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Poole Harbour List

The Poole Harbour list is 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, 330 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 escape 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.

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Treecreeper - Upton CP, Aidan Brown
Treecreeper
Latin Name
Certhia familiaris
Status

Fairly common breeding resident

Site and Records Information

Similar distribution to Nuthatch with Arne, Holton Lee and Upton Country Park being top spots, but anywhere with suitable mature deciduous woodland habitat will host birds. Will readily join in mixed tit flocks in autumn as they move through the woodland.

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Tufted Duck - Poole Park - Martin Wood
Tufted Duck
Latin Name
Aythya fuligula
Status

Winter visitor and uncommon resident

Site and Records Information

Little Sea used to have large wintering numbers, but the introduction of Carp in to the lake seems to have had an affect on duck numbers as a whole. Holes Bay, Hatch Pond, Poole Park and Brownsea are all reliable sites. At one time up to 200 birds could be present at Poole Park alone but these numbers are a thing of the past, although cold weather movements and arrivals are always possible.

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Turnstone - brands Bay, Aidan Brown
Turnstone
Latin Name
Arenaria interpres
Status

Winter visitor

Site and Records Information

This is the only species where Baiter Beach is a main site with around 10-20 feeding throughout the winter. Can also be encountered at very close range on the Quay at Poole where they feed on bread crumbs like Sparrows! Can also be encountered on the beaches at Bramble Bush Bay, Brands Bay and at Shore Road. On spring and autumn passage they can drop in at site like Lytchett Fields and the Brownsea Lagoon where they can be seen in the summer finery.

Turtle Dove
Latin Name
Streptopelia turtur
Status

Very rare passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Suspected to have never been common in the harbour, Turtle Dove only show up very sporadically. Ballard Down and the top of Glebelands are good historical sites. Only one definite record of breeding which came from Brownsea in 1967. They were suspected of nesting on Hartland Moor in 1979 and were singing on Studland Heath in 1972 and 1973 and at Corfe Castle in 1998.

Before Mediterranean hunting took such a toll, flocks of migrating birds could be found, 50 to 60 on Godlingston Heath on the 12th August 1962 (the harbour maximum) and 45 at Arne in 1972. Sadly nowadays, sightings are barely annual and in 2018 none were recorded at all. Intensive farming practices across the UK are also known to be a major cause of their decline.

Twite
Latin Name
Carduelis flavirostris
Status

Rare vagrant and passage migarnt

Site and Records Information

A very rare ‘northern’ finch, which is most likely to be seen/heard nowadays as a passage migrant in late autumn at Ballard, Glebelands or South Haven. However there are a few over-wintering records so its well worth scanning through Linnet flocks during the winter to see if you can pick out a pink-rumped Twite.

Two at South Haven on 6th January 1963 rising to three on 23rd
1 in October 1999 at Middlebere
3 in November 1983 at Lytchett Bay

Two-Barred Crossbill
Latin Name
Loxia leucoptera
Status

Extreme vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

A very rare vagrant that’s prone to ‘irruptions’ in the UK. There is however only 1 Poole Harbour record.

1 on 7th July 1966 at Arne

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Velvet Scoter - Brands Bay, Aidan Brown
Velvet Scoter
Latin Name
Melanitta fusca
Status

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Rather like Long-tailed Duck with ones, twos or threes appearing in Studland and Brands Bay. Can be picked up out on the sea if sea watching from any of the Studland beaches in winter and also recorded inside the harbour off Shipstal and out in central harbour. The Harbour maximum is 15 - 20 on March 20th 1958.

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Water Pipit - Swineham, Peter Moore
Water Pipit
Latin Name
Anthus spinoletta
Status

Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Wareham water meadows, Lytchett Fields, Holton Pools and the Wytch Causeway are the most reliable sites. Worth checking any wet marshy field during the winter. Maximum is 50 on Wareham Water Meadow the 9th December 1984.

Water Rail
Latin Name
Rallus aquaticus
Status

Breeding resident

Site and Records Information

A tricky bird to see due to it's shy nature, but a recent survey proved that there were many more breeding pairs than first thought. It was discovered that 211 pairs were known to breed within Poole Harbour and not just 12 as first predicted by the RBBC. Patience is a virtue and sitting and watching the edge of any reed bed around the harbour could eventually produce Water Rail. Best located by familiarising yourself with their call. However, the best time to see them in the open is during freezing weather. Lytchett Fields, Sunnyside Pools, Swineham and Brownsea are all good places to try and see Water Rail.

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Waxwing - Canford Heath, Aidan Brown
Waxwing
Latin Name
Bombycilla garrulus
Status

Irregular winter visitor

Site and Records Information

It seems every 4-5 years the UK gets large irruptions on Waxwing which coincides with Poole Harbour sightings. Within the boundaries the Poole Sainsbury's car park was a real hit with 100 birds feeding on the Rowan in winter of 2010/11. Lytchett Bay, Upton and Hamworthy all recorded birds. Broadstone, Canford Heath and Parkstone seem to be favoured feeding zones with a whopping 460 at Canford Heath on the 24th January 2004.

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Western Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon, Shaun Robson
Western Sandpiper
Latin Name
Calidris maura
Status

Extreme vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

1 from 28th September to 15th October 2004 on the Brownsea Lagoon. This was the 10th British record and was enjoyed by over 1500 happy bird watchers making both the island and the ferry companies a healthy profit at an otherwise quiet time of year.

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Wheatear - Brands Bay, Aidan Brown
Wheatear
Latin Name
Oenanthe oenanthe
Status

Regular passage migrant, has bred

Site and Records Information

Arrives from mid March onwards and can pass through on a broad front across the harbour meaning they can turn up anywhere. Falls of 10+ birds can occur at Arne, Lytchett Bay, Ballard Down, Studland, Sunnyside, Bestwall and other sites. Autumn passage is strong too with most places hosting Wheatear at some point. Breeding has occurred up on Hartland Moor twice in the last three years. Also recorded in Poole Harbour each spring and autumn is the sub-species Greenland Wheatear

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Whimbrel - Brands Bay, Aidan Brown
Whimbrel
Latin Name
Numenius phaeopus
Status

Spring and autumn passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Large flocks of Whimbrel used to stop off in certain parts of the harbour with counts of up to 200 being quite common out on Wareham Moors. Birds now filter through in much smaller numbers on their way north with Holes Bay, Lytchett Bay, Brands Bay and Arne occasionally reaching double figures. Autumn passage is good too with birds passing through the same sites from late July and all the way through August. In the spring, the calls of Whimbrel can be heard during the dead of night as they migrate overhead as they head north and south.

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Whinchat - Bestwall
Whinchat
Latin Name
Saxicola rubetra
Status

Regular passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Only recorded on passage from April through to September. Ballard Down, Hartland Moor and Lytchett Fields in September are hotspots, with other regular sightings at Greenlands Farm, Studland, Arne, Sunnyside Farm and Lytchett Bay but could potentially turn up at any rough scrub/heathland habitat during peak migration times. Spring sightings are scarcer but breeding plumaged males are always a joy to find on a warm April day.

Whiskered Tern
Latin Name
Chlidonias hybridus
Status

Extreme vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

1 on 10th April 2011 at Swineham GP. This was the first Poole Harbour record and arrived on the same day as Woodchat Shrike in Lytchett Bay. Also in the county that day Red-rumped Swallow and Short-toed Lark at Portland showing a decent fall of scarce migrants. 

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White Stork - Arne RSPB Reserve
White Stork
Latin Name
Ciconia ciconia
Status

Rare visitor to the harbour.

Site and Records Information

To date there have been 11 Poole Harbour records, almost all of which have occurred in the Frome Valley. The open, vast areas of Bestwall, Arne Moors and Swineham provide excellent habitat for White Stork.

2 on the 2nd April 1884 around Arne
1 seen near Ridge from 22nd to 27th April 1976.
1 flew over Arne towards Wareham meadows on the 28th April 1984.
2 flew over Godlingston Heath towards Arne on 1st May 1993.
1 spent most of the day at Bestwall on 21st June 2001 but was sadly only enjoyed by a select small group of birders due to the Foot and Mouth restrictions
1 over Bestwall 12th July 2008
1 on Arne Moors 13th April 2010
1 on Wareham Water Meadows September 25th - October 4th 2010
1 over Stoborough heading west - May 1st 2018 (N.Hopper)

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White Wagtail - Lytchett Bay
White Wagtail
Latin Name
Motacilla alba
Status

Regular passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Probably under recorded but passage is evident in spring and winter with birds recorded at South Haven, Godlingston, Arne, Wareham Water Meadows, Lytchett Bay, Upton Country Park and Ballard.

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White-fronted Geese - Bestwall
White-fronted Goose
Latin Name
Anser albifrons
Status

Once annual, but now scarce winter visitor.

Site and Records Information

Nearly annual but numbers vary with the weather. During periods of cold weather the best places to look are Bestwall, Arne, Middlebere and the Frome Valley. Birds normally arrive in late December or early January the earliest record is of six NW over Studland on 14th October 1992. Most recent records....
2 on 16th February at Swineham GP
1 on 22nd October 2010 at Baiter
19 on 10th January 2011 at Bestwall with numbers dropping to 6 by the 18th of January
6 on 19th November 2018 west along Middlebere (D.Lister)
1 on NW corner of Arne Moors Dec - Jan 2018/19 (P.Morton et al)

White-rumped Sandpiper
Latin Name
Calidris fuscicollis
Status

Vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

 

Strangely one of the rarest North American sandpipers to occur in Poole Harbour with only one record, even though White-rumped Sandpiper is actually one of the most frequently encountered nationally only just behind Pectoral, Buff-breasted and Semipalmated Sandpiper. Like many other ‘Poole Harbour firsts’ Brownsea Island was the location for the harbours first White-rumped Sandpiper. 

Just one record of 1 on 22nd-24th August 2007 on the Brownsea Lagoon (G.Armstrong and I.Prophet)

White-tailed Eagle
Latin Name
Haliceetus albicilla
Status

Extreme vagrant. There are no confirmed records in Dorset from the 20th or 21st centuries. 

Site and Records Information

A pair frequented the Rempston Woods in 1860, one of which was trapped there by the keeper, the other was shot at Lulworth soon afterwards (per MP). Its hoped that future translocation projects may be carried out on the south coast, therefor becoming a frequent visitor to the harbour once more. 

A sighting of a large eagle species in 2008 over Hartland Moor was thought to be this species but sadly wasn't confirmed. 

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White-winged black Tern - Peter Moore
White-winged Black Tern
Latin Name
Chlidonias leucopterus
Status

Vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

The first Poole Harbour record was in 1964 with no records then for 40 years. Then there were three in three years 2013,14 and 15. The best places to check are Swineham GP but also in amongst feeding tern flocks off the southern Brownsea shoreline on a running tide, also on the Brownsea Lagoon.
1 on the 3rd June 1964 on Brownsea Island
1 1st-winter on 15th - 16th September 2013 at Swineham GP (MJ Lawson, P Moore et al)
1 juv on 10th September 2014 off Brownsea watched from the House Boats (G Armstrong et al), relocated at Swineham GP that evening (A Brown et al) and was present early the next morning only
1 2cy from 2nd-4th June 2015 at Swineham GP in near full breeding plumage (I Alexander et al)

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Whitethroat - Upton Country Park, Aidan Brown
Whitethroat
Latin Name
Sylvia communis
Status

Regular passage migrant and declining breeder

Site and Records Information

Regularly seen in large hedgerows from late April to early May but breeding sites are in much decline. On passage Ballard, Arne, Lytchett Bay, Studland, Lytchett Heath and Middlebere are good with birds breeding at Upton Country Park, Ballard and Studland. Autumn passage can be strong, so anywhere with suitable rough scrubland should host birds throughout August and September

Whooper Swan
Latin Name
Cygnus cygnus
Status

Rare winter visitor and passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Whooper Swans in Britain normally come from Iceland and these birds occasionally get blown off course over the sea ending up too far south and may then make there their way along the Dorset coast or up the valleys through the harbour. The few ringing recoveries in southern England however indicate that these birds are from Finland.
In the 1960s regularly reported over-wintering at Little Sea, however since then weather conditions have to be extreme before this bird becomes easy to see in the harbour.
The maximum was “a herd of c64 visited the harbour” during the big freeze on 19th January 1963.
A.J.Bull wrote of this great run of records in the 1964 Bird report; On 27th November 2 flew west from Brands Bay. During the latter half of December several were seen on Little Sea including 4 on the 19th. 8 others were seen flying into Poole Harbour: 6 including one juvenile on December 20th and one on December 27th”.
In 1962 one to three were reported in January then in 1963 “there were ten Whoopers regularly in January and on the 19th of the month a herd of 54 visited the harbour (Helen Brotherton). For some time in February two or three were to be seen close to the main Sandbanks Road at Shore Road”
A rather odd record of a bird found on 9th March 1960 at Poole Park which stayed 13 months until 8th April 1961
After that visits became more prosaic with two in Poole Harbour on the Holton Heath Shore on 14th December 1967 seen by Dr Godfrey. Next were “A skein of forty flying over Brownsea in March 1980” seen by Tony Wise.
The three most recent visits represent some sort of passage through the harbour with two birds on Brownsea on 4th November 1994, on the 28th October 1997 (the earliest of dates), two Swans were seen to fly out of the harbour “whooping”, on 31st October 1999.

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Wigeon - Holes Bay
Wigeon
Latin Name
Anas penelope
Status

Common winter visitor

Site and Records Information

A winter visitor from Scandinavia and Russia, many birds pass through on their way further south. As over-wintering birds arrive back in late September numbers start to rise in many places around the harbour. Birds spend most of October in eclipse plumage with majority in their fine winter colours by November. Holes Bay, Holton Shore, Arne Bay, Lytchett Bay, and Brands Bay all hold large numbers especially in very cold weather.

Willow Tit
Latin Name
Parus montanus
Status

Extinct as a breeding bird in Dorset. Extremely rare passage migarnt/winetr visitor

Site and Records Information

Mainly identifiable by it's song, this almost identical relation to the Marsh Tit is now considered extinct in Dorset. The boggy areas around South Haven and Little Sea were particularly favoured where they could potentially be seen in the mixed Tit flocks that roam the area. Below are examples of (semi)recent sightings.

1 singing on 21st April 1977 at 12 Acre Wood
1 on 8th & 15th February 1998 at Lytchett Bay
1 on 11th February 1998 on the Arne feeders
1 on 2nd May 1998 at Slepe Copse
1 singing on 8th April 2000 at Corfe Castle

Any claims of Willow Tit in Poole Harbour and Dorset are extremely important. A sighting must be submitted to Dorset Bird Club with a written description, ideally a photo and even better a sound recording.

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Willow Warbler  - Hartland Moor, Aidan Brown
Willow Warbler
Latin Name
Phylloscopus trochilus
Status

Declining summer breeding resident, common passage migrant

Site and Records Information

More easily found on spring and autumn migration when large numbers pass through the harbour. Ballard Down, Arne, Sunnyside Farm, Studland, Middlebere and Lytchett Bay are all regular feeding areas. Singing males can be heard from April onwards but nowadays very few pairs stay and breed. Breeding totals were far greater 20-30 years ago with 30-40 pairs at Arne alone in the 70's. Singing males have most recently been encountered along Soldiers Road, Arne and at Hartland.

Wilsons Phalarope
Latin Name
Phalaropus tricolor
Status

Extreme vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

1 on 20th June 1988 in Holes Bay. Discovered by a surveyor who was monitoring Redshank numbers in preparation for the new Holes Bay bridge.

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Wood Pigeon - South Haven
Wood Pigeon
Latin Name
Columba palumbus
Status

Common breeding resident and passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Evident around the entire harbour, Woodpigeon is a bird you can't fail to see. However, to make the most of these plump pigeons you may want to watch the mass Woodpigeon migration that takes place across the harbour usually in early November each year. A mind blowing 161,257 were counted flying across the harbour in just 5 hours on the morning of November the 7th 2010.

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Wood Sandpiper - Wareham Water Meadows
Wood Sandpiper
Latin Name
Tringa glareola
Status

Passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Wood Sandpiper used to be quite hard to catch up with in Poole Harbour. Birds used to appear in the past at sites Lytchett Bay, Sunnyside Farm, Brownsea Lagoon, Swineham and Bestwall. They usually start to pass through from mid August and can be observed through September. However with the creation of Lytchett Fields, Holton Pools and Sunnyside Pools sightings are now far more frequent with Lytchett Fields seeing several per autumn. Spring passage is much weaker, but again, Lytchett Fields has seen several recent spring records.

Wood Warbler
Latin Name
Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Status

Very rare passage migrant, has bred.

Site and Records Information

Being in the right place and the right time is now key for Wood Warbler. Has bred along the Arne Road, Slepe Copse, Brownsea, Greenland's Farm, Ridge Moors, Arne triangle, Stoats Wood near Canford Heath, Hartland Moor, Arne reserve and Studland.....but not recently! It is much more likely to be seen as a passage migrant, and has also been recorded at Ballard, Poole Park and Lytchett Bay. Spring birds begin to pass through in mid-April and have all gone through by early May. Autumn sightings are ver very rare.

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Woodchat Shrike - Middlebere, May 2009
Woodchat Shrike
Latin Name
Lanius senator
Status

Vagrant to the harbour

Site and Records Information

Woodchat Shrike occurs in Dorset almost annually, primarily as an overshooting spring migrant. There are 7 harbour records, 3 in the last 10 years.

1 on 21st Apr 1893 at Corfe Castle (Field 29th Apr1893)
1 on 31st May 1975 at Wytch
1 on 28th Jun 1981 at Arne
1 on 1st Jun 1982 on Ballard Down
1 on 18th May 2008 at East Holme (S.Robson et al)
1 on 28th May 2009 at Middlebere (G.J.Armstrong et al)
1 on 10th Apr 2011 at Lytchett Bay (D.Bandfield et al)

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Woodcock - Arne Moors - 29/12/16
Woodcock
Latin Name
Scolopax rusticola
Status

Winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred.

Site and Records Information

Although a past breeder, no confirmed breeding sites have been found for a few years, but it is possible breeding birds could get missed. Like Nightjar in summer, these birds are easiest to see at dusk in the winter. Birds are frequently seen flying from the woodland at Soldiers Road, across the Arne road and out on to the Arne moors normally about 20 minutes before total darkness. Many of the woodland around the harbour supports Woodcock during the winter, and by standing of the edges of the woodland at dusk looking against the skyline will allow you to see the birds leaving daytime hiding spots and heading off to feed. During extreme cold weather the harbour can see Woodcock invasions, like in 2010 when birds were getting recorded on many country roadside verges at night literally dying to find food. During the 2013/14 winter period we conducted a winter Woodcock of Poole Harbour study which proved that an estimated c650 Woodcock over-winter within the Poole Harbour area each year.

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Woodlark - Arne RSPB Reserve
Woodlark
Latin Name
Lullula arborea
Status

Breeding resident and passage migrant

Site and Records Information

Woodlark have become ever so slightly easier to find in the harbour compared to 20 years ago as plenty of new suitable habitat becomes available due to conifer clearing work and heathland restoration projects. Birds start their stunning descending songs in early February and can be heard ringing out across many heathlands during the day and night at Arne, Stoborough, Grange, Studland, Holton Lee and Godlingston Heaths through March and April. On passage they can be seen during the 'Vis Mig' (Visible Migration) season passing over head at Glebelands, Ballard and North/South Haven. In 2011 up to four pairs bred at Arne with a post breeding flock of nine birds seen many times in the August. Post breeding flocks of 5-10 birds aren't unusual around Hartland, Stoborough Heath and Soldiers Road.

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Wren, Poole, October 2017, Marcus Lawson
Wren
Latin Name
Troglodytes troglodytes
Status

Common resident

Site and Records Information

An abundant species throughout the harbour found in any woodland, garden, scrub, heathland even reed bed habitat. High counts generally occur in winter, usually at roost sites, for example Studland has Dorsets highest count of 250 birds in the winter of 1987 and 300 birds in 1988.

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Wryneck - Middlebere - September 2012, Aidan Brown
Wryneck
Latin Name
Jynx torquilla
Status

Scarce migrant

Site and Records Information

A much sought after bird to find on a fine autumn day. Records span right around the whole harbour from Upton Heath and Holes Bay, all the way through Sandford and Wareham to the heaths of Arne, Godlingston and Studland. The best months to track one down are August and September in any rough, scrubby area.

1 on 14th September 2008 on Ballard Down
1 on 10th September 2008 on Brownsea Island
1 on 14th September 2008 at Studland
1 on 8th September 2009 at little Sea Studland
1 from 4th - 5th September 2009 at Middlebere
1 on 22nd September 2009 at Upton
1 on 1st September 2010 at Middlebere
1 from 24th - 30th August 2012 at Middlebere
1 on 11th September 2012 at Greenland Farm, Brands Bay
1 on 13th September 2012 on Brownsea Island
1 on 16th April 2015 on Lytchett Heath (D.Jones)
1 on 19th August 2016 at Lytchett Fields (I.Lewis, S.Craft)
1 on 19th & 20th Sept 2016 on Coombe Heath, Arne
1 on 29th September 2016 in a Parkstone Garden, Poole (P.Derrick)
1 on 30th September 2016 at South Haven, Studland (G.Armstrong)
1 on 25th Aug 2019 - Lytchett Heath ringed during a ringing session (T.Elborn, S.Robson et al)
1 on 26th Aug 2019 at Ballard Down/Ulwell (B.Edge)
1 on 27th Aug 2019 at Hydes Heath, Arne (M.Parker)

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Yellow Wagtail - Middlebere, Aidan Brown
Yellow Wagtail
Latin Name
Motacilla flava
Status

Passage migrant-more so in the Autumn

Site and Records Information

Passes through in very small numbers during the spring with any field containing cattle being a target. In the autumn passage is much stronger with flocks roosting and feeding in areas like Lytchett Bay, Greenland's Farm, Hartland Moor, Swineham, Wareham Water Meadows and Holton Lee, but it's worth checking any field containing cattle as there is a good chance you'll see them feeding in amongst the cows feet! Listen out for their loud 'pist' calls on August and September mornings as they move from roost to feeding sites. 400 at Keysworth on 29th August 1987 is largest flock on record. 3 figure flocks are now rare, 150 at Lytchett Bay on 7th Sep 2014 the most recent.

The earliest is 1 at Lytchett Bay in sub-zero temperatures on 1st Apr 2013. There is one winter record from Studland on 10th December 1977.

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Yellow-browed Warbler - PCW Drain - Paul Morton
Yellow-browed Warbler
Latin Name
Phylloscopus inornatus
Status

Scarce migarnt

Site and Records Information

 

Fifty years ago Yellow-browed Warbler were an extreme rarity to the UK, and needed a description written to the BBRC (British Birds Rarity Committee) for the report to be considered for acceptance. On 11th October 2018 an estimated 500 Yellow-browed Warbler were seen across the UK highlighting the drastic change in status of this delightful bird. In recent years Poole Harbour has seen its fair share of them too with 16 records in 2016 alone. Scanning through Long-tailed Tit flocks anywhere around the harbour could yield a Yellow-browed Warbler with several lucky birders in Poole even having them in their gardens! October and early November are the best times but there have also been a couple of over-wintering records too.  

First record - 1 on 17th October 1971 Studland Heath 

1 on 29th September 1985 at Little Sea

1 wintered at Border Drive, Lytchett Bay It was first discovered on 5th Dec 2003 staying until 24th Jan 2004

1 on 5th October 2008 at Middle Beach, Studland

1 on 16th October 2008 at South Haven, Studland 1 on 25th October 2008 at South Beach, Studland

1 on 19th October 2011 near Pilot's Point, Studland

1 on 5th November 2011 at Studland

1 on 19th and 20th October 2012 at Poole Park

1 over wintered at Knoll Beach, Studland 2013 into 2014

3-4 individuals located along the Studland Peninsular in October 2014. South Haven, Ballard, Glebelands, Knoll beach, Middle Beach

1 at South Haven, Studland on October 2nd 2015

 

October 2016 saw an unprecedented influx with numerous sightings and ringing records.

1 on 28th - 29th September 2016 at Coombe Heath, Arne (L.Philipps et al)

3 on 3rd October 2016 at the PCW Drain (P.Morton et al)

3 on 4th October 2016 at the PCW Drain with one newly ringed (P,Morton et al)

1 on 4th October 2016 in an Oakdale garden (I.Ballam)

2 on 6th October 2016 at PCW Drain, both newly ringed (I.Lewis et al)

3-5 on October 6th 2016 at RSPB Arne (numerous reports, but three together on the Shipstal Trail with reports from elsewhere on the reserve).

1 on 7th October 2016 at the PCW Drain newly ringed (I.Lewis et al)

1 on 8th October 2016 newly ringed at Lytchett Bay (B.Gifford et al)

1 on 8th October 2016 at RSPB Arne (Arne staff et al)

1 on 9th –10th October 2016 in Chads Copse, Lytchett Bay (I.Ballam et al)

1 on 10th October 2016 in the Arne car park (L.Phillips et al)

1 on 11th October 2016 at Lytchett Heath, newly ringed (S.Robson et al)

2017 records

1 on 5th Jan 2017 at Greenlands Farm, Studland (B.Edge)

1 on 8th Jan 2017 on Lytchett Heath (M.Constantine, M.Robb, N.Hopper, P.Morton)

1 on 10th Jan 2017 at East Holme (H.Murray)

1 on 26th & 27th Jan 2017 at Cabots Lane, Poole - (K.Lane et al)

1 on 20th Sept on private site at Arne (MJ Lawson)

1 on 24th-26th Sept in and around the Arne RSPB car park (Arne staff)

1 ringed on 17th Oct 2017 at Ballard Down (O.Slessor)

1 ringed on 26th Oct 2017 at Ballard Down (O.Slessor)

1 on 27th Oct in an Oakdale garden (MJ Lawson)

 

2018 records

1 ringed on 8th Oct 2018 at Ballard Down (O.Slessor)

1 ringed on 9th Oct 2018 at Ballard (O.Slessor)

1 in PCW Drain 15th Oct 2018 (I.Ballam)

1 on Ballard Down 16th October 2018 (P.Morton et al)

1 ringed on 5th Nov 2018 at Ballard Down (O.Slessor)

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Yellow-legged Gull - Brownsea Lagoon, June 2009
Yellow-legged Gull
Latin Name
Larus cachinnans
Status

Very Rare breeding bird and regular late summer visitor

Site and Records Information

Poole Harbour is/was possibly the best site in the county and one of the best in the country to see this gull. Britain's first attempt at breeding occurred on Brownsea from 1996-1999 where they only successfully raised two young in 1997 and again in 1999. Breeding then continued to 2017 when sadly one of the adults disappeared and breeding stopped. At the time it was considered to be the only pure breeding pair of Yellow-legged gull in the UK. Kerry Foods on the edge of Holes Bay is the best known site with up to ten birds present throughout the winter months and by May at least 40 birds, mainly sexually immature 1st and 2nd summers, are present. Numbers peak in late August and September when over 300 birds have been present (max 312 Sept 2001). This was a considerable increase on the previous harbour max of 210 on 12th August 1999. Up to 50 birds have also been recorded in Lytchett Bay with the timing of the maximum counts matching those at Kerry Foods.
At least 40 birds have been seen at Corfe Mullen Tip over the years presumably from nearby Holes Bay. Birds can be watched leaving the tip and heading towards Holes and Lytchett Bay. With the Wareham Channel in the distance this gives a good vista from which to study where most gulls are heading when the tip shuts at 5pm.

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Corfe Castle
Yellowhammer
Latin Name
Emberiza citrinella
Status

Declining breeding resident and occasional winter visitor

Site and Records Information

There used to be 31 breeding pairs at Arne RSPB Reserve in 1980 and now there are none. Breeding is now confirmed at Challow Hill, Corfe, Ballard and Godlingston. They are also regular passage migrants in the autumn as local birds depart and others arrive. Winter flocks are also rare but they have occurred around the farms that boarder Hartland Moor such as Scotland Farm and also Greenlands.

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