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Sightings

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Harbour update - 14/12/17

Studland Bay still held 1 Great Northern Diver although no Black-necked Grebe were seen but Red-breasted Merganser increased in number to 38. Mediterranean Gulls were prevalent in Studland Bay with at least 50 birds present some of which were attaining their black heads of breeding plumage.

The Stilt Sandpiper was seen from the school bird boat in its usual spot near the seawall on Brownsea Lagoon. Squally weather conditions for this morning’s school bird boat made any attempts at sensible counts challenging especially as birds were scattered far and wide around the harbour. That said, birds appeared to be everywhere and Brent Geese in particular seemed to have increased in number over the past week or so to several hundred birds. Thankfully, Spoonbill are nice and obvious to see and there were 7 on Brownsea Lagoon, 2 on Patchins Point and about 15 roosting on Shipstal Point with another 2 on Lytchett Fields. A single Guillemot sought relative sanctuary just outside of Poole Quay.

Harbour update - 13/12/17

Having bemoaned the lack of rare grebes yesterday it was good to hear of 21 Black-necked Grebe off Middle Beach along with 2 Great Northern Diver and 22 Red-breasted Merganser. The latter of these are numbering over 100 within the harbour but the other two are still conspicuous by the absence. Spoonbill are dotted around the harbour with 2 on Lytchett Fields having dropped onto Holton Lee scrape earlier in the day and another 7 were on Brownsea Lagoon. The trio of Great White Egret were reunited in the Middlebere channel viewed from Coombe Heath but more of a surprise was a Bittern which flew along there towards Shipstal. One or two Sandwich Tern were seen from Poole Quay but there are undoubtedly more in the harbour than this. The Stilt Sandpiper remains on Brownsea Lagoon but continues to avoid our webcam for the time being. Grey Plover are still much in evidence on the lagoon with a healthy count of 230. There seems to be lots of Redwing arriving at the moment after the freezing weather elsewhere in the country and there was a nice mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare in the Pools Field at Lytchett. If you want to try and entice these beautiful thrushes into your garden try putting out some overripe apples. Lastly, there was at least 1 Water Pipit on Lytchett Fields.

Harbour update - 12/11/17

Once again 2 Great White Egret were feeding in the Middlebere channel best viewed from Coombe Heath as was at least 1 Spoonbill. Another Spoonbill was off the black pipe in Lytchett Bay. The rarer grebes have been exactly that so far this winter so it was pleasing to hear of a Slavonian Grebe off Jerry’s Point in the company of a Black-necked Grebe with 3 more of the latter in Studland Bay.

36 Sanderling could be found sheltering in Shell Bay and the dunes there held at least 17 Linnet. Numbers of Ringed Plover in the harbour continue to fall year on year and the Houseboats in Bramble Bush Bay is probably the most reliable site to see them with 6 present today. 75 Bar-tailed Godwit were in their usual feeding spot along Shore Road. In the west of the harbour 3 Hen Harrier were still present including an adult male and at least 5 Marsh Harrier were in the same area.

Sparrowhawk - Poole Harbour © Mark Wright

Goldeneye (drake) - Poole Park © Ian Ballam

Goldeneye (female) - Poole Park © Ian Ballam

Harbour update - 11/12/17

2 Great White Egret could still be viewed from the Coombe Heath viewpoint but otherwise there was very little else reported from around the harbour. 28 Pintail were counted amongst the usual throng of birds in Holes Bay from the stone bench in Upton CP and nearby a was in a private Upton garden.

Brambling - Upton garden - Ian Ballam

Bullfinch - Upton garden - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 10/12/17

Today was grim, grim, grim and in amongst it all were the Poole Harbour WEBS counters trying their best to log the harbour’s wader and wildfowl totals. No easy task in 30mph winds and driving rain, but carry on regardless they did and managed to muster a Red-throated Diver into the harbour through the harbour mouth, 200 Brent Geese on Baiter and 5 Goldeneye in Poole Park, with 2 Sandwich Tern in Parkstone Bay. Because much of the harbour failed to drain away on the low tide, wader numbers were fairly spare with c220 Avocet feeding in the Wareham Channel and only a handful in the mouth of Middlebere and Wytch Lake, whereas further up the river valley’s Good numbers of Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew were feeding on flooded areas such as Arne Moors and Bestwall. In Middlebere a Great White Egret was feeding late afternoon and Spoonbills were spread across Arne Bay, Holes Bat NE, Lytchett Bay and the Brownsea Lagoon.  There was some fascinating news from Sunnyside, just next to Ridge where The Stour Ringing Group re-caught a Jack Snipe that was first ringed in November 2013, proving winter site fidelity of this species at this specific site. We’re not sure how often this has been proven of this species anywhere in the UK, plus the bird was an adult when it was first ringed four years ago so it’s a hardy little thing too. 

 Black-tailed Godwits - Holes Bay - Simon Buckell

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