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, 2021

Harbour Update – posted 31/10/21

Posted on: October 31st, 2021 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A male Hen Harrier seen in the Middlebere Channel around 2:30pm, where a Ringtail individual was also present a couple of hours later. A group of 9 Spoonbill were feeding on the high tide, including one colour ringed individual trying to swallow a whole Dab! Feedback today from the Dutch group Werkgroep lepelaar identified another (or perhaps the same) ringed individual ‘NB97’ seen two days ago on Brownsea Lagoon as a juvenile ringed on 5th August this year at Vlieland. Now is also the perfect time to keep an eye out for other colour ringed species such as Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit as they move in from other populations for the winter!

Also present at Middlebere this afternoon were Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret, 1 Knot, 1 Ruff, 5 Spotted Redshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50 Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Avocet, 10 Oystercatcher, 20 Grey Plover, 30 Dunlin, along with a few each of Pintail, Gadwall and Wigeon in amongst approximately 300 Teal.

Swineham was decidedly more quiet this morning, with the only waders being 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and 6 Lapwing. The usual group of Greylag and Canada Geese had meanwhile moved across to Arne Moors. The Gravel Pit was also largely cleared out, with the number of Great Crested Grebe down to a single individual.

On the northern side of the harbour, 201 Oystercatcher were sheltered along the shore at Baiter Park and a female type Red-Breasted Merganser took refuge in Poole Park. Holes Bay held 2 Avocet, 3 Dunlin, and 1 Shelduck in amongst several hundred Black-tailed Godwit and Wigeon. The female Peregrine was also present on the Asda building.

Not to much to report from Lytchett Bay with the water levels exceptionally high, however the Whinchat was still present in the arable field. There have been no reports of the Hoopoe anywhere around Lytchett Bay, Hamworthy or Upton today, so perhaps it has finally moved on or is merely sheltering from storm in a nearby garden… Time and better conditions in the coming days will surely tell.

Juvenile Dutch Spoonbill ‘NB97’ (29/10/21) – Brownsea Lagoon – Martin Adams 


Harbour Update – posted 30/10/21

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

A count from Coombe Viewpoint this morning looking over the Middlebere Channel produced 24 Pintail, 88 Redshank, 100 Dunlin, 81 Wigeon, 1o Lapwing, 602 Teal, 101 Avocet, 12 Grey Plover, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Marsh Harrier. 1 Spotted Redshank and 3 Spoonbill were reported from Brownsea Lagoon this afternoon, as well as the building numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, and Avocet. Over in Brands Bay, 5 Black-necked Grebe were seen this pm. On Baiter, 200 Oystercatcher were counted on the playing fields, as well as a feeding frenzy of 100+ Cormorant in Parkstone Bay. There was also a juv-1st winter Little Stint on the Brownsea Lagoon.

Cormorant – Shell Bay – @BirderOtbt  on Twitter


Harbour Update – posted 29/10/21

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

Here at Birds of Poole Harbour, we love this time this time of year. So many exciting species can be encountered as they pass through on their epic migrations. An adult male Hen Harrier is scarcely observed here in the harbour these days, however an adult male graced Hartland Moor today while a nearby male Merlin dashed around Soldiers Road chasing down migrant finch flocks. Lytchett Bay also weighed in on the action, attracting an un-ringed Water Pipit on Pool Field, a Jack Snipe in Approach Field and the (semi)long-staying Hoopoe putting on another performance. Moving into the urban sprawl, Baiter Park clocked 226 Oystercatcher and 15 Turnstone. Brownsea Lagoon held 339 Avocet, 381 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Brent Goose, 38 Ringed Plover, 9+ Greenshank, 4 Spoonbill and singles of Spotted Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, and Knot. To finish it all off, a White-tailed Eagle was seen perching on a distant fence line to the left of Middlebere hide around midday. This evening in Brands Bay there were 42 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Black-necked Grebe, 54 Brent Geese, 44 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Goldeneye and 1 Scaup. Brownsea Lagoon held 339 Avocet, 381 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Brent Geese, 38 Ringed Plover, 9+ Greenshank singles of Spotted Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Knot plus 4 Spoonbill.

White-tailed Eagle (yesterday) – Middlebere – Nigel Gidney

Merlin (yesterday) – Middlebere – Nigel Gidney


Harbour Update – posted 28/10/21

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

A great array of sightings today, with a Ring Ouzel at Hartland Moor this afternoon being one of the highlights. The White-tailed Eagle has stayed around again, being seen in the Middlebere Channel this morning, along with a count of 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 740 Avocet, 630 Black-tailed Godwit, 95 Redshank, 32 Grey Plover, 300 Dunlin, 26 Oystercatcher, 13 Curlew, 130 Teal and 65 Wigeon. A Merlin was also reported from the Shipstal Hide at RSPB Arne this morning.  Numbers of Wigeon surpassed 1000 in Holes Bay this morning, with a count of 1083, as well as 26 Shoveler, 15 Pintail, 39 Avocet, 2 Greenshank, 2 Spoonbill and the Barnacle Goose amongst the c.600 Canada Geese.

The Hoopoe is still present at the Upton Allotments, visible throughout the day. Please remember to stick to the guidance set out by the Lytchett Bay Partnership and the Allotment Association as to not damage the area and disturb the bird, as well as being respectful to the residents. The Allotment Association are happy for the bird to be viewed from the car park, and request that people do not go beyond that area and remember to close the gate behind them.

Curlew – Middlebere Channel – Kate Plater


Harbour Update – posted 27/10/21

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

Still great birds around despite the strong SW wind. Male White-tailed Eagle G471 reappeared again in Middlebere this afternoon, seen flying towards Wytch Lake. The Hoopoe, which sounded like it had left this AM when it was reported over Lytchett Bay view was later re-found around the allotments again this afternoon. A ringtail Hen Harrier was off Shipstal Point, Arne and a Great White Egret was on the Brownsea Lagoon. In Middlebere there were 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Great White Egret and a Peregrine plus c150 Avocet. A Merlin was on Hartland again and there were 3 Spoonbill in Holes Bay south.


Harbour Update – posted 26/10/21

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

A decent exploration around the harbour yielded some good returns including a Black Brant in the Wareham Channel 5-6 Marsh Harrier between Keysworth and Arne Moors. At Brands Bay there was a Great White Egret and a high count of 51 Spoonbill were between Shipstal and Brownsea. The first 3 Goldeneye of the winter were off Furzey Island and c15 Red-breasted Merganser and the Scaup were still in South Deep/off Jerry’s Point. In the mouth of the River Piddle there were 8 Little Grebe and 3 Kingfisher with 2 Green Sandpiper on Arne Moors and a flock of 21 Common Snipe were over Swineham with 3 Swallow too. There was also a Swallow and 2 House Martin logged at Lytchett Bay whilst searches went on for the Hoopoe which was seen a couple of times today around the allotment. Last night a lamping session near Sunnyside logged c10 Jack Snipe with 5 caught including two re-capturers from early 2021 and Feb 2020, plus the first 2 Woodcock of the winter were seen. The Brownsea Lagoon was looking decent with c20 Ringed Plover, c200 Dunlin, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, c12 Greenshank, c100 Avocet and 3 (of the 51) Spoonbill. A late Hobby was over Arne Moors and a Merlin was dashing about and both the juv and adult male Hen Harriers were both seen today at Middlebere. A new Water Pipit was seen at Lytchett Fields yesterday and there was a Cattle Egret there today too.

Hen Harrier – Middlebere – PennHillMan

Jack Snipe – Sunnyside 


Harbour Update – posted 25/10/21

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

Today the Hoopoe reappeared again in the allotments at Upton and showed on and off throughout the day but did disappear for lengthy periods. Just a polite reminder that the allotment owners request that birders please stay at the car park area and not wander off around the allotment plots trying to find the bird. There was quite a bit of Marsh Harrier activity in the Wareham Channel with some birds expressing territorial behaviour plus there was a juv male Hen Harrier bombing between the Slepe Heath/Wareham Channel area. At Lytchett Bay a single Spotted Redshank was on the fields with 105 Dunlin. Also 12 Swallow passed over late afternoon. There was a sighting of 4 possible Bearded Tit rising from the reed beds at Holes Bay NW. At dusk 3 Cattle Egret flew of Swineham where decent numbers of Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler were on the ‘Stilt Pools’.

Hoopoe – Slough Lane, Upton – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 24/10/21

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

Yesterdays Hoopoe was present again for most of the morning before disappearing for quite a while, before then re-appearing again later in the day giving great views to the good number of people that went to see it. There seemed to be a bit of passage this morning with Brambling over Swineham and Lytchett Minster along with a small flurry of Redwing. 


Harbour Update – posted 23/10/21

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

October is fizzling out fast and we’re yet to see any big thrush passages yet other than a bout two weeks ago when the first (small) rush pushed through. No Redwing, Fieldfare or Song thrush were logged on our Ballard walk this AM but and stunning adult male Ring Ouzel dropped out of the sky next to our group. Also up around Ballard were c25 Stonechat, 5 Skylark, small passages of c100 Linnet, 5+ Rock Pipit and out in Studland Bay there were 5 Black-necked Grebe, 7 Common Scoter and 3 Razorbill along with 7 Shag. There were also 2 active Peregrine up over Ballard and 13 latish Swallow. Bird of the day was a Hoopoe discovered in the allotments along Slough Lane at Lytchett Bay. Also at Lytchett Fields a new Water Pipit was colour ringed with the code ‘4k’ so please keep an eye out if visiting the site over the coming months. Also a new scheme has started to colour ring Rock Pipit in the harbour and the first was ringed today with the code ‘AA’, so also another series of birds to take note of and report if seen. There were 2 Great White Egret at Little Sea, Studland and the Scaup was still off Jerry’s Point. On Brownsea there were only 40 Spoonbill today and also a late Common Sandpiper. Out in the Wareham Channel a new Hen Harrier was working with a new Merlin to hunt out Meadow Pipit whilst a second Merlin was on Hartland. There are also up to 6 Marsh Harrier still preset in the west harbour area.

Hoopoe – Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam


Harbour Update – posted 22/10/21

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

A perfect autumn day weather wise, but a bit quiet on the bird front. The main highlight was the return of the Black Brant at Arne. What we assume is the same returning bird from the last couple of years was seen off Shipstal this afternoon with a small Brent Goose flock. The White-tailed Eagle was seen again briefly over the Wareham Channel but then disappeared. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 52 Spoonbill and there was more evidance of Bearded Tit dispersal with 2 seen along the Boardwalk at Holes Bay where there were also 605 Black-tailed Godwit. In Brands Bay 2 Great White Egret were seen again and a Glossy Ibis was reported over Middlebere.

Black Brant – Shipstal, RSPB Arne – Andy Millar


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