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 May, 2024

Harbour Update – posted 31/05/24

Posted on: May 31st, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Really nice records again on Brownsea Lagoon today with Little Gull, Little Tern and Roseate Tern all reported. It’s good to hear the there are up to 8 Sandwich Tern chicks now hatched on the tern islands on the lagoon, as well as 2 Knot, 23 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 26 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Avocet also counted. One of the White-tailed Eagles was present on Shag Looe spit in the Wareham Channel this morning. Interestingly, there was a Green Sandpiper on at Lytchett Fields this morning, as well as a female Marsh Harrier over the bay. We’re also very pleased to see the fourth and final egg hatch on the Osprey nest late last night, meaning that we now have the full cohort. You can watch the webcam here.

Four Osprey chicks on the nest

Harbour Update – posted 30/05/24

Posted on: May 30th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

More rain meaning few sightings from today. 1 White-tailed Eagle was seen flying over Holes Bay heading north-east in the early afternoon and that’s all that was reported today!

In better news it looks like the final Osprey chick is about to hatch! The beak is poking through so it will likely be either this evening or overnight that it hatches, meaning we’ll have 4 chicks in the nest! The 3 chicks have been feeding well over the last few days and starting to battle it out for a position in the hierachy. You can watch the action unfold LIVE here:


Harbour Update – posted 29/05/24

Posted on: May 29th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Lovely sunny conditions for our final Spring Safari Cruise this morning with birds of prey galore including 1 White-tailed Eagle soaring over the Wareham Channel as well as incredibly close views of 2 Marsh Harrier and 1 Hobby hunting over Swineham. The geese/ducks of unknown origin at Swineham are still present with 1 Ruddy Shelduck and 1 Bar-headed Goose amongst the Canada, Greylag and Egyptian geese. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 2 Avocet, c15 Dunin, c20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Sanderling, 3 Turnstone and plenty of Common Tern and Sandwich Tern action including a huge mixed group of Terns/Gulls feeding on the edge of the lagoon, presumably on a gathering of small fry. An Osprey was seen with a fish over Hamworthy this morning.

Gadwall – Lytchett Fields – Pete Corbin on X

Harbour Update – posted 28/05/24

Posted on: May 28th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It’s been a bit of a murky day, with sightings few and far between. There were close views of a Gannet hunting near North Haven this morning. Also of interest was a drake Mandarin Duck present at Poole Park. A male Marsh Harrier was reported hunting over Lytchett Fields in the late afternoon.

Mandarin Duck – Poole Park – Paul Sutton

Harbour Update – posted 27/05/24

Posted on: May 27th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The third Osprey chick hatched this morning at 2:13am, and seems to be keeping up well with it’s older siblings! An adult bird was also seen over Lytchett Bay at 9:45am. At Swineham there were 182 Black-tailed Godwit, along with 2 Redshank and a Greenshank on the flooded fields.

Three Poole Harbour Osprey Chicks

Harbour Update – posted 26/05/24

Posted on: May 26th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Highlights from a breezy but bright Spring Safari Cruise this morning were a Little Gull on the Brownsea Lagoon, 1 Greenshank in amongst 40 Black-tailed Godwit on the flooded fields at Swineham, an 80+ strong flock of Swift feeding together in the Frome Valley, and in the Wareham Channel 2 Marsh Harrier plus male Osprey 022 who caught a Bass and quickly delivered it to the nest. An Osprey was seen earlier in the morning in Lytchett Bay, and nearby at Frenches Farm the House Martins could be seen gathering mud for nest building! A separate count on the Brownsea Lagoon by Dorset Wildlife Trust staff also produced an extra Little Gull and 2 Roseate Tern.

House Martins gathering mud – French’s Farm, Lytchett Bay – Annabel Sharpe on Twitter

Harbour Update – posted 25/05/24

Posted on: May 25th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Highlights from today’s sightings all seemed to be focused on Brownsea Lagoon, which has been particularly productive recently. The Roseate Tern, the 1st-summer Little Gull were present again this morning, and there was also an unusual sighting of a Kittiwake this afternoon.

Harbour Update – posted 24/05/24

Posted on: May 24th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another day, another Osprey chick, this time an afternoon hatch, about 15:00. Sadly and frustratingly male 022 also brought in a large bit of plastic bale wrap this morning which has worked it’s way into the nest. It’s not caused a problem yet, but with two fresh chicks in the nest and two eggs still due to hatch, it’s not ideal having this material moving around the structure of the nest platform. All we can hope is that it works its way up to the sides of the nest over the next 24 hours, and blows away at some point. Fingers crossed! This morning there were c75 Swift at Swineham, both White-tailed Eagles were on Shag Looe Spit/Bar this morning and a Marsh Harrier was at Swineham. On the Brownsea Lagoon 7 Turnstone were on the lagoon beach, a Spoonbill was on the lagoon and there were was a decent gull feeding flock off Baiter which had c400 Black-headed Gull, c300 Herring Gull and 2 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull within the frenzy.

Harbour Update – posted 23/05/24

Posted on: May 23rd, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Very slow migration wise today, but there was excitement none the less when our first Osprey chick of the season hatched out at 07:44 this morning. After battling its way out of the egg for a few hours, CJ7 helped with the final tricky section by knocking the top of the egg off, revealing its head and bewildered expression as it took it’s first look at the world. During the course of the day it had several good, but small feeds, but as we know from previous years, their growth is rapid and they won’t stay this adorable for too long. Then, at around 17:30 this evening a second egg started hatching and by 20:00 the chick had managed to chip it’s self a nice sized hole which will likely result in it’s full hatching sometime tonight. Elsewhere there were Osprey sightings in Lytchett Bay, confirmed as an un-ringed male, and another off Jerry’s Point this afternoon which headed towards Ower Bay.

First feeding of Osprey chick 2024

Harbour Update – posted 22/05/24

Posted on: May 22nd, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The forecast downpours for this morning thankfully never came to fruition, meaning our Spring Safari Cruise this AM delivered on both birds and fine weather. The Brownsea Lagoon held 1 1st summer Little Gull, 6 Sanderling, c80 Dunlin, 5 Turnstone, 4 Avocet, c300 Sandwich Tern and c100 Common Tern. In the Wareham Channel male White-tailed Eagle G466 was out on Shag Looe Spit, and then flew off up over Swineham, where a drake Garganey was on the floods south of the gravel pit, a Hobby almost landed on the boat, twisting at the last second before hitting one of our guests, a magical c250 Common Swift were bombing about with Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin and a Great White Egret flew up briefly from Keysworth. Later this afternoon a Little Tern was on the lagoon, 3 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Spoonbill were on the Lower Piddle Floods and an un-ringed Osprey was in Lytchett Bay. The family party of Woodlark that fledged at Carey Secret Garden recently are still active and were viewed from an Osprey monitoring session late afternoon.

Woodlark – Carey Secret Garden


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