Latest Sightings

Harbour Update - posted 19/06/18

We’ll start off today with a species that hasn’t been seen in the harbour but in fact seen c75 miles east of us in West Sussex. An American Royal Tern which spent the latter part of last year and this winter in the Channel Islands appeared in the Sandwich Tern colony at Church Norton West Sussex yesterday evening. Despite the distance and the apparent remote chances of this bird appearing here, there’s actually an outside possibility it could appear within our own Sandwich Tern colony here on Brownsea Island. The reason we think this is because we saw an exact same situation last year when a rare Elegant Tern (the first confirmed for Britain) appeared in the same colony at Church Norton where it spent a few days before decamping to the tern colony on the Brownsea Lagoon for half a day. So, if you’re on Brownsea over the coming days please keep an eye out for a large tern with a long, bright orange bill. And if you see it….call us! Pleeeeease. 01202 641003 ;-)

Now back to the birds that were actually here. It was interesting to watch several Common Tern crossing the twin sails bridge site and the rough ground next to it, as we’d never witnessed this before. We were aware that terns follow the channel through into Holes Bay but always assumed they stuck to the channel and hadn’t considered that they’d take shortcuts across the rough ground and roads. Something to consider if and when that area becomes developed. The non-breeding female Marsh Harrier that’s been hanging around the harbour this summer was seen again in the west near Swineham. On the Brownsea Lagoon, Middlebere, Shipstal, the Wareham Channel and in Holes Bay little humbug Shelduck ducklings are beginning to appear and on Lytchett Fields the first newly fledged Redshank appeared a few days ago. All around the harbour now freshly fledged juvenile birds are beginning show and it won’t be long now (with July only being next weekend) that we begin seeing the return southward migration of both passerines and waders through Dorset.

Harbour Update - posted 18/06/18

What was presumed to be Osprey CJ7 was seen fishing in the Wareham Channel early morning on the low tide.

Harbour Update - posted 17/06/18

Didn’t think we’d be saying this anytime soon but it was actually good to feel a bit of rain on our faces today seeing as it’s been super dry of late. Still much of the same at present with a Spoonbill in Middlebere, an Osprey was out over the Wareham Channel, 1 Little ringed Plover at Holton Pools, 10 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin at Lytchett Fields, 2 Hobby were over Slepe Heath and newly reported were 2 Spotted Flycatcher near the waterworks at Lytchett Bay.

Up and coming events

We have a few events coming up over the coming weeks. Firstly, this Saturday June 23rd we’re doing the guest commentary on a Brownsea Island Ferries Puffin cruise out of Poole Harbour and along the Jurassic Coast. For full details and to book on call 01929 462383.

Then on July 1st and 15th we’re hosting our Summer ‘Up with the lark’ Wareham Channel cruise. For full details and to book CLICK HERE

We have just 1 space left on our Poole Harbour Nightjar experience walk on July 13th so to grab that CLICK HERE.

Harbour Update - posted 16/06/18

The undoubted highlight from today was that a pair of Avocet hatched two chicks on the Brownsea Lagoon. This is wholly significant because they’re (currently) the only Avocet pair in Dorset. A pair bred and hatched young last year too on the lagoon, in fact it looks as if one of this years birds is the same as it has a limp. But sadly the 3 chicks last year were predated by gulls over the course of the following week. Rumour has it that this summer there is also another pair sitting on eggs on the lagoon, so the Dorset population of breeding pairs could have potentially doubled in a single year! George Greens ‘Birds of Dorset’ states that Avocet have bred in the county before but it doesn’t state dates so its safe to say the any previous breeding success are truly historical rather than recent. There were a couple of early returning Little Ringed Plover about too with one on Lytchett Fields and another on Holton Pools with 8 Lapwing, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Oystercatcher at the latter site too. Hobby were again seen over Slepe Heath, Middlebere and one was further up the Frome Valley near East Holme. 

Little Ringed Plover - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 15/06/18

This has been without doubt one of the best springs for Osprey in recent Poole Harbour history with birds present most days/weeks as of early March. There had been a few sightings of ‘an Osprey’ in the last few weeks but it was unknown whether it had a ring on or not so we were keen to try and get a fix on the bird to try and confirm an ID. Luckily we managed to find the bird mid-morning on a private part of the Arne Reserve (thanks to the RSPB for granting us access) and we were able to see it had a ring on it. With careful stalking we were able to get a number on the ring and sure enough it was CJ7. Had she been away and come back again or had she been here the whole time? Either way she obviously likes the harbour and finds it productive. But then again, we thought that about S1 last summer and he’s now on a nest looking for a female up at Rutland! The difference however is that a) S1 is a male and is keen to nest where he himself was raised which is typical for males, plus, last summer he wasn’t sexually mature and was just doing what 2nd year Osprey do which is hang out in food rich areas for the summer. CJ7 being a three-year old female means she sexually mature now and could in theory be lured away from her natal site IF a male was to start courting her. Next spring (with luck) some of our trans-located birds will begin to come back, so is there a chance one of those could begin forming a bond with CJ7 should she return again? Sadly, breeding with any of our returning birds is unlikely as they won’t be fully sexually mature, but it could be start of something special??

Also at Arne today the first Crossbill of the autumn were on the move as 2 passed over south. Also present were 2 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Woodlark, c6 Dartford Warbler and c10 Swift. At Lytchett Fields again there were 7 Green Sandpiper and a small number of commoner waders such as Redshank, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit and Lapwing.  At the PC World drain several young Blackcap were noted again and it seems some birds are really in need of their post-breeding moult! 

Female Osprey CJ7 - RSPB Arne - Paul Morton

Robin - Upton CP - John Pick

Nuthatch - Upton CP - John Pick

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