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October 2013

More Thrush Arrive – posted 31/10/13

This morning looked good for possible thrush passage through the harbour, but what started off looking hopeful, petered fairly quickly.  A few small groups of Redwing passed over Arne, followed by my first Fieldfare of the autumn as a flock of 32 settled in a tree. A few smaller groups of 3-5 passed over and then it was over. A male Brambling was near Arne farm, and there were 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk out over Swineham.

In Holes Bay the falling tide attracted 4 Spoonbill, 300+ Wigeon, 200+ Teal, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50+ Dunlin along with Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, 8 Little Grebe and a fly over Grey Wagtail.

Out on the Wareham to Stoborough causeway the flooded fields are currently attracting about 1000 Black-tailed Godwit on a high tide with plenty of Lapwing mixed in.

Don’t forget to check out our up and coming field trips starting with our next one on Saturday the 30th of November – Three Bay Bumble, Studland

‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ Events

 

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  • Fieldfare - Arne approach road Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • Gadwall and Wigeon - Holes Bay Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • Spoonbill - Holes Bay Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
Sunshine and Showers - posted 30/10/13

There seems to be a pretty regular pattern now with sun and rain constantly competing against each other, and with it still being so mild it makes it a real pain knowing exactly what to wear when out birding. I know, not exactly dilemma of the centaury, but it’s always good to have a moan once in a while.

The best bird from the last few days was actually a late report from October 22nd when a Short-eared Owl was flushed from Holton Lee, where it then flew out across Lytchett Bay. During the winter of 2011/12 one possibly two SE Owls over wintered in the harbour, and it would be great if the same happened again this year.

Lytchett Bay also produced some new arrivals with 2 Water Pipit making use of the flood meadows along with a handful of Rock Pipit. Also there, 11 Green Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Stonechat, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Redpoll a handful of Redwing and a Chiffchaff, as well as the usual Redshank, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Teal and Wigeon.

Out on Hartland Moor the grey male Hen Harrier was joined by another a young male as 2 Merlin also dashed about the place.

At Middlebere a juv Marsh Harrier was present a Merlin flew over the NT cottages and a Peregrine took a Redshank.

At Holton 2 Marsh Tit were ringed with this site being the only reliable site for Marsh Tit nowadays!

On Brownsea Avocet numbers are around 600 with Grey Plover numbers rising into double figures.

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  • Kingfisher - Lytchett Bay, Ian Ballam
  • Little Grebe - Lytchett Bay, Ian Ballam
  • Goldcrest - Holton Lee
Calm after the Storm - posted 28/10/13

Well, the storm was as quick to disappear as it was to arrive, but a trail of destruction was obvious with trees, fences, branches, boats! Strewn all over the place on my way to Branksome Chine this AM. The magical sea watch I had in my head with masses of rare Atlantic species piling by out at sea wasn’t to be. A small tally of 1 Kittiwake, 7 Gannet, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Northern Diver, 4 Pintail, 4 Brent Geese and 3 Razorbill was our reward for the early start.  

The Swineham, Bestwall, Stoborough Causeway area is looking fantastic at the moment as all the fields have flooded creating a stunning network of pools and wet grassland, perfect for waders and ducks. Out on Bestwall a Ruff was feeding with 50+ Lapwing, 40+ Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Pintail, 9 Gadwall, 4 Wigeon and 2 Shoveler and a Merlin was sat on a post.

At Swineham a late Wheatear, 1 Rock Pipit, Kingfisher, 2 Bearded Tit, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, whilst out on the gravel pits 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, 158 Teal, 8 Wigeon, 10 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 14 Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall and 2 Bearded Tit.

Elsewhere Arne Moors and the Stoborough Causeway were also hugely flooded with both sites holding over 200+ each of Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit.

At Middlebere 3 Spoonbill, 1 Barn Owl (that sat on the hide for a short while) 48 Brent Geese, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 adult Yellow-legged Gull, Redwing and a Dartford Warbler.

Male Hen Harrier were recorded at Lytchett Bay, Bestwall and Middlebere today. It could be the same bird, but possibly a new male has arrived in the last few days?

Also at Lytchett bay today 7 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper and a Marsh Harrier.

Finally there was a report of a Black Brant that flew into the harbour around 9am, so well worth scanning through the Brent Flocks to try and locate it.

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  • Barn Owl - Middlebere, Peter Moore
  • Hen Harrier - male at Middlebere, Peter Moore
  • Wheatear - Swineham Point, Peter Moore
Batten Down the Hatches - posted 26/10/13

Have just seen on the news that the south coast storm is on its way…excellent news for sea watching! The last time strong south-westerly’s hit the south coast Weymouth and Portland was littered with Leach’s Storm Petrels and species like Grey Phalarope, Sabine’s Gull and Skua’s can all get blown on to our shores. Obviously take care if you are out, and take advise from local news channels, but weather systems like this can produce really fascinating bird watching.

Today ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ and Stour Ringing group were invited to do a ringing demo at the RSPB Arne reserve. Unfortunately, persistent rain all morning stopped the session in its tracks, but not before a few decent birds were ringed in-between showers. Firescrest, Treecreeper, 2 Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit and Chaffinch were just a few of the species shown to the public today. Also at Arne today 22 Spoonbill at Shipstal, 4 Firecrest in the carpark and Redwing were passing over in good numbers.

The male Hen Harrier and a juv Marsh Harrier tumbled together in the wind out towards Swineham. Also 5 Red-breasted Merganser out in the Wareham Channel, 100+ Lapwing around Swineham and a Jack Snipe at Sunnyside Farm.

On Brownsea today 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint and 400 Avocet, along with Knot, Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Spotted Redshank.

From Shore Road, Sandbanks a few Bar-tailed Godwit are gathering with a few Turnstone, Sandwich Tern and Oystercatcher.

The Ring Ouzel and Scaup were still present at Swineham yesterday.

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  • Firecrest - Arne RSPB carpark
  • Treecreeper - Arne RSPB carpark
Pallas's and Hoopoe's Too - posted 24/10/14

A small break in the weather this morning allowed birders all over the county to get out quick before the wind and rain took over again. After such long periods of un-settled weather birds are desperate to get on the move again, so it was a little surprising that with the routine finches and thrushes at South Haven this morning a Hoopoe was spotted from the Studland Chain Ferry, flying across the harbour mouth and heading over the Haven Hotel towards Sandbanks. Hoopoe are normally associated with being a scarce spring passage migrant, although the two that have occurred in Poole Harbour this year occurred during the first winter period of this year and in the autumn! Also from the harbour mouth this morning a light passage of Siskin and Redpoll north, Linnet, Goldfinch and Skylark west and 2 Red-throated Diver in.

At Swineham today and yesterday a Ring Ouzel was feeding on berries along the main track and a Greater Scaup was on the main pit today with 2 Pochard and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

At Lytchett Bay a Jack Snipe was flushed from a reedbed and the Ruff was still present out on the mud and juv Curlew Sandpiper was on the pools field. Also there 2 Green Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, 1 Kingfisher and some ‘vis mig’ of Skylark and Linnet passing overhead.

Over on Hartland Moor at least 3 juv Marsh Harrier, the male Hen Harrier and a male Merlin.

Off Middle Beach only 4 Black-necked Grebe along with a female Common Scoter, 5 Razorbill, 3 Med Gull and a Sandwich Tern.

At Holton Lee a Firecrest was present with 2 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing and good numbers of the usual finches.

At Arne 26 Spoonbill remain, small numbers of Redwing arrived and a Peregrine put on a good show.

WOW – Just had a phone call to say PALLAS’S WARBLER at South Beach, Studland now!  The below map shows that this is the most southerly and westerly occurance of this species in the whole of the UK this autumn.

 

Its a bit windy! - Posted 21/10/13

Can you believe it’s almost November! Where has this year gone? It’s certainly turned very wintery, despite being a very unseasonal 17 degrees today.

The strong southerly wind may be keeping many of our visitors from the north away but there is still a decent mix of birds coming from various sites.  

At Upton CP 6 Spotted Redshank were present from the concrete bench, along with good numbers of Teal and Wigeon.

A watch from Middlebere saw 20 Brent Geese arrive, 1 Marsh Harrier, 5 Lapwing, 6 Grey Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Redshank, 5 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 20+ Dunlin and 1 Green Sandpiper.  

In the last two days Swineham has seem 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Rock Pipit, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 Stonechat and 2 Raven.

Out near Shore Road 2 Sandwich Tern were fishing and 3 Turnstone were on the sea wall.

A high tide survey at Lytchett Bay saw 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 2 Spotted Redshank, 9 Green Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 54 Lapwing, 55 Redshank and 4 Black-tailed Godwit.

A Merlin and Peregrine were both hunting over the lagoon today where 500+ Avocet are now present, 400+ Black-tailed Godwit and 22 Grey Plover.

Harbour Highlights - posted 19/10/13

Some nice coverage from around the harbour today with our monthly guided walk taking place this morning around the Greenlands Farm/Brands Bay area. Highlights included overhead passage of Redwing, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Siskin, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. On the heathland Dartford Warbler and Stonechat were seen with Bullfinch, Raven, Peregrine, Kestrel and Meadow Pipit also present. On to Brands Bay where 1 Common Scoter, 12 Red-Breasted Merganser, 41 Great Crested Grebe, Brent Geese, 50+ Redshank, 30+ Curlew, 3 Ringed Plover, 12 Pintail, Teal and Wigeon all showed well.

Off Middle Beach, Studland Black-necked Grebe numbers have risen from 6 to 11, also there 2 Common Scoter.

At Arne 25 Spoonbill, 1 Marsh Harrier, (possible Greenland race) Wheatear, 10 Brent Geese, 200+ Oystercatcher, 2 Snipe, 40+ Meadow Pipit and 8 Pintail.

A huge high tide around the whole harbour forced many wildfowl and waders out of their usual haunts, but at Lytchett Bay 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 32 Lapwing and 2 Snipe, 5 Brent Geese and 11 Black-tailed Godwit managed to find a bare piece of ground to roost on.

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  • Wheatear - Arne
  • Red-breasted Merganser - Brands Bay
  • Great Crested Grebe - Brands Bay
Raptor Fest - posted 18/10/13

It’s been pretty quite around the harbour over the last few days, but a big increase in the number of raptors, especially around the Wareham Channel has been a welcome sight. Today the Wareham Channel held 5 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 2 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, along with Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. These are all species of raptor you could expect to see around the harbour throughout the winter in a single day.

At Lytchett Bay 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 63 Lapwing, 7 Greenshank, 3 Kingfisher, 1 House Martin, 1 Marsh Harrier and an obvious arrival of Blackbirds with 40+ in a small area.

Blackcap and Chiffchaff are still passing through many hedgerows, although numbers are dropping off slowly.

At Sunnyside/Soldiers Road a Firecrest was near the car park, 11 Skylark passed overhead, a flock of 100+ Linnet were feeding in one of the fields and 2 Snipe were flushed.  

Around the country, quite a few Great Grey Shrike have arrived, and as this bird is a scarce but almost annual migarnt to Dorset, it will be well worth checking the tops of all the pine trees on any heathland walks you take!

Great White Morning - posted 16/10/13

With the large Thrush (mainly Redwing) movements that have taken place over many parts of the UK within the last week an early morning survey was conducted to try and track any movement through the harbour. On the 24th of October last year a large passage of 5000+ Thrush’s passed over heading north, but it was unclear exactly what route they take to enter and leave Poole Harbour.

Unfortunately, the weather over the last few days hasn’t been ideal for Thrush passage, as clear skies and no wind at dawn proved fruitless for the survey.

However, the survey was well worth it when at 07:55 I watched a Great White Egret fly in from the NE over Shipstal Point and land briefly on the saltmarsh before being harassed by two Herring Gulls and headed off east towards the harbour mouth.  Great White Egrets are notoriously difficult to catch up with in the harbour as they normally only ever fly over or stop for a matter of minutes before leaving again. They are also exceptionally rare in the harbour and quite often get mistaken for distant, lone Little Egrets.

Nearby at Middlebere a male Hen Harrier was noted, 1 female Marsh Harrier, 1 Merlin, a juvenile Peregrine, 1 Grey Plover, 522 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher and 8 House Martin and 3 Swallow.

The 6 Black-necked Grebe are still off Middle Beach, Studland.

In Brands Bay 50 Great Crested Grebe, 1 female Common Scoter and in Bramble Bush Bay the first 4 Red-breasted Merganser of the autumn.

At Greenlands Farm another juvenile Peregrine was present, and caught a Starling, lots of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtails out on the fields and at least 5 Dartford Warbler on top of the hill opposite the entrance gate to Greenlands.

In Stoborough a Ring-necked Parakeet made a brief visit to a garden.

Overhead passage is really exciting this time of year with thrush’s, finch’s, pipits, wagtail’s, buntings and larks all on the move, so it’s well worth learning their various calls to try and pick them out as they fly overhead. 

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  • Turnstone - Shore Road - Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • Meadow Pipit - Greenland Farm - Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • House Sparrow - Greenland Farm - Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
Greenlands Farm walk - this Saturday

Still a couple of places avaailable for this saturdays walk around Greenlands Farm. For full details click on this link - http://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/early-autumn-walk-greenlands-farm

TO BOOK ON CALL - 01202 641003

Harbour Hotspots - posted 13/10/13

There were reports from some of the harbours best locations today with coverage from around the whole perimeter of the harbour shores.

Starting at Arne where 40+ Song Thrush were together on the ground on a small patch of heathland. The Spoonbill count was 34 today, and it was noted that five of these birds have colour rings on their legs. IMPORTANT – If possible, when watching the Spoonbill at Arne, if you’re able to see the colour sequence of rings on both right and left leg, please email the info to us so we can get important information about these birds origins.  Also at Arne 1 Peregrine Falcon, 186 Cormorant on Long Island and 206 Oystercatcher.

There were 6 Black-necked Grebe with a Common Scoter off Middle Beach, Studland and at Knoll Beach Studland a fly over Brambling, 1 Firecrest, 4 Chiffchaff and 2 Redwing.

Greenlands Farm hosted 2 Stonechat, 4 Reed Bunting, 40+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Blackcap, 2 Kestrel, 4 Redwing, fly over Siskin, Redpoll and Linnet.

Out in Brands Bay a single female Common Scoter with 6 Great Crested Grebe.

Out off Shore Road, Sandbanks 26 Sandwich Tern, 3 Turnstone and 8 Bar-tailed Godwit.

At Lytchett Bay 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzard.

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  • Little Egret - Bramble Bush Bay - Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • Dunlin and Oystercatcher - Brands Bay - Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
  • Stonechat - Greenlands Farm - Digi-scoped using a Swarovski ATX 85mm
Don’t Jack it in; it’s just getting started – posted 13/10/13

There have been some huge Redwing totals from various places around the country with figures like 55’000 birds over Kent in one morning and 17’000 over Slimbridge yesterday morning. Things have been mildly slower in the harbour with totals of only just over 100 passing over various places such as Lytchett Bay, South Haven and Arne. Redwing can be heard calling overhead on most evenings at the moment, so if you haven’t gone and stood out in your back garden at 10pm to listen…a true sign winter is almost here! Surely a big Thrush movement is due in the harbour over the next few days.

Other highlights have included a late Hobby over Lytchett Bay with 4 Stonechat there a single Mistle Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 7 Blackbird and 3 Song Thrush over.

At Sunnyside a late Whinchat, 3 lingering House Martin, 4 Chiffchaff, 100+ Linnet, 8 Skylark, 1 Dartford Warbler, and a very pale morph Buzzard. 

At Arne 30 Spoonbill continued to impress, also there 28 Pintail, 4 Brent Geese, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Sandwich Tern, and excellent numbers of Teal, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit.

Jack Snipe were recorded at Lytchett Bay, Swineham and Arne Moors with a male Hen Harrier at the latter.

In Brands Bay 1 female Common Scoter, 1 Greenshank and a Knot. With the Wytch Channel supporting 2 Spoonbill and an impressive 14 Spotted Redshank.

Off South beach, Studland six Black-necked Grebe have returned and there were six Ring-necked Parakeets in the area.

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  • 13 of the 30 Spoonbill - Arne
  • Wood Pigeon - Wareham
  • Goldfinch - Upton
Grey Phalarope continues to Wow - posted 09/10/13

I’ve been receiving some cracking photos of the Grey Phalarope from Brownsea Island over the last couple of days. It’s not often these birds show so well down to just a few meters, but this bird has been well and truly showing off in-front of the lower hide on the lagoon. I have included a couple of the recent photos for you to enjoy.

 

copyright Lorne Bissell                                  copyright Phyl England  

 

I also received a historic photo from Emma Seidel of the Poole Harbour record count of all 34 Spoonbill out on Shipstal Point, Arne. However, the log book in the NT hide at Middlebere actually claims 37 last week! So the challenge is on to try and capture that amazing total, although I think some have dispersed over to Lodmoor already.

Other reports from the the NT hide Middlebere include 4 Little Stint(?), 1 Barn Owl and 9 Greenshank, 1 juv Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 15 Dunlin and a Grey Plover

Raptors continue to impress with a decent variety out on Hartland Moor including a male Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 1 Merlin also Buzzard and Kestrel.

The Lytchett Bay locals seem to be settling in for the winter as numbers should hopefully continue grow now with 33 Dunlin, 26 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Pintail, 3 Sparrowhawk and 1 Peregrine.

On the Brownsea Lagoon the Grey Phalarope was joined by 5 Spoonbill, 10 Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and good numbers of all the usual Knot, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Greenshank, Turnstone etc

On Hatch Pond an impressive roost of 200+ Pied Wagtail have begun to roost in the reed beds as a Sparrowhawk was trying to figure out how to pick one off.

Also just outside the Poole Harbour area 5 Redwing flew over Lytchett Matravers.

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  • Spotted Redshank - Brownsea Lagoon, Lorne Bissell
  • 34 Spoonbill at Shipstal Point, Arne, Emma Seidel
  • Curlew Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon, Phyl England
Summer Returns? - posted 07/10/13

It seems summer made a dramatic comeback this weekend with temperatures almost reaching 20 degrees. Despite the great weather, reports were a bit thin on the ground.

The Grey Phalarope was again showing well on the Brownsea Lagoon out from the lower hide and another count of 32 Spoonbill was reached from the Shipstal Hide at Arne. Also

A report from the Hartland Moor area produced 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Raven, 8 Dartford Warbler, 2 Stonechat, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Buzzard, 2 Bullfinch, 100 Meadow Pipit over and 4 Skylark migrating overhead.

Out on Arne Moors 3 juvenile Hobby were harassing a pale morph Common Buzzard also there 1 juvenile Marsh Harrier, 1 Wheatear,  1 Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel.

In and around the Studland area, good numbers of Chiffchaff and Blackcap and at Brands bay 42 Great Crested Grebe and a Marsh Harrier.

A late report of a Pectoral Sandpiper came in from the NT Middlebere hide, but the bird seemed to be showing some odd characteristics in the dimming light. By no-means was the observer claiming it could be the exceptionally rare equivalent species, a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper but stranger things have happened! Well worth keeping an eye out for a small Redshank sized wader with a clear ‘Pectoral Band’ across the breast. Also from Middlebere yesterday there were 4 Marsh Harrier together.

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  • Grey Phalarope - Brownsea Lagoon, Christine Pierce
  • Spotted Redshank - Lytchett Bay
  • Greenshank - Brands Bay
Dorset Birdfair and Poole Harbour snippets – posted 05/010/13

Today was the first day of the first ever Dorset Birdfair weekend and it was a great success. The day comprised of a great mixture of walks, talks and exhibitions and if you get a chance to make it over tomorrow then I highly recommend it. Plus lots of birds around too with stacks of Meadow Pipit, Swallow, Goldfinch, Siskin, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch and Skylark passing overhead.

Back to Poole Harbour news and a staggering 17 species of wader were out on the Brownsea Lagoon today. 1 Grey Phalarope, 3 Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 13 Spotted Redshank, 15 Greenshank, 18 Knot, 418 Avocet, 52 Curlew, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit along with decent sized roosts of Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher and Dunlin. Also present Snipe, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Redshank.

Out on Arne moors a Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 3 Stonechat and a Kestrel were making use of the large hay bales.

An early visit to Hatch Pond produced 31 Gadwall, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Bunting and 2 Grey Heron

In the west of the harbour yesterday a raptor count of 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 sub-adult Hen Harrier, 2 Hobby and a Merlin was counted.

Finally, a quick survey at Lytchett Bay produced a group of 9 Greenshank, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Green Sandpiper and 20 Wigeon.

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  • Guillemot - in-between Sandbanks and Brownsea, Peter Moore
  • Grey Phalarope - Brownsea Lagoon - Peter Moore
  • Red Squirrel - Brownsea Island - Peter moore
Poole Harbour record broken – posted 03/10/13

Not much news reported in today, but the snippets of info that were sent this way were well worth a mention this evening.

Firstly the Grey Phalarope was again feeding on the Brownsea Lagoon, busily feeding in tight circles to the far right of the ‘Lower Hide’. It’s not often these birds can be seen in one spot for any period of time, as normally it’s just a snippet of a view as it dashes past out at sea, so if you get the chance to get over to Brownsea to witness the spectacle of many hundreds of birds, be sure to try and find this little beauty before it disappears. About 500+ Avocet on the lagoon today.

The second report of the day came from the guys at RSPB Arne where a whopping 32 SPOONBILL congregated out on Shipstal Point mid morning. This is a Poole harbour and almost certainly a Dorset record. There were also 7 in Weymouth meaning that there were 39 in Dorset today. If anyone manages to get any photos of all or most of these birds together we’d really like to see them. 

 

Winter Creeps On - posted 02/10/13

The arrival of the harbours first Hen Harrier, a stunning male on Hartland Moor marks the sign that winter isn’t that far away as it played and jostled with both a Merlin and Peregrine Falcon.

A guided walk around the Sunnyside Farm/Soldiers Road area for the Dorset Bird Week saw some great birds with a flock of 6 Woodlark with another 2 seen separately, also 3 Whinchat, 4 Stonechat, 2 Dartford Warbler, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Snipe, many Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Swallow passing overhead, Teal, Wigeon a Grey Heron.

There were 10 Spoonbill on the Brownsea Lagoon which made a welcome appearance on the Lagoon webcam, giving us great footage of them feeding. It also seem there was a large arrival of Avocet on the Brownsea Lagoon with about 500+ present.

At Lytchett Bay there was 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 4 Stonechat and a marked increase of Reed Bunting with 30+ present.

At Holes Bay slightly unexpected were 2 Grey Plover and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, two species you seldom see in this part of the harbour.

Grey Day, Grey Yay! - posted 01/10/13

Despite the grey overcast sky’s for most of the day, the discovery of a Grey Phalarope on the Brownsea Lagoon at around 15:00 brightened things up, especially when it was picked up on the Brownsea Lagoon webcam for about 20 minutes. The lagoon is holding really good numbers of birds at the moment with 300+ Avocet, 12 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 300+ Black-tailed Godwit along with nice counts of Dunlin, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Wigeon, Shoveler and 1 Little Stint.

At Middlebere today more of the same with Wigeon, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Greenshank, Spoonbill, 1 juv Marsh Harrier, Yellow-legged Gull and a Kingfisher.

Lytchett Bay is still producing good birds with 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 30+ Snipe, 1 Pintail, 2 Woodlark, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear 3 Stonechat and a Kingfisher.

A ‘Vis Mig’ watch at South Haven on the 30/09 produced 502 Swallow, 80 House Martin, 43 Goldfinch, 33 Siskin, 16 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch, 30 Alba Wagtail, 14 Song Thrush, 7 Redwing, 1 Sparrowhawk and the 1stRed-breasted Merganser of the winter.

On Holes Bay 2 Wheatear and 2 Common Sandpiper were on rocks south of the railway line. 

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