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Sightings

Latest Sightings

Harbour update - 21/02/18

The harbour and surrounding area is looking just superb at the moment with these cold, crisp mornings and the sun glowing like a large orange balloon as it rises on the horizon. Mistle and Song Thrush can be heard singing through the still morning air, Dunnock are getting frisky in people’s gardens and singing contently from shed roofs and Great Spotted Woodpeckers are drumming their way to success in cold, shadow filled woodlands. There was a great variety of birds logged today including 2 Hawfinch that were in the top of trees opposite the Norden park and ride. Along Holme Lane, 2 Egyptian Geese were in ‘the egret field’ at the eastern end of the road with 14 Little Egret in there too and a Woodlark sub-singing nearby. Off of Middle Beach, Studland the Velvet Scoter was with 3 Common Scoter and there was a single partial summer plumaged Black-necked Grebe. From the houseboats at South Haven 2 Great Northern Diver were off the beach as were 4 Black-necked Grebe and a Common Guillemot. In Whitley Lake, Sandbanks a Black Brant was found in amongst the small Brent Goose flock and in Poole Park 6 Goldeneye (3 male and 3 female) were still courting. There were c15 Spoonbill on Shipstal, Arne and 3 on the Brownsea Lagoon where 5 Greenshank and c50 Avocet were also present. Med Gulls are now entering the harbour in good numbers on the low tide giving good comparison opportunities as they settle down with Black-headed Gulls.

Common Guillemot - Brownsea shoreline - Marcus Lawson

Hawfinch - Norden park and ride - Paul Morton

 Med Gull and Black-headed Gull - Shore Road, Sandbanks - Paul Morton

Black Brant - Shore Road, Sandbanks - Paul Morton

 

Harbour update - 20/02/18

With a nice bit of high pressure sat over southern England this AM and the sun shining it obviously got some Red Kite moving. February through to the end of April is a great time to try and see Red Kite in Poole Harbour as migrant birds depart over-wintering grounds (often in central and southern Europe) before returning north to breeding grounds. Some populations in England are sedentary and don’t move off very far, but the birds we see and experience on migration during the spring are birds that have moved south for the winter. They’re still a pretty scarce bird in Poole Harbour but in the right conditions good numbers can move through the county in a single day. Today was a good example of this with individuals seen heading north over Poole Quay, Lytchett Fields, Upton and Sandford over the course of the day. Only a very small number breed in Dorset, mostly in the north of the county so watching this stunning birds of prey as they glide overhead (often very low) is a very welcome spring sight. Out in Studland Bay, off Middle Beach the Velvet Scoter was with three Common Scoter, Spoonbill were on Shipstal, Lytchett Fields and the Brownsea Lagoon, the male Merlin came into his usual roosting post on Hartland and 2 Hen Harrier were seen around Middlebere and Arne during the day. 

Red Kite - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour update - 19/02/18

A dank mist sat over the area for most of the morning but flat calm waters made viewing open water species easier. 1 Black-necked Grebe and 1 Great Northern Diver were off the Brownsea north shore.  The high-tide count at Lytchett Fields included c200 Lapwing, c150 Dunlin, 1 Avocet, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 1 Water Pipit and a good number of Snipe, Redshank, Teal, Shelduck and Black-tailed Godwit, whilst close by at Holton Pools were 1 Spoonbill, 1 Greenshank, 1 Avocet and 62 Lapwing. In Holes Bay NE the Spotted Redshank was near the PC World outflow and a single Med Gull was with Black-headed Gulls. Med Gull numbers continue to grow near the harbour mouth and northern shores, especially on the lower tides. Poole Harbour is in desperate need of a good gull too! With the west of the county seeing regular Glaucous and recent Iceland Gulls and Blashford to the East hosting  Ring-billed, Caspian and Thayer’s Gull there just has to be a goody in the harbour somewhere! 

Spoonbill - Holton Pools - Trevor Wilkinson

Harbour update - 18/02/18

A perfect Poole Harbour day today with a warm early spring sunshine beating down across the area. Whether it lasts into the end of the month is a different question all together, with what looks like a pretty exceptional cold spell on its way. Still, places like Arne were busy with a good selection birds including the Black Brant again in Middlebere with 1 Great White Egret, 1 Hen Harrier and off Shipstal were 20 Spoonbill, 2 Great Northern Diver and 8 Black-necked Grebe. Off North Haven late afternoon/early evening 5 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern were in South Deep. A HUGE number of gulls were feeing along the southern shores too on the early evening low tide consisting mostly of Common and Herring Gull but also a build in numbers of Mediterranean Gull, many of which are now in almost near full breeding plumage. Firecrest were at Upton CP, Arne car park and Norden Sewage Works. There were even several over-wintering Chiffchaff that had been fooled into thinking spring really had arrived with one or two in full song at the PC World outflow. 

Water Pipit - Holton Pools - Mark Wright (Twitter @markwright12002)

Harbour update - 17/02/18

A perfect Poole Harbour day today with a warm early spring sunshine beating down across the area. Whether it lasts into the end of the month is a different question all together, with what looks like a pretty exceptional cold spell on its way. Still, places like Arne were busy with a good selection birds including the Black Brant again in Middlebere with 1 Great White Egret, 1 Hen Harrier and off Shipstal were 20 Spoonbill, 2 Great Northern Diver and 8 Black-necked Grebe. Off North Haven late afternoon/early evening 5 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver and a Sandwich Tern were in South Deep. A HUGE number of gulls were feeing along the southern shores too on the early evening low tide consisting mostly of Common and Herring Gull but also a build in numbers of Mediterranean Gull, many of which are now in almost near full breeding plumage. Firecrest were at Upton CP, Arne car park and Norden Sewage Works. There were even several over-wintering Chiffchaff that had been fooled into thinking spring really had arrived with one or two in full song at the PC World outflow. 

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