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 December, 2022

New Year’s Eve Harbour Update

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

Last 24 hours to finalise those 2022 year lists and a last push saw a Velvet Scoter in through the harbour mouth first thing, along with 4 Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Diver, 4 Red-breasted Merganser and 60 Grey Plover along Shell Bay. Holes Bay featured 144 Avocet and 200+ Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit.

Wishing you good birding and a happy New Year from the Birds of Poole Harbour team.

Avocet – Holes Bay – Mark Wright 

Harbour Update – posted 30/12/22

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

A short and sweet round up this evening with grotty weather for most of the day putting a hold on most birding activity!

Hen Harriers were logged at Middlebere and Lytchett Bay, a White-tailed Eagle was seen over Morden Bog, in Studland Bay 3 Black-necked Grebe and 2 Great Northern Diver were loafing close in shore.

Harbour Update – posted 29/12/22

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

The day started off well with the over-wintering Black Brant re-found off the Rempstone shoreline near Newton Bay. Highlights from around Studland included 1 Great Northern Diver at Shell Bay and at Middle & Knoll Beaches there was 1 Great Northern Diver, 6 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe and 6 Common Scoter. Off Jerry’s point there were 3 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Great Northern Diver, 2 Goldeneye, 1 Common Scoter and 20+ Red-breasted Merganser. In Brands Bay was 1 Great White Egret, 2 Black-necked Grebe and 2 Common Scoter. Hen Harrier were logged in Lytchett Bay and Middlebere with another Great White Egret also in Middlebere. There were 4 Spotted Redshank in Middlebere with 1 in Holes Bay.

Black Brant – Newton Bay – OTBT Birder (Twitter – @BirderOtbt)



Harbour Update – posted 28/12/22

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

Prolonged rain and near horizontal gusts seem to have kept all but the hardiest birders indoors today, though plenty of birds were not similarly detered. At Lytchett Fields 3 Spotted Redshank were present on the Pools Field, along with 175 Black-tailed Godwit, 54 Common Redshank, 23 Dunlin and a few Wigeon and Teal. A larger group of Wigeon in the Bay was also accompanied by least 2 drake Pintail. Early afternoon White-tailed Eagle flew north over the fields, temporally flushing all of the other species. On the other side of the harbour at Jerry’s Point, Studland this afternoon there were 3 possibly 4 Great Northern Diver, 5 Black-necked Grebe, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 26 Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Goldeneye.

Pintail and Wigeon at Middlebere on Christmas Eve – David Turner

Harbour Update – posted 27/12/22

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

Yesterdays fine weather obviously got some mid-winter movement underway with 3 new arrivals into the harbour this morning. Firstly a Velvet Scoter was seen entering the harbour at dawn with 3 Great Northern Diver where it then spent the rest of the day off Jerry’s Point way out in south deep. Then, a Long-tailed Duck was found whilst the Velvet Scoter was being watched which was again, in South Deep, but more towards Green Island. Then, this afternoon a Red-necked Grebe was found off Shipstal Beach, Arne. Three great new birds which if stay until after the new year will be excellent additions to anyone starting a New Year list. Also of Shipstal were 28 Spoonbill and off Jerry’s Point 3 Black-necked Grebe and a Slavonian Grebe were logged with another Slavonian Grebe in Studland Bay. A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen in Middlebere and an adult male Hen Harrier was seen briefly at Swineham.

Velvet Scoter – Jerry’s Point, Studland – OTBT birder (Twitter – @BirderOtbt)

Harbour Update – posted 26/12/22

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

We hope everyone had a good Christmas and Boxing Day. What a beautiful day today was. Our main highlight (although not in the harbour) was finding a Black Kite just north of the harbour, near Almer. This is a decent winter record with most UK Black Kite records being during spring and autumn periods of migration. Winter records usually mean they’re over-wintering in particular areas, so there’s a good chance it could stick around. They’re subtly different to Red Kite with a notable shallow fork in the tail, with a much darker upper wing pattern and darker rufous on the underside. They’re also not as ‘lanky’ as Red Kite with much shorter, narrower wings (like a Buzzard) and they’re overall a bit stockier. We managed to get a short video grab before it drifted off which shows some of the key features. From around the harbour it was quite quite sightings wise, with 2 Slavonian Grebe in Studland Bay, 1 Cattle Egret on Wareham Common and 3 in Lytchett Minster the only other notable from the day.

Harbour Update – Posted 25/12/22

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the entire BoPH crew. We hope you’ve had an amazing day and that 2023 brings you all the birding joys you deserve!

We’re going to keep it short and sweet this evening as there’s Christmas dinner left over’s to be had, so the main highlights were 3 Slavonian Grebe around the Studland Peninsular with 1 off Jerry’s Point, 1 in Shell Bay and off Middle Beach. Also off Middle Beach was 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Black-necked Grebe. At Middlebere there were 23 Spoonbill. In the Wareham Channel this morning 2 White-tailed Eagle were present as were 6 Marsh Harrier. 

Before the daty draws to an end, we’d like to give Christmas 2022 message…….As 2022 draws to a close, it’s given us time to reflect on what’s been an incredible year for our charity in terms of what’s been achieved and the excitement that’s built across Poole Harbour over the last 12 months. There’s no doubt that the period between 2020 & 2021 saw huge challenges, not just for small charities like ours but entire communities and individuals alike. However, 2022 saw resilience and determination begin to re-build which has been reflected in the support and interest in all our work across the board.

There’s no doubt that our biggest achievement this year was finally seeing Osprey’s successfully raise young on the south coast, which was a direct result of the reintroduction we began in 2017. Our female CJ7 and male 022 raised two youngsters, and many thousands of people enjoyed watching the drama unfold on the live webcam. In August, we hosted 30 Osprey cruises and sold 1600 tickets which was a massive increase compared to the 3 Osprey trips we hosted back in 2017. In fact, support for all our events across the year grew as did the audience we engaged and communicated with, which was brilliant.

Other projects we saw develop and completed this year was the installation of the new Ham Common view point in partnership with BCP Council and Rockley Holiday Park, the new wader protection zone at Studland in partnership with the National Trust, the continuation of our School Bird Boat projected which is funded by LUSH, the completion of a full breeding raptors of Poole Harbour study which will be published in the New Year, as well as other multiple projects, events, talks and media appearances which has helped build the charity.

Our team are primed and ready to make 2023 an even bigger success and can’t wait to see many (hopefully all) of year over the coming year. The support and kindness we’ve received from everyone over the years has made Birds of Poole Harbour the charity it is today, and we couldn’t do any of it without you.

So, from all of us here at ‘BoPH’, we’d like to say a MASSIVE thank you for your support and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an amazing New Year.

Here’s to an action packed 2023 x

Christmas Day Birding – Middlebere – Barbara Bisset

Harbour Update – posted 24/12/22

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

Lytchett Bay saw a fair deal of today’s action, clocking up a very respectable range of raptors with appearances from White-tailed Eagle, ringtail Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel – all seen from the excellent new Rock Lea Viewpoint. While the Bay also enjoyed views of a Firecrest near Lytchett Pools. Turning to the other embayment to the north of the harbour, Holes Bay featured 978 Black-tailed Godwit and 239 Avocet roosting on high tide in the north sectors while a further 2 Avocet were feeding in the SE corner. Studland received good coverage with singles of Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe and Common Scoter all logged from Jerry’s Point, accompanied by 2 Black-necked and 16 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Goldeneye, 31 Red-breasted Merganser and 2 overwintering Sandwich Tern. A high tide visit to Brand’s Bay offered nice mix of ducks among the 90 Lapwing, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Dunlin. Shell Bay, Studland Bay and South Haven added an additional 2 Slavonian Grebe, 6 Black-necked Grebe and 3 Great Crested Grebe. Off Old Harry this evening 2 Great Northern Diver were feeding, in Middlebere 23 Spoonbill were roosting and a Razorbill was off Baiter Beach.

White-tailed Eagle G812 – Lytchett Bay – Paul Sutton

Sanderling (right) and Dunlin (left) – Shell Bay – @PlushieTumRs

Harbour Update – posted 23/12/22

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

A huge high tide in the harbour this morning meant that numbers of waders and wildfowl on the Brownsea Lagoon were higher than usual, including large mixed flocks of Dunlin, Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit, including lower numbers of Sanderling, Knot, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Greenshank, Teal and Oystercatcher. From Coombe Viewpoint, c.100 Avocet were flushed by a persistent Marsh Harrier this morning. At Lytchett Fields, the 2 Spotted Redshank were visible on the Pools Field again today. 1 Razorbill was seen off Baiter after a couple of weeks absence this afternoon. 20 Brent Geese were logged in Holes Bay, as well as a Peregrine on Pergins Island.

With Christmas a couple of days away, a quick reminder that we are offering online Gift Vouchers this year for booking onto any of our events throughout 2023. You can find more information here.

Brownsea Lagoon – Nicki Tutton

Harbour Update – posted 22/12/22

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

Lytchett Fields was delivering the goods today, with an adult female Goshawk flying over Sherford Pools and landing in a tree on the Holton Lee shore this morning. Also present were two Spotted Redshank on the Pools Field and another round at the Rock Lea Viewpoint, where the other highlights were a colour-ringed Greenshank and a flyover Great White Egret. Elsewhere, a Ringtail Hen Harrier – presumably the same one as yesterday – was seen in the Middlebere Channel again this afternoon. And further down the creek visitors to the Arne Lookout were treated to views of two Spoonbill feeding in the water in front of the hide.

Avocet, Dunlin & Black-tailed Godwit – Brownsea Lagoon – BoPH Brodie Camera


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