Brownsea Webcam

Avocet - Brownsea Lagoon

It seems that wildlife cameras are all the rage nowadays, whether it be on a blue tit nest in your garden or badger sett deep in the woods, this development in technology allows a fascinating insight into a world we wouldn’t normally get to see. This webcam was installed and is run by Wildlife Windows -

For regular updates follow us on twitter @harbourbirds and to see all 77 SPECIES that have been recorded on the webcam CLICK HERE




What am I watching?  

Currently viewable on the webcam above is the breeding colony of Sandwich and Common Tern on the Brownsea Island Lagoon. The Terns usually arrive back at the end of April/beginning of May and start prospecting the small man-made islands straight away to look for the perfect nesting area. Over the years the number of pairs has varied but on average there are usually 210+ pairs of Sandwich Terns and 100+ pairs of Common Tern.

Unfortunately predation is a common issue with the Tern colonies, so protective fences have to be erected to limit the number of eggs and chicks being taken. Anything from Crows, Great Black-backed Gulls, Herons and even wandering Sika Deer could pose a threat, so although the fencing can make the sight of these elegant birds a little un-natural, it’s vital for their ongoing breeding success.

We quite often change the view of the camera to offer as many different viewing experiences as possible. Species such as Spoonbill, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper and Dunlin all make frequent appearances. A good time to watch is between 8pm and 9pm when we scan all the islands looking at the many birds that come in to use the lagoon to roost. Who knows what will ‘Tern Up’!!


Webcam Description

Birds of Poole Harbour along with the National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust are proud to present the first Brownsea Island Lagoon webcam. The camera will allow you to watch bird species come and go through the seasons from the comfort of your own home. From breeding Sandwich Terns to feeding Spoonbill, this camera will allow you to watch one of the Harbour’s most intriguing spots 24/7.

The Lagoon is vitally important for overwintering waders and wildfowl so look out for vast flocks of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit on a high tide or try and pick out the handsome Spotted Redshank amongst it’s commoner relative. From May through to July the camera will focus on the breeding Sandwich and Common Tern whilst Gulls, Cormorants and possibly even Sika Deer will come and go at will!

Where is it?

Brownsea Island is owned by the National Trust and shares its management with the Dorset Wildlife Trust who manage just under half of the island. It is the largest island in the centre of Poole Harbour, and the lagoon is on Brownsea’s eastern shore, which is leased to the Dorset Wildlife Trust to maintain and manage.


  • The camera will operate 365 days a year to maximize the number of species you’ll see.
  • The lagoon can hold up to 1500 Avocet in the winter and 30 Spoonbill in the autumn!
  • Birds of prey such as Peregrine and Merlin often spook large wader flocks in the winter, so keep your eyes peeled if you see everything fly off!
  • The Brownsea Lagoon has hosted some pretty special birds in the past such as Common Crane, Caspian Tern and Western Sandpiper, so if you see anything unusual let us know!



‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ would like to thank the National Trust for their outstanding co-operation in allowing us to make this webcam possible. We would also like to thank the Brownsea Dorset Wildlife Trust team for their help in getting the infrastructure in place. We owe a huge thank you to the Sandbanks Hotel for allowing us to use their building as a wireless antenna, which without we would have no way of beaming the image live to you at home, and finally to the Sound Approach who were instrumental in getting this project off the ground in the first place.


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