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 March, 2023

Harbour Update – posted 11/03/23

Posted on: March 11th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Despite the wind and rain, spring punched through with the first 5 Sand Martin of the year, flying low over Swineham GP desperately trying to feed. There may have also been a minor Chiffchaff arrival too, with low numbers along the river edges in scrub. White-tailed Eagles G466 and G463 were in the Wareham Channel pretty much all day, and the 2 Cattle Egret were still in the field on the outskirts of Wareham, at Worgret.

Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin – Wareham Channel

Harbour Update – posted 10/03/23

Posted on: March 10th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With March pressing on, we’re still waiting for our fist official spring migrants to hit the harbour, but with the torrid weather this week, it’s no surprise nothings really got through yet. Next week should see a couple of firsts for the year…Sand Martin? Wheatear? perhaps. Today was restricted to a couple of White-tailed Eagle sightings around the Wareham Channel, 7 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon and 3 Spotted Redshank at Lytchett Fields. A male Hen Harrier was in the Wareham Channel and seen heading towards Arne Moors and this evening a decent Starling murmuration formed at Swineham.

Harbour Update – posted 09/03/23

Posted on: March 9th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The inclement weather continues, offering little inspiration to venture outside with a pair of binoculars. Those who did endure the rain enjoyed 3 Spotted Redshank at Lytchett Bay, along with 312 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin, 6 Red-breasted Merganser and an undeterred Peregrine overhead. A summer plumage Sandwich Tern off Baiter this morning offered a nice seasonal change among the 70 Cormorant, 40+ Oystercatcher and 3 Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Nearby, Poole Park featured a flyby Curlew and 21 Greylag Geese, including 8 colour-marked individuals from the local project.

Grey Plover – Brownsea Lagoon (yesterday) – Clare Slade

Harbour Update – posted 08/03/23

Posted on: March 8th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another much-needed drizzly day to help make up for the lack of rainfall over the winter, though not many sightings to go with it. 12 Avocet were still present in Holes Bay, along with 50 Pintail, 2 Gadwall and 1 Shoveler. In Lytchett Bay, 2 Avocet were reported along with 2 Little Grebe. 1 Goldeneye was also reported on Holme Lane Gravel Pit, along with 2 Pochard seen there yesterday. At Hatch Pond, nice signs of spring continue with Great Crested Grebe present with young!

Great Crested Grebe – Hatch Pond – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 07/03/23

Posted on: March 7th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

No snow fall today, just some very wet sleet around lunchtime, although tonight could produce some of the white stuff, with a few flurries into the morning. I think we all know what that really means though……cold rain! Despite the cold today, it was blissfully still and the harbour was like a millpond, especially after lunchtime. In Middlebere 3 Spoonbill were feeding, a Spotted Redshank flew over and a Marsh Harrier passed the hide. At Lytchett Fields 2 Water Pipit were in the approach fields with 5 Green Sandpiper. In Wareham the 2 Cattle Egret were in the in the cattle field again opposite the Worgret Manor Hotel. We’ve also been super busy today with a couple of exciting pieces of work which we’ll hopefully be able to announce later in the week. We still have some tweaking to do, but keep an eye on our sightings page and social media for updates.

Dark-bellied Brent Geese – Middlebere 

Harbour Update – posted 06/03/23

Posted on: March 6th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The dry spell looks to be coming to an end with plenty of rain (and possibly snow) over the coming days. Somehow we managed to totally avoid any rain this afternoon on our Low Tide Cruise, despite at least one down pour passing just north of us on Poole Quay. And even managed a sunset by the end! Once again, plenty of highlights with a White-tailed Eagle over Goathorn, Brands Bay, 4 Marsh Harrier at the mouth of the Frome, 1 Black-necked Grebe off Jerry’s Point, c200 Avocet on the Brownsea Lagoon, 800+ dark-bellied Brent Geese spread across the southern shores, c400 Black-tailed Godwit, c100 Pintail, c300 Wigeon and c30 Mediterranean Gull. Earlier this morning another White-tailed Eagle was settled on the ground on Bestwall floodplains for around 30 mins, before heading towards the harbour. Elsewhere, Water Pipit ‘1K’ was still at Lytchett Fields, as was a Spotted Redshank and an adult Yellow-legged Gull with 3 Cattle Egret flying past Rock Lea view again.

Sunset on our Low-tide Cruise this afternoon

Spotted Redshank Holes (yesterday) – Peter Moore

Harbour Update – posted 05/03/23

Posted on: March 5th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Calm and bitterly cold conditions today gave the harbour a rather subdued feeling, with seemingly few birds on the move. The primary exception were the wetland species, with good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Curlew, Teal, Pintail and Brent Geese all still present and feeding across much of the southern harbour on the afternoon low tide. Brownsea Lagoon also continues to hold good numbers of Avocet, plus a single Spoonbill this morning. In the south west corner of Holes Bay was a Spotted Redshank, along with 2 Water Rail, 1 Snipe and several Black-tailed Godwit. A few other winter visitors were also still to be found, with a small flock of 12 Redwing feeding among the livestock at Sunnyside Farm. That said, signs of early spring are certainly in the air, with at least 2 Red Kite seen circling over the Wareham Channel. Here Marsh Harrier were also active, and further inland at Norden a White-tailed Eagle was spotted soaring overhead.

Harbour Update – posted 04/03/23

Posted on: March 4th, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The cold was certainly creeping back in today, and the number of birds still out on the mud during our Low-tide cruise this afternoon would suggest there’s still plenty of birds that still consider it winter too. Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and dark-bellied Brent Geese all remained at c1000 and there was still decent rafts of Wigeon, Teal and 250+ Pintail along the southern shores. At the top end of the Wareham Channel c200 Lapwing were still hunkered down on the mud and 100+ Red-breasted Merganser and c50 Great Crested Grebe were spread across the open water areas. There were multiple other highlights to compliment the high number of commoner species with a mostly summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe off Jerry’s Point, singles of White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine in the Wareham Channel, a decent spread of summer-plumaged Mediterranean Gull right across the harbour, and best of all…a hunting Barn Owl on Furzey Island!! We also had a Kingfisher on the quay and another on Goathorn. Elsewhere the 2 Cattle Egret were again in the cow field off the Worgret Manor roundabout, a Water Pipit was at Lytchett Fields along with 1 Spotted Redshank. This morning, there was actually 4 different White-tailed Eagle in the harbour/Wareham Channel, with views had from the Ham Common viewpoint and there’s also been a decent Starling murmuration located in Wareham Forest, consisting of several thousand birds. It apparently seems to form behind the Birchwood Touring Park, along the Sugar Hill road with birds starting to arrive around 17:15 and peaking half an hour later. Thanks @PlushieTumRs on Twitter for the heads up about this. You can’t beat a decent murm!

Cattle Egret – Worgret/Wareham – Clive Hargrave

Harbour Update – posted 03/03/23

Posted on: March 3rd, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The hopes of an early spring seem to have been dashed with talk of snow next week. Hopefully it will be just a cold blip rather than a prolonged freeze! There were a few odds and sods from today with the 4 Eider still off Pilots Point, Studland this morning. A ringtail Hen Harrier cirled over Middlebere mid-morning and another (or the same) was seen in the Wareham Channel. There were 2 Black-necked Grebe off Middle Beach, a Cattle Egret was seen flying over the Wareham bypass bridge heading up the Frome and White-tailed Eagle sightings were seen at Middlebere, the Wareham Channel and high over Ballard. At Norden Sewage Works 10+ Chiffchaff were still active in the scrub around the filter beds as were 2 Firecrest. The Barclays Peregrines were active on the breeding ledge mid-morning, Red Kites were seen over the Piddle Valley, Slepe Heath and Studland and it was great to hear the familiar song of multiple Reed Bunting back on territory along some of the river banks. Finally, there were several Firecrest at RSPB Arne.

Firecrest – RSPB Arne – Clive Hargrave

Harbour Update- posted 02/03/23

Posted on: March 2nd, 2023 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A glorious spring morning enticed raptors into action across the harbour with Red Kites were observed cruising over the northern and western reaches of the harbour. A very confiding Spotted Redshank continues to show in Holes Bay SW, a nice highlight among the 800+ Black-tailed Godwit, 150+ Redshank, 12 Avocet, Curlew and Oystercatcher feeding in the Bay. Waterfowl numbers continue to wane across the harbour with Holes Bay featuring 494 Teal, 470 Wigeon, 69 Pintail, 5 Shoveler and 56 Shelduck, as well as 2 Kingfishers and a Firecrest in Upton Country Park. Elsewhere, 4 Eider (2 first-winter males and 2 females) were moving around of Pilot’s Point, Studland and 4 Water Pipit occupied Sherford Pools, Lytchett Bay. This evening, a surprise find of a Whooper Swan on Swineham GP was a welcome treat whilst waiting for a departing Bittern, which never materialised.

Red Kite – Longfleet – Rene Goad

Spotted Redshank – Holes Bay – @BayHoles


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