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, 2020

Harbour Update – posted 29/08/20

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

It’s really beginning to feel autumnal now, with a brisk northerly wind settling in over night and a cold crisp morning making it now necessary to wear a jacket when first leaving the house. We love this time of year, with so much promise available on each trip out somewhere. Starting in order of birds being reported to us. Things kicked off with an Osprey fishing is Lytchett Bay, soon followed by another. The Whinchat was still in the approach fields at Lytchett Fields and there were 3 new Ruff on Lytchett Fields along with 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Knot, 4 Dunlin, 5 Greenshank, 1 Peregrine, 1 Hobby and 1 Marsh Harrier. In Creekmoor 2 Raven flew over. On the Brownsea Lagoon highlights included 15 Spoonbill, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 11 Knot and the 1st returning Grey Plover of the winter. In Middlebere 3 different Osprey were on view together at one point and 2 Marsh Harrier were logged with 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and c10 Yellow Wagtail in the cattle fields approaching the cottages. At Holme Lane GP there were 19 Egyptian Geese and 7 Little Grebe. There was a nice group of 25 Turnstone on Baiter Beach with a few Sandwich Tern there too. Holes Bay north saw 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 150+ Redshank, 13 Curlew and 2 Spotted Flycatcher near the Stone Bench. On Stoborough Heath 3 Wheatear and 5 Yellow Wagtail were around the cattle along Soldiers Road and a Hobby was hunting above the road. At Greenlands Farm there was another Osprey along with 14 Yellow Wagtail, 13 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Whitethroat. Just below Wareham Walls 9 Yellow Wagtail were with cattle on the floodplain along with 20+ Sand Martin. It’s also Stonechat galore around the harbour currently with every gorse bush seeming to be hopping with these perky chats! They’ve obviously had an incredible breeding season, with the numbers present almost suggesting some sort of record-breaking year in the harbour! Finally, we conducted a co-ordinated Osprey count on Wednesday morning last week (Aug 26th), and the results have highlighted that with taking things like timings, locations, sexes etc of differnet birds it was worked out that we had a minimum of 8 in harbour that day, possibly u to 11 or 12!!!!!

Spotted Flycatcher – Hartland Stud – David Foster

Harbour Update – posted 28/08/20

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

More sunshine and showers, but the showers seemed more productive this afternoon, seeming to down quite a few migrants in certain areas of the harbour On top of Hartland there was a great mix of species with 2 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 9 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler, 30+ Yellow Wagtail and 1 Spotted Flycatcher between Scotland Farm and Hartland Stud. At Lytchett Fields it was another Osprey day again with 1-2 seen on and off in the morning along with sightings of Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Whinchat. At Swineham an Osprey was off Swineham Point in the Wareham Channel, there were 12 Yellow Wagtail behind Curlew Cottage with a few Willow Warbler and 4 Fulvous Whistling Duck seem to have taken up residence on Swineham GP. Baiter saw a nice total of 20 Ringed Plover, 25+ Turnstone and 15+ Oystercatcher. In Brands Bay there were 140 Black-tailed Godwit, 56 Curlew, 11 Redshank, 25 Oystercatcher, 11 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, 9 Turnstone and 1 Kingfisher. At Arne, Osprey were active in Middlebere on and off all day with individuals seen in the dead trees and with on feeding on the T-perch again. Also in Middlebere was a Marsh Harrier, c100 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank and 2 Spotted Redshank.

Whinchat – Lytchett Fields – David Foster


Harbour Update – posted 27/08/20

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

The unringed male Osprey has returned again to the livestream nest several times today, first arriving at around 06:50 this morning. Hopefully over the next few days we will see more interaction between him and CJ7, as there could be potential for bonding before making their migrations. A highlight from the sightings today includes a recording of an Ortolan Bunting over Stoborough during the night. This was the first to be recorded in the country since the easterlies 10 days ago. A watch of the Middlebere Channel this pm produced 1 Osprey, 240 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Greenshank, 4 Dunlin, 6 Little Egret, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew and 1 Green Sandpiper. A ringing session at Lytchett Fields this morning included 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 4 Grasshopper Warblers and 2 Tree Pipit. Also recorded from Lytchett Fields today was 1 Osprey, 1 Hobby, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 37 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Knot, 1 Spotted Redshank, 9 Greenshank, 7 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper and 3 Green Sandpiper. A further Osprey and 4 Common Sandpiper were recorded at Lytchett Bay.

Lesser Whitethroat – Lytchett Fields

Harbour Update – posted 26/08/20

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

What a fantastic day for lots of reasons. Firstly, the big news was that finally after six months, CJ7 welcomed a male (un-ringed) Osprey to the nest cam platform! He actually first appeared at 13:40 and stayed for 15 minutes before disappearing off. Then, at 17:30 CJ7 landed with a fish, only to then be joined by the same male who then sat on the nest for another 15 minutes, looking about. We couldn’t see if CJ7 was on the perching post, but from his behaviour we think she was somewhere close. This behaviour is really encouraging as this could be a non-breeding male passing through the area who’s found a female on a nest which he could be interested in returning to next year. It’s all guess work for now, but still….at last a male Osprey on the nest cam! Today was our last Osprey cruise of the week and we also coordinated an Osprey count across the harbour which produced no less than 6 different birds, with 3 in the Wareham Channel at dawn and another 3 in Lytchett Bay. Plus sightings from Middlebere, Swineham and Slepe Heath. There are now 6 Cattle Egret at Swineham in the fields behind Curlew Cottage with the cows along with 1 Yellow Wagtail, 127 Coot and 1 Pochard around the GP. Passerine totals included 1 Redstart, 11 Yellow Wagtail and 8 Wheatear on Hartland and another 15 Yellow Wagtail near Scotland Farm. There were a minimum of 3 Marsh Harrier in Lytchett Bay and 2 around Keysworth. On Lytchett Fields there were 9 Greenshank, 4 Knot and 5 Dunlin and on the Brownsea Lagoon 15 Spoonbill, c400 Dunlin, 9 Avocet, 16 Ringed Plover and 1 Curlew Sandpiper. In the Wareham Channel a decent count of c650 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding. Across the Wareham Channel/Middlebere skyline a minimum of seven Hobby were counted. In Holes Bay there were 580 Black-tailed Godwit, 256 Redshank, 87 Curlew, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel and 53 Teal.

New adult male Osprey on nest platform

Harbour Update – posted 25/08/20

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

The early part of the day was a total wash out, although good numbers of Fulmar were logged out in Poole Bay as was a single Manx Shearwater seen close in at Branksome, but then the rain cleared which then produced an Arctic and Great Skua as well as a Storm Petrel also out in Poole Bay, along with 1 Common Scoter, 4 Kittiwake, several Sandwich Tern, 5 Turnstone and 3 Ringed Plover. Osprey got pretty active once the rain cleared with 2 present in Lytchett Bay, including the seasons first juvenile. They hunted in pretty tricky conditions along the southern edge of the bay and even came and had a good look over Lytchett Fields. Last night on the Osprey nest cam 2 Nightjar were still active, despite the wind and rain. This evening there were 2 Cattle Egret at Swineham and this morning 4 Marsh Harrier left the west harbour roost. Plus, we’ve been going through several nights recording from earlier in the month and found a great example of juvenile Nightjar flight calls which are rarely ever heard, and even had us flummoxed until the Sound Approach’s Catching the Bug came to the rescue!

Harbour Update – posted 24/08/20

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

There was a good return of sightings today despite it being a wet start to the week. Best from the harbour included Osprey sightings from Middlebere with 2-3 seen and 2 different individuals seen catching fish in Lytchett Bay. Also at Lytchett Fields were 2 Ruff, 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Knot, 18 Ringed Plover, 9 Dunlin, 3 different Marsh Harrier, 1 Whinchat and 1 Hobby. In Holes Bay there were 40+ Teal and a Kingfisher. In the Middlebere Channel there were 4 Greenshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel and 11 Yellow Wagtail at Hartland Stud with 25+ on Hartland Moor with 1 Wheatear. Along the Sunnyside Track (screen still closed) there was 1 Whinchat, 8 Willow Warbler, 1 Whitethroat and 9 Stonechat.

Marsh Harrier – Swineham – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 23/08/20

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

Today was our penultimate Osprey cruise of the season, with out last being this coming Wednesday due to a cancellation mid-week. The wind had eased off somewhat and made the birding that much easier. There was another nice list of highlights that corresponded with the rest of the trips this week which included 3-4 Osprey with one (almost certainly CJ7) sat on its favoured perching post, with 2 seen together over the SW corner of the Wareham Channel and other hunting along the Holton Shoreline. There were 2 different Marsh Harrier, a fresh juvenile and a sub-adult male and in the mouth of the river Piddle 2 Common Seal were basking again. We had a decent low tide with c560 Black-tailed Godwit out on the mud and 11 Spoonbill flew by which were later seen well on the lagoon. The Brownsea Lagoon had been drained again meaning the smaller waders were feeding close to the sea wall which allowed for views of c200 Dunlin, c80 Ringed Plover, 4 Sanderling, 2 Knot, c300 Oystercatcher, 4 Avocet and 4 Greenshank. Elsewhere in the harbour there were 2 Ruff at Lytchett Fields along with 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Knot the Wood Sandpiper. Other Osprey sightings included 3 around Middlebere, 1-2 over Lytchett Bay and 1 at Morden Bog. Along the Sunnyside track (screen still closed) there were finally some Yellow Wagtails to report with 9+ and 3 Spotted Flycatcher and several more Yellow Wagtail at Hartland Meadow along with 12 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat and 13 Woodlark. Along the North Walls of Wareham leading to Wareham Common there was a single Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Wheatear, and Whitethroat. Finally, at Asda the Peregrine was again seen roosting on the tall section of the building.

Wood Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields – 23/08/20

Osprey (likly CJ7) – Wareham Channel – Rene Goad

Little Grebe – Wareham Channel – Rene Goad

Common Seal – Wareham Channel – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 22/08/20

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

Our Osprey cruise this AM was a bit steadier compared to yesterdays, and again produced Osprey, this time 2 with one hunting in Arne Bay and another along the Wareham Channel. Also 2 different Marsh Harrier were seen at the top end of the Wareham Channel. Osprey sightings separate to our trip included 1 over Lytchett Bay, 2 over Middlebere and 1 seen hunting over Swineham GP. In the Middlebere channel there were 9 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Whimbrel, 300+ Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Marsh Harrier. At Lytchett Fields a new Ruff had arrived with 2 present as did 2 new Knot arrive. Also the Wood Sandpiper was still there with 5 Green Sandpiper and a juv Marsh Harrier was active around the site. On Brownsea the Spoonbill flock was still there, plus a Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Knot and a spread of Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

Harbour Update – posted 21/08/20

Posted on: August 21st, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Several sea watches from the same place today provided a good range of species including Poole harbours second record of Long-tailed Skua with a dark phase juvenile off Branksome Chine. Also counted were 60 Gannet, 25  Common Terns, 20 ‘commic’ terns, 2  Arctic Terns, 32 Sandwich Terns, 3  Fulmar, 15 Great Black-backed Gulls, 45 Herring Gull all imm, 17 Black headed Gulls, 1 Spoonbill, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 5  Cormorant and 1  Shag. Our Osprey cruise was a tad windy but did produce 3 different Marsh Harrier, 1 Osprey, 1 Peregrine, 15 Spoonbill, c200 Dunlin, c80 Ringed Plover, 8 Avocet and a frustratingly distinct wader which had features possibly suggesting a Semipalmated Sandpiper on the Brownsea Lagoon, but sadly the views were brief and over too quickly! Lytchett Fields still held the Wood Sandpiper, the Ruff, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hobby, 1 Osprey, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and c40 Lapwing. 

Sanderling – Brownsea Lagoon – Rene Goad

Marsh Harrier – Wareham Channel – Rene Goad

Wood Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields – Paul Morton

Harbour Update – posted 20/08/20

Posted on: August 20th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

After yesterdays deluge we were back on track today and another Osprey cruise welcomed us at dawn. Excellent views of several raptors entertained our guests including a lovely fly over adult male Honey Buzzard which cruised over the Wareham Channel, plus 3 Osprey were seen and 2 fly by 3rd cal year male Marsh Harriers which glided along the Swineham shoreline. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 13 Spoonbill, 9 Avocet, 6 Greenshank, c50 Ringed Plover, c100 Dunlin and c400 Oystercatcher. At Lytchett Fields both the Wood Sandpiper and Ruff were still there along with 3 Common Sandpiper, 8 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Lapwing and c21 Black-tailed Godwit. The Osprey seem pretty active this week moving quite freely between Lytchett Bay and Middlebere with 2 over Lytchett and another 2 over Middlebere with an adult female feeding on the Middlebere nest platform for most of the morning. At Upton CP a Spotted Flycatcher was seen feeding and 4 Wigeon were still off the Stone Bench. In the Middlebere channel there were 7 Greenshank and 2 different Marsh Harrier.

Wood Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson


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