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 February, 2023

Harbour Update – posted 28/02/23

Posted on: February 28th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Thats it! February is done and dusted. Winter has come to an end and spring (kind of) starts tomorrow. No doubt we’ll still be scraping the ice of our cars, but thats not the point! With March comes the first Little Ringed Plovers, Wheatears, Garganey, Swallows, Willow Warblers and of course….Ospreys. The first Ospreys back on territory tend to be the Rutland Water pair with a typical return date of March 15th, which is only a couple of weeks away. As a charity we’re busy prepping for another jam packed season (hopefully) and are looking forward to what the year ahead provides. Will we see CJ7 and 022 return? Will we see more translocated Ospreys come back? will we see more than one successful Osprey nest? Will we see nesting eagles???!! Ten years ago when we started the charity, we never thought we’d be able to pose these questions in our daily sightings blog, but here we are 10 years later being able to realistically expect the answer to be ‘yes’ to each of these questions at some point over the coming years.

Today the excitement didn’t stretch that far, although the White-tailed Eagle pair were active in the south of the harbour with male G463 even paying a visit to the Houseboats this afternoon in Bramble Bush Bay, Studland. Perhaps checking out the properties at Sandbanks? This morning 7 Marsh Harrier came out of the roost and a Red Kite was in Middlebere. The 2 Cattle Egret were again near the Purbeck Sports Centre roundabout, this time on the road verge opposite the Worgret Manor Hotel.

Cattle Egret – Worgret/Wareham roundabout verge – Clive Hargrave

Harbour Update – posted 27/02/23

Posted on: February 27th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another cold one today….blooming freezing in fact, but still plenty going on. We had another Winter Safari Cruise this AM which headed up the Wareham Channel first, where we happened upon a new White-tailed Eagle arrival with male G816 who’s been in Devon quite a lot recently, but had returned to Dorset yesterday afternoon. He was on Keysworth before lifting off and headed soared over towards Wareham. By the time we’d finished our trip 2 hours later, he was in Weymouth! Also at the top end of the Wareham Channel were 3 Marsh Harrier and a Red Kite. The White-tailed Eagle pair, G466 and G463 were in the harbour briefly this morning, but headed over the Ballard ridge and seemed to track south. This evening 3 Cattle Egret headed across Lytchett Bay, heading towards the Holes Bay roost, and there were anther 2 in a field next to the Worgret Manor roundabout near the Purbeck sports centre. Also at Lytchett Bay were 2 Spotted Redshank and 1 in Middlebere. There were 3 Common Scoter off Hamworthy Beach, 3 Black-necked Grebe were in Studland Bay and at Norden Sewage Works 10+ Common Chiffchaff were enjoying the sun.

Last remaining Dark-bellied Brent Geese – Rempstone shoreline – Alison Copland

Harbour Update – posted 26/02/23

Posted on: February 26th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Freezing but stunning conditions on this morning’s Winter Safari Cruise delivered highlights of a close flyby from Peregrine hunting a Kingfisher as we departed the Quay, 1 Goshawk over the Heronry at Arne, 2 distant White-tailed Eagle over Rempstone, 3 Common Scoter passing through the Central Harbour, 1 Slavonian Grebe with 3 Black-necked Grebe in breeding plumage off Bramble Bush Bay, and whilst the rest of us were peering into Brownsea Lagoon, a lucky few spotted 8 Eider passing in the direction of the harbour mouth. Elsewhere at Lytchett Fields, the Linnet flock in the Arable Field hit a record count of 475, and a Red Kite was seen over Rock Lea View – not the only local Kite sighting today, with a Black Kite over the farm fields at Winterbourne Kingston. 

Eider – Poole Harbour – Clare Slade

Harbour Update – posted 25/02/23

Posted on: February 25th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Two White-tailed Eagle circling over Wareham at 11am was quite the spectacle for anyone looking up while mooching around the town market on a Saturday morning. The male, G466, was also seen observed catching a Canada Goose in the Wareham Channel this morning – marking the first successful hunt observed in Poole Harbour for several hundred years! During the action, a Hen Harrier was also quartering the western fringes of the harbour to add to the excitement!

Lytchett Fields received good coverage, featuring at least 2 Water Pipits (one colour-ringed), littoralis Rock PipitPeregrine, Marsh Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, 45 Dunlin, a lone Curlew, 49 Black-tailed Godwit and similar numbers of Common Redshank and Lapwing. Eight Spoonbill continued to show at RSPB Arne.

White-tailed Eagles – Wareham –@PlushieTumRs

Harbour Update – posted 24/02/23

Posted on: February 24th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Despite being cold still this morning, the drop in wind allowed the first UK spring migrants to arrive with a Sand Martin at Lodmoor, Weymouth and an adult male Wheatear seen in Wales today. Don’t get too over excited though as it’s due to remain cold next week, and we won’t see the first proper arrival for at least another 2-3 weeks yet. However, the first migrant Ospreys usually arrive back at the their nests site at Rutland around March 15th, which really isn’t that far away. Then the countdown can begin to when our harbour pair may arrive back. As much as we love winter, we have to admit, we’re quite excited about this coming spring and summer.

Today, sightings were pretty similar from previous days with White-tailed Eagle G463 in the Wareham Channel, 3 Black-necked Grebe in Studland Bay and 2 off Jerry’s Point. On Lytchett Fields there were 4 Water Pipit togther, Middlebere had 3 Spotted Redshank and 2 Spoonbill. Across the harbour c100 Red-breasted Merganser remain. At Norden Sewage Works 13 Chiffchaff were feeding in the scrub at the back and on the filter beds with 3 Firecrest. A Red Kite passed over Wareham train station. On the groynes near the haven Hotel 8 Sanderling were roosting. A Sandwich Tern was on the Brownsea Lagoon, perhaps providing a hint of early return spring passage and 3 Common Scoter remained in the Wareham Channel.

Sanderling – North Haven, Sandbanks

Harbour Update – posted 23/02/23

Posted on: February 23rd, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A quick look at next weeks forecast indicates a rather cold start to March, and by the feel of todays northerly wind the chill may already have started. Despite the cold, numerous White-tailed Eagles got moving with 4 circling high above Corfe Castle around midday which would indicate that some have arrived in from somewhere as there’s recently only been 2 in (semi) residence, female G466 and male G463. On Shipstal Point the winters last remaining 7 Spoonbill were roosting, off Middle Beach 5 Eider, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Black-necked Grebe were feeding and a Velvet Scoter was seen off South Beach with 4 Black-necked Grebe. There was also 2 Black-necked Grebe off Jerry’s Point. A Common Scoter was close in shore at Baiter and in Holes Bay c1200 Black-tailed Godwit were roosting including some stunning summer plumaged individuals, suggesting some southern arrivals have entered the harbour recently.

Massive low tide at Baiter – John Newman

Oystercatcher – Baiter – John Newman

Harbour Update – posted 22/02/23

Posted on: February 22nd, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

An amazing Winter Safari Cruise this AM, highlighting that not only are a few birds already leaving, but some are arriving too. Out in the Wareham Channel, yesterdays 8 newly arrived Common Scoter were bobbing about off the Arne shoreline, and in central harbour 6 Eider, including a newly arrived adult male were loafing with c20 Red-breasted Merganser. The White-tailed Eagle ‘pair’ G466 and G463 were in an unusual place, sitting in trees on the Goathorn Peninsular, next to Brands Bay. The Brownsea Lagoon was busy with 1 Spoonbill, c500 Dunlin, c100 Grey Plover, c100 Bar-tailed Godwit, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, c100 Avocet, 1 Greenshank and small numbers of Gadwall, Shoveler and Wigeon. Around the mouth of the Frome/Swineham 4 different Marsh Harrier were active. Best of all today came later in the afternoon with 2 Common Crane flying over Lytchett Fields and towards the Bakers Arms roundabout. Also at Lytchett Fields was Water Pipit ‘1K’ again and 2 Spotted Redshank were in Holes Bay north.

White-tailed Eagle G466 – Goathorn

Eider – Central Harbour

Common Scoter – Wareham Channel

Harbour Update – posted 21/02/23

Posted on: February 21st, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Mediterranean Gull return passage is building even more with bigger numbers appearing in various areas including 78+ in Lytchett Bay this AM. There was also a Great White Egret at Lytchett Fields which is the first for the harbour this year surprisingly. Also at Lytchett Fields was 1 Water Pipit, 1 Spotted Redshank and 2 Marsh Harrier. Holes Bay had 1000+ Black-tailed Godwit, Middlebere saw 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, and 2 White-tailed Eagle were seen along the southern shore near Ower Bay. Off Arne a small flock of 8 Common Scoter were off Patchins Point and Brownsea had a great count of 157 Grey Plover.

Water Pipit ‘1k’ – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 20/02/23

Posted on: February 20th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Amazing scenes today when the years first House Martin appeared, not quite in Poole Harbour, but just across the way off Perveril Point, Swanage. This is really early, but not uncommon, especially with yesterdays glorious weather and southerly airflow. If a House Martin can be deposited early, there’s no reason why Sand Martin and Wheatear can’t be too far behind. This evening 3 Cattle Egret flew over Lytchett Bay again, heading towards the Holes Bay roost. Off Jerry’s Point a single Black-necked Grebe was bobbing about and 5 were in Studland Bay. A ringtail Hen Harrier was at Swineham again and 3 Marsh Harrier were around Keysworth.

House Martin – Peveril Point, Swanage – Brian Edge

Harbour Update – posted 19/02/23

Posted on: February 19th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It could easily have been mid-March today, with Brimstone and Specked Wood Butterfly seen on the wing, Bumblebee’s visiting early flowering daffodils and a warmth on your skin that simply made you smile. In fact it was incredibly hard to believe that it was only mid-February today. Bird-wise, an early morning female Goshawk dashed through Lytchett Fields and a ringtail Hen Harrier was at Swineham with 4 Marsh Harrier. A White-tailed Eagle was high over the Wareham Channel and the Poole Peregrine pair looked cosy, often dropping down onto the nest balcony. at the PCW drain there were 4 Common Chiffchaff and a Firecrest. Off Swineham Point 1 Spoonbill and 1 Spotted Redshank were logged and along the southern shores 500+ dark-bellied Brent Geese. In Studland Bay 5 Black-necked Grebe were just off shore and along Shore Road, Sandbanks a number of adult Med Gulls are already beginning to look like they’re in full summer plumage.


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