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 April, 2022

Harbour Update – posted 30/04/22

Posted on: April 30th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

April ended with a bang and a great range of spring species including another (different to earlier in the week) Black Kite which lingered on the southern harbour boundary near Corfe Castle/Church Knowle before drifting off NW towards Soldiers Road. At Lytchett Fields a Wood Sandpiper was on the fields and the Garganey pair re-appeared too, with 4 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover and a Green Sandpiper also seen. Our ‘Up with the Lark’ cruise this morning saw a perfect dawn allow us to focus almost purely on bird sound for the first few hours with Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warbler all incredibly vocal along the Frome (totals from Peter Moore saw 52 Reed and 23 Cetti’s Warbler) as were multiple Bearded Tit at Swineham, 7 Cattle Egret, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Egyptian Geese, singing Redshank and Med Gulls passing over. White-tailed Eagle G801 was on the Holton shore and a Marsh Harrier was over Giggers Island. On Brownsea there were a few newly arrived summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit and c100 Black-tailed Godwit, along with 1 Spoonbill, 1 Greenshank and decent totals now of both Sandwich and Common Tern. There were also multiple Swallow and a single Swift over Swineham GP. There were 7 Whimbrel in Holes Bay along with a Common Sandpiper.

Oystercatcher – Brownsea – Dorothy Windall

Harbour Update – posted 29/04/22

Posted on: April 29th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There’s been a hive of Osprey activity today, with 1 hunting in Lytchett Bay this morning, and another seen in the Wareham Channel. Excitingly, CJ7 laid a third egg at 08:57, which is most likely going to complete the pair’s clutch. An unringed Osprey with a fish also put in an appearance on the livestream nest during the afternoon, before being warded off by 022. Otherwise, 5 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat and 1 Redstart were present along with a steady stream of Swallow at Greenland’s Farm in the late morning. Swineham also felt like spring, with 1 Swift, several Sand Martin and Swallow passing through during the morning.

Osprey – Lytchett Bay – Ian Ballam

CJ7 after laying this morning

Harbour Update – posted 28/04/22

Posted on: April 28th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another lovely spring day, with the birding highlight definitely being the appearance of a Black Kite, first identified in Langton Matravers at 08:30 this morning, before being refound entering the harbour area through the Ulwell Gap at around 10am. It was last seen heading east over the golf course, before being lost over Glebelands. The steady Swallow arrival has continued at Studland, as well as reports of 1 Hobby, 1 Swift and 4 House Martin over the harbour entrance. Further along at Greenlands Farm, 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear and 1 Cuckoo were present. 1 Cuckoo was also heard on Brownsea near the church, as well as a nice report that the Sandwich Terns are starting to settle on the islands. c.30 Common Tern are now also present on the lagoon, as well as the single Spoonbill seen again today. A great total of 17 Cattle Egret were reported south of the River Frome.

Black Kite – Rob Johnson



Harbour Update – posted 27/04/22

Posted on: April 27th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A real sense of migration today as no fewer than 5(!) different Osprey were logged in the harbour today, with 3 seen from today’s Spring Safari Cruise (and likely the same 3 seen later in the afternoon in the Wareham Channel) along with 1 Hobby, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Marsh Harrier and the first Swift of the season over Swineham. All adding to an impressive boat list that included 1 White-tailed Eagle, 1 Spoonbill and Avocet, several singing Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warbler. There was also a decent stream of Swallow passing low over the water during the whole trip along with a few House Martin and Sand Martin too. Meanwhile Lytchett Bay produced female Redstart tail flicking in Pools Field, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 WheatearWhimbrel and re-appearance of the Garganey pair – not bad going at all! A further 2 Swifts were seen passing north over the Poole Harbour mouth, as well as 9 Swallow, Gannet, 10 Sandwich and 10 Common Tern.

As we cruise into May, Birds of Poole Harbour are running an exciting series of events to help learn about, experience & enjoy spring migration at its very best. Our Up With The Lark cruises offer a unique opportunity to tour the inaccessible areas of the harbour whilst bathing in bird sound. Learn how to separate singing warblers as we meander up the Frome Valley listening out for the beautiful songs of Cuckoo and Skylark.
Our Morden Bog Dawn Chorus ID Courses aim to unpack bird sounds, separating those tricky confusion species like Meadow and Tree Pipit, by combining vocalisations with field skills and breaking down of diagnostic plumage characteristics so you can head out this spring and approach bird ID with a newfound confidence and enthusiasm.

Unringed Osprey – RSPB Arne

Firecrest – Holme Lane – Peter Moore

Harbour Update – posted 26/04/22

Posted on: April 26th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another stunning spring day with the great news that we’re pretty sure that at around 11:40 female Osprey CJ7 laid her second egg. Her behaviour and body movement indicated she was going through the motions before she then settled and started incubating again. This is fantastic and leaves plenty of time to potentially see another one be laid later in the week. A clutch of three is common, but ones and twos are frequent too. We’re obviously now in it for the long haul, waiting until we see signs of life from within the nest, but until then, lets see how well 022 and CJ7 take their incubation duties. Another Osprey (possibly 022) was seen with a fish over Lytchett Fields at 8:30am. The Garganey pair was also still on Lytchett Fields this morning. Female White-tailed Eagle G318 was seen to leave the harbour over Keysworth before being seen over Morden too. In the Lower Frome Valley there were 5 Cattle Egret and 1 Great White Egret along with 2 singing Sedge Warbler and 3 Reed Warbler. Last night 3 Spoonbill flew low over Swineham GP heading north and today another was on the Brownsea Lagoon. There was a Red Kite over Lytchett Heath along with 2 Peregrine. 

Garganey pair – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 25/04/22

Posted on: April 25th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Lytchett Fields received the bulk of attention in the harbour today, having held on to the pair of Garganey from yesterday. The fields also provided interest in the form of a Little Ringed Plover and 85 Mediterranean Gull among the 400 strong Black-headed Gull flock. A Yellow Wagtail was logged overhead from the viewpoints as well as the first Hobby of the year for the site. Late news of 3 Whimbrel which entered through the harbour entrance yesterday. The northerly movement also included 2 Yellow Wagtail and small passage of hirundines. In Poole Town, the Barclays Building hosted a Peregrine with Starling prey.

Little Ringed Plover – Lytchett Fields – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 24/04/22

Posted on: April 24th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today’s Sunday morning Spring Safari Cruise barely made it into the Wareham Channel before encountering one of The Big Five! No sooner had we left the conurbation of Poole and Hamworthy behind us, passing by the first few Sandwich Tern on the way, a ‘dread’ of gulls suddenly came in to view. A white cloud of several thousand Black-headed Gulls fiercely mobbed one of the Isle of Wight White-tailed Eagles which perched on the edge of the salt marsh, seemingly unfazed by inconvenient mob. A nearby Great Black-backed Gull provided a suitable size comparison, appearing minuscule by comparison. After spending some time to appreciate an eagle in the landscape, we navigated the rest of the channel as the falling tide gradually revealed expansive mudflats around Gigger’s Island, providing an important stopover feeding site for c.100 Black-tailed Godwit in varying stages of acquiring summer plumage, setting course for Iceland. On the return journey, a summer plumage Cattle Egret put in a brief appearance from Wareham Water Meadows, a Hobby dashed across the channel (our first from a public cruise this year!) and a Red Kite drifted north towards Poole Quay as we re-joined the White-tailed Eagle off the Holton shoreline. Marsh Harrier also caused a stir over the Gull Island, sending the Brownsea Lagoon is always a treat to visit at the end of a cruise, and today was no different – 50 Bar-tailed Godwit accompanied c.15 Common Tern on the Boomerang Island, while small number of Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit and a single Spoonbill added further interest. Elsewhere, 4 Whimbrel featured in Holes Bay SW, with a fifth individual in the NW sector along with 5 Curlew & c40 Black-tailed Godwit. Excellent spring count of 12 Cattle Egret clocked with the cows on the Frome flood fields, seen from Bog Lane this morning.

White-tailed Eagle on Gull Islands – Alison Copland

Swallow – Middlebere – Mark Wright

Harbour Update – posted 23/04/22

Posted on: April 23rd, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

When you start out on a long term project, the ‘long term’ element of it never really sounds that appealing. Almost to point where you don’t ever really believe you’ll reach that point at all. Back in early 2015 we began putting an application together to start an Osprey reintroduction here in Poole Harbour, with the main objective seeming a long, long way away. However, today a milestone was reached and the date April 23rd 2022 will potentially go down in conservation history as the date the first (fertilised) wild Osprey egg was laid in Southern Britain in c200 years. At 14:58 this afternoon female Osprey CJ7, having spent a while prepping moss in the bottom of the nest suddenly settled low in the nest, making movements and behaving in a way that suggested she was about to lay an egg. Sure enough, a few minutes later, she was up on her feet examining the new addition to her nest. Male Osprey 022 soon joined her and spent quite a while figuring out what was going on, what this new object was before playing football with it for a while, pecked it a lot before then accepting his new responsibility. We’ll be writing a more detailed account over the coming days but this is such a big moment for the project and for everyone involved. This is a big step forward, but there’s still a long way to go. With both CJ7 and 022 being new parents they now have a steep learning curve in figuring out to now raise a family. Thanks so much to everyone thats followed this story and all your support, this is (one of) the moments we’ve been waiting for and we can’t wait to see what the spring/summer ahead holds. Please keep watching the OSPREY NEST CAM LIVE STREAM for all the latest updates and developments.

CJ7 having just laid her first egg before 022 quickly learns he has now become a parent!

Elsewhere there were 8 Yellow Wagtail at Lytchett Fields along with 3 Wheatear and a Common Whitethroat. At Swineham 11 Whimbrel flew over and there were 2 Bearded Tit off the point and an Osprey (likely 022) was out hunting in the Wareham Channel.

022 and CJ7 looking at their first egg! 

Harbour Update – posted 22/04/22

Posted on: April 22nd, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It’s not been a massively busy spring so far, but odds and sods keep appearing with a Whinchat and Garden Warbler at Lytchett Bay, 4 Wheatear were up on Hartland with another 4 at Greenlands, 2 Tree Pipit were over Middlebere and a Hobby was over Slepe Heath briefly. Male Osprey 022 has made several visits to the Middlebere nest platform today. Why? We, don’t know, but it’s been great having these frequent appearances around Arne in recent days. In Holes Bay there were 5 Turnstone and a Whimbrel, with another whimbrel in Middlebere. A Marsh Harrier was over the Brownsea Lagoon on and off all day and 5 Spoonbill dropped in too. Red Kites were logged over Brownsea, Arne and Slepe Heath.

Whimbrel – Holes Bay – Martin Adams (Holes Bay Nature)

Harbour Update – posted 21/04/22

Posted on: April 21st, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Osprey viewed from Hydes Heath, RSPB Arne today. At least one Whitethroat at Fleetsbridge early morning. Morden Bog featured Tree Pipit, Woodlark, Marsh Harrier & Cuckoo. Holton Lee enjoyed a visit from a Peregrine while a Whimbrel was observed both north and south of the railway embankment at Holes Bay through the day. Here at Birds of Poole Harbour were still reeling at the sight of the Raven on one of our Osprey nest cams – if you haven’t seen the unusual footage yet, check it out below!


Chiffchaff – Shazz Hooper


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