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 June, 2021

Harbour Update – posted 30/06/21

Posted on: June 30th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A warm and muggy one today with no sign of the Melodious Warbler again today but the Quail finally started calling early evening in the south of the harbour.  One of todays highlights was flyover Honey Buzzard at Lytchett Bay. A species thats always a joy to see. Also, there were plenty more signs of autumn migration getting under way with 7 Little Ringed Plover (6 adults and 1 juv) at a private site in the west of the harbour as we finished up surveying for our breeding waders of Poole Harbour survey. Plus, at the same site there were 2 Green Sandpiper. Last night, 3 (newly arrived?) Green Sandpiper were calling loudly in the Frome Valley and there was another at Sunnyside Farm.

There are also already larger flocks of waders assembling in different areas with a flock of 95 Curlew in the Wareham Channel, plus a flock of 35 Redshank. Plus, a big group of 97 Mute Swan were also in the Wareham Channel. At Holme Lane there were 7 Egyptian Geese and another in the Wareham Channel and in Brands Bay there was 1 Whimbrel and 48 Curlew. Peregrines were of course present in Poole with the family hanging out mostly on the Asda building, but an adult was also on a pylon near Holton Lee feeding on a Black-headed Gull and others were also logged at Middlebere and Ballard. Nightjar are still putting on great shows with birds seemingly appearing to be active earlier than normal in recent nights. It could simply be the warm muggy evenings that are getting them active early. Some day time roosting Nightjar were also found at Holton Lee. Luke Johns from the DWT Brownsea team kindly informed us that after a really slow and poor start, Sandwich Tern breeding pairs are now up to 57. This is still way down to the normal 150-200 pairs, but considering it looked like there were going to be none for quite a while this is encouraging. Swift were seen entering a building, under some tiles near the Tatnum which is also good news because although we see plenty around the (Old) Town, we rarely hear of nesting sites.

Peregrine with Black-headed Gull – Holton Heath – Alison Copland







Harbour Update – posted 29/06/21

Posted on: June 29th, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Well, after a couple of weeks it seems the Melodious Warbler has packed up its bags and gone. Of course it may have just moved area slightly (within the harbour?), but it definitely wasn’t logged at Middlebere at all today. The Quail in the south of the harbour near Hartland was calling again on and off throughout the day. Male and female Osprey CJ7 and 022 were on the nest cam again throughout the day with 022 seen in the Wareham Channel around midday. A Marsh Harrier was hunting in Lytchett Bay and 2 Hobby were over Hartland. The Poole Peregrines were logged teaching the juvs how to hunt with the female seen catching a pigeon and then dropping it for the juveniles, which is quite a spectacle to watch.

Juvenile Peregrines – Asda, Poole – Holes Bay Nature (@BayHoles)

Harbour Update – posted 28/06/21

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

It was good to get yesterday out of the way. We could do without the wet and windy weather thank you very much. As a result of the sun coming out the Melodious Warbler at Middlebere was in full voice again mid-morning which is now its 14th day on site which is pretty incredible! The Quail in the south of the harbour also gave several bursts of song again mid-morning but wasn’t heard again for the rest of the day. There were also 3 Little Tern that exited the harbour mouth this AM too which is a good June record. In Middlebere yesterday evening a Spoonbill arrived in and there were 2 Hobby there too. Common Whitethroat seem to be nesting in Holes Bay SE and in the Wareham Channel male Osprey 022 was seen fishing just off Giggers Island where he caught a decent sized Mullet. The first Reed Warbler young of the season were logged at Swineham and at Lytchett Fields there was a single Little Ringed Plover.

Reed Warbler fledglings – Swineham – Peter Moore

Melodious Warbler – Middlebere (June 25th) – Mark Wright

Harbour Update – posted 27/06/21

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

The Melodious Warbler has continued to show on the Middlebere track opposite the Shepherd’s hut, last seen at 10:30 this morning. There has been very little Osprey activity today comparatively with the rest of the week, likely due to the poor weather. However, CJ7 and 022 put in a brief appearance on the nest at around 11:30 this morning and conducted some nest maintenance. Both adult Peregrines were reported hunkered down on the North side of the Poole Town Asda building this afternoon, with the 2 juveniles later reported to be feeding on the top of the building.

Yesterday saw this year’s Greylag Goose ringing in Poole Park. It was a successful session, with 37 individuals ringed, including 20 goslings and 17 adults, as well as 4 retrapped adults. The ringing project is being carried out under licence to monitor the dispersal and migratory movements of the geese. Please report any ringed Greylag sightings to help with the study (info to be sent to Thomas Weston).

CJ7 and 022 this morning

Harbour Update – posted 26/06/21

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

Aside from the Melodious Warbler continuing to show well throughout the day at Middlebere again, the other highlight today has been a Quail, heard this afternoon around Hartland. The Quail was heard calling a few times around 200m along the footpath opposite Hartland Stud that leads onto Hartland Moor off Soldier’s Road. A Hobby was also reported over Hartland Moor.

This morning, an Osprey was reported hunting and catching a fish in the Wareham Channel around Gigger’s Island at 09:15. This was likely to be 022, as CJ7 arrived on the nestcamera at a similar time, without a fish.

We had another good Puffin Cruise along the coast yesterday evening, with 5 Puffins showing, 1 Gannet flyby and 3+ Peregrines perched on the cliffs around Durlston, as well as the usual excellent views of Guillemots, Razorbills, Sandwich Terns and Common Terns.

Sandwich Tern – Purbeck Puffin Cruise – Fiona Liddiard

Harbour Update – posted 25/06/21

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

The Melodious Warbler has continued to show well on the Middlebere track today in the same spot as yesterday, located on the knoll near the Old Shepherd’s hut around halfway down the track.

This afternoon has been packed with Osprey activity at the nest site, with 022 diligently delivering a fish to CJ7 before bringing in extremely large pieces of nesting material, largely in vain as some fell off the nest. Nevertheless, his changes in behaviour in the last week have shown his dedication to CJ7 and the nest site, as well as his maturity which should mean that he will be primed for breeding next year and raising chicks successfully. Interestingly, another Osprey was sighted over Sherborne Lake yesterday evening, which was unlikely to be one of our pair as they have been more active around the nest this week. This newcomer is likely to be another 2-year-old exploring the area – it would be great it if made it’s way in our direction…

Our Nightjar walk on Slepe Heath yesterday evening produced some excellent views of displaying Nightjars across the heath, as well as 2 Cuckoos and a Hobby hunting at dusk.

Melodious Warbler – Middlebere – Mark Wright

022 Making a Stick Delivery

Harbour Update – posted 24/06/21

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

A great start to the day with a Melodious Warbler singing near Middlebere at dawn, re-located on the knoll near the Old Shepherd’s hut (Harrier Hide) halfway along the Middlebere track, having first been seen and heard by a local birder on the 15th. It was reported as an unidentified warbler, possibly a hippolais, so an investigative early morning visit allowed for a still morning to try and listen to the birds song. The Sound Approach recently published an excellent article on how to ID four rare species of warbler that have similar song (Marsh Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Melodious Warbler and Icterine Warbler), and it was this article that helped clinch the ID of the mystery warbler this morning as the bird refused to show initially. After singing continuously it finally popped out in full view and didn’t stop singing pretty much all day! This is only the 10th Poole Harbour record.

Elsewhere around the harbour male Osprey 022 caught a fish just off Giggers Island, which saw one of the local nesting Marsh Harrier react and chase it away. This time 022 managed to keep hold of his Flounder unlike the other day when the Marsh Harrier forces him to drop it! Also in the Wareham Channel were 66 Shelduck, 1 Spoonbill, a pair of Egyptian Geese with 3 young, 250+ Canada Geese and good numbers of Sandwich Tern, more of which seem to be nesting on the gull islands. At Swineham Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Cetti’s Warbler were all still in fine voice and another Egyptian Goose was on the scrape. A Cuckoo flew over the Stoborough Causeway and on the Brownsea Lagoon its good to see Sandwich Tern numbers picking up with 30+ pairs now settled. Also on the lagoon were 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, 1 Avocet and 200+ Common Tern. 



Harbour Update – posted 23/06/21

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

The 1st newly fledged juvenile Black-headed Gull of the summer was on Lytchett Fields this morning which is interesting because there are still quite a number of newly hatched/young gulls on the gull islands. The age range between numerous juveniles of the same species is quite amazing, probably spanning over a month. There were also 3 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Curlew.

There were more developments between male and female Osprey 022 and CJ7. With virtually no sharing of fish around a week ago, 022 gave CJ7 not one, but two fish today which is just fantastic. Both birds were on and off the nest cam quite a bit today, interacting and generally getting on!

It’s good to hear that several Yellowhammer are still singing along Challow Hill and at Ballard with 5 Common Whitethroat also logged in the area.

Yellowhammer – Ballard 



Harbour Update – posted 22/06/21

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

Once the rain had cleared this morning it certainly felt like the kind of day where a few birds would appear or start moving. Ringed Plover, which haven’t been logged in the harbour a good couple of weeks were seen at Lytchett Fields (4) and Brands Bay (2), but are they late arrivers or early departures? Also in Brands Bay was one of the over-summering dark-bellied Brent Geese plus 37 Common Tern off Jerry’s Point and 75+ Swift over. An Osprey was also seen over Littlesea, Studland, which seems an unusual place for for 022 or CJ7 to venture to, so it could well have been a new bird passing by. Female Osprey CJ7 was out in the Wareham Channel fishing at 9:30am and caught a fish, only to then be beaten up by one of the local Marsh Harrier, resulting in CJ7 dropping her fish and disappearing off quick sharp. Luckily, later on whilst food begging on the nest cam, male Osprey 022 finally realised what he needed to do, and delivered (albeit slightly reluctantly) CJ7 a lovely half a Flounder. Good on him, as this will strengthen the bond even more and it will be good practice for next spring (hopefully). A Red Kite drifted over Upton mid-morning and at Lytchett Fields there were also 3 Little Ringed Plover and 18 Lapwing. The young Peregrines managed to stay out of trouble for at least 24 hours, with both present on one of the Barclays balconies this morning. Another check on the gull islands found that there are in fact about 8 Sandwich Tern nesting on there not the 3 or 4 we originally thought.

Male osprey 022 finally learns he’s supposed to share his fish with CJ7!

Adder – Hartland – Nick Williams

Harbour Update – posted 21/06/21

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

Another wet and mild day which was largely uneventful until late afternoon when we received a call from local birder Rene Goad informing us that one of the juvenile Poole Peregrine Falcons was stuck behind a glass balcony close to the Barclays building. We left the bird alone for quite a while to see if it could make it’s own way out, but after several hours it became obvious that the chick was well and truly flummoxed by the glass balcony and therefore had to carried out. Barclays Bank kindly let us enter the building to head up to the top floor and put the chick back up on the nest ledge, where it promptly flew off then back again and was immediately joined by it’s sibling. Hopefully the two youngsters are beginning to work out what dangers lurk around the town, and learn to avoid them over the coming weeks.

Secondly, having not been on the nest all day, Ospreys 022 and CJ7 arrived and had a proper lovers spat over a half eaten bit of fish. CJ7 was determined to have some of his lunch with 022 adamant it was all going to be his, in what then played out to be a funny tussle between the pair being broadcast live to the world! We hope they get on better next year.

There were good numbers of Swift around again today, certainly over the Old Town with 30+ at one point and 20-30 over Lower Hamworthy. Some late news, a Red Kite was sat in a tree up on Hartland at the weekend, a rare occurrence in the harbour with 99.9% of Red Kite sightings being of fly overs. There are also 3 pairs of Sandwich Tern incubating on the gull islands in the Wareham Channel, something we’ve never seen before away from the Brownsea Lagoon.

Elsewhere the first returning waders were logged today with Common Sandpiper at Longham. It was over this period last summer June that the first Spotted Redshank of the autumn appeared at Lytchett Fields, and with the days getting shorter as of tomorrow, let the autumn migration floodgates swing open and fully begin.

Paul Morton

CJ7 and 022 Fish fight on nest cam

Red Kite – Hartland – Nick Williams




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