September 2016

Harbour Update - posted 28/09/16

There was anice selection of rarities and scarcities today starting with the Lesser Yellowlegs which was on Lytchett Fields. Then at Arne, the weekly Wednesday walk came up trumps when a Wryneck flew over the group and landed in a pine tree near by and a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen in some scrub whilst the group were watching 2 Osprey in the Middlebere Channel. On Brownsea the 37 Spoonbill remained on the webcam for almost all of the day and at Lytchett Fields there was still 1 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and c100 Dunlin. There was also a decent pulse of hirundines pulsing through all day, mostly Swallow, but a Swift also passed over Stoborough Heath mid-morning. 

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam



Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 27/09/16

Much of the same at the moment with the Lesser Yellowlegs staying for its tenth day on Lytchett Fields with 54 Snipe, 100+ Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Curlew, 1 Ringed Plover, 6 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank and 1 Yellow Wagtail also on the fields. On the Brownsea Lagoon 37 Spoonbill remain and can be viewed during the mornings on our Brownsea Webcam, until around 2pm when the tide drops and they go off to feed.

We have also just uploaded our new events schedule on the website, including our new Family Birding for Beginners boat trips. For our full events schedule CLICK HERE

It was also announced yesterday that BBC Autumnwatch will be hosted at RSPB Arne this October which is great news for local environmental awareness. There are several local topics they’re interested in featuring and we’ll hopefully be able to help when and where we can. Autumn in Poole Harbour is a magical time of year so they’ll hopefully be able to showcase one of the countries most beautiful spots and help build a local environmental interest.


Harbour Update - posted 26/09/16

The long-staying Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Lytchett Fields for its ninth day and was joined by 4 Knot, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ringed Plover, c80 Dunlin, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. On the Brownsea Lagoon the Spoonbill total remained at 37 and there were still a handful of Curlew Sandpiper around. At Arne there were 3 Firecrest, 4 Blackcap, and 2 Chiffchaff in the car park. There was also late news of a great Poole Harbour record when a Little Owl was seen along Soldiers Road on Sept 19th. This is likely to be a dispersing juvenile from somewhere, but we have no idea where as Little Owl has been absent from Poole Harbour as a breeding bird for many years.  

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Shaun Robson


Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Shaun Robson

Harbour Update - posted 25/09/16

Today was a busy day for sightings as it was the first Poole Harbour WeBS count of the winter. Highlights included a Great White Egret in Brands Bay with another (or the same) feeding off Long Island, opposite Arne and 18 Sandwich Tern roosting on the Long Island sand spit. At Lytchett Bay/Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was a nice addition to the WeBS list also 1 Ruff, 8 Green Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit were recorded. On Brownsea the Spoonbill total reach 37 and there were also 12 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 1 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 176 Black-tailed Godwit, 23 Curlew, 13 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 183 Redshank, 1 Sanderling, 138 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, 13 Ringed Plover, 22 Avocet, 2 Snipe, 73 Wigeon, 16 Shoveler, 6 Sandwich Tern , 1 Common Tern, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Wheatear and a Peregrine. From the Coombe Heath hide at Arne there were 36 Knot, 250 Dunlin, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Grey Plover and an Osprey in the dead trees. Up on Stoborough Heath there were still a few passerines around with 3 Whinchat, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff and 11 Stonechat with another c30 Stonechat and 6 Whinchat in the lower Frome Valley. 

Whinchat - Bestwall - Paul Morton


Great White Egret - Long Island (viewable from Arne) - Paul Morton


Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 24/09/16

Reports from around the harbour were pretty limited today with a Great White Egret and Osprey in Middlebere the highlights. At Lytchett Fields there was just a Ruff, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and c80 Dunlin

Harbour Update - posted 23/09/16

After a bit of a wait for several birders the Lesser Yellowlegs finally arrived onto Frenche’s Pools at Lytchett Fields today and was seen on and off throughout the day. Also present was a single Curlew Sandpiper, c80 Dunlin, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Firecrest and a single Kingfisher. At Arne an Osprey was on the nesting platform with a fish, there were 2 Firecrest and a Spotted Flycatcher in the car park and 19 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Bar-tailed Godwit from the Shipstal Hide. On the Brownsea Lagoon Spoonbill totals were at around 35 and there were 6 Curlew Sandpiper a Spotted Redshank and 4 Greenshank

Harbour Update - posted 22/09/16

After disappearing yesterday the Lesser Yellowlegs reappeared on Lytchett Fields again. Chances are it was around somewhere but just wasn’t located, it was also in the company of 100+ Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper and 6 Greenshank. In the Upton CP/Holes Bay area there was a single Wheatear near McDonalds, 2 Sandwich Tern fishing in Holes Bay south, 2 Spotted Flycatcher near the stone bench, 1 Firecrest in the Grove, a Peregrine went over and in Holes Bay, there were several hundred Black-tailed Godwit with a Knot mixed in with them and there were over 200 Wigeon. 

Harbour Update - posted 21/09/16

Today saw our first school bird boat of the autumn/winter season and although many birds still haven’t arrived back yet, there was still a great selection on show for the children. Highlights included a Great White Egret sat on the sea wall of the Brownsea Lagoon which it seems relocated to Middlebere about an hour later. On the lagoon there were 33 Spoonbill, 2 Ruff, 30 Avocet, 2 Spotted Redshank, several Greenshank, 2 Sanderling and 4 Ringed Plover on the shingle beach. Out in the harbour there were 6 Brent Geese back in Ower Bay. There was no sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs at Lytchett Fields today but a Curlew Sandpiper, 11 Grey Plover and 112+ Dunlin were the highlights and a Little Gull was out in the bay late evening. Night recording from our listening station in Old Town Poole over he last week has been really tough going with minimal numbers of birds going over but last night was a good night with plenty on the move. Totals included 8 Common Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Golden Plover, small flock of Ringed Plover at 03:30, 1 Dunlin, 1 Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit flock at 21:25, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit, 4 Meadow Pipit plus a decent passage at 04:20 for ten minutes, 20 Song Thrush calls and 1 Robin.

Bar-tailed Godwit & Golden Plover 20/09/16 @ 21: 25 Calls of night time migrants, Old Town Poole

Harbour Update - posted 20/09/16

The Lesser Yellowlegs was again at Lytchett Fields for its third day, arriving at around 8am then disappearing on the high tide and then returning about 4pm. Also there a Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff. At Arne the Wryneck was again on Coombe Heath and the Great White Egret and Osprey were in Middlebere mid morning. On Brownsea the 33 Spoonbill stayed on the lagoon for most of the day and there were still 2 Ruff and several Curlew Sandpiper

Osprey - Middlebere - Simon Kidner 


Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Paul Morton


Green Woodpecker - Middlebere - Simon Kidner 

Harbour Update - posted 19/09/16

Things just seem to be getting better for Lytchett Fields with a true red-letter day today. It began when a Great White Egret passed low over the fields around 9am and then news that the Lesser Yellowlegs was again present on the fields and stayed until around 11am. Then whilst watching the Yellowlegs a Spotted Crake was found at the back of the fields preening and having a wash. Plus, when you include a Wood Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper and all the Teal, Redshank, Dunlin, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe then it made for pretty impressive viewing! The Brownsea Lagoon was also looking just incredible with zero winds, flat calm water and BIG numbers of birds. The lagoon saw 33 Spoonbill, 9 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Spotted Redshank, 12 Greenshank, c40 Ringed Plover, c120 Dunlin, 142 Avocet, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Knot, 6 Turnstone, 2 Ruff, c150 Redshank and building numbers of Shoveler and Wigeon with 2 Firecrest and a Whitethroat in the woods behind the lagoon. In Middlebere an Osprey was still fishing regularly in the channel and the Great White Egret was again present. Finally, what better way to end a day that a member of the public finding a Wryneck on Coombe Heath, Arne.

Osprey - Middlebere - Simon Kidner


Avocet - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton


Shoveler - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton


Spoonbill - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton



Sparrowhawk - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton



Harbour Update - posted 18/09/16

Well, what started off as a pretty productive day with a busy ringing session at Lytchett Bay (more of on that a bit later), things really were turned up a notch when local patch watcher Ian Ballam found Poole Harbours second only ever Lesser Yellowlegs on Lytchett Fields. The harbours first was a frustratingly anti-social bird that was found by a DWT member on Brownsea Island in December (when the island is closed) 2014. Luckily today’s bird played ball and showed for the lucky birders that ventured down. As the fields flooded with the large high-tide the Redshanks that the Lesser-legs was associating with disappeared around midday as did the lesser-legs and wasn’t seen for the rest of the day. Also on the fields were a single Ruff and a Barn Owl was out hunting early evening. The ringing session at Lytchett Bay was exciting for other reasons in that numbers of birds ringed were well up on previous visits with 126 birds ringed including 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 79 Chiffchaff, 18 Meadow Pipit as well as Cetti’s Warbler, Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, Stonechat, Kingfisher and commoner birds. In Middlebere the Great White Egret was again photographed and 2 Osprey commuted between the dead trees and the nesting platform. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 30 Spoonbill, 2 Ruff, 6 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Spotted Redshank, 9 Greenshank, 3 Knot, 6 Sanderling and good numbers of Avocet, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Dunlin.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Shaun Robson



Ruff - Brownsea Lagoon - Peter Moore


Dunlin (left) Curlew Sandpiper (right) - Brownsea Lagoon - Peter Moore


Grasshopper Warbler - Lytchett Bay - Paul Morton


Kingfisher - Lytchett Bay - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 17/09/16

The wind made things tough today but the Brownsea Lagoon was looking incredible again with 4 Ruff, 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Sanderling, 6 Spotted Redshank, 11 Knot, 29 Spoonbill 40+ Ringed Plover plus Avocets, Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot, Dunlin, Curlew and a handful of returning Wigeon, Shoveler and Gadwall. In Middlebere still at least 2 Osprey performing well along with a visit from the Great White Egret. In Brands Bay there were c130 Teal, 7 Wigeon, 6 Pintail, 1 Shoveler, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank, 1 Wheatear and a Marsh Harrier. At Lytchett Fields the rare occurrence of a Turnstone made a quiet day a bit brighter along with the usual Redshank, Snipe, Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwits.

Great White Egret - Middlebere - Simon Kidner


Osprey - Middlebere - Simon Kidner




Spoonbills - Middlebere - Simon Kidner (actually taken on 26/08/16 but is one of our fave photos of the year)!


Harbour Update - posted 16/09/16

It was the waders that stole the headlines again today with a wonderful range of species and some great totals. The Brownsea Lagoon was just magnificent and thanks to James Phillips for a full species count and log. Totals from the Brownsea Lagoon today included 25 Spoonbill, 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Ruff, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint, 315 Dunlin, 51 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 11 Knot, 14 Turnstone, 6 Spotted Redshank, 18 Greenshank, 123 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 846 Oystercatcher, 178 Avocet, 202 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe, 24 Curlew, 3 Grey Plover, 7 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 8 Wigeon, 312 Teal, 12 Shoveler, 7 Gadwall and 2 Kingfisher, also 8 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail and 2 Wheatear in the vicinity too. Lytchett Fields held its own too with 1 Wood Sandpiper, 4 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 9 Dunlin, 158 Redshank, 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear and another trickle of 15+ Meadow Pipit. The (a) Great White Egret was in the Lower Piddle Valley late afternoon and was present in and around the Ridge Flood Meadows early morning. Swallows and Meadow Pipits were certainly on the move with many small flocks making heir way low across the harbour. 1-2 Osprey were hanging out in the Middlebere area again. 

Curlew Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon - Phyl England


Kingfisher - Middlebere - Phyl England

Harbour Update - posted 15/09/16

The Great White Egret was again seen in Middlebere for a short while. Ospreys were in Lytchett Bay, over Soldiers Road and in Middlebere. At Lytchett Fields there were 3 Ruff, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 11 Greenshank, 7 Green Sandpiper, 4 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 3 Whitethroat and 4 Yellow-legged Gull. There was a decent passage of Swallow, House Martin and Meadow Pipit during the morning with 900, 500 and 200 respectively. On the Brownsea Lagoon Spoonbill numbers have remained at 25 for the last few days, will this total increase by the weekend?

Harbour Update - posted 14/09/16

The bird of prey focus was very much alive this AM when from standing in one spot along Soldiers Road 2 Red Kite, 2-3 Osprey, 3 Hobby and 3 Marsh Harrier (including a stunning adult male) were seen out over and across the Wareham Channel area. In Middlebere the Great White Egret was seen again feeding in one of the channels and Ospreys were seen in the dead trees. At Lytchett Bay an Osprey spent most of the morning feeding/fishing. Out on the fields the sites first autumn Wheatear of the season was seen and there were 3 Ruff on the fields. At the PC World Drain there were 2 Spotted Flycatcher and plenty of Chiffchaff.

Harbour Update - posted 13/09/16

Great news today when the autumns first Great White Egret appeared at Lytchett Fields before disappearing fairly quickly and being relocated on the Brownsea Lagoon by late morning. Its nice to say that this was inevitable as we have now seen this species arrive in the harbour in the early autumn for three years in a row now and here’s hoping (like last year) we get multiple birds again that stay in the harbour well in to the autumn and winter period. Last year and the year before Brands Bay and the Brownsea Lagoon were the best places to see Great White Egret when they were present in the harbour. Also on the Brownsea Lagoon were the 25 Spoonbill again along with 2 Spotted Redshank, 8 Knot and good numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. On Lytchett Fields there were 2 Wood Sandpiper, 4 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 120+ Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 4 Greenshank and 2 Yellow Wagtail. Ospreys were seen feeding/hunting in Lytchett Bay, Holes Bay, Upton CP, Wareham Channel and Middlebere probably consisting of 3-4 individuals including a blue colour-ringed bird.  

Great White Egret - Lytcehtt Fields - Ian Ballam

Great White Egret - Lytcehtt Fields - Ian Ballam

Ruff - Lytcehtt Fields - Ian Ballam


Harbour Update - posted 12/09/16

The easterly winds picked up early doors and actually made birding a bit tricky, and the low cloud cover that looked so promising at dawn didn’t really drop too many migrants either. That said on Brownsea the Spoonbill totals keep on rising with 25 now on the lagoon. Local raptor watcher Peter Hadrill reported 2 Osprey out in the Middlebere Channel with other sighting coming from 2 at Middlebere and 1 over Lytchett Bay, all probably relating to 2-3 birds also there were 2 juvenile Hobby hawking over Arne Moors and 3 Marsh Harrier came out of the west Poole Harbour roost. At Lytchett Fields numbers of birds seemed to drop a bit with just 3 Ruff and 1 Wood Sandpiper the highlights but still plenty of Snipe, Redshank, Lapwing and c50 Dunlin. At Greenland’s Farm there was a good count of 15 Wheatear. A short sea-watch from Branksome Chine produced 2 Common Scoter, 2 Fulmar, 1 Kittiwake, c30 Sandwich Tern and 11 Gannet. Night recording from our listening station in Poole was pretty quiet last night but the highlight was another Ortolan Bunting also 3 Tree Pipit, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Robin.

Spoonbill - screen grab of 25 on Brownsea Webcam 

Harbour Update - posted 11/09/16

What a difference a day makes, not a breath of wind could be felt or heard as we headed out early doors for a bit of a pootle around the harbour and it seems many other people did the same judging by the number of reports. Starting off at Lytchett Fields where there were 5 Ruff, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 100+ Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 8 Green Sandpiper, 100+ Dunlin, 6 Yellow Wagtail and an Osprey caught a fish out in Lytchett Bay. Off Swineham Point a count of 233 Black-tailed godwit, 24 Curlew, 22 Oystercatcher, 2 Greenshank, 41 Shelduck and 8 Sandwich Tern was made whilst a small mixed feeding party of 12 Reed Bunting and several Skylark were flushed, whilst in and around Swineham GP there were 2 Wheatear, 3 Kingfisher, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler and a Grey Wagtail over. The Brownsea Lagoon was given a good grilling too as Spoonbill numbers rose to 22, also 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 27 Ringed Plover, 40 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, 9 Spotted Redshank, 15 Greenshank, 140 Redshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 170 Black-tailed Godwit, 60 Avocet, 26 Curlew, 250 Oystercatcher, 2 Wigeon, 107 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 6 Common Tern and 3 Sandwich Tern. From Coombe Heath, Arne there were 2 Osprey still in the dead trees with 7 Knot in the Middlebere Channel. Up on Stoborough Heath early evening a small passerine flurry consisted of 5 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 20 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Hobby and 5 Woodlark. At the PC World drain there were singles of Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and Reed Warbler, 20+ Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 1 Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail. On the twin Sails site just a single Wheatear and a Tree Pipit over. Whilst over on the Studland side at Greenland’s Farm there was 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 15 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat and 1 Redstart and in Brands Bay 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 126 Black-tailed Godwit

Harbour Update - posted 10/09/16

Although the conditions were abysmal for most of the day, when things did clear a nice selection of sighting were reported starting at Lytchett Fields where there were 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 2 Ruff and 100+ Dunlin along with the usual Redshank, Snipe, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. On Brownsea a flock of 5 juvenile Little Gull passed over the lagoon in the murk before carrying on further into the harbour whilst Spoonbill totals reached 16 and there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint, 5 Knot 50+ Avocet and c200 Black-tailed Godwit. In the woods behind the Mac Hide on Brownsea 3 Firecrest were counted. In Middlebere a drenched Osprey managed to catch a fish and found some pitiful amount of joy from picking small pieces off its scaly prize whilst rain hit the poor bird sideways on for most of the morning. On the low-tide at Middlebere there were 10 Knot, 4 Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Greenshank. Up on Hartland a flock of 3 Woodlark were flushed and at Norden Sewage works 3 Chiffchaff are back/passing through feeding on the filter beds. Night recording from our listening station produced a surprise at 3:45am when a Peregrine went through calling as it passed. We have to admit we were stumped with this set of calls for a while as they were totally out of context but then it suddenly dawned on us what it was. Was it just passing through or perhaps out hunting and using the illumination of Poole Town Centre to its advantage as proven in Nottinghamshire recently. Also logged that night were 7 Robin, 8 Tree Pipit, 1 small Bar-tailed Godwit flock, 1 Blackbird, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Pied Wagtail (unusual at night), 1 Moorhen and 1 Redshank.


Peregrine Falcon 11/09/16 3:45am Old Town Poole Listening Station


Bar-tailed Godwit 11/09/16/ 00:41am Calls of night time migrants - Old Town Poole Listening Station


Moorhen 11/09/16 4:51am calls of night time migrant - Old Town Poole Listening Station

Harbour Update - posted 09/09/16

With the wind and rain setting in by early evening and a fresh SW breeze the night before, the prospect of sound recording or finding any decent within the 24 hours of Friday didn’t seem promising. Analysing our night recordings from Thursday night going into Friday morning was so underwhelming that it looked as if we were going to draw a complete blank, and it wasn’t until 3 spritely Robins and 2 hardy Tree Pipit piped up in the latter part of the night that ‘nil pois’ had been prevented. Elsewhere it was pretty routine with 151 Dunlin, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 1 Wood Sandpiper and 2 Ringed Plover out on Lytchett Fields whilst out in Lytchett Bay there were 35+ Curlew, 10+ Greenshank, 4 Wigeon, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe and a fly over Osprey. At the Twin Sails site near Hamworthy saw 3 Whinchat and 2 Wheatear. On Brownsea 14 Spoonbill, 5 Knot and 4 Spotted Redshank were on the lagoon. Chiffchaff numbers are building with plenty around the harbour now being reported but at the PC World drain along there were 20+.

Whinchat - Twin Sails, Hamworthy

Wheatear - Twin Sails, Hamworthy

Harbour Update - posted 08/09/16

We’ve uploaded a few recent clips from night recording sessions from our listening station in Old Town Poole. Unfortunately the hum-drum of ferry engines and port generators prohibit the tranquil, serene listening experience you may expect, and although our analysing software allows us to cut this out, we prefer to keep it in as we feel it provides an element of realness to the recordings that birds aren’t just migrating over open countryside at night but also busy, well-lit, noisy town centres. Totals from last night included our first night migrating Goldcrest of the autumn, explained to us by Magnus Robb of the Sound Approach as likely to be a juvenile dispersal call, also 2 Song Thrush, 1 Common Snipe, 2 Robin, c10 Tree Pipit and yet another Ortolan Bunting. In terms of birds on the ground at Lytchett Fields there were 2 Ruff, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 128 Dunlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk and 3 Sedge Warbler. On Brownsea the 11 Spoonbill were still there with 5 Knot, 8 Spotted Redshank and a good sweep of Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and a few Bar-tailed Godwit. At Middlebere there were 2 Osprey still, 2 Hobby, 2 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Green Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, 2 Knot and 1 Grey Plover. At Holes Bay/Upton CP a Ruff was in amongst the Black-tailed Godwit and a Marsh Harrier passed over and a Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher were in the field behind the stone bench. At Arne there was also a report of a Turtle Dove in Coombe fields. 

Yellow Wagtail Flock - Calls of night time migrants - Old Town Poole 06/09/16 @ 1:53am

 Ortolan Bunting - Calls of night time migrant - Old Town Poole - 07/09/16 02:46 

Goldcrest - Calls of night time migrant - Old Town Poole 07/09/16 00:10am

Common Snipe - Calls of night time migrant - Old Town Poole 07/09/16 01:03am

Harbour Update - posted 07/09/16

The morning looked promising and the night before looked great for night migration, so when we were full of anticipation and excitement collecting in our gear from our listening station early doors, we were distraught to find our gear had failed 45 seconds into the recording session, so we’ll never know whether it was a good night or not? Although with the number of passerines around and some newly arrived waders signs suggest it was! Oh well, we won’t dwell on the unknown and just talk about what we do know which is at Lytchett Fields there were 3 new Curlew Sandpiper in with 109 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Ruff lots of Redshank, Snipe, Lapwing and Teal with fly over Osprey and Peregrine. There were another 2 Osprey in Middlebere too. In Holes Bay north there were 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Knot, 85 Black-tailed Godwit and an eclipse drake Wigeon and in the scrub of Holes Bay north Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff were all logged. On the Twin Sails site 6 Wheatear were feeding and at Hamworthy Beach 11 Turnstone were resting on the old pier with 3 Sandwich Tern. On the Brownsea Lagoon 11 Spoonbill were rooting on the Tamarisk Island and 6 Spotted Redshank, 11 Greenshank, 6 Knot and c50 Avocet were on the lagoon. 

Wheatear - Twin Sails site

Wheatear - Twin Sails site

Harbour Update - posted 06/09/16

A bit of a quieter day today with 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 70+ Dunlin, 2 Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk at Lytchett Fields. On the southern shoreline of Upton CP a decent count of 1246 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 10+ Dunlin, 20+ Redshank, 1 Wigeon and 1 Shoveler. In Middlebere there were still 2-3 Osprey fishing and feeding on and off throughout the day, often using the nesting platform. Our night recording session on the night of the 5th was productive with 18 Tree Pipit, a nice flock of Yellow Wagtail, 4 Robin, the first 2 Song Thrush of the autumn and yet again another Ortolan Bunting.

Harbour Update - posted 05/09/16

We’re continuing with our night migration study rom our listening station in Old Town Poole and although recent nights have been quiet due to the SW wind and rain, things perked up a bit in the still wet night last night as a few waders were on the move. Totals between 20:45 and 04:45 included 7 Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper and 8 Tree Pipit. At Middlebere the 3 Osprey were still on show, constantly moving between the nesting platform and dead trees for most of the day and the 2 Green Sandpiper were on the pool in front of the hide again. At Lytchett Fields there was 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 2 Ruff, 1 Knot, 155 Dunlin, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 10+ Yellow Wagtail. On the Brownsea Lagoon Curlew Sandpiper, Knot and Spotted Redshank all showed superbly on the webcam whilst 9 Spoonbill stayed at the back of the lagoon.

Knot - Brownsea webcam

Curlew Sandpiper - Brownsea webcam

Spotted Redshank - Brownsea webcam

Harbour Update - posted 04/09/16

The SW wind eased throughout the day and what started off as quite a blustery morning finished as still but wet dank night! However, there were some good birds on offer with a Pied Flycatcher in front of the Middlebere Hide briefly in the morning with 2 Green Sandpiper, 4 Stonechat and several Chiffchaff there too along with 2 Wheatear on the barn roof, 5 Greenshank, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Grey Plover, 2 Curlew, 1 Dunlin, 1 Spoonbill and the ‘normal’ 2-3 Osprey that came and went throughout the day, often sitting on the nesting platform. Up on Slepe Heath there were 3 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whitethroat, 30+ Yellow Wagtail, 5 Dartford Warbler, 15+ Stonechat, 1 Peregrine, 4 Raven and a Hobby over Arne Moors. At Lytchett Fields the Wood Sandpiper remained with 1 Little Stint, 48 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, several Yellow Wagtail and good numbers of Redshank, Lapwing and Snipe. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Spotted Redshank, 21 Greenshank, 2 Sanderling and 8 Spoonbill.

 Curlew Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon - James Phillips

Yellow Wagtail - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Wheatear - Middlebere - Peter Moore

Green Sandpiper - Middlebere - Peter Moore

Harbour Update - posted 03/09/16

Migrants have been hard to come by the last couple of days and an Ortolan Bunting that was seen and heard flying along Soldiers Road at about 08:10 heading north was a surprise find, especially with the recent SW winds, although perhaps maybe not that surprising when how many have been sound recorded at night recently. Around the Slepe Heath area just a few Spotted Flycatcher and Whitethroat were noted with around 20 Yellow Wagtail near Slepe Farm and plenty of Dartford Warbler and Stonechat. It was also the Arne Raptor Weekend where you get the opportunity to visit various viewpoints around the Arne reserve in the hope of catching up with the likes of Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Hobby etc. Luckily the Osprey’s put on a great show with at least 3 visiting, fishing and feeding in the Middlebere Channel by mid-afternoon. On the Brownsea Lagoon counts consisted of 820 Oystercatcher, 17 Curlew, 105 Redshank, 8 Spotted Redshank, 21 Greenshank, 10 Common Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint, 60 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover, 45 Avocet, c200 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Spoonbill and a Wheatear on the sea wall. At Lytchett Fields there were singles of Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint with a flyover Osprey and Marsh Harrier there too. 

Osprey - Middlebere nesting platform 

To watch in HD click on cog shaped symbol and select 1080

Green Sandpiper - Middlebere pools in front of hide

To watch in HD click on cog shaped symbol and select 1080

Harbour Updates - posted 02/09/16

There were at least 3 Osprey in the harbour today with 3 seen together at Middlebere but later in the day 3 off Swineham Point in the Wareham Channel so possibly even up to 6 present buts its more likely some of these consisted of the same birds. At Lytchett Fields there was 1 Knot, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 18 Green Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 3 Ringed Plover, 25+ Dunlin and 4 Greenshank, whilst a ringing session at Lytchett Bay was pretty quiet with just a handful of Reed and Sedge Warbler and a single Cetti’s Warbler. On the Brownsea Lagoon there was at least 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank and 11 Spoonbill

Cetti's Warbler - Lytchett Bay


We also paid a visit to Littlesea, Studland where we met with the National Trust Purbeck team to look at the new Tern Rafts that we’ve had built to help expand Poole Harbours Common and Sandwich Tern colonies. These will be completed and set in place in time for next springs returning breeding terns. This was a joint project between both organisations and funding from Birds of Poole Harbour came from money raised through our monthly field trips schedule and our Dorset Discovery wildlife tours. 

New Tern rafts - Littlesea - Studland

Harbour Update - posted 01/09/16


The good vibes from yesterday continued in to today when the Aquatic Warbler was found again at Lytchett Fields, this time viewable from one of the viewpoints giving people the opportunity to visit throughout the day, although the bird only showed intermittently but still, this is the first ‘watchable’ Aquatic Warbler in Poole Harbour for decades! There was a good mix of waders for people to enjoy too whilst waiting for the Aquatic to rear its head with 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 2 Ruff, 10+ Green Sandpiper, 1 Knot and the usual common waders. The Middlebere Osprey show really got going about 10:20am when 4 were soaring on a thermal together for a short while before all splitting off and heading to different directions. One of the Osprey now seems quite faithful to the nesting platform and returns to it on and off throughout the day which is great news for visitors in Middlebere, the raptor hide at Arne and up on Coombe Heath. Up on Hartland there were c80 Yellow Wagtail in the cow fields with several Whitethroat about too. On the Brownsea Lagoon there was still at least 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 8 Spoonbill.

Curlew Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon - Mike Davidson


Osprey - Middlebere - Barbara Bisset

Harbour Update - posted 31/08/16

Today was one of those really special autumn days that seem to come around only once or twice a year. It started of when local patch birder Ian Ballam found an ‘in the field’ Aquatic Warbler at Lytchett Fields. The bird its self is rare enough, but with almost all observations of this species in the UK consisting of mist netted individuals, to get such high quality photos of one not in someone’s hand was a job well done. Unfortunately it flew and wasn’t seen for the rest of the day. The status of Aquatic Warbler in a global context is that it is now classed as critically endangered mainly due to loss of suitable breeding habitat in eastern Europe, and as a result it has become equally rare as an autumn migrant in the UK. CLICK HERE to view the status of Aquatic Warbler in a Poole Harbour context.

Aquatic Warbler - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Aquatic Warbler - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Aquatic Warbler - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

There was another special and historic moment today when one of the juvenile Middlebere Osprey’s landed on the converted nesting platform for the first time ever, where it quite happily fed on a fish for several hours. This is significant as it means the birds are possibly identifying and recognising the platform as a nest and see it as a safe place to eat. This in turn could mean they remember this on their return journey north in a few years and may wish to stay and breed? There are obviously many if’s and but’s but it’s a very positive response to the man made structure.

Osprey - Middlebere nesting platform - Jason Fathers

Osprey - Middlebere nesting platform - Barbara Bisset

Whilst the 2 Middlebere Osprey chilled out and ate fish it seemed a third was causing havoc over in the Holes Bay/Upton CP area, upsetting the 250+ roosting Black-tailed Godwits and 1 Common Sandpiper. At Lytchett Fields a supporting cast of 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 4 Ruff, 43 Dunlin, 40+ Redshank, 300+ Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 3 Ringed Plover, 15+ Green Sandpiper, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and a Peregrine Falcon. Up on Ballard Down a night sound recording session was held from 1am – 5:30am in the hope of trying to piece together this Ortolan Bunting phenomenon, which unfortunately didn’t come to fruition as the only birds sound recorded going over in the dark were 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Robins and 1 Ringed Plover. However, birding around Ballard at dawn was more productive with 9 Tree Pipit, 3 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Whitethroat, 10 Yellow Wagtail and 10+ Chiffchaff. However, there was more news from Nick Hopper who was night sound recording from Stoborough, near Arne and he had another 2 Ortolan Bunting over the course of the night! We’re definitely just at the tip of the iceberg with this bizarre discovery at the moment but as we mentioned a few days ago, we aim to try and link all this data up with field observations too and more night monitoring. 

Harbour Update - posted 30/08/16

The Osprey interest is building with 2 individuals using the dead trees at Middlebere for most of the day, one even looked as if it was going to use the nesting platform but decided to ditch it at the last minute. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 11 Spoonbill, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Spotted Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Greenshank, 2 Knot and a Peregrine. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Ruff, 2 Little Stint, 30 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 15+ Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 31 Redshank, 50+ Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 20+ Chiffchaff around the site. Despite the urban setting, Poole Town Centre can be great for migrants, you just needed to know where to look.  In the scrub around Holes Bay north there was 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 6 Blackcap and 10+ Chiffchaff, on the bit of rough ground behind Kerry Foods there was a Redstart, 4 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat and out on the Twin Sails site 2 Wheatear and a Whitethroat.

Web Design by Beetleweb