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 July, 2022

Harbour Update – posted 31/07/22

Posted on: July 31st, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

July comes and goes with our Osprey family looking content and settled now that both chicks have fledged and been on the wing for over a week now. Annoyingly one of the chicks landed on the camera this afternoon and knocked the lens down again but we’re hoping that with a re-boot we can get it in the right position again. Its sad to think that August will be the month we see them leave, meaning we only have a few weeks left before they all depart south, but with our Osprey cruises starting in about 3 weeks, we hope that for some trips we’ll be lucky enough to see the youngsters at some point.

Talking of cruises, this morning we headed out on our penultimate Summer Safari, heading up the Wareham Channel. Singles of Marsh Harrier and Spotted Redshank were logged also 3 Spoonbill were over Swineham Point, 5 Greenshank, c300 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Common Seal. In Middlebere there was a Juvenile Spoonbill, 4 Spotted Redshank, 12 Greenshank 6 Curlew, 2 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Green Sandpiper. 

Green Sandpiper – Middlebere – Mark Wright

Harbour Update – posted 30/07/22

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

It was great once again to see both Osprey and White-tailed Eagle soaring over the Wareham Channel this morning, this time it was male G812 that was present, as female G801 is still currently on the Isle of Wight. There was a Spotted Flycatcher at Arne.

Harbour Update – posted 29/07/22

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

There were more arrivals today, with more comings and goings too. On the Brownsea Lagoon, the expected early arrival of the first ‘autumn’ Spoonbill landed with 6 new fresh in individuals including a pretty cute fresh juvenile, sporting its much shorter bill and dark black primary wing tips. Other new arrivals were the first 6 Avocet and 2 Sanderling. Also present were c80 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank and still decent numbers of Common Tern, including 2 newly hatched (very late) chicks. White-tailed Eagles were coming and going like buses. Firstly, long-staying female G801 left today and ventured back to the Isle of Wight, whilst yesterday evening male G816 arrived into the harbour. Well, this morning he left just as the other male G812 returned and was seen a few times over the Wareham Channel, art one point having a bit of a battle with male Osprey 022, which ended swiftly. Over Hartland there was a noisy exchange between 3 Peregrine Falcon, (2 juv and an adult). There has been some good news from harrier watchers Peter Hadrill and Garry Hayman who are confident that 4 juvenile Marsh Harrier have fledged from the 2 different nest sites in the harbour, which is great news and a postive step forward in really seeing this species re-establish back in the harbour. Our Osprey family are doing well with 5 fish deliveries today before tea time….including 3 deliveries from female CJ7 who doesn’t seem to have lost the knack considering she hasn’t been fishing since April!

Male Osprey 022 with fish over the Wareham Channel

Harbour Update – posted 28/07/22

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

These cooler July mornings aren’t what we were expecting with last weeks soaring temperatures but it’s making birding a bit easier. An early morning ringing session at Lytchett Fields saw a reasonable arrival of Sedge Warbler, but not much else other than 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 local Kingfisher. Waders out on Lytchett Fields included 9 Greenshank, 30+Redshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel , 2 Dunlin also 3 Common and 4 Green Sandpiper. We also helped support with the Upton CP family BioBlitz today which produced some decent Holes Bay surprises including a Spoonbill out from the new hide, also a full summer-plumaged Knot, 1 Greenshank, 177 Black-tailed Godwit, 77 Redshank, 1 Dunlin and 2 Peregrine. Male White-tailed Eagle G812 left the harbour this AM, heading north again……but he’ll be back. He always comes back.

Yellow-legged Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gull

Common Sandpiper – Lytchett Fields

Harbour update – posted 27/07/22

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

The Brownsea Team had a welcome surprise this morning, prior to any guests arriving when they found 2 White-tailed Eagles on the Brownsea North shore. It sounds like they had moved by later in the day as one was then seen over the Wareham Channel around lunch time. There was no sign of  yesterdays Pectoral Sandpiper at Lytchett Fields but there was a good supporting cast of 2 Ringed Plover, 72 Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 7 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper and 1 Whimbrel. On Shell Beach there were 19 Sanderling and on the Brownsea Lagoon 44 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover and 51 Black-tailed Godwit. This evening there was more evidence of arrivals with 2 Spotted Redshank in the mouth of the Frome with 6 Greenshank and c150 Black-tailed Godwit, plus a minimum of 25 Common Sandpiper along the Wareham Channel and Arne shoreline. There was also 120+ Curlew over and 2 Dunlin the Arne shore. A couple of fresh juv Marsh Harrier were at the top end of the Wareham Channel and on the dried Swineham scrape there were 17 Lapwing and 7 Yellow-legged Gull. Bearded Tit families were active in the reed beds at Swineham too.

White-tailed Eagle – Wareham Channel

Osprey chick ‘5H1’ keeping a close eye on things


Harbour Update – posted 26/07/22

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

It’s always nice to get autumn migration off to a cracker with a decent bird early doors. It’s rare for Dorset to see the arrival of an American wader outside of August or September, so a July Pectoral Sandpiper at Lytchett Fields today was a great find. Being so early in the season todays ‘Pec’ was an adult, showing a mature, darker, more worn plumage, unlike the fresher more fawn plumage of juveniles that appear later in the season. It stayed until early afternoon but wasn’t seen after the tide had peaked. There’s a good chance it’s still around, but just hiding away somewhere. Well worth looking out for tomorrow. There was also a Great White Egret on the fields today too. As July pushes on, pulses of migrants will begin to appear and today the first small flurry of Willow Warbler were appearing at several sites around the harbour.

White-tailed Eagle G801 wandered away from the Wareham Channel are and was on Brownsea for the morning before venturing back to the Wareham Channel later in the afternoon.

Pectoral Sandpiper – RSPB Lytchett Fields – Shaun Robson

Harbour Update – posted 25/07/22

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

Another historic day for Poole Harbour, Dorset and the South Coast as our second Osprey chick (5H2) fledged the nest at 09:21 this morning, leaving the nest empty for the first time since 4th April. It’s been a real privilege to watch their development from our live webcam and there’s plenty more activity and action ahead of their migration south in a few weeks time when they depart for Western Africa.

Elsewhere, it’s always nice to nail down confirmed breeding records. This family of Gadwall were observed and photographed by Ian Ballam, and marks only the third confirmed breeding attempt for Lytchett Fields. A small flock of Crossbill passed over the Lower Piddle Valley mid afternoon and a stray Budgie got the heart racing briefly on Wareham Common early morning! In Brands Bay there were 4 Brent Geese (hangers on from last winter).

We’ve just announced our popular Bearded Tit Ringing Demo dates for this autumn! These events offer a unique insight into the ringing scheme and of course the chance to see Beardies in the hand. We’re running four sessions between late September and October at Lytchett Bay, more info can be found here.

Can’t wait until Septmeber to join a ringing demo? We’ve also partnered with Careys Secret Garden to deliver a couple of ringing demos in early autumn. These sessions will focus on identification and the importance of the ringing scheme, offering a unique opportunity to talk through key ID features up close. More info on these upcoming events can be found here…

Gadwall with 3 of 4 young in view – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 24/07/22

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

A windier, less exciting day today, although Osprey chick ‘5H1’ went for several more flights around the nest area, learning a few new favoured landing spots and familiarising her self with the local landscape. Her sibling ‘5H2’ seemed less enthusiastic, especially as the wind built during the day, making flying conditions a tad trickier. She did do several high, hovering flights above the nest, so itv really won’t be long until she too makes her first leap into the unknown.

Elsewhere the wind seemed to keep birders at bay, with limited sightings including 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 Greenshank at Lytchett Fields. Female White-tailed Eagle G801 was in the Wareham Channel briefly.

Harbour Update – posted 23/07/22

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

It was bound to happen at some point during this weekend, seeing as the Osprey chicks had been working their wings hard over the last few days, but today it finally happened….Poole Harbour and Dorset saw the first wild fledged Osprey in nearly 200 years in Southern Britain. At 12:08pm, young female ‘5H1’ who had already ‘branched out’ on to a conifer branch to the right of the nest during the morning (and annoyingly out of view) decided to make her first leap of faith and take to the air for the very first time. She did several laps over the nest site area for several minutes, seemingly excited by her new found super power, before then settling down on a branch next to her dad (022) behind the nest, soon followed by CJ7 who had chaperoned her during her maiden flight. Over the course of the early afternoon she then went on to do several more flights around the nest site, practicing her landing techniques, some of which were well drilled, others which were less so! Chick number two, ‘SH2’ almost fledged a few hours later with several high hovering attempts, and it’s almost certain she’ll fledge either tomorrow or Monday.

For anyone sad that the Osprey season may be over once they’ve fledged, never fear, as both chicks will continue to regularly return to the nest over the next few weeks to feed and socialise, and it won’t be until each has left on migration that the Osprey season is truly over. There’s still plenty more action to enjoy over the coming days and weeks yet!

Elsewhere 2 White-tailed Eagles were present in the Wareham Channel at dawn, although the male, G812 soon left and traveled north. However during the late afternoon, female G801 was seen being chased by a gull at the back of Lytchett Fields and headed towards the Wareham Channel. Also at Lytchett fields were 5 Common Sandpiper, 10 Green Sandpiper, 9 Greenshank, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine plus 4 fly over Crossbill. A ringing session at Lytchett Bay produced the first passage Grasshopper Warbler of the autumn with 3 ringed and a decent increase in Sedge Warbler with 15 passage birds. Also the first passage Willow Warbler of the autumn to be ringed and 7 Bearded Tit were ringed in the reed bed. In Middlebere there were 2 Whimbrel, 40 Curlew, 1 Spoonbill and 3 Greenshank. At Swineham there were 10 adult Yellow-legged Gull on the dry Stilt Pools.

Harbour Update – posted 22/07/22

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

Lovely to see the male Black Redstart on our old Poole Quay office building this afternoon.  Over on Brownsea Lagoon, wader numbers sat at 40 Dunlin and Redshank, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Greenshank. The last remaining Common Tern chicks are still kicking around. We’re delighted to have two members of our team Brittany and Liv are heading up to Hen Harrier Fest this weekend to talk about raptor conservation efforts from down here on the south coast! Our Osprey chicks 5H1 and 5H2 are looking fantastic and fledging is imminent. They’ve continued to develop and grow over the last week are now pretty much full size! They’ll still need to put a lot of fat before leaving, but any day now should see them fledge the nest.

Osprey chicks 5H1 and 5H2


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