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 February, 2021

Harbour Update – posted 28/02/21

Posted on: February 28th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was due to happen some time, but finally one of the Isle of Wight White-tailed Sea Eagles decided to spend a day in and around Poole Harbour. Thanks to info from Tim Mackrill from the Roy Dennis Wildlife foundation we received info that the bird roosted within the harbour area last night having arrived from Hampshire yesterday afternoon. Today it was seen over Corfe, Harmans Cross and then Corfe Common again this evening, suggesting that it spent most/all of today along the south area of Poole Harbour. Where it is this evening is anyone’s guess….Dorset? Devon? Derbyshire? But we’ll hopefully be able to get another update from Tim tomorrow sometime. Elsewhere it was rather quiet today with many people just enjoying the sun. 2 Red Kite drifted over Nine Barrow Down and headed towards the harbour. Good numbers of Crossbill were in Rempstone and a pair of Mandarin Duck were seen in the Piddle Valley. The Little Gull was at Swineham floods first thing and 11 Spoonbill were in the Wytch Channel and then flushed towards Goathorn. Sadly a dead Barn Owl was found on the edge of the A35 near Lytchett Fields which is a scarce bird in that part of the harbour. It was also the Poole Harbour WeBS count today which so far seems to have yielded smaller numbers of the regular waders and wildfowl as winter spring gives way to spring.

Crossbill – Greenlands Farm


Harbour Update – posted 27/02/21

Posted on: February 27th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We could get used to this! Another balmy, beautiful, blissful early spring day with a real buzz in the air with both butterfly’s and numerous bee species on the wing. If this is the pattern for the coming weeks then it will hopefully make the last few weeks/months of lockdown that tad bit easier. Sightings wise it was fairly quite today with the Swallow and Sand Martins recorded at Swineham again along with the Little Gull in the mouth of the River Piddle. There were also 13 Cetti’s Warbler and 29 Reed Bunting singing. Both Peregrine Falcons were seen on the Asda and the Barclays building. A Red-throated Diver was off Parkstone Yacht Club and a Great Northern Diver was off Jerry’s Point. Holes Bay north still held 58 Curlew, 100 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Avocet, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Kingfisher and a few Shoveler. A Jack Snipe was seen and photographed hiding well at Lytchett Fields yesterday and a Water Pipit was there this morning.

No wonder they’re rarely seen! Jack Snipe – Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Harbour Update – posted 26/02/21

Posted on: February 26th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Wonderful spring-like conditions emerged after the thick fog lifted this morning with the undoubted highlight being the first 2 Sand Martin and a Swallow of the spring appearing over Swineham late afternoon. Two Golden Plover passed over Swineham and the Little Gull returned to the Lower Piddle Valley flood fields, along with 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Snipe, 13 Reed Bunting, Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Marsh Harrier, but there was no sign of the Ring-necked Duck on the Gravel Pit. Keysworth reedbed attracted 2 Marsh Harrier and 2 Bearded Tit. A Great White Egret was picked up over Wareham Channel and a single redhead Goosander was off Hamworthy Beach. Central harbour featured 1 Red-throated Diver new in and 2 Great Northern Diver. A single Long-tailed Duck was off Brownsea, and the lagoon featured c.2500 Black-tailed Godwit, many in partial summer plumage. There has been a complete clear out of Goldeneye with the only bird logged was at Holes Bay. The site also saw a couple of Kingfisher. Other records across the harbour included 4 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Sandwich Tern, 8 Spoonbill at Shipstal, still plenty of Brent Goose along the southern shore (including the Brand’s Bay Pale-bellied Brent) and c.150 Red-breasted Merganser displaying out on the water.

Little Gull, Sand Martin and Swallow – Swineham GP – Peter Moore

Harbour Update – posted 25/02/21

Posted on: February 25th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A female Hen Harrier has been seen around Swineham Point area for the last couple of days. Marsh Harrier were recorded around Holton Lee early morning and Swineham. The adult winter Little Gull returned to feed around the Piddle Valley flood fields. Other highlights picked up around Swineham included Ring-necked Duck, 13 Cetti’s Warbler, 15 Reed Bunting, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Greylag (1 Ringed), 4 Egyptian Geese, 1 SnipeShoveler and 2 Adder. Plus, at dusk 2 Spoonbill arrived in high from the west and settled on the Stilt Pools. Poole Park Greylag now up to 24 (including U012, U013 and U014). A Short-eared Owl was seen near Ridge last night.

Shell Bay featured a single Black-necked Grebe, 16 Ringed Plover, 11 Grey Plover, 6 Turnstone and a Sanderling. Two Great Northern Diver, 10 Black-necked Grebe, distant Long-tailed Duck, 5 Common Scoter and 16 Red-breasted Merganser. Brands Bay clocked up a minimum of 400 Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Grey Plover, 310+ Common Gull and 2 Mediterranean Gull.

Ring-necked Duck – Swineham GP – Garry Hayman

Adder – Swineham – Garry Hayman

Harbour Update – posted 24/02/21

Posted on: February 24th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The strong winds produced the goods today with a 1st-winter Kittiwake north over Lytchett Fields. A Ruddy Shelduck appeared with 9 Egyptian Geese at Holme Lane GP late afternoon, presumably the same bird that was at Silver Lake not long ago. The Pale-bellied Brent Goose is still hanging around Brands Bay. Other highlights included 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Great Northern Diver, 5 Common Scoter, 3 Black-necked Grebe and 67 Grey Plover among the Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Sanderling, Red-breasted Merganser and Greenshank. Wytch Heath logged 15 Crossbills and the female Ring-necked Duck was still present at Swineham this morning, with a Firecrest recorded at the start of the Piddle Valley fields. Two Adder were also observed in the area – another welcome sign of spring around the corner. Out In Studland Bay there were 2 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Common Scoter.

Ruddy Shelduck – Holme Lane GP

Sanderling – Jerry’s Point – Garry Hayman

Harbour Update – posted 23/02/21

Posted on: February 23rd, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The sighting of the day undoubtedly is awarded to the late news of a male Ring Ouzel that’s been over-wintering in a private garden in Bournemouth since mid-December! A cracking record. A commute from work saw one observer flush 2 Snipe from Holes Bay shoreline near Asda, at 04:15(!). The lone Swineham Ring-neck Duck remained present throughout the day. No sign of the Red-throated Diver or yesterday’s Little Gull. Chiffchaff and vocal Cetti’s Warbler also noted, and 4 Greylag Goose occupied Curlew Pool, of which one colour-ringed bird – U060. Baiter Park recorded a max count of 55 Dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Bar-tailed Godwit feeding among a flock of 99 Oystercatcher on the playing fields early morning. Other records included 2 Mediterranean Gulls kicking around from the site and a Sandwich Tern briefly west through Parkstone Bay. PC World Drain featured 2 collybita (Common) Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Teal and a small mixed tit flock.A decent tally of 115 Bar-tailed Godwit were recorded at Whitley Lake at low tide, accompanied by 6 Curlew, 8 Turnstone and numerous Oystercatcher. Are things finally winding down for Jerry’s Point? A ‘mere’ 1 (female) Scaup, 1 Great Northern Diver 31 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Sanderling and only one species of grebe (Great Crested) logged today.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose – Baiter Park

Bar-tailed Godwit & Oystercatcher – Baiter Park

Goldcrest – PC World Drain

Harbour Update – posted 22/02/21

Posted on: February 22nd, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was a beautiful adult Little Gull at Swineham this evening and 2 Egyptian Geese too. A Red Kite drifted NE over Alum Chine, Westbourne early afternoon. Hihglights from Middlebere Channel included a female Marsh Harrier, 3 Spoonbill (1 first-winter bird with white colour ring), 17 Grey Plover, 50 Avocet, Shelduck, 7 Curlew and Buzzard. A quiet day for sightings at Holes Bay today with a single Chiffchaff  present at PC World Drain. Two Pintail pairs present from the Stone Bench, 37 Curlew in nearby fields, Water Rail calling in Holes Bay NW and a Kingfisher that dashed across the Bay just before sunrise. Plenty of Poole Town Peregrine activity logged throughout the day, focused around the ASDA highrise.

Little Gull – Swineham – Peter Moore

Dartford Warbler – Holton Lee – Tony Furnell

Harbour Update – posted 21/02/21

Posted on: February 22nd, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Poole Peregrines are getting really active between the Asda and Barclays building, likely looking to set up a territory. We’d be really keen to hear about any activity noted of this pair in regards to the amount of time spent on and their behaviour on each building. It’s likely they’re going to try and set up territory again this year and we’re keen to know and understand which building they’re most likely to use. So please either email us or contact us on social media with updates.

A single female Ring-necked Duck continues to occupy Swineham Gravel Pit and a Red-legged Partridge was still kicking about the Holme Lane fields to the east of the railway line. Rough count of Holes Bay produced 500+ Wigeon, 120+ Teal, 50+ Shoveler & Shelduck, 4 Pintail, 3 Gadwall, 3 Brent Goose, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Red-breasted Merganser. Wader totals hit 350+ Black-tailed Godwit, 150+ Dunlin, 75+ Redshank & Avocet, 50+ Curlew and 2 Lapwing.  Of note were 2 pairs of Great Crested Grebe showing the first signs courtship behaviours, roll on spring! A Water Rail heard in Symes Rd reed beds (Holes Bay South), with Kingfisher and female Goldeneye also seen. Firecrest and Treecreeper were both logged at Upton Country Park.

Peregrine – Barclays Building, Poole – René Goad

Ring-necked Duck – Swineham – Peter Moore

Harbour Update – posted 20/02/21

Posted on: February 21st, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another fairly yucky day with the main highlight being first Little Gull of the year seen on Shell Beach. Also the Red-throated Diver was seen on the River Frome again and a Ring-necked Duck was on Swineham GP with a flyover Merlin there too. Two Goosander were on the River Piddle and off Baiter there were 2 Great Northern Diver with another 4 off Jerry’s Point with 4 Slavonian Grebe, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye and 6 Black-necked Grebe.

Little Gull – Shell beach – Thomas Beer

Harbour Update – posted 19/02/21

Posted on: February 19th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Swineham Red-throated Diver was seen again but no sign of the Ring-necked Duck. The surrounding area featured 2 Raven, 68 Teal and 20 Shoveler, 250 Lapwing, 50 Curlew, 1 Egyptian Goose, 2 KingfisherMarsh Harrier.

Great White Egret battled the weather at Little Sea, Studland. A single Scaup, 3 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Black-necked Grebe, 11 Goldeneye, 4 Common Scoter, 17 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Great Northern Diver, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Avocet, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 vocal Green Woodpecker made up the highlights at Jerry’s Point. A flock of 161 Oystercatcher & a Bar-tailed Godwit were feeding Baiter mid morning. Both Peregrine were stationed on the ASDA highrise, 40 Avocet in Holes Bay NE and further 80 from Stone Bench along with c30 Curlew, 60 Shoveler and 20 Dunlin.

Red-breasted Merganser – Jerry’s Point – Garry Hayman


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