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 October, 2020

Harbour Update – posted 31/10/20

Posted on: October 31st, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Brands Bay featured a Great White Egret and 3 Black-necked Grebe, accompanied by a winter cast of GreenshankDark-bellied Brent GooseGrey PloverLapwingBlack-tailed GodwitDunlinOystercatcher and usual wildfowl. The Brent Geese are beginning to build in numbers around the harbour now, with a small flock c.15 strong also recorded along the Hamworthy shoreline. Jerry’s Point logged a further 34 Ringed Plover, 27 Turnstone, 18 Dunlin, 13 Oystercatcher, 15 Redshank, 2 Curlew, 1 Great Northern Diver and good count of Great Crested Grebe in out in South Deep. The Merlin was observed hunting over the Middlebere saltmarsh again this afternoon.

Great White Egret – Brand’s Bay – Gary Hayman


Harbour Update – posted 30/10/20

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

A pretty miserable to venture out birding, and today’s sightings reflect that. However, quality birds are still for the finding… The ringtail Hen Harrier continues to kick around, with sightings across the west of the harbour. Holes Bay saw another increase in Avocet numbers, today peaking at 71. Other counts included 719 Wigeon, 30 Shoveler, 6 Pintail, 39+ Teal, 5 Shelduck. 500+ Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Curlew, as well as Knot, Redshank and Dunlin present. Get to know your finches with our latest Winter Birding with Birds of Poole Harbour article here. Learn when and where to go looking for the huge movements that take place in October and November.


Harbour Update – posted 29/10/20

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

Today’s Poole Town Guided Walk enjoyed the first 5 Brent Geese of the series. The new arrivals (fresh in from their Russian breeding grounds) were kicking around the Baiter shoreline. Baiter Park featured 315 feeding Oystercatcher, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and a single Mediterranean Gull hidden among the Black-headed Gulls. High tides at Holes Bay NE saw increase in Avocet to 55, c.450 Black-tailed Godwit, c.200 Wigeon, 60 Mute Swan and a further 11 Avocet c.170 Wigeon in Holes Bay NW.

Curlew – Hamish Murray


Harbour Update – posted 28/10/20

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

Another wet and wild day, which did settle down a bit eventually. Just a collection of ‘usual’ species logged today, but 3 Firecrest in one bush at Lytchett Fields was a nice find. There was also a Curlew Sandpiper at Lytchett Fields again which suggests the 2 birds that have been present recently could over-winter, something we’ve not seen in the harbour for as long as we can remember. In Middlebere there was a fine male Merlin Hunting, plus c60 Lapwing, 30 Pintail, 7 Grey Plover and good numbers of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit. Our Holes Bay walk during the afternoon logged c40 Avocet, 3 Grey Plover, c20 Dunlin, c15 Pintail, 10 Shoveler, 1 Kingfisher plus the usual good numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, and Curlew. At Holton Pools a Peregrine was causing havoc and was feeding on some prey on the edge of the scrapes. Since the weekend, there’s been very little coverage over in the Brands Bay area probably due to the ewetaher, but when the wind and rain ease up it will be interesting to see what else has blown/entered the harbour in terms of open water species. More Great Northern Divers?, more Common Scoter?, more Red-breasted Merganser?……..a Bufflehead!!!???

Also, DON’T MISS our exciting new opportunity to explore the harbour with our NEW Poole Harbour Reconnect Birding tours. These new trips in partnership with Greenslade’s Ferry Company offer a weekly 2-hour escape around the harbour which provides a relaxing and insightful tour either up the Wareham River or around the harbour on a low-tide to focus on our local rich heritage and forget about outside world. Our first is November 6th and with so many good birds in the harbour, what a great way to spend a Friday morning. Plus, with a safe Covid secure framework in place, these trips are limited to only 30 people (minimum of 15), meaning you have peace of mind and space to really sit back and enjoy the birds and the view.

For more info and to book Info CLICK HERE

Black-tailed Godwit – Holes Bay – Joe Parker

Avocet – Holes Bay – Joe Parker


Harbour Update – posted 27/10/20

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

The less said about yesterday the better and to be honest, today wasn’t much better either! Still, at least the Big Poole Harbour Bird Count on Sunday gave us a good overview of what’s present and it’s likely more has entered the harbour over the last 24-48 hours with all these strong winds and rain. This morning a hardy group of 200+ sinensis Cormorant were feeding off Baiter Beach with a mêlée of Black-headed Gull and 5 Sandwich Tern. On Baiter Park there were 200+ Oystercatcher, 10+ Turnstone and 5 Black-tailed Godwit. In Middlebere there were 6 Spotted Redshank and at Lytchett Fields 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Grey Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank, 201 Dunlin, 85 Redshank and 2 Green Sandpiper were counted. At Hamworthy Beach 28 dark-bellied Brent Geese were off the beach including 1 pale-bellied Brent, 11 Turnstone and 1 Kingfisher. In Holes Bay the Avocet numbers are building with 32 now roosting on the high tide. Off Jerry’s Point there was a new juv Great Northern Diver in the harbour and a Cattle Egret flew over Swineham at dusk.

Also, DON’T MISS our exciting new opportunity to explore the harbour with our NEW Poole Harbour Reconnect Birding tours. These new trips in partnership with Greenslade’s Ferry Company offer a weekly 2-hour escape around the harbour which provides a relaxing and insightful tour either up the Wareham River or around the harbour on a low-tide to focus on our local rich heritage and forget about outside world. Our first is November 6th and with so many good birds in the harbour, what a great way to spend a Friday morning. Plus, with a safe Covid secure framework in place, these trips are limited to only 30 people (minimum of 15), meaning you have peace of mind and space to really sit back and enjoy the birds and the view.

For more info and to book Info CLICK HERE


Harbour Update for Big Poole Harbour Bird Count – posted 25/10/20

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

We apologise for the late write up, but we’ve just started collating all the data from the Autumn Big Poole Harbour Bird Count and it’s already shaping up to have been a pretty incredible day. We don’t yet know the full species total as data is still coming in, but from initial reports it’s going to look like an excellent count, despite the frequent showers during the morning. Highlights from the day included an excellent range of early returning/passage winter visitors with 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Scaup, 1 Eider, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 5 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Goldeneye 6 Common Scoter and 11 Red-breasted Merganser in and around the Brands Bay, Jerry’s Point, South Deep (southern Brownsea shoreline) area and a Slavonian Grebe was reported off Knoll Beach too. There were a further 2 Black-necked Grebe and 5 Common Scoter in Studland Bay where 7 Kittiwake, 6 Razorbill and c15 Gannet were active/passing beyond Old Harry. All three egret species were logged with 2 Cattle Egret at Lytchett Bay, 1 Great White Egret on Goathorn and numerous Little Egret logged during WeBS. Birds of prey were also well represented with 6 different Marsh Harrier currently in the harbour mostly around the Swineham area, also the juv male Hen Harrier was seen several times in the lower Frome Valley and a/the Short-eared Owl was logged over the Wareham Channel, on Arne Moors and in Middlebere over the course of the day. Merlin were also seen at numerous sites including Hartland, the harbour mouth, Middlebere and Swineham and 2 Peregrine were on the Asda building. ‘Nocturnal species’ produced 1 Jack Snipe and 2 Woodcock at Lytchett Bay and 1 Jack Snipe at Sunnyside Farm and 3 Woodcock. Crossbill were logged in Rempstone and the Piddle Valley and there was 1 Water Pipit at Lytchett Fields. Both Redwing and to a lesser extent Fieldfare were seen during the morning and Firecrest were seen at Swineham, Knoll Beach, the Piddle Valley, Lytchett Bay and Arne. Sandwich Tern, Chiffchaff and Swallow were the only reminders of summer, each reported in small number across the harbour. At Challow Hill, Corfe, 3 Yellowhammer were located and good numbers of common waders and wildfowl were logged during the October WeBS count which took place at 11:30am, despite the tide barely receding at all. There currently seem to be lots of Rock Pipit around the harbour fringes with many birds calling on/around and over the saltmarsh, with some of them no-doubt being Water Pipit too. So, with all these exciting species having now arrived and passing through we’ve now got the job of bringing all this data together and interpreting it to produce an over-all harbour daily totals list. So, if you did a count for us, then please don’t forget to send us your data to HQmanager@birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk so we can include it in our final totals.

Also, DON’T MISS our exciting new opportunity to explore the harbour with our NEW Poole Harbour Reconnect Birding tours. These new trips in partnership with Greenslade’s Ferry Company offer a weekly 2-hour escape around the harbour which provides a relaxing and insightful tour either up the Wareham River or around the harbour on a low-tide to focus on our local rich heritage and forget about outside world. Our first is November 6th and with so many good birds in the harbour, what a great way to spend a Friday morning. Plus, with a safe Covid secure framework in place, these trips are limited to only 30 people (minimum of 15), meaning you have peace of mind and space to really sit back and enjoy the birds and the view.

For more info and to book Info CLICK HERE

Dunlin – Ringed at Lytchett Bay

Jack Snipe – Ringed at Lytchett Bay

Peregrine – Asda building – Rene Goad

Shell Bay before the black clouds descended and the heavens opened

 


Harbour Update – posted 24/10/20

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

What a miserable afternoon! The good news is that this weather system should pass in time for tomorrow’s Big Poole Harbour Bird Count. A 24 hour ‘citizen birding’ project that sees your data count. Simply get out birding (all day if you like) and send us your totals. Full details can be found here: https://birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/the-big-poole-harbour…/ Today’s Marsh Harrier count sat at 4 individuals. Other raptors present included Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl and Peregrine. The Pergins Island, Holes Bay wader roost featured a minimum count of 12 Avocet, 27 Curlew, 300+ Black-tailed Godwit.


Harbour Update – posted 23/10/20

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

Our BoPH Holes Bay Guided Walk this morning clocked up an impressive 726 Wigeon, 13 Avocet, 19 Knot 12 Pintail, 27 Shoveler, 27 Curlew, 30+ Teal, 4 Shelduck. c400 Black-tailed Godwit, c 30 Dunlin, 30+ Redshank, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher. Limited spaces are still available on Friday 11th December, 12pm to 3pm. Book here to join. Don’t worry if you can’t make this event, we’ll be adding more dates for the new year. The first Water Pipits of the Autumn have arrived! Lytchett Fields recorded its first 2 today. Other notable sightings in the Bay included at least 15 Goldcrest along Waterworks fenceline, 4 Pintail and c60 Wigeon.

Water Pipit – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 22/10/20

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

With only nine days until November there certainly seemed to be a wintery vibe today, not so much the weather but the birds…..It could have easily have been mid December!!

The first Scaup of the ‘winter’ was seen off Green Island with 6 Red-breasted Merganser too. In Brands Bay/Bramble Bush Bay there were 6 Black-necked Grebe, 6 Common Scoter, 8 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Great White Egret. There’s been a build up of dark-bellied Brent Geese with a minimum of 300 spread across the harbour with birds at Shipstal, Ower Bay, Middlebere and the Wareham Channel. There were 3 different Marsh Harrier at Swineham and ringtail Hen Harriers were seen at Godlingston and the mouth of the Frome near Swineham. Bearded Tit were also very vocal and active at Swineham with a minimum of 20 lifting in and out of the reedbed and on the gravel pit there were 8 Pochard. A Merlin and a Peregrine were sat on posts along the Keysworth shoreline and an Osprey was seen over Holes Bay briefly with a fish. Avocet were represented in good numbers with c100 on the Brownsea Lagoon and another c200 in the mouth of the Frome. Skylark seemed to be moving too with several over Swineham heading north. In total 187 Cormorant arrived into the harbour from the north and settled on the Brownsea shoreline. Off Hamworthy Beach 3 Sandwich Tern were feeding and several Kingfisher were seen. In total 37 Spoonbill were seen feeding around the Arne peninsular.

Spoonbill – Arne 

Scaup – Furzey Island shoreline


Harbour Update – posted 21/10/20

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

Yesterday’s Holes Bay Osprey is still here. There was no chance it leave today with all this miserable weather about, so it was good to see the bird back on the platform again. Below the feeding platform, a high tide roost count on Pergins Island featured 4 Avocet, 317 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Curlew, 3 Redshank and a Kingfisher from the Stone Bench. A count during a weather window from the new RSPB Arne Lookout offered c.70 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Red-breasted Merganser, Lapwing and 2 adult male Hen Harrier. Incredibly, a third (juvenile male) Hen Harrier was quartering over Arne Moors this morning. So that’s a minimum of 3 present in the harbour! Over at Lytchett Bay, the Fields drew in a minimum of 280 Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper c.60 Redshank, 70 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank, 3 Yellow-legged Gull and a flock of c.30 Curlew were flushed by a Marsh Harrier over the Bay.

Juvenile Osprey – Pergins Island Feeding Platform


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