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 September, 2021

Harbour Update – posted 30/09/21

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

Another grotty day, but some glimmers of interest. Most notably there are already up to 7 different Marsh Harrier in the West Poole Harbour roost. Being late Sept/early Oct, no doubt many of these will move on and be replaced by new comers over the coming weeks, but good to see so many already being attracted to passing through the harbour. There was also an un-ringed juvenile Osprey in the Wareham Channel which was alter seen off Shipstal. On the Brownsea Lagoon up to 40 Spoonbill are now present, with peak numbers due in a couple of weeks. Will the harbour reach 80 again….or even more? At Swineham there was a single Cattle Egret again and at Lytchett Fields a new Ruff arrived and there were 8 Green Sandpiper. 

Osprey off Shipstal Beach – RSPB Arne – Ian Julian

Harbour Update – posted 29/09/21

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

Very blustery once again but a few birds were moving. There was definitely an arrival of Stonechat today with small groups moving around different areas including up to 20 across the Greenlands Farm area, 5+ at Holton Lee, 10+ at Slepe Heath and ones and twos dotted around. A Great White Egret right in front of the Middlebere Hide gave fantastic views and at Baiter there were still 20+ Ringed Plover and a few Dunlin. At Lytchett Fields there were c60 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 7 Snipe, c20 Lapwing and a Marsh Harrier. Firecrests are now also becoming a bit more numerous with individuals at Swineham, Arne and Greenlands Farm.

Stonechat – Holton Lee – Tony Furnell

Great White Egret – Middlebere – Kate Plater

Great White Egret with Little Egret – Middlebere – Kate Plater

Harbour Update – posted 28/09/21

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

The foul weather really hit home today, but sadly despite the decent wind, there wasn’t much reported out in Poole Bay other than c20 Gannet (including plenty of fresh juveniles), 5 Kittiwake and c10 Sandwich Tern. In the Lower Frome Valley there were 2 Cattle Egret and in Holes Bay now 436 Wigeon. At Baiter there were 36 Ringed Plover, 34 Turnstone, 18 Oystercatcher and 12 Dunlin and at Whitley Lake 11 Bar-tailed Godwit with 2 Bar-tailed Godwit in Brands Bay too.

Bar-tailed Godwit – Brands Bay – Nick Gadenne

Harbour Update – posted 27/09/21

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

The downpours and wind today definitely brought an element of winter with it, but some stunning sunshine by mid-morning saw autumn return quite quickly. At Swineham the Cattle Egret was again with the cows on the ‘scrape fields’ along with a Marsh Harrier over there too and just 13 Lapwing and 2 Black-tailed Godwit being the only waders on the Stilt Pools with a Yellow-legged Gull. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Spoonbill and in Holes Bay 1270 Black-tailed Godwit with 407 Wigeon now, along with drake Pintail, Teal, Shoveler (and Wigeon) all starting to lose their eclipse plumage and starting to look a lot smarter. At Lytchett fields there was 348 Dunlin along with a Cattle Egret too. The first Rock Pipits are also now back along the shorelines on the Sandbanks side of the ferry.

Rock Pipit – Sandbanks – Nick Gadenne 

Harbour Update – posted 26/09/21

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

The breeze picked up as the front from the SW began to roll in, but there was still some glorious late summer sunshine to enjoy. In Middlebere there was a ringed Osprey, although it seemed to only be a metal ring on the right leg, suggesting it could have been a Scottish individual thats lost is blue darvic ring on the left leg, or there are actually a few Osprey out there that do only have a metal ring on. Regardless, it’s still nice to see them coming through currently. Also in Middlebere were 2 Great White Egret, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, c400 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spoonbill and a Green Sandpiper. In Holes Bay north there were 1000+ Black-tailed Godwit, 300+ Wigeon and 2 Egyptian Geese and a Common Sandpiper. On Hartland there was a single Wheatear and Whinchat and at Swineham a Cattle Egret and another Yellow-legged Gull. In Brands Bay there were 2 Sanderling and a few Bar-tailed Godwit. 

Green Sandpiper – Middlebere – PenHillman

Osprey – Middlebere – Peter Moore

Marsh Harrier – Middlebere – PenHillman

Harbour Update – posted 25/09/21

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

A high tide visit to the Stone Bench at Upton Country Park this morning logged another 1000+ strong Black-tailed Godwit flock, accompanied by 6 Pintail. The wader assemblage kicking around Baiter this morning consisted of 40 Ringed Plover, 29 Turnstone, 9 Dunlin and 27 Oystercatcher. Sticking with the urban birding sites, Poole Park held 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Tufted Duck, Kingfisher and 11 Greylag (including colour-ringed individual U102).

Kingfisher – Poole Park – @twamers (twitter account)

Harbour Update – posted 24/09/21

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

Another stunner of a day, such a shame it won’t last into next week, but some unsettled weather isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it could drop some North American waders our way. Today we made the most of the sunshine with our first Bearded Tit ringing demo at Lytchett Heath. A successful session with c10 Bearded Tit caught, along with a Treecreeper, several Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and a couple of Blue Tit. A sub-adult Marsh Harrier was quartering Lytchett Bay and was later seen at Arne. A Hobby was over Slepe Heath. There was also a great record of a Great White Egret in Holes Bay too.

Ringing demo group – Brittany Maxted

Treecreeper – Brittany Maxted

Bearded Tit – Alex King

Harbour Update – posted 23/09/21

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

Whilst searching for the Rose-coloured Starling again this evening in Middlebere/Wytch Lake, the no show from the starling was compensated by a Honey Buzzard and what seemed to be a Hen Harrier having a tussle over the Wytch Channel.

Honey Buzzard and (Hen?) Harrier – Wytch Lake – OTBT Birder (@BirderOtbt – Twitter)

Harbour Update – posted 22/09/21

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

Sadly no sign of the Rose-coloured Starling in the Middlebere starling roost this evening, but a very conservative count of c1500 Swallow were hawking Wytch Lake and a Whinchat was near the lay-by. Quiet for sightings elsewhere with 2 Ruff and 15 Greenshank were at Lytchett Fields again, 38 Turnstone and a Wheatear at Baiter, 1 Common Sandpiper and c200 Wigeon in Holes Bay.

Whinchat – Middlebere

Harbour Update – posted 21/09/21

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

Some more surprises today with news that a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was photographed in Middlebere back on Sept 16th. An evening watch of the Starling roost in the Wytch Channel (next to Middlebere) managed to confirm it was still around as it joined c200 other Starling on the power lines before dropping down to roost. Lets hope it sticks around a few more days. Another White-tailed Eagle was seen briefly in the Piddle and Frome Valley this AM making them almost common now, to the point we’ll probably stop reporting sightings because we’re bored of them…..only joking of course. It’s been a fantastic week! The Lytchett Bay Little Stints seem to have disappeared but one remained at Brands Bay and at Lytchett Bay there were still 2 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank and 9 Greenshank, At Swineham a Cattle Egret was on the Stilt Pools and with a Montagu’s Harrier seen at St Aldhelms this morning, could it have been the same mystery ‘ringtail’ that was seen briefly in Middlebere yesterday? At Arne there were 3 Hobby, 1 Osprey, 1 Great White Egret and 1 Marsh Harrier and another Hobby in the Piddle Valley. At Holton Lee there was another Marsh Harrier plus several Yellow Wagtail and a Whinchat. In Holes Bay there were 885 Black-tailed Godwit along with c300 Wigeon now back, also 2 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, several Kingfisher bombing around and 2 Common Sandpiper in the PCW Drain.

Great White Egret with Little Egret – Middlebere – Lyn Lambert



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