Latest Sightings

Harbour Update - posted 16/10/17

A fairly slow news day with info of another Yellow-browed Warbler moving through with a tit flock near Wareham train station. At Lytchett Fields a single Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff and good numbers of Redshank, Snipe and Lapwing. On Hartland a single Merlin has been regular most days recently but by this evening 3 were perched up together. On Brownsea 45 Spoonbill were roosting along with 10 Spotted Redshank and c200 Avocet. A sea watch from Branksome Chine produced c30 Gannet West along with 7 Common Scoter east and 3 Brent Geese west. 

Poole Harbour sunset by air - Simon Buckell (Simon Buckell Blog)

Harbour Update - posted 15/10/17

Well well well. We were only saying yesterday that finch passage had picked up across the harbour and low and behold 3 Hawfinch were heard and seen flying over Holes Bay at around 13:30. Hawfinch in Poole Harbour are exceptionally rare however over the last few days good numbers had been on the move across the UK with other Dorset sites seeing them pass over too, so it was more likely a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ any would get seen within the Poole harbour area. The Poole Harbour WeBS counts seemed initially disappointing as the tide wasn’t particularly low but the Great White Egret was seen in Wytch Lake and Middlebere, the Velvet Scoter was out in central harbour and 46 Spoonbill were on Brownsea. The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in trees around the Middlebere Hide and the Stilt Sandpiper was out on the mud in front of the hide with 6 Knot, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, c500 Avocet, 1 Spoonbill and a fly by Hen Harrier. At Lytchett Fields there were 3 Ruff, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Little Stint. Additional goodies on Brownsea included 2 Little Stint and 1 Ruff. There were 33 Brent Goose in the Wareham Channel with 3 Pintail and 555 Black-tailed Godwit. In Poole Harbour west there are currently 5 Marsh Harrier and single of both Hen Harrier and Merlin are frequent around Hartland Moor. 

 Merlin - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Merlin (juv)_2755 from Waderworld on Vimeo.

  Great White Egret - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Great Egret@Middlebere.MVI_2745 from Waderworld on Vimeo.

 Peregrine - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Peregrine@Middlebere. from Waderworld on Vimeo.


Harbour Update - posted 14/10/17

Although the winds subsided today, the only new arrival was a Yellow-browed Warbler around the hide at Middlebere with the Stilt Sandpiper still out on the mud and Merlin, Marsh and Hen Harrier all noted too. At Lytchett Fields there was 1 Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 1 Med Gull and 1 Marsh Harrier. Along footpath 12 of Lytchett Bay there were still good numbers of Bearded Tit around in the reedbeds. More winter wildfowl are arriving in drips and drabs with c30 Brent Geese seen in Studland Bay and Pintail and Wigeon numbers had increased in Arne Bay. Spoonbills were on Shipstal Point Arne and a few were on Brownsea. Finch passage is currently taking place overhead across most of the harbour with some areas more concentrated than others. Currently with these SW winds its difficult to find these migration corridors where concentrated numbers of birds move en mass but Ballard Down seems to have good numbers of Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Chaffinch and Goldfinch moving overhead. The best wind direction for vis-mig in the harbour is a northerly or north-easterly wind with the South Haven, Glebelands, Studland, the Corfe Gap and Lytchett Bay viewing mound on Boarder Road all good places to watch from. Finches (and wagtails and pipits) will all move in smaller numbers at any point across the harbour so its well worth learning the flight and social calls of species like Siskin, Linnet, Grey Wagtail and even scarcer species as at this time of year you never quite know what will fly over!

Marsh Harrier - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Merlin - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Hen Harrier - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Marsh Harrier and Avocet - Middlebere - Simon Buckell

Harbour Update - posted 13/10/17

As we approach mid October, its quite amazing how mild it still is, and with only a tiny tiny number of winter thrushes having arrived yet it looks that with the right weather window in the coming days/weeks we could see a mass arrival here on the south coast. There was little change today as a rather grey and blustery day seeing the Velvet Scoter still in central harbour, this time viewed from the Hamworthy Park beach. The Stilt Sandpiper was still in Middlebere as was the Great White Egret, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 female Merlin and a ringtail Hen Harrier. At Lytchett Fields there were still 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover and lots of Wigeon on the fields. 

Harbour Update - posted 12/10/17

Even when you’ve been birding a site or area for many years you sometimes (if you’re very lucky) get to experience something so new and so different it makes you sit back and think…what else are we missing? This morning during a routine reedbed ringing session at Lytchett Heath big numbers of Bearded Tit could be heard ‘pinging’ in the reed beds. Although the numbers seemed slightly higher than normal, it wasn’t unexpected to see them at this spot. However, as the sun grew in the sky and the day began to unfold, the Bearded Tits began calling each other out of the reed beds, signalling to one other that time was up and it was time to leave. Every few minutes a group of 5-10 would fly above the reedbed with some quickly dashing back down again into the thick cover, whilst others would climb higher and higher into the sky, heading off in a NW direction before they became tiny specks in the sky, never to be seen again! Within a twenty minuet period we had 21 Bearded Tit migrate off out of the harbour in small parties of between 3-8 birds. Where they’re going we don’t know, but seeing as we had a colour-ringed bird from Radipole here the other day it could be that they’re making local movements between large reedbed sites in Dorset. Or, it could be that some move off further to larger reedbed systems in other areas of the country. Still, to witness this dispersal was pretty fascinating and is certainly worth watching out for again on still calm October mornings. The best place to try and see these birds is either at the end of footpath 12 off Boarder Road, Lytchett Bay or from the new Lytchett Bay/Boarder Road viewing mound. Also in that area were c60 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wheatear, 1 Kingfisher, c50 Reed Bunting and 1 Lesser Redpoll over. In Poole Harbour west there were 2 Merlin, 2 Hen Harrier and 5 Marsh Harrier. The Stilt Sandpiper was again in Middlebere and on Lytchett Fields there were 4 Ruff, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine. Firecrests were in the Arne car park, Knoll Beach and Greenland’s Farm, Studland. Winter thrush numbers are still non-existent with just a small handful of Song Thrush moving through during the early part of the mornings. 

Ruff - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

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