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 August, 2019

Harbour Update – posted 31/08/19

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

With a sunny start to the day, temperatures reaching 21°C and a light breeze. A good number of sightings with our Osprey boat heading out to Wareham Channel spotting a mighty 6 Osprey, 2 Marsh Harrier (mobbing one of the Osprey), 2 Mediterranean Gull (1 Juv.) and building numbers of sinensis Cormorant. Middlebere observed a Wheatear, 1 Osprey, a Peregrine, c300 Blacktailed Godwit, 1 juv Little Gull and a Great White Egret.

Lytchett Fields recorded 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Whinchat, 1 Hobby, whilst over at Lytchett Bay 12 Greenshank and a Marsh Harrier were seen.  

Brownsea Lagoon 21 Spoonbill, over c600 Oystercatcher, c10 Shelduck, 20 Knot, 23 Ringed Plover, 1 juv Garganey, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank whilst over at Brands Bay unusually reported 1 Osprey (no ring) and also 1 Hobby, 2 Greenshank and a Knot.

Over at Poole Park just 1 lonely Greylag Goose is remaining along with 5 Tufted Duck, 14 Coot and 5 Moorhen. Reports also came in from Baiter Park of 22 Turnstone, 3 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and a Common Tern. In Creekmoor a Pied Flycatcher was in a private garden.


Harbour Update – posted 30/08/19

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

A sunny, crisp start to the morning, great conditions for our Osprey Cruise. The boat headed over to the Wareham Channel where they had good views of 2 Osprey over at Arne, 2 over  Lytchett Bay and 1 attempting to catch a fish at Swineham Gravel Pits before then heading off back towards Arne. There were also several Hobby logged with 2 over Swineham Gravel Pits and 2 over Arne hill. On the return journey we passed the Brownsea Lagoon and saw 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 19 Spoonbill, a Peregrine, 1 Common Sandpiper and plenty of Sandwich Terns. 14 Curlew were also seen on the Brownsea Webcam.  

Other Osprey sightings came from Middlebere, Brands Bay, Lytchett Bay and Holton Lee.

The first Hen Harrier of the autumn was seen over at Slepe Heath, along with a Pied Flycatcher at Swineham and a Great White Egret at Middlebere with another Pied Flycatcher seen on Coombe Heath, Arne and 1 Spotted Flycatcher. Over at Lytchett Fields 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 11 Green Sandpiper, 108 Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat and 14 Greenshank were seen along with 4 Spoonbill in Lytchett Bay. In Holes Bay the Wigeon number rose to 20 and at Sunnyside Farm there were 7 Yellow Wagatil with 2 Redstart along Soldiers Road. Finally a Black Tern was seen in central harbour between Poole Quay and Brownsea. 

Little Ringed Plover – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Curlew Sandpiper – Brownsea Lagoon – Stephen Menzie

Common Sandpiper – Brownsea Lagoon – Stephen Menzie


Harbour Update – posted 29/08/19

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

Today’s venture into the Wareham Channel on our Osprey cruise delivered 6 Osprey. We were thrilled to see 3 of our young birds from the 2019 translocation project exploring their new surroundings!

An influx of Curlew Sandpiper was documented about the Harbour with 4 juveniles observed at Lytchett fields and a further 2 on Brownsea Lagoon accompanying 22 Spoonbill.

Wigeon made an early return to the harbour, with 16 eager birds observed at Holes Bay this morning. Hartland held a small handful of passage passerines including 1 Common Redstart and 2 Wheatear.

Harbour Update – posted 28/08/19

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

This really is an exciting time of year with new birds turning up all the time. Today on the Brownsea Lagoon a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was with c100 Dunlin and 18 Spoonbill. At Arne 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 12 Willow Warbler, 1 Redstart and 1 Osprey. At Sunnyside Scrape 1 Hobby was having a ding dong with a Sparrowhawk and there were 2 Whinchat on the wires. On Hartland there were several Yellow Wagtail at Hartland Stud along with 2 Whinchat, 1 Hobby and 1 Redstart. At Holton Pools 12 Lapwing, 2 Green Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank and 1 Redstart were counted. Today we also re-started our Osprey cruises which saw great views of several more with one flying right past the boat and a couple more fishing out in the Wareham Channel. Also logged were 3 distant Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier, several flocks of Common Tern heading high out of the harbour following the river Frome. Other Osprey sightings saw 2 in Middlebere, 1 catching a fish in Lytchett Bay and another flying over Holton Pools. We’ve also been sound recording night migrants in the Corfe Gap these last few nights with mixed success but another Ortolan Bunting was logged last night flying over our listening station at 11:25pm last night. The previous night saw us log 117 bird flying over using a thermal imaging piece of kit which was a revelation in understanding some of the conditions and the totals of birds moving on certain nights when we’re all tucked up in bed.

Ortolan Bunting Call of night time migrant – Corfe Gap 27/08/19 @ 23:25

Migrant Osprey seen from Osprey Cruise – Stephen Menzie

Harbour Update – posted 27/08/19

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

Yet another busy day around the Harbour. Incredibly, the Harbour’s third Wryneck in three days was picked up along Hyde’s Heath path, Arne. However, this was not the only star bird of the day as a Wood Sandpiper was also recorded at Lytchett Fields joined by 18 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, c70 Redshank, 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe, 6 Willow Warbler and c50 Yellow Wagtail.

Passerine passage at Ballard down this morning included 7 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Yellowhammer and 2 Yellow Wagtail. A large flock of 131 Mediterranean Gull was also logged on a nearby field. Hartland recorded singles of Redstart, Whinchat, Whitethroat and Merlin along with more numerous Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. Neighbouring Soldier’s Road picked up 2 Tree Pipit and another Redstart. Sunnyside Scrape saw a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 5 Yellow Wagtail and another fly-over Tree Pipit. At South Haven, Studland there were singles of Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Whitethroat. 

The Wareham Channel delivered on birds of prey with numerous sightings of 5 Osprey along with 3 Marsh Harrier and a juvenile Peregrine. Middlebere channel saw 5 Ringed Plover, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 4 of the 21 Spoonbill recorded on Brownsea Lagoon. A further 2 Great White Egret were still present at Little Sea, Studland following the initial sighting yesterday evening.

Harbour Update – posted 26/08/19

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

Lytchett Bay continued its good form with a juvenile Ruff seen this morning. The migrant wader was accompanied by 13 Yellow Wagtail, 1 juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 2 Spotted Redshank and 3 Spotted Flycatcher along the lane towards the fields.

Our Osprey cruises continued to delight with at least 6 Osprey observed along the Wareham Channel once the atmospheric fog lifted. A Scottish female (with a blue ring on her left leg) was seen perched right on the edge of the Channel sitting out the fog also offered splendid views. The 3 Black Tern spotted on the cruise two day previously made a second appearance on today’s trip.

The Harbour’s second Wryneck of the autumn was observed along scrub the in gap between Ballard Down and Nine Barrow Down. The same location recorded Osprey, Redshank, Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat all passing through.

Harbour Update – posted 25/08/19

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

What a difference a change in wind direction makes! The epic day began with a ringing session at Lytchett Heath unveiling 1 Wryneck, 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 5 Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Redstart. An excellent start to an eventful Sunday only beginning to unfold! Our fourth Osprey cruise then set off into the Wareham channel providing delightful sightings of 6 different Osprey, including at least one juvenile and various adults. On top of the excellent views of hunting Osprey, other species encountered included 3 Arctic Tern, c10 Common Tern, c20 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Seal. A scan of Brownsea Lagoon to end the fruitful cruise produced 18 Spoonbill and 25 Avocet.

By the afternoon things were really cranking up. The Harbour’s third record of Tawny Pipit was heard calling over Hartland Moor, 400m west along the tramway opposite the Middlebere parking lay-by. The same site recorded movement of Tree Pipit, Willow Warbler and 2 Redstart. Sunnyside scrape is becoming increasing productive with 6 Wheatear, 1 Green Sandpiper and 2 Whinchat all observed. A slender ringtail Harrier sp. flew west at Upton Country Park at 14:30 – given the time of year and current wind direction the last two days, Montagu’s Harrier is a serious candidate.

Wryneck – Lytchett Heath – Terry Elborn

Harbour Update – posted 24/08/19

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

A spectacular Osprey Cruise was had today with up to 6 Osprey and over 30 species seen throughout the cruise. As we headed out of the Harbour we saw a flock of Greylag Geese heading out from Poole Park, perhaps off on their migration to locations elsewhere outside the harbour. Plenty of Common Tern were seen perched up on the buoys and cruising over the water. A Great Crested Grebe was seen as we headed further towards the Wareham Channel and soon after 2 Osprey were spotted in the distance, flying towards in the direction of their feeding ground. It wasn’t long before we spotted an individual flying closer to us as we reached the Wareham Channel and we were treated to watching this beautiful bird of prey diving and grabbing a fish in full view of a boat full of spectators, providing an epic display and fantastic photo opportunities. Over the next hour we saw a mix of adults and juveniles, with juveniles watching over head to pick up on the feeding skills from the adults. To top this amazing trip off we saw 3 Black Tern, one flying right over the top of the boat, 3 Spoonbill feeding, c200 Blacktailed Godwit, a raft of sinensis Cormorant feeding, Dunlin, Knot, a Little Egret, 2 Buzzard and 3 Common Seal hauled out on the mud!

Finally, we set off back towards Brownsea Lagoon where we saw Spoonbill (c18 confirmed on the Webcam), 6 Avocet and 3 Curlew, rounding off a mind-blowing Cruise. Hopefully the upcoming Osprey Cruises will be just as fruitful!

Osprey were also recorded at Lytchett Bay, Holes Bay and Arne throughout the day. From Middlebere hide 1 Marsh Harrier 1 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, 3 Spoonbill and 1 Green Sandpiper.

Sunnyside Scrape logged singles of Redstart, Whinchat, Green Sandpiper and several Yellow Wagtails. Adult and Juvenile Hobby were recorded across Arne and Corfe River Channel.   

Harbour Sighting – posted 23/08/19

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

A beautifully sunny day today with Highs of 23°C. Brownsea Lagoon was busy with c20 Dunlin, c600 Oystercatcher, 12 Spoonbill, 8 Avocet, c20 Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and c10 Gadwall5 Osprey were seen from our Osprey Cruise this morning, mostly around Wareham Channel and Middlebere area. Also from th boat were c300 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Marsh Harrier and 4 Common Seal. 1 Peregrine was also seen looking for a meal over Brownsea Lagoon but was chased off by a feisty SwallowHolton Pools saw 1 Green Sandpiper and a Reed BuntingWhat looked to be a Stork species was seen over the Wytch Channel at dawn heading towards Lytchett Bay, but was sadly lost in the fog.


Harbour Update – posted 22/08/19

Posted on: August 22nd, 2019 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today we hosted our 1st Osprey cruise of the autumn and it was a corker. Within 10 minutes of starting the trip we had an adult hunting out over Arne Bay before another 3 were then seen further up the Wareham Channel. Another then flew out across to Arne before we then later picked one up fishing along the Holton shoreline. Just as we exited the Wareham Channel the best view of the morning came when a fresh juvenile which had originally been cruising over Arne Bay then came and passed right over the boat and headed towards the quay. All this within the first hour! Other reports of Osprey today came from Holton Lee, Poole Town Centre and Middlebere where there was also 5 Spotted Redshank new in, 3 Whimbrel and 1 Greenshank. From our Osprey boat we also logged 2 Hobby having a tag team battle against 2 Buzzard, a Marsh Harrier cruised along Arne Moors and 12 Spoonbill were on the Brownsea Lagoon. We also had a large low tide in the Wareham Channel where c200 Black-tailed Godwit and a flock of 24 Knot were feeding. Sandwich and Common Tern escorted us around the harbour with noisy juveniles still food begging from adults and sinensis Cormorant numbers are building. At Lytchett Fields a Yellow Wagtail was on the fields and a few Tree Pipit passed through the Corfe gap at dawn.

There are still places available on our boat trips next weekend so if you’re looking for something to do to see out August then come and join us for what we hope will be another Osprey-tastic morning out – https://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/poole-harbour-bird-boats


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