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September 2013

Winter Thrush's arrive - posted 29/09/13

Ok, so the title sounds a bit dramatic, but the harbour saw it’s first 5 Redwing of the autumn this morning as a ‘vis mig’ session took place around the Studland/South Haven area. Also counted during the visible migration session were 1000+ Swallow, 37 Linnet, 15 Goldfinch, 6 Greenfinch, 59 Chaffinch, 59 Siskin, 12 Meadow Pipit, 39 Alba Wagtail, 31 Pintail, 34 Wigeon, 4 Brent Geese and 7 Chiffchaff and a Redstart present.

In Brands Bay there were 31 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Brent Geese, 35 Pintail, 31 Wigeon, 116 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot, 6 Turnstone, 4 Dunlin, 6 Sandwich Tern, 1 Wheatear and 1 Whitethroat.

Lytchett Bay reported a small arrival of common migrants of 40+ Chiffchaff, 1 Stonechat and 5 Blackcap were in the hedgerows, also there 6 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 26 Snipe, 29 Lapwing, 4 Wigeon and a flock of 25 Cormorant over the bay.

Finally, a Grey Phalarope was spotted from the chain ferry area and later reported on the Brownsea Lagoon.

 

Sightings Catch Up - posted 28/09/13

As the easterly winds continue this keeps the arrival migrants just ticking over with many Chiffchaff and Blackcap filling the hedgerows at the moment. Portland Bird Obs have already recorded their first Redwing and Brambling of the autumn meaning we should hopefully follow suit any day now.

The Sunnyside/Soldiers Road area produced very little, but not surprising as it was raining the whole time I was there! Best was juvenile Marsh Harrier over Sunnyside, 3 Stonechat and many Swallow and Meadow Pipit passing overhead. Another Marsh Harrier was noted over Swineham proving to be the 5th different Marsh Harrier to be seen in the area during September.

At Lytchett Bay 2 Curlew Sandpiper were feeding with 15 Dunlin, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 50+ Snipe, 6 Green Sandpiper, 2 Kingfisher and 2 Sedge Warbler.

At Upton CP a decent flock of 500-600 Black-tailed Godwit flew in to feed, also there both Common and Sandwich Tern, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Mediterranean Gull plus many hundred of Teal, Wigeon and Mallard.

Near Swineham a small migrant flock containing 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap was noted, along with 1 Common Sandpiper near Swineham Point, 1 Snipe and 2 Skylark.

The Brownsea Lagoon produced 3 juvenile Little Stint, 360 Avocet, 14 Greenshank and 12 Spotted Redshank.

There are still places available for the next ‘BoPH’ Walk at Greenlands Farm on the 19th of October. For full details and to book on, follow this link –

http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/early-autumn-walk-greenlands-farm

Plus, don’t forget it’s Dorset Bird Week this week with the first Dorset Bird Fair next weekend at Durlston Country Park. Check out all the details here –

http://www.durlston.co.uk/index.php?nid=8&id=4&evnt_id=1064

 

Forget autumn, winter is here! - posted 26/09/13

A nice sweep of sightings from right across the harbour today, with a number of sure-fire signs that winter isn’t that far away. The first Brent Geese were reported with 2 on the Brownsea Lagoon, 15 out on the sea at Middle beach and another 7 flying over Brands Bay. Also out in Brands Bay was a reasonably early Black-necked Grebe in full winter plumage along with 8 Great Crested Grebe.

Out in the harbour still a number of Sandwich Tern and to a lesser extent Common Tern can be seen fishing in the channels. 14 Spoonbill were out on Shipstal and a raft of 60+ Cormorant were feeding out in the mouth of Middlebere. 7 Pintail flew over Arne.

On the Brownsea Lagoon 150-200 Avocet, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, 300+ Oystercatcher and a handful of Dunlin.

At Lytchett Bay a detailed count included 1 Grey Plover, 118 Black-tailed godwit, 46 Redshank, 45 Curlew, 33 Dunlin, 12 Oystercatcher, 3 Lapwing, 1 Greenshank, 4 Wigeon and a Kingfisher.

At Greenlands Farm 1 Wheatear, 4 Whinchat, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 8 Mistle Thrush and about 40 grounded Meadow Pipit.

An eclipse drake Red Crested Pochard was on Creekmoor Ponds yesterday.

There’s still time to book onto the next ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ walk where we’ll be exploring the Greenland’s Farm area. For more information and to book on follow this link –

http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/early-autumn-walk-greenlands-farm

Today also saw the first RSPB/Birds of Poole Harbour School birdboat  trip with Lytchett Matravers Primary school braving the weather for a fantastic first trip. For a trip overview follow this link –

http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/first-season-schools-bird-boat-–-26-sep-2013

 

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  • Wigeon - Holes Bay
  • Teal - Lytchett Bay
  • Avocet - Brownsea Lagoon
Catch Up - posted 24/09/13

A welcome return after four days away, and a nice list of Poole Harbour sightings had been reported to me. Highlights include likely return of the Semipalmated Sandpiper, which was seen on the Brownsea Lagoon on the 19th and 23rd, but with views being so distant it couldn’t be 100% confirmed. A Wryneck on Shipstal Point, Arne was the first for the reserve in quite a while. Other highlights in chronological order included…..

Friday 20th – At Lytchett Bay a Spotted Redshank, 300+ Teal, 6 Wigeon, 5 Sedge Warbler, 20+ Meadow Pipit and 4 Chiffchaff. At Swineham 1 juv Marsh Harrier, 1 Kestrel, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 1 Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 1 Skylark, 1 Mistle Thrush, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Cetti’s Warbler and 8 Reed Bunting.

Saturday 21th– Again some coverage at Lytchett Bay with 3 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 1 Wheatear, 200 Teal and an adult Osprey. On the Brownsea Lagoon, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 18 Greenshank, 8 Spotted Redshank, 120 Avocet, 9 Knot, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit, 190 Dunlin and 2 Ruff near the harbour entrance in the morning.  At Brands Bay 1 Brent Goose, 2 Pintail, 25 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 3 Greenshank and 1 Turnstone

Sunday 22st - At Swineham 3 Marsh Harrier around in the afternoon plus 2 Bearded Tits, 3 Sandwich Tern and 6 Reed Bunting. A Wryneck was at Shipstal Point, Arne.

Monday 23rd – Very little reported other than huge numbers of hirundines moving over the Dorset coast mainly Swallow with a few House Martin and Sand Martin mixed in. In some location exceeding 15,000 in one morning! Meadow Pipit have also been moving in big numbers over the last few days.

Tuesday 24th – Again, little reported but 800+ Black-tailed Godwit, 200+ Redshank, 1 Whimbrel,1 Spotted Redshank, 50+ Wigeon, 1 Sandwich Tern, and 1 Common Gull were noted at Holes Bay.

There is a constant easterly flow over the next 4 days, so a really good chance of some ‘different’ birds turning up. Yellow-browed Warblers are tracking their way across the country and species like Barred and Melodious Warbler have been recorded at Portland in the last couple of days. Not to mention the first Redwings of the autumn that turned up at Spurn, Yorkshire and Central London today!

 

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  • Spotted Redshank - Brownsea Lagoon, Lorne Bissell
  • Turnstone - Poole Quay - using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • Black-tailed Godwit - Lytchett Bay - using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
Back again....

Just got back from 4 days away, so sorry for lack of news but will give full round up of last few days later....best was a Wryneck at Shipstal Point Arne, very nice!

Discover Arne Heathland Ramble - posted 18/09/13

If you've never been on one of the FREE Discover Arne Heathland Rambles that occur pretty much every Wednesday throughout the year then I would highly reccomend it. You'll be led by an expert RSPB volunteer around some of the well known and less well know parts of the reserve in search of the wealth of wildlife that occurs on the reserve. To see a list of dates for this event then floow this link.... http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-342593

In the mean time, here is a summary of todays walk by Rod Brummitt - 

At 8.00 am this morning Coombe Heath was alive with birds. Two Marsh Harriers were overhead transiting from the Middlebeere to Wareham Channel, one female and one juvenile. A gang of Mistle Thrushes were busy stripping the berries from the rowan trees and small flocks of Linnet and Meadow Pipit were passing through. Dartford Warblers were rasping at various spots in the gorse along with Stonechats. As to summer migrants, Chiffchaff and Wheatear were present in small numbers along with large numbers of Swallows and House Martins fattening up over both heath and channel.

Down on the water itself, and as reported by our WeBS counters last Sunday, Cormorants were flocking in unusually large numbers 40+ opposite the NT hide and over 100 making for Fitzworth. Other waders seen were Greenshank, Dunlin and Curlew, along with the usual complement of Little Egret and Grey Heron. Of the dabblers, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Gadwall were all present in small numbers.

As usual, the seal was present in Wych Channel and on the way back across Grip Heath. There was also plenty of Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers around too along with mixed flocks of Tits Siskin and Goldcrest in the surrounding woods.

What will be next?

It’s ‘terning’ out to be quite an exciting autumn so far in the harbour with a Poole Harbour first (Semipalmated Sandpiper) and a Poole Harbour second (White-winged Black Tern) in the same month. With the constant south-westerlies in the coming week it’s well worth keeping an eye out for species such as Pectoral and Buff-Breasted Sandpiper, the latter only record for the first time in Poole Harbour on the Brownsea Lagoon in September 2011. 

Other new arrivals this week have included the first Merlin of the autumn seen hunting along Arne Moors. There are now 10 Spoonbill using the Middlebere Channel to feed and roost in. At least 2 Osprey remain with birds commuting between Lytchett Bay and Arne.  2 Black Tern were seen off Arne and Sandwich Tern are being noted from pretty much every beach in the harbour.  There are large numbers of 1000+ Hirundines congregating at the moment with House Martin and Swallows and to a lesser extent Sand Martin making use of the reed beds in the north and the west of the harbour to roost in.  On Brownsea, Spotted Redshank numbers are staying around 8-10 birds, with slightly larger groups of 5-10 Knot. Black-tailed Godwit numbers continue to rise with an estimated 1000+ birds present at the moment in the harbour. 

DON'T MISS THIS


White-winged Black Tern - 2nd Poole harbour record found at Swineham - Posted 16/09/13

Some exceiting news broke late yesterday afternoon, when a potential juvenile White-winged Black Tern was discovered at Swineham GP, a species thats only ever been recorded in Poole harbour once before. The bird was photographed by Peter Moore in terrible conditions, so full credit to him and the finder of the bird Marcus Lawson for even being out yesterday afternoon! On close examination of the photos, the bird was confirmed as a White-winged Black Tern and was re-found again this morning at 9:00am giving great views at it hawked up and down the main gravel pit. Thanks Peter Moore for the lovely close up photos.

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  • White-winged Black Tern - Peter Moore
  • White-winged Black Tern - Peter Moore
  • White-winged Black Tern - Peter Moore
Autumn creeps on - posted 13/09/13

Still, migrants are working their way through the harbour. At Arne, Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart, Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail have all been reported in the last couple of days. In Middlebere 7 Spoonbill have been a frequent sight, as has at least 1 Osprey. Other birds of note in Middlebere have  included Pintail, Green Sandpiper, Ringed Plover and a small build up of Teal and the odd Wigeon. On Brownsea at least 6 Spotted Redshank remain with 100+ Avocet, 300+ Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot, 3 Turnstone, 200+ Dunlin and good numbers of returning Duck including Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck. At Lytchett Bay Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit and Lesser Whitethroat were notable passerines with 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 4 Ringed Plover and a Spotted Redshank all present. Chiffchaff numbers are on the rise with the peak movement about to occur over the next few weeks, which is the same for Blackcap, so keep your eyes peeled in your gardens as they, along with other migrants can be seen foraging for berries and insects.

Next BoPH Walk - DON'T MISS IT.....

Greenlands Farm is an underwatched site on the Studland penninsular providing great autumn birdwatching opportunities - For full information and to book on follow this link - 

http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/early-autumn-walk-greenlands-farm

September Goodies - posted 10/09/13

A nice variety of birds scattered around the harbour today, just as you would expect for mid September. Starting with Brownsea 8 Spoonbill, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 10 Spotted Redshank, 100+ Avocet, 1 Ruff, 400+ Black-tailed Godwit, a few returning Bar-tailed Godwit, 300+ Dunlin and a Kingfisher. At Lytchett Bay 1 Little Stint, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 533 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 10+ Yellow Wagtail and 1 possibly 2 Osprey. At Fleets Corner 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Sedge Warbler, several Whitethroat and 30+ Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff.

A very 'Birdy' Weekend - posted 08/09/13

It seems a lot of keen birders were out in force this weekend with the number of sightings reported it. The arrival of some un-settled weather certainly seemed to bring a lot more migrants as they dropped down to take shelter from the intermittent showers.

It was the ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ guided walk on Saturday, aptly names ‘Late summer at Middlebere’. An excellent range of species were seen including Osprey, 2 Whinchat, 2 Redstart, 2 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Tree Pipit, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, 4 Pintail, 6 Greenshank, Water Rail. It was also the Arne Raptor weekend this weekend where Osprey were the stars of the show with a max count of 3 at once. Also seen there was a Cuckoo, Black Redstart and Whinchat with another 6 Whinchat, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, Hobby and Sparrowhawk out on Arne Moors. At Lytchett Bay this weekend a Curlew Sandpiper was present along with 1 Osprey, 3 Pintail, 1 Whinchat, 12 Greenshank, 8 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Snipe, 6 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 White Wagtail, along with a record breaking 504 Teal. Up on Hartland Stud 19 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, Red-legged Partridge and 2 Tree Pipit. Off Rockley viewpoint another Osprey was seen along with a Marsh Harrier and 37 Little Egret roosted in the channel. At Swineham an Osprey was feeding out in the Wareham Channel, also there 50+ Sand Martin, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard. On Brownsea 8 Spoonbill remained, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 100+ Avocet, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Turnstone, 200+ Redshank, 500+ Oystercatcher, 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Shoveler.

 

And now...relax! - Posted 06/09/13

After all the excitement of Poole Harbour’s first Semipalmated Sandpiper at the beginning of the week, things then decided to calm down somewhat over the next few days. 9 Spoonbill continued to commute between Middlebere and Brownsea. Up to 9 Curlew Sandpiper were again on Brownsea with some other excellent wader counts. Almost 3000 birds of many different species were logged, so if you get the chance to visit Brownsea in the next week or so, I would highly recommend it. The same goes for Arne as up to 3 Osprey have been seen fishing daily around the peninsular and an early returning Hen Harrier was reported. Migrants are still pouring through with Blackcaps now on the increase, and it seems to have been an exceptional year for Garden Warbler.   

Still a few places available for our guided walk at Middlebere this Saturday follow the link for details. Should be a good one with lots of nice birds about...

http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/late-summer-middlebere

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  • Yellow Wagtail - Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam
Waders still out in force - posted 03/09/13

The Semipalmated Sandpiper showed well outside the lower hide for most of the day on Brownsea. We also managed to get the bird on the webcam for over an hour at very close range possibly providing the world’s first online twitch!

The lagoon was stacked with birds today, other totals included 8 Spoonbill,  1000+ Oystercatcher, 56 Avocet, 9 Curlew Sandpiper,  6 Spotted Redshank, 2 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit,  150+ Dunlin, 52 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 1 Raven  and a White Wagtail. At Lytchett Bay today 16 Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 200 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 3 Peregrine, 29 Little Egret and 5 Stonechat.

 

NEXT GUIDED WALK this saturday - DON'T MISS IT

Still a few places available for our guided walk at Middlebere this Saturday follow the link for details. Should be a good one with lots of nice birds about...

http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/late-summer-middlebere

First for Poole Harbour found on Brownsea Webcam - posted 02/09/13

It’s amazing how things can go from total calm to utter panic when birds are involved. That’s exactly what happened today when at 12pm a small, pale wader was discovered feeding just in-front of the double decker hide on our Brownsea Lagoon webcam. Small waders  are  always a nightmare to ID, especially tiny pretty much non descript ones on a less than perfect webcam screen. However, as the bird was noticeably smaller (half the size) of the Dunlin it was feeding next to even a Little Stint would have been a great find for our webcam. 

Most of the Little Stints that pass through the UK at this time of year tend to be juveniles, which show an obvious white ‘V’ on the back and are a lovely rufous colour. This bird had no ‘V’ and was very pale.

After various photos and phone conversations the bird was finally confirmed as Poole Harbour’s first SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER and only Dorset’s 9th record. The bird showed well up until 5pm when the island closed. During our time there it was attacked by both a Sparrowhawk and a Hobby!  There is a very good chance it could still be around tomorrow, so we will check the webcam first thing to get it back on the webcam.

Also on the Island a minimum of 6 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Knot, 100+ Dunlin, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover, 40+ Avocet, 3 Spotted Redshank, 8 Greenshank as well as Shoveler, Teal and 1000+ Oystercatcher. In Holes Bay this morning an Osprey was feeding in the northern section very close to the dual carriageway, also there 2 Whimbrel, 8 Wigeon, 46 Teal, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Med Gull. Nearby a Hobby and 2 Kingfisher were at Upton CP. A possible Great White Egret was seen dropping in to a ditch over near Keysworth.  

 

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  • Screen shot of Semi-Palmated Sandpiper  when discovered on Webcam
  • Semi-Palmated Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon
Pinch punch, first of the month - Posted 01/09/13

September gets off to a nice start with  2 Osprey in the Wareham Channel along with a juvenile Marsh Harrier. On Brownsea this evening 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Spoonbill and 8 Spotted Redshank.  At Lytchett Bay there were 15 Snipe, 4 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and an obvious increase in Teal and Wigeon numbers. 

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  • Great Spotted Woodpecker - Lytchett Bay
  • Reed Warbler - Swineham
  • Water Rail - Holton Lee
Autumn in full swing - posted 01/09/13

Having just returned from a week in France it was excellent to see a whole inbox of emails reporting lots of interesting sightings from around the harbour in the last week. I’m sorry I couldn’t report for you while I was away, but below is a summary from the last week.

I would also like to apologise for the lack of coverage on the webcam. This is an issue we are aware of and are trying to rectify it as soon as possible.

Don’t forget it’s our next ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ guided walk this Saturday the 7th – Late Summer at Middlebere, a guided walk with Paul Morton looking for autumn migrants including Osprey, Harriers, Warblers and Chats. For more info follow this link - http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/late-summer-middlebere

As the summer warmth continued through the week, migrants of all shapes and sizes arrived and passed through the area at various spots. In date order…

August 24th – 3 Grasshopper Warbler at Lytchett Bay, along with 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Whitethroat at Turlin Moor and 242 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Sandwich Tern out on the mud. At Sunnyside Farm 2 Whinchat and 3 Wheatear. 

August 25th – A Red Kite drifted along the A35 near Holton Lee. A Black Tern was fishing in the stretch of water between Arne and Hamworthy shore. On the Brownsea Lagoon – 85 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 1,043 Oystercatchers, 110 Dunlin, 32+ Avocet, 12 Greenshank, 3 Spotted Redshanks, 6 Turnstone, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling, 4 Med Gulls, 40 Sandwich and 14 Common Terns.

August 26th – At Lytchett Bay 1 juv Marsh Harrier, 10 ringed plover, 7 Dunlin, 10+ Greenshank, 200+ Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Yellow Wagtail a few Wigeon and the 1st Wheatear for the autumn at this site.

August 27th – 2 Osprey commuting between Arne, Lytchett Bay and the Wareham Channel, also in Lytchett Bay 4 Curlew Sandpiper.

August 28th – No sightings

August 29th – At Middlebere 7 Spoonbill, 21 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Teal. 1 Osprey again in Lytchett Bay.

August 30th – 2 Osprey in Lytchett Bay and 1 in the Wareham Channel with a juv Marsh Harrier. A juv Ruff out on the mud at Lytchett Bay with 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper and 10+ Green Sandpiper. At Middlebere 7 Spoonbill again, 2 Barn Owl, 3 Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Ringed Plover, seven Yellow Wagtail and a Hobby.

August 31st – 1 Osprey sat on the post at Middlebere for 2 hours, 20+ Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Whinchat, 30+ Yellow Wagtail, 2 Yellow-legged Gull and large numbers of Swallow. 

 

Click To Enlarge
  • Green Sandpiper - Middlebere, Phyl England
  • Osprey - Middlebere, Phyl England
  • Greenshank - Middlebere
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