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 January, 2020

Harbour Update – posted 31/01/20

Posted on: January 31st, 2020 by beep

The gloom set in early today, but the daylight hours are slowly lengthening. A rising tide at Lytchett Fields this afternoon saw singles of Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper, as well as 32 Dunlin, 35 Redshank and 28 Shelduck. Middlebere channel produced 57 Grey Plover, 225 Dunlin, 2 Spotted Redshank, 31 Redshank, 23 Oystercatcher, 31 Curlew, 1 Greenshank, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 200 Avocet, 1 Peregrine, 3 Little Egret and large flocks of Teal and Wigeon. Firecrest occupied the sewage plant nearby.

Dunlin – Middlebere – Gary Hayman

Harbour Update – posted 30/01/20

Posted on: January 30th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Only a few sightings reported today, inlcuding the Siberian Chiffchaff still at PC World Drain off Holes Bay. 4 Scaup, 3 females and adult drake, remain in Holes Bay South East, just south of the railway bridge. A Sandwich Tern was also reported at Holes Bay. 1 Red-Breasted Merganser and low numbers of Goldeneye were seen at Poole Park today. Birds of Poole Harbour are hosting another guided Poole Town Walk on Wednesday 5th of February from 10am-1pm, birding through Poole Quay, around Baiter and Poole Park. Head to our bookings site for more info.

Harbour Update – posted 29/01/20

Posted on: January 29th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was some good coverage today with a decent range of species logged. At Middlebere the ringtail Hen Harrier flew by the hide and on the mud there were c250 Avocet, c150 Lapwing, 31 Curlew, 110 Dunlin, 27 Grey Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank and 2 Firecrest were around the cottages. In the Frome Valley a Great White Egret was with a few Little Egret, but for some reason this winter we’re totally devoid of Cattle Egret. Our Poole Town walk came up trumps with a Slavonian Grebe in Parkstone Bay along with 2 Great Northern Diver off Baiter and on Poole Park Lake 4 Goldeneye and 1 Red-breasted Merganser were present. Off Jerry’s point there were 3 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 39 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Sanderling and 25 Turnstone and in Brands Bay 2 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, c600 Black-tailed Godwit and good numbers of Pintail. In the Wareham Channel only 3 Marsh Harrier have been present in the last few days and the Merlin was on its roosting post this evening. Finally the 4 Scaup were still in Holes Bay SE this morning.

Red-breasted Merganser – Poole Park – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 28/01/2020

Posted on: January 28th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Sightings from Middlebere include 3 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 3 Grey Plover, 62 Black-Tailed Godwit, 280 Avocet, a Peregrine and a Merlin. Also reported high numbers of Grey Plover and Dunlin, as well as 6 Greenshank and 1 Spotted Redshank on Brownsea Lagoon. Also of note was a distant Gannet off Sandbanks beach, as well as the lone Water Pipit at Lytchett Fields.


Brownsea Lagoon, Martin Adams


Harbour Update – posted 27/01/20

Posted on: January 27th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This morning we had a school bird boat that headed out, and we missed the torrid weather by the skin of our teeth, but still plenty of good birds were logged. A minimum of 5 Great Northern Diver were still dotted around the harbour including a very territorial individual that kept seeing of any Red-breasted Mergansers that dared swim too close. On Shipstal c20 Spoonbill were roosting and 3 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Slavonian Grebe, 27 Red-breasted Merganser and 13 Goldeneye were off Jerry’s Point. The 2 Long-tailed Duck were in Brands Bay along with 1 Great Northern Diver, 71 Shelduck and a decent spread of Pintail. At Middlebere the rain heaved down so most stuff was in hiding but a brave Firecrest was around the hide and c350 Avocet were in the channel. At Lytchett Fields there were 4 Green Sandpiper and at Holton Pools a ringtail Hen Harrier. Sunnyside Farm hosted a record count for the site of 233 Lapwing. A single female Scaup was still present in Holes Bay and there were 2 Water Pipit on Lytchett Fields.

Great Northern Diver – Poole Harbour Central – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 26/01/20

Posted on: January 26th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Pretty bleak weather out there today. But despite the gloom, Swineham Point offered c250 Lapwing sent up by a female Marsh Harrier, as well as 14 Redshank, 2 Reed Bunting and a Cetti’s Warbler. Nearby, the Swineham Gravel Pits featured c140 Coot, 53 Gadwall, 27 Shoveler, 20 Tufted Duck, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Teal and 46 Canada Geese. A Kingfisher was perched by floodgate as a Long-tailed Tit flock went by. The new scrape at Swineham held a further c210 Canada Geese, 3 Greylag Goose, 38 Curlew, 16 Shelduck and a single Lapwing. The 4 Scaup continue to occupy just south of Holes Bay railway bridge.

Scaup – Holes Bay – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 25/01/20

Posted on: January 25th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A fresh and breezy Knoll Beach ‘pop up’ this morning rewarded visitors with 5 female Common Scoter, 6 Black-necked Grebe, 7 Mediterranean Gull, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and small flocks of Brent Goose and Curlew passing south. Large gull flocks were feeding offshore, but no sign of a Gannet or Fulmar in Studland Bay this morning. The slightly more sheltered Jerry’s Point continues to remain the open water species hotspot boasting 4 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Black-necked Grebe, 10 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Great Northern Diver and 5 Goldeneye. A female Marsh Harrier was recorded over Bog Lane and the Morden Bog Great Grey Shrike was observed around Decoy Pool.

Bearded Tit – Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 24/01/20

Posted on: January 24th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A single Water Pipit continues to occupy Lytchett Fields ad the adult drake Scaup and 3 females were still located south of railway bridge. Jerry’s Point featured 3 Slavonian Grebe while Studland Bay saw 6 Black-necked Grebe. The Morden Bog Great Grey Shrike was again seen west of Old Decoy Pond. Elsewhere, a Pochard frequented Hatch Pond and 141 Lapwing were present at Sunnyside. Brands Bay – 1 Spoonbill, 29 Avocet, 4 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 700 Dunlin, 20 Grey Plover; typical numbers of duck. Across there, Redhorn Quay and over towards Furzey Island there must have been around 700 Black-tailed Godwit all told and maybe 400 Brent Geese. Redhorn Quay – 5 Goldeneye, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Greenshank. Jerry’s Point – 3 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Ringed Plover, 21 Sanderling (obviously pushed out of the virtually dry Bramblebush Bay)

Harbour Update – posted 23/01/20

Posted on: January 23rd, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Holes Bay continued to feature the adult drake Scaup and 3 females still just south of railway line. Lytchett Fields saw 1 Water Pipit, 4 Green Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank and 9 Dunlin. A female Marsh Harrier was observed on the shoreline of Otter Island, Lytchett Bay before quartering over the reedbeds.

Our Whitley Lake guided walk this afternoon offered instant views of Mediterranean Gulls, and as spring approaches these birds will become increasingly common along Whitley Lake and Baiter Beach on low tide. Bar-tailed Godwit were also feeding out on the big low tide before moving on to Brownsea Lagoon after disturbance from bait diggers. The striking summer-plumage Barwit was amongst the c50 strong feeding flock. Whitley lake was also scatted with Brent GooseCurlewOystercatcher and the odd Rock Pipit feeding along the shores. Large loose flocks of Red-breasted Merganser could be seen surfacing further out and a pair of Greenshank made an appearance towards the end of the walk.

Mediterranean Gull – Parkstone Bay – 23/01/20 

Harbour Update – posted 22/01/20

Posted on: January 22nd, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was our second low-tide cruise of the month, and what better way to celebrate it by getting stuck on the low tide! Never fear, it was only for about 20 minutes and the fact we had 4 Spoonbill feeding out on one side of the boat and plenty of Avocet and Curlew on the other side, finished off with a fly by Marsh Harrier it made the whole experience rather enjoyable. With the high pressure system currently in place over the UK the tide was 30cm lower than predicted meaning that there was plenty of mud on show, and as we edged our way up the Wareham Channel Curlew, Dunlin, Avocet, Redshank, Oystercatchers, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal and plenty of gulls were scattered across the mud whilst in the restricted channels Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Great Crested Grebe fed happily. In the mouth of the Wareham Channel 2 Great Northern Diver were active and were 2 of 10 logged across the trip. Also seen was the Black Brant on the Rempstone shoreline along with c300 dark-bellied Brent Geese. Light was fading as we approached South Deep but a couple of Black-necked Grebe were still active and 2 Common Seals were busy keeping a close eye on us. Despite the temporary unscheduled stop on a sand bar, it was a fantastic trip and such a privilege to see the harbour in such a unique way. Then, if that wasn’t enough we then had an evening ringing demo to host at Sunnyside Farm which was likely to produce some interesting results with the recent cold weather. It certainly seemed if there had been an arrival of birds with c15 Jack Snipe logged and 6 caught and c20 Woodcock seen and 2 caught. Elsewhere, the Siberian Chiffchaff was again on Wareham Common at the base of NW walls along with 2 Firecrest. The 4 Scaup were still quite happy in Holes Bay SE feeding and roosting for most of the day and there was also a report of 2 Black-throated Diver in Studland.


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