Brownsea Webcam

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?  

Autumn and winter on the Brownsea Lagoon is spectacular.  Birds start to arrive back from their breeding grounds up north as early as July, but noticeable numbers aren’t reached until end of August and into September. The lagoon has several uses, ranging from a ‘drive-through’ style feeding area for species such as Curlew Sandpiper, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Little Stint and Little Ringed Plover, also as a high-tide roosting zone when most of the harbour is under water.

The lagoon boasts internationally important numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Shelduck and Oystercatcher, and nationally important numbers of Avocet, Redshank and Dunlin.  Numbers of Avocet can peak at 1000+ and Black-tailed Godwit 2000+, which is quite an impressive sight, especially when one of the over-wintering Merlin or Peregrines starts hawking over the lagoon. Spoonbill is another lagoon favourite with numbers often reaching 15 birds, with an impressive 28 in autumn 2011.

In September 2013 the camera became famous for hosting the worlds first ever online twitch as Poole Harbours first ever Semipalmated Sandpiper turned up and spent a few days feeding right in front of the lens!

Other species encountered on the lagoon include Knot, Turnstone, Ringed plover, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Little Egret and Grey Heron. The lagoon has a habit of attracting some nice rarities too with species like Western, Stilt and Semipalmated Sandpiper, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret and Common Crane.


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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