Latest Sightings

Harbour Update - posted 13/12/19

A Great Northern Diver frequented Holes Bay South throughout the day and was still present at dusk. Merlin continue to show regularly near Middlebere lay-by, this evening saw a hunting male. Notable records from Shipstal Point, Arne include 22 Spoonbill, 2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Goldeneye. A ringtail Hen Harrier was also observed over Arne. Nearby, Middlebere channel held 3 Spotted Redshank, both Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Lapwing and c350 Avocet. Holton Pools saw Redshank, Greenshank and Kingfisher.

Harbour Update - posted 12/12/19

Regular visitors to the sightings page may remember the excellent November WeBS survey back on the 24th. Totals from the harbour wide count have been collated totalling an impressive 21527 birds from 58 species. This is the highest November count over the past five years! Two WeBS species total records were broken this time. These were 390 Pintail (the previous highest number was 341) and 2 Long-tailed Duck (previously only one recorded). Other less common species recorded in November included 1 Red-throated Diver, 9 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Green Sandpiper, 25 Black-necked Grebe.

Returning to today’s sightings, Baiter Park held 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Turnstones, c150 Brent Goose and 1 Greenshank. Some great totals were recorded on Brownsea Lagoon with 172 Grey Plover, 39 Knot and 1805 Black-tailed Godwit of note. Other Lagoon totals worth a mention include 194 Avocet, 90 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Sanderling and singles of Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank and Snipe.  Swineham late afternoon produced 2 Woodcock along Bestwall road, Water Rail squealing on the flood meadows, a Tawny Owl in the pines and as the rain showers fizzled out, 5 Marsh Harrier were quartering around the west Harbour.

Harbour Update - posted 11/12/19

Today’s Poole Town Walk was brilliant. The weather was a bit all over the place, but the birding was top notch. Turnstones greeted us along the Quay as we worked though roosting Cormorant and Shag. Approaching Baiter Car Park we were spoilt by very close views of a Great Northern Diver fishing just meters from the beach. Another Great Northern Diver was also present at Baiter in the morning before heading into Parkstone Bay where we caught up with the bird on our guided walk. A Red-throated Diver was also seen slightly further out from Baiter, along with 7 Great Crested Grebe. Hidden amongst the feeding Oystercatchers on Baiter Park included 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 4 Black-tailed Godwit. As we continued along the walk, we enjoyed close views of a Sandwich Tern fly past before joining Poole Park which held 2 Goldeneye and a Common Gull. Skirting Baiter to complete the circular walk produced c120 Brent Goose settling briefly on the Park. Nearby, looking out from the Beach Huts at Hamworthy Park offered 4 Black-necked Grebe, 11 Goldeneye, 56 Red-breasted Merganser, 28 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Sandwich Tern and 15 Turnstone roosting on pier.

The next Poole Town Birding Walk takes place on Thursday 19th December, 10am to 1pm. We also have a Holes Bay Guided Walk coming up on Friday 20th December, 10am to 12.30pm. You can find a full list of our guided walks and events programme below.

A high tide at Shipstal this morning featured 23 Spoonbill, 1 Great Norther Diver, 12 Goldeneye, c300 Brent Goose, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 25 Pintail, c200 Wigeon, c100 Tealc100 Curlew, 4 Avocet, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Dartford Warbler and 1 Merlin. A evening open-water species roost count from Shipstal Point totalled 28 Goldeneye, 38 Great Crested Grebe, 51 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Great Northern Diver, 4 Black-necked Grebe, along with 2 Spoonbill, c200 Avocet and 1 Dartford Warbler.

Great Northern Diver - Baiter Beach 

Harbour Update - posted 10/12/19

Wow, we haven’t seen a good storm like this for a while. Well, not for at least a few weeks!

The birding that was carried out today seemed to have been from the comfort of a hide or car it seems. At Baiter there were 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 11 Turnstone, 114 Brent Geese and 92 Oystercatcher. From Branksome Chine a very brief sea watched produced 1 Common Scoter, 1 Gannet and 4 Brent Geese all flew east. On the main Poole Park boating lake there were 4 Goldeneye (3 males and 1 female). From the hide at Brands Bay, Studland there were 62 Pintail, 74 Shelduck, 160 Brent Geese, 2 Goldeneye, 47 Great Crested Grebe, 300+ Wigeon, 8 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Grey Plover, 5 Avocet, 4 Common Gull, 11 Great Black-backed Gull, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Knot.

As soon as things calm down a bit over the next 12-48 hours it would be well worth scanning the harbour for any blown in waif and strays such as Little Auk, more sea duck such as Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter and Eider. Plus we could see higher than normal totals of species such as Great Northern Diver and even the odd Black-throated or Red-throated Diver.

Greenshank - Baiter - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 09/12/19

It seems that today is the calm before the storm, with strong winds and heavy rain forecast tomorrow. On a cold crisp day across the harbour another good variety of species were logged with the Yellow-browed Warbler still in Chads Copse at Lytchett Bay along with 2 Chiffchaff there too. At the PCW Drain at Holes Bay 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff and a Firecrest were still present along the drain, visible from KFC. At Shell Bay, Studland there were 27 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Black-necked Grebe. The ringtail Hen Harrier was seen at both Lytchett Bay and Swineham. At Morden Bog the Great Grey Shrike was just west of the decoy pond. Out in central harbour 3 Sandwich Tern were actively hunting and a Merlin was on its favoured roosting pole on Hartland. On Poole park boating Lake 2 Goldeneye were present.

Goldeneye - Poole Park - Ian Ballam

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