Poole Harbour sightings blog

A record of all interesting and notable sightings from around the harbour throughout the year.

Latest Sightings

Archive for June, 2021

Harbour Update – posted 11/06/21

Posted on: June 11th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Last nights Nightjar walk was an absolute corker with Nightjar active before dark and a Cuckoo giving two Stonechat grief in the middle of Slepe Heath. Dartford Warbler showed really well too, despite the gloom and Meadow Pipit are still singing on territory. Today a Honey Buzzard was seen heading over Lytchett Bay which are always a joy to see and an adult male Yellow Wagtail was in the Lower Piddle Valley which suggests some return migration is already underway….unless its breeding somewhere of course? There were 2 Hobby and a Peregrine over Wareham Common the juvenile Peregrines at Barclays were really active today, doing more wing stretching. Ospreys CJ7 and 022 spent quite a bit of time on the nest again and were later seen over the Wareham Channel. The first 6 Lapwing of the autumn returned to Lytchett Fields and there were 3 Curlew and a Grey Plover in Middlebere.

By Paul Morton

Male and female Osprey CJ7 and 022 on the nest cam 

Harbour Update – posted 10/07/21

Posted on: June 10th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Well, he couldn’t stay away for long having been absent for a day and a half, but male Osprey 022 returned late last night (21:30) from his travels to reunite with CJ7 again. And today, both have been really active on the nest cam throughout the day, mating several times and even still bringing in nesting material. The truth is, it’s almost certainly past the sage where eggs can be laid, and any attempts from here on in are more for bonding rather than to fertilise eggs. Plus, it could be that 022 starts disappearing more often as the season goes on. Just having them both present in the harbour this summer is a privilege in its self so lets enjoy them over the coming months and see what else happens and who else appears!

Also, it was confirmed today that there are still three Peregrine chicks at the Barclays nest site, with two now very visual, running up and down the balcony ledge in a terrifying but quite impressive bout of bravery, with the third seen to be wing flapping from down behind the balcony edge, presumably because it’s not as advance as the other two.

At Studland a Cuckoo was active near South Haven and Hobby flew over Greenlands. There are still 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese in Brands Bay. A couple of events covered a wide range of habitats and species across the harbour today. Our Better Birding, Better Birds walk at Holton Lee treated us to cracking views of a singing Lesser Whitethroat as we scanned the Wareham Channel for Osprey and scanned over the breeding Black-headed and Mediterranean Gull colony. An Osprey was glimpsed near the mouth of the Rivers Frome and Piddle briefly, a Hobby dashed across the heath and a female Kestrel showed wonderfully, hovering right in front of the group. The day was then capped off with a sensational Nightjar walk on Slepe Heath. Despite the ominous mist, we were treated to incredible spectacles including obliging views of Dartford Warbler, prolonged views of Cuckoo being mobbed by a male Stonechat (improved further when a Nightjar began churring right next to us while observing the spat!), and then a male Nightjar flying around briefly and hour before sunset – stunning!

Paul Morton & Joe Parker

Juvenile Peregrine – Barclays – Twitter @twamers

Harbour Update – posted 09/06/21

Posted on: June 9th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Yesterday, we reported that an Osprey was observed moving up the Frome Valley, towards Holmebridge. Initially considered as “out of character” for our over-summering pair (CJ7 & 022), we speculated this could be a fresh in migrant heading north. However, with no sign of 022 in the harbour since 09:30AM yesterday, and coupled with the report of a Osprey fishing on Sherborne Castle Lake this morning, it would seem our male has set off an exploratory wander, very typical behaviour in 2-year-old birds and to be expected this time of year.

One of the Isle of Wight White-tailed Eagles entered and roosted in the harbour yesterday evening. Today saw the bird visit Brownsea Island and Goathorn Point before soaring over Studland, treating several observers to views over Poole as it tracked north over Lilliput and Lower Parkstone at 11AM and continued east. Both adult Peregrine were logged on the ASDA highrise building, with 2 fledglings on Barclays. An additional Peregrine sighting was recorded over the Baker’s Arms Roundabout heading west, presumably from the Lytchett/Morden area, as opposed being one of the Holes Bay individuals. In other positive news, the first tern chicks of the year have now hatched on Brownsea, with both Sandwich and Common Tern appearing in the last few days.

~ Joe Parker

Sandwich Tern (above) and Common Tern (below) – Brownsea Island – Luke Johns

Peregrine chick – Barclays, Poole – @nyrak62 (twitter account)

Harbour Update – posted 08/06/21

Posted on: June 8th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We have some more good news today. After announcing a couple of days ago that we believe Marsh Harrier are currently feeding young in the Wareham Channel. We can now also confirm that the Barclays Peregrines are also currently provisioning for 2-3 chicks. A nesting tray was put up back in March in partnership with Barclays, Wildlife Windows, Birds of Poole Harbour and Dorset Police and the birds took to it right away. Local Holes Bay watcher Martin Adams recently took a photo of one of the chicks peering over the top of the nesting balcony, giving a rough idea of age and today Rene Goad got a great photo of one of the chicks braving the balcony. It will be incredibly exciting when the young fledge which is always an active and noisy affair, but should allow for some good viewing and perhaps photographic opportunities.

Elsewhere today an Osprey was seen heading up the Frome Valley, heading towards Holmebridge. This could be either CJ7 or 022, but seems out of character for their normal day to day behaviour, suggesting it could have been a newly arrived migrant heading up and following the river system out of the harbour. You can tell it’s been a late spring because Sedge Warbler were still absolutely going for it at Bestwall and Bog Lane this morning. Sedge Warbler tend to go silent once paired up in mid-May, but there were no signs of either of these birds quietening down. The first passage Crossbill of the autumn passed over Lytchett Fields with 3 logged and a Roseate Tern settled on the tern islands on Brownsea briefly.

Paul Morton

Juvenile Peregrine – Barclays, Poole – Rene Goad

Roseate Tern – Brownsea Lagoon – screen grab from webcam

Harbour Update – posted 07/06/21

Posted on: June 7th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Autumn presses on with a doubling of Green Sandpiper at Lytchett fields this AM with not one but two present! They were joined by 3 Little Ringed Plover and an early Curlew. A Quail was heard mid afternoon up near Old Harry just off the SW coast footpath but not heard again. The first Spoonbill of the autumn also arrived back on the Brownsea Lagoon. A Red Kite drifted over Wareham and both Osprey CJ7 and 022 were seen out and about over the Wareham Channel, viewed from Hyde’s Heath, Arne. 2 Spotted Flycatcher were seen at Greenland’s Farm and up on Ballard 4 Common Whitethroat were in full song still this AM. We were discussing this morning how late some species may breed this summer, especially those that can have 2-3 broods. The reason being is that we’ve noticed Woodlark are still in full song at some sites and with not many young birds having been logged so far this spring/summer many birds must now be trying like fury to start bringing off some fledglings as soon as possible. The Egyptian Geese were still at Swineham scrapes and Bearded Tit were heard in the reed beds off the point proving breeding at this site.

Paul Morton

Common Whitethroat – Ballard Down


Harbour Update – posted 06/06/21

Posted on: June 6th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We say it with glee every year, but today heralded the start of autumn migration as the first returning Green Sandpiper of year was seen at Lytchett Fields. These early returners heading south build in numbers through June, peaking in July. Later this month the first Little Ringed Plover will be appearing too. At Swineham numbers have steadied out with 27 Cetti’s Warbler, 58 Reed Warbler and 5 Blackcap. On top of Hartland a Lesser Whitethroat is still singing on territory and 2 Hobby were over Hartland Bog with another 2 over the Piddle Valley. Both Ospreys CJ7 and 022 were seen out over the Wareham Channel later in the day with Our first Osprey Project Cruise having headed out earlier in the morning and logging the Marsh Harrier pair in the mouth of the River Piddle, which were very active. Regarding the Marsh Harrier, we have some good news. The pair that have been seen on and off over the course of the spring and summer have actually made a nesting attempt in the Wareham Channel and we believe they’re now feeding young. This is great news as Marsh Harrier haven’t successfully bred in the harbour since 2016. The pair look very similar with the male having female type plumage, but great thanks to Peter Hadrill who’s been keeping us up to date on developments this spring and who can now hopefully watch and provide us with an update soon on how the new family are doing. There was a ‘fall’ of geese in Poole Park with 109 Greylag Geese appearing and 100 Canada Geese which are recent good totals. There seem to be good numbers of Swift around Poole currently with groups over Old Town Poole, Pitwines, Lower Hamworthy, Poole Park and Oakdale. Swallow sadly seem to tell a different story with hardly any at usual sites across the harbour! There were no further signs of our returning female Osprey 019 up in Wales but I’m sure (just like 014 did) she’ll reappear somewhere!

Greylag and Canada Geese – Poole Park – Martin Adams

Marsh Harrier pair – Wareham Channel – Alison Copland

Female Osprey 019 on Glasly nest – photo screen shot from Glaslyn webcam

Female Osprey 019 day of release on Aug 5th 2019

Harbour Update – posted 4th & 5th June

Posted on: June 6th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There’s plenty to report over the last two days so we’ll cut right to it! The sudden shift in weather has brought on an arrival of 2-year-old Osprey into the country. Within the harbour, a newly arrived, unringed Osprey delighted observers at Arne on the 5th after the behaviour of CJ7 and 022 around the nest site early morning raised suspicions of a potential nearby intruder. Confirmation was then secured when the unringed Osprey landed on one of the other harbour platforms just before 11am. We suspect that most of the Middlebere Osprey sightings that day related to this newly arrived individual. Then at 2.50pm, 019 (a translocated female that has been recorded several times in at Gunjur Quarry, The Gambia since her release in 2019) landed on the Glaslyn nest in Wales! Amazingly, 019 is the second Poole Harbour bird to visit the site, along with 014 who is currently breeding on the Pont Croesor (Friends of the Ospreys) nest!

While out conducting a breeding Redshank survey the previous day (June 4th), we were treated to views of male Osprey 022 catching a large Mullet near the mouth of the River Frome, framed beautifully with Corfe Castle in the background. An early start in Poole Town offered views of the male Peregrine circling the George roundabout a few times before perching on a crane opposite Barclays.

Thank you to everyone who joined us on our Purbeck Puffin Cruises over the last two evenings. We are really enjoying being back out, exploring and interpreting the harbour and wider area again. We enjoyed views of the star species on both trips, with numbers peaking at 5 Puffins on the 4th. As well as being treated to great views of Gannet, Fulmar, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, we managed to figure out the location of the Peregrine nest site at Old Harry! Understanding the geology of the Jurassic Coastline was eye-opening for the Birds of Poole Harbour Team, and we are very grateful to our special guest Dr Anjana Khatwa who provided fascinating insights into the international recognised rock formations on Saturday’s cruise.

Puffin in flight from Purbeck Puffin Cruise – Clare Slade

Puffin from Purbeck Puffin Cruise – Clare Slade

Harbour Update – posted 03/06/21

Posted on: June 3rd, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The June doldrums are already kicking with reported sightings dropping off. The Nightjars have been stealing the show on the southern harbour heathlands with plenty now back, vying for territory after a slightly delayed return. Osprey’s CJ7 and 022 seen out over the Wareham Channel at dawn, over near the mouth of the Frome and a Marsh Harrier was in Middlebere. A decent count of 15 Swift were at their traditional Hamworthy breeding site near Lulworth Avenue and 2 Hobby were feeding over the Piddle Valley.

Looking for something to do this weekend? We’re starting our new Poole Harbour Osprey Project tours, with guided tours of the harbour from our Osprey Project team, who will give a detailed insight into the project and its progress, along with some of the finer details and what we can expect to happen next. All in the fine setting of the Wareham Channel and River Frome.

While we can’t guarantee views of Osprey from the boat, there’s always the chance that one of over-summering pair will make an appearance while we explore the harbour and learn about this exciting project.

To book simply visit – https://www.birdsofpooleharbourbookings.co.uk/event/poole-harbour-osprey-project-tours

Nightjar – Slepe Heath

Harbour Update – posted 02/06/21

Posted on: June 2nd, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

An effort was made to try and relocate the Golden Oriole in the south of the harbour, with checks around the Corfe River Valley and Wytch, sadly to no avail. A Lesser Whitethroat was on territory on the top of Hartland and 3 Tree Pipit were singing at Rempstone. A few more Red Kite were seen with individuals over Canford heath and Upton. An Osprey was seen at Lytchett Fields and 11 Sanderling were at Shell Bay. A group of 5 Woodlark were on the Hartland Road.

Woodlark – Hartland

Harbour update – posted 01/06/21

Posted on: June 1st, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

What a fascinating day, starting off with a Poole Harbour rarity when a male Golden Oriole was found at Rempstone. It was singing for about a minute before it alighted and flew off towards Arne. Then, an Osprey which was almost certainly the bird that was initially seen coming off the sea at St Aldhams Head appeared to visit CJ7 and 022’s nest site, giving CJ7 cause for concern as she mantled low on the nest. Frustratingly the new arrival never landed on the nest cam, and all we saw was it flying off NW out of view. Even more amazingly was an adult male Hen Harrier that was seen flying over Arne Moors, near the Arne Road, viewed from Slepe Heath, which powered on west towards Ridge. A June Hen Harrier is equally as rare as a Golden Oriole!! From Slepe Heath 2 Osprey were out in the Wareham Channel too and a Cuckoo was calling. This evening female Osprey CJ7 and male 022 returned to the nest after a couple of days absent, with 022 catching another decent sized Bass, and failing miserably to share with CJ7. Another Red Kite was seen over Parkstone and the Poole Peregrines were very active again today around the Barclays building. With these warm muggy nights the Nightjars have now found their vibe and have been incredibly active on the local heaths and a Great White Egret was in the Lower Frome valley mid-morning.

Dartford Warbler – RSPB Arne – Alison Copland

CJ7 mantling when visiting Osprey approached

Call 01202 641 003