An official account of all species that have been recorded and reported by birdwatchers and naturalists since records began.

The data for this list has been extracted from various sources, but George Greens 'The Birds of Dorset', Mansel-Pleydell's Birds of Dorsetshire, Naylor’s reference manual of rare birds and the back catalogue of Dorset bird reports have provided most information. Data is currently still being researched and records will be updated accordingly.

You can view this information in two different ways. Our alphabetical list provides information on the status of each species within the harbour, finder dates and names, photos and favored locations. By clicking on the Systematic List button you will be presented the full Poole Harbour systematic list which includes status of species, pending records and historical accounts.

To date, 331 species have occurred and have been accepted within the Birds of Poole Harbour boundaries. A further 11 distinct subspecies have also been seen. In addition, we have two species/subspecies which have been recorded, but are awaiting acceptance by the appropriate records panel.

There are a handful of historical records, for which there is currently insufficient information to allow their inclusion onto the Poole Harbour list, but are believed to be genuine records. They are listed at the end of the list.

Finally, there are a number of feral or escaped species that have been recorded within the Birds of Poole Harbour boundaries. They are included for completeness, but are not included on the Poole Harbour list.

We would be interested in hearing details of any species that do not appeared on this list.

The Birds of Poole Harbour systematic list is a PDF which you can view by clicking on the button below. It was last updated on December 2019.

Full Poole Harbour Systematic List

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All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

Egyptian Goose

Latin Name

Alopochen aegyptiaca


Scarce Feral Visitor

Site And Records Information

This increasing feral wanderer could potentially turn up at any wetland site, but wet areas such as Lytchett Bay, Middlebere, the Frome Valley and Swineham all hold recent records. Could become more regular with 120 in the Avon Valley in winter 2018.


Latin Name

Somateria mollissima


Winter Visitor

Site And Records Information

Winter visitor, though 20 summered at Pilots Point in 1983. Tends to prefer staying around Studland Bay, the harbour mouth and the inner bays with Brands Bay, Bramble Bush Bay and the body of water looking across to Goathorn from South Haven Point.
The 10 year average peak counts 1950 – 2010 are as follows. 1950’s – 7, 1960’s – 22, 1970’s – 28, 1980’s – 39, 1990’s – 14, 2000’s – 8 (However this figure would be half this were it not for the large flock which gathered in the winter of 2002-03. From 18 in Dec 02 , it peaked at 27 in early 03).
Since then peak counts have been 2010 – 14, 2011 – 6 and 2012 – 2.
2 off Arne NR on 14th Nov 2007 is a rare recent record from the inner harbour.
6 off Bramble Bush Bay winter 2018/19

Elegant Tern

Latin Name

Thalasseus elegans



Site And Records Information

A colour-ringed individual which had originally been ringed in France, with DNA analysis also being carried out confirming the bird was indeed 100% Elegant Tern, and hadn’t hybridised with Sandwich Tern.

1 Adult on Brownsea Lagoon 21st June 2017 (H.Murry et al)

Call 01202 641 003