-pitch, ascending call to see if you can hear them holding territories around your patch or home. Our Puffin Crusie this evening was a big success despite the drizzle. At Dancing Ledge we saw 7 Puffin plus numerous Guillemot and Razorbill rafts along the coast. We also logged 5 Gannet, 6 Fulmar, 19 Kittiwake, 2 Peregrine 2 Cuckoo and 4 Spoonbill, along with 20+ Barrel Jellyfish.

First footage of LS1 back in the harbour 

Harbour Update – posted 11/06/19

Posted on: June 11th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A dreary afternoon with mild NE winds of 10-15mph has seen the Common Tern population increasing with 9 chicks spotted on the camera and 117 adults eagerly awaiting their hatchlings. Sandwich Tern numbers reached c295 today with c82 chicks. Also seen were 4 Spoonbill, 5 Avocet, 82 Oystercatcher, 5 Gadwall, c110 Shelduck, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Black-tailed GodwitAn Oystercatcher has been guarding its 2 chicks on the spit just off of the marina on Poole Quay. Black-tailed Godwitnumbers are increasing over at Lytchett with 78 on Lytchett Fields and another 39 on the bay. 

Today autumn got well under way…sorry! Summer is now over, before its really even got started. The reason for this is because the first Green Sandpiper of the autumn appeared at Holton Pools this afternoon. These are really early autumn passage migrants with the first returning birds passing south through the harbour in mid-June with numbers peaking in late July before dropping off again. At some sites like Lytchett Fields, Holton Pools and the Sunnyside Scrape numbers can reach quite high, with Lytchett Fields almost seeing 30 individuals last year. 

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