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 July, 2019

Harbour Update – posted 31/07/19

Posted on: July 31st, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Yesterday’s front blew through pretty quickly and another warm day basked us in sunshine. At Lytchett Fields there was still a decent spread of waders with 121 Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Whimbrel and several of Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit. Last night a Greenshank was on Holton Pools and today 6 Spoonbill were in the Middlebere Channel with c120 Black-tailed Godwit and a Marsh Harrier. On the Brownsea Lagoon a few Common Sandpiper were creeping their way along various sand bars and 11 Avocet were at the back of the lagoon along with the first Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn. 

 Common Sandpiper – Brownsea Lagoon

Harbour Update – posted 30/07/19

Posted on: July 30th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

 A strong SSE wind was blowing from dawn which prompted a sea watch which produced a few Fulmar, Gannet, Manx Shearwater and Common Scoter. With 250+ Wood Sandpiper in the country a couple of days ago it was only a matter of time until one turned up, which it did at Lytchett Fields this morning. There was also a good number of other passage waders present with 8 Dunlin, 19 Green Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 8 Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Whimbrel. Both Ospreys CJ7 and LS7 were out over the Wareham Channel again mid afternoon.

Harbour Update – posted 29/07/19

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This morning produced an agonising situation when a potential Pacific Golden Plover was seen briefly at Sunnyside Scrape. This is a species that’s never been recorded in Poole Harbour before, so when a long-legged, summer plumaged Golden Plover species was seen on the ground at Sunnyside this AM the finders pulse began to rise as we never tend to get European Golden Plover in Poole Harbour at this time of year. Sadly the bird only remained on the ground for around 30 seconds before flying off NE, but not before calling twice which also seemed to indicate a possible Pacific Golden Plover. Despite its departure it’s possible it could still be in the harbour somewhere so anyone birding Lytchett Fields, Brownsea Lagoon, Sunnyside and Holton Pools should keep an eye out for this bird.

A ringing session at Lytchett Heath produced a decent pulse of early autumn Willow Warblers along with a handful of passage Sedge Warbler and Blackcap. Just outside our recording area 2 Osprey were seen at Morden Bog as was a single Grasshopper Warbler and 1 Redstart. At Lytchett Fields there were 23 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 8 Greenshank, 70+ Common Redshank, 2 Spotted Redshank and 1 Whimbrel. The Holton Lee Little Owl was on show briefly behind the main cottage and the Asda Peregrine was present on the flats balcony yesterday with it’s dinner nonchalantly tossed to the floor below, only for the public to have to step around.  

Sedge Warbler – Lytchett Heath

Willow Warbler – Lytchett Heath

 Peregrine Falcon – Asda, Holes Bay – Rene Goad

 Discarded dinner below

Harbour Update – posted 28/07/19

Posted on: July 28th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Having not hosted a boat trip since our Puffin trips back in June, and having not taken the public up the Wareham River since early May it was great to be back out on the water again today with an eager group for our Mid-Summer Meander boat trip. The undoubted highlight was the soaring of both male and female Osprey CJ7 and LS7 right over the boat, with LS7 giving us a real treat of a fly by in the mouth of the Frome. There was some more Osprey mystery added to the story today though when a video was sent to us of a pair of Osprey on a local nest platform, bringing in sticks to the nest, which we just assumed to be LS7 and CJ7. After all, this is what they’ve both been up to since his arrival on June 12th. However, upon closer inspection of the video we can see that the female in the video is un-ringed, meaning its not CJ7. So, was the male on the nest with her LS7 ‘playing away’ for a few hours and schmoozing with a new girl on the block, or, is there another separate pair now interested in the Poole Harbour area? If so it could mean we have a second male back too. Watch this space as we try and get a fix on what’s going on.

Also from the boat 2 Common Sandpiper were logged in the Wareham Channel, a Peregrine flew over Shipstal, on the Brownsea Lagoon there were 4 Spoonbill, 9 Avocet, 46 Common Redshank, 49 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. There were still plenty of Common and Sandwich Tern active around the harbour too and Seals were seen off Shipstal and in the Piddle Valley.

The first Wheatear of the autumn was at the Sunnyside Scrape along with a Green Sandpiper and several Willow Warbler were in the scrub there. At Lytchett Fields there were 9 Green Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Marsh Harrier and a fresh (early) juv Common Gull.

Harbour Update – posted 27/07/19

Posted on: July 27th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A cloudy start soon cleared and the sun came out with a high of 24°C. Brownsea Island web cams picked up a variety of species including; 7 Curlew, 3 Little Egret, 4 Spoonbill, 2 Greenshank and an impressive 105 Dunlin. A peregrine was also seen last thing last night on the Island where the spoonbill often roost, needless to say the Spoonbill disappeared along with most of the other birds! At Arne 7 Willow Warbler were along the Raptor Trail and an Osprey was seen over the Wareham Channel. Out towards Morden Bog another 2 Osprey were seen. Finally a Great White Egret was reported at Middlebere mid-morning. 


Harbour Update – posted 26/07/19

Posted on: July 26th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With temperatures taking a downward turn sightings are on the up. Lytchett Fields has logged a variety of species including Lapwing, 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, a Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, 20 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Redshank, 9 Greenshank, 1 Hobby, 2 Little Egret and, most significantly, a Yellow-legged Gull.

A brief scan around the Lagoon on the webcam picked up some lovely images of c42 Dunlin in flight and mingling with the Common Tern. 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Spoonbill and 4 Avocet were also spotted. Holten Lee has reported Lapwing, Green Sandpiper and a Little Egret.

Harbour Update – posted 25/07/19

Posted on: July 25th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Yet again, Lytchett Fields produced the most sightings with a decent haul of passage waders across both fields. Totals included 56 Common Redshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 19 Green Sandpiper, 48 Lapwing, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 1 Oystercatcher and 21 Teal. At Sunnyside Farm 3 Lapwing, 1 Gadwall, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Little Egret were out feeding on the new and improved scrape. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 12 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 17 Redshank and 32 Black-tailed Godwit. At Middlebere there were 2 Whimbrel, 4 Greenshank, 2 Hobby, 1 Peregrine and an Osprey flew up the channel. A reeling Grasshopper Warbler was heard on Slepe Heath, presumed to be a migrant. At Arne a Spotted Flycatcher was seen and Willow Warbler numbers are picking up slowly with several around the Stoborough Heath/Sunnyside area.

Harbour Update – posted 24/07/19

Posted on: July 24th, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With last night’s heavy rain and incredible lightening storm it was only ever going to be another really hot day, and sure enough it was. That said, it seemed to get some birds moving last night with a night recording session at Sunnyside Farm producing 1 Curlew flock, 1 Redshank flock, 2 Oystercatcher and 1 Common Sandpiper passing over between 10:30pm and 4:00am. There was also plenty of Nightjar activity recorded between Slepe Heath and Sunnyside Farm with loads of contact calls logged during the hours of darkness too. At Lytchett Fields there were 21 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover and the 1st returning Snipe of the autumn. An Osprey was seen over the Wareham Channel and another (or the same) was over Holton Pools. At Sunnyside Scrape 3 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Stonechat and c10 Linnet were along the track leading down to the scrape and on the scrape were 3 Lapwing, 1 Gadwall and 1 Grey Heron. A second Wood Sandpiper of the autumn was seen on the Brownsea Lagoon.

Common Sandpiper (and Nightjar) call of night time migrant 24/07/19 @ 0249 Sunnyside

Nightjar contact calls – Sunnyside Farm – 24/07/19 @ 03:35

Harbour Update – posted 23/07/19

Posted on: July 23rd, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A hot and humid day today in the harbour with a high of 29°C and little breeze. Brownsea Lagoon has been quiet with 7 Spoonbill, a Curlew and some returning Redshank have been recorded. A lot of the Common Terns are now resting over on Boomerang Island. At Lytchett Fields from Sherford viewpoint the 1st Wood Sandpiper of the autumn arrived, also there was 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank and a Marsh Harrier were logged.

Our second to last Nightjar walk was an absolute belter with a minimum of 6 seen and multiple birds heard singing. With Nightjar ducking, diving and hovering around us, it was a truly magical experiance on a balmy summers evening. 

Harbour Update – posted 22/07/19

Posted on: July 23rd, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With a mini heat wave due to kick in tomorrow with a steady easterly breeze its now we can begin thinking about the first Wood Sandpipers and Ruff beginning to arrive into the harbour. Sites like Lytchett Fields, Sunnyside Scrape, Holton Pools and of course the Brownsea Lagoon will all begin seeing an increase in wader numbers over the following weeks and with a trickle of North American goodies already filtering into the UK over the 7 days, be on the look out for ‘something a bit different’.

On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 7 Spoonbill, 3 Avocet, 71 Dunlin, 46 Redshank and 1 Peregrine. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Green Sandpiper and 40+ Redshank with 2 Whimbrel out in Lytchett Bay. Osprey were seen over Coombe Heath and Holton Lee. At the PC World drain 7 Blackcap and 1 juv Willow Warbler were in the scrub, and despite a late return to the party, it looks as if Swifts have had a good end to the summer with decent numbers now screaming over Old Town Poole, upper Poole (hospital area), Wareham and Corfe.

Willow Warbler (juv) – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Spoonbill – Middlebere – Simon Kidner


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