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October 2016

Harbour Update - posted 30/10/16

After Friday nights incredible thrush passage we placed our recording gear out again on Saturday night and were again treated to an almighty passage of mainly Redwing, Song Thrush and Blackbird. There were so many calls throughout the night that the mear thought of counting them all sent shudders down our spine, but based on totals from Friday night our best estimates from Saturday night came to around 3400+ Redwing calls, 1300+ Song Thrush calls, 1000+ Blackbird calls, 60+ Fieldfare calls plus 15 Skylark calls and 1 Common Snipe. Both Friday and Saturday night saw low, thick dark cloud cover which would explain why the passage was so intense as birds were forced to call more and were flying at a lower altitude. With Sunday night being a brighter, clear, starlit night it will be interesting to if the passage is as intense and prolonged. Other highlights from around the harbour included a superb adult male Hen Harrier which quartered over Hartland Moor mid morning, followed by a ringtail Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine and Kestrel. On Brownsea 32 Spoonbill were still roosting on the high tide, heading off to Fitzworth to feed on the low tide. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs is still present along with a Jack Snipe that was flushed near one of the viewpoints, a Marsh Harrier over and a Grey Plover on the fields. 

To give you an idea of what the thrush passage was like over Friday and Saturday night we have provided just a five minuet section for you to listen to from midnight on the night of October 29th. Best listened to with headphones.

 Strong Redwing, Blackbird & Song Thrush passage - 00:00 29/10/16 Old Town Poole Listening Station

Harbour Update - posted 29/10/16

After a short break from night sound recording from our listening station in Old Town Poole, the conditions looked good for a decent thrush movement so we stuck our gear out to see what was moving….well, as it turned out quite a lot actually! There was a big pulse of thrushes with 3256 Redwing calls, 1045 Song Thrush calls, 712 Blackbird calls, 54 Fieldfare calls, 4 Skylark, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Yellowhammer and 3 Golden Plover recorded, to say counting all that lot was a little tricky would be an understatement! Our dish was out again on Saturday night and we can’t wait to see/hear what the totals are. Elsewhere in the harbour, at Lytchett Bay there were 4 Brent Geese, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Red-breasted Merganser out in the bay, on Lytchett Fields there was the Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Merlin, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and a Water Pipit. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 24 Greenshank, 9 Spotted Redshank, 34 Spoonbill, 7 Knot, 1 Merlin and increasing numbers of Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and Dunlin. There were Firecrests at Arne (1) and Upton CP (2). There was another Yellow-browed Warbler at Arne along with at least 3 different Marsh Harrier in Middlebere.

 Golden Plover 29/10/16 03:25 Old town Poole Listening - Calls of a night time migrant

Harbour Update - posted 28/10/16

As autumn gives way to winter and the trees turn to golden shades of brown the signs of winter birding continue to be recognised as several more Red-breasted Merganser appeared in Whitley Lake, Sandbanks along with an increasing total of Brent Geese. In Poole Harbour west, winter raptors are being seen more frequently now as 2 Hen Harrier, 5 Marsh Harrier and Merlin are being recorded almost daily now. The Black Redstart was again on the barn roofs at Arne and 2 Firecrest were in the car park. On Brownsea there were 30 Spoonbill. Lytchett Fields saw at least 1 Curlew Sandpiper still and the Lesser Yellowlegs was present in the morning and a Firecrest was along Slough Lane. The Great White Egret was viewable on Arne, from Hamworthy Beach along with 4 Sandwich Tern

Harbour Update - posted 27/10/16

Today saw a nice variety of species including a late Whinchat at Sunnyside Farm and a handsome male Merlin. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still present and a redhead Goosander dropped into Lytchett Bay very briefly late afternoon before heading up the Sherford River. Also at Lytchett Bay 1 Firecrest, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Green Sandpiper. The Great White Egret was in Middlebere for most of the day. On the Brownsea Lagoon up to 24 Spoonbill were present and could be viewed on our Live Webcam for most of the day. There were other Firecrests at Middle Beach, Studland (1), Arne (3) and Holton Lee (1). A Black Redstart was on the farm buildings at Arne too. In Studland Bay 7 Black-necked Grebe were feeding with a single Red-breasted Merganser. At Middlebere there was a single Marsh Harrier and a decent sized flock of c200 Fieldfare heading west. 

Harbour Update - posted 26/10/16

Today was a fine spring…erm, we mean autumn day! As temperatures in the sun hit about 15 degrees. At Arne and night sound recording session produced 307 Redwing, 24 Song Thrush, several Barn Owl calls, 1 Common Snipe and a few Grey Plover. When collecting in our gear in the morning we also had 1 Brambling, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 6 Skylark and a few Linnet flocks passing over. On Arne Farm a Black Redstart was on the Autumn Watch studio roof. Spoonbills were mostly resident on Brownsea however moved over to Arne in the darkness to feed! In Studland bay the Black-necked Grebe total rose to 19. On Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs returned after a few days absence and was hanging out with 5 Greenshank and also thee 4 Rock Pipit were present. A Puffin was reported to fly by Old Harry rocks. Finally, a Lesser Whitethroat was photographed at Middlebere cottages this morning, which is a really late record. An attempt to try and re-find it tomorrow will take place to try and obtain some sound recordings if possible. 

Lesser Whitethroat - Middlebere Cottages - Bryan Pinchen

Harbour Update - posted 25/10/16

With lighter winds from the east another vis-mig session was attempted at South Haven but passage was much lighter with just 12 Redwing, 4 Song Thrush, 3 Reed Bunting and 7+ Goldcrest in the bushes. A Merlin dashed over Studland churchyard, 3 Firecrest were in Knoll Beach car park and 6 Lesser Redpoll flew over as there were still up to 8 Black-necked Grebe off Middle Beach. A Black Redstart was on rooftops in Old Town Poole. On Brownsea there were up to 38 Spoonbill (will they venture over to Arne for Autumn Watch)?, with 5 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Grey Plover and 1 Kingfisher. Best bird of the day goes to a Great Grey Shrike that was found on Hartland Moor although it was very mobile. At Arne there are still a minimum of 3 Firecrest in the car park  and 2 Marsh Harrier were in Middlebere. 

Fieldfare - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 24/10/16

The wind was still blowing strong from the NE, which encouraged some thrush passage over South Haven as 352 Redwings passed over with 9 Fieldfare, 1 Blackbird, 9 Song Thrush, 11 Meadow Pipit, 7 Siskin, 6 Swallow and 10 alba wagtail. At Arne the Great White Egret was in Middlebere, 2 Firecrest were in the car park, 2 Swallow passed overhead and there were flocks of 80+ Fieldfare and 50+ Redwing. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was STILL there and in Poole Harbour west a Merlin, 3 Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine were seen. A night lamping session in the Lower Frome Valley only saw 2 Common Snipe ringed, but 4 Jack Snipe were seen. 

Harbour Update - posted 23/10/16

Things were a bit quieter today as the wind was gusting pretty hard. Nonetheless, some decent coverage at Studland produced a Great White Egret in Brands Bay with 1 Black-necked Grebe, 5 Avocet, 9 Knot, 2 Grey Plover and 15 Dunlin. On Slepe Heath a ringtail Hen Harrier went over. On Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still present with the usual spread of waders. In Middlebere the roosting wader spectacle is something you should try and experience as Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Brent Goose number continue to grow. A night sound recording session at Arne produced 214 Redwing calls, 87 Song Thrush calls, 1 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin and several Grey Plover. 

Marsh Harrier - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 21/10/16

Lytchett Bay got off to another good start when 3 Golden Plover flew over Lytchett Fields at first light. The Lesser Yellowlegs was also still on Lytchett Fields with several Redshank, 1 Knot, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 100+ Dunlin. There were also 3 different Marsh Harrier that visited the site too. In Poole Harbour west there were 6 different Marsh Harrier that went into roost, also 1 Merlin and a ringtail Hen Harrier were present. Another lamping session in the Lower Frome Valley produced 2 new Jack Snipe ringed and 2 Common Snipe, with a Woodcock and further 2 Jack Snipe seen. The Great White Egret was in Middlebere again with c500 Avocet, c600 Black-tailed Godwit, c 300 Dunlin, 1 Spotted Redshank and a Grey Plover.

Harbour Update - posted 20/10/16

Lytchett Bay is the site that just keeps on giving at the moment as a Whooper Swan showed up this morning, hanging out with 2 Mute Swan. Then later in the day a small stint-type wader was found out on Lytchett Fields, which annoyingly disappeared and couldn’t be relocated. The description and views possibly suggested a Baird’s Sandpiper, and the way things are panning out at Lytchett Bay at the moment it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if it was one! Up on top of Hartland a Ring Ouzel was feeding with Blackbirds along the road and a Hen Harrier was up on Slepe Heath late afternoon. Up on Ballard a short vis-mig session produced 1 Merlin, 2 Common Snipe, 2 Mistle Thrush, c100 Linnet, c 150 Goldfinch, c50 Siskin and 5 Stonechat along with a steady trickle of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail. The Middlebere channel was brimming with birds on the rising tide with c550 Avocet, 1000 Teal, good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit and smaller numbers of Bar-tailed godwit, Dunlin and Lapwing. 

Whooper Swan - Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam

 

Whooper Swan - Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 19/10/16

The harbour is beginning to see some big totals now as early calculations show that on Sunday(16th) around 15,000 wetland birds were counted in the harbour as part of the monthly WeBS counts, consisting mainly of Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Dunlin, Redshank and Curlew . A Great White Egret was off Shipstal Point at Arne and a Common Scoter was off out in central harbour. On Brownsea there were 34 Spoonbill. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was of course still on the fields with 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 2 Green Sandpiper, 120+ Dunlin and a Marsh Harrier passed over. Brent Geese numbers are now building with birds appearing at Shore Road, Sandbanks, Middlebere, off Middle Beach and on the Brownsea Lagoon.

We’re also please to announce that a new viewing mound that was part funded by us and the other half by Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Council is now fully complete and ready to use. The new large vantage point can be found at the eastern end of Lytchett Bay, just off Boarder Road. It gives great views out across the reedbeds and bays and also doubles up as a great ’vis-mig’ vantage point throughout September and October. We hope you enjoy using it, and look forward to receiving your feedback. 

New viewing mound at Boarder Road, Lytchett Bay

 

Harbour Update - posted 18/10/16

Although not within the Poole Harbour boundary, a Great Grey Shrike was at Morden Bog today, which gives perfect reason to keep an eye out for others out on the heaths around the southern shore of the harbour, especially the Hartland Moor and Soldiers Road area.  On Brownsea there were still 37 Spoonbill along with 4 Turnstone, 8 Grey Plover, 12 Spotted Redshank, 3 Knot, 6 Brent Geese and 1 Kingfisher. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs is still present with 2 Knot, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 male Marsh Harrier and good numbers of Snipe, Lapwing, Redshank and Teal. Another ringing session for Jack Snipe and Common Snipe in the lower Frome valley 4 of the latter and 2 of the former ringed, including a re-trap Jack Snipe from earlier in the week. 

Jack Snipe - Lower Frome Valley

 

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 17/10/16

Brownsea was the place to be with the big high tides at the moment it pushed big numbers of birds on to the lagoon. Totals included 39 Spoonbill, 7 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 15 Spotted Redshank, 28 Greenshank, 8 Knot, 10 Grey Plover, 611 Dunlin, 196 Redshank, 8 Turnstone, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Snipe, 38 Curlew, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 411 Avocet, 778 Oystercatcher, 2 Sandwich Tern, 325 Cormorant, 4 Med Gull, 2 Kingfisher and 567 Teal. Some vis-mig from the end of Brownsea produced 23 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 10 Crossbill, 16 Siskin, 9 Linnet, 5 Song Thrush and an adult male Merlin, whilst near the Mac Hide, there was yet another Yellow-browed Warbler with 4 Firecrest, 12+ Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. At Middlebere the Great White Egret was present again. At The PC World Drain there were up to 20 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap. At Lytchett Fields the highlights from a high tide count included the Lesser Yellowlegs, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 300+ Dunlin, 200+ Redshank and nearly 1000 Teal. There was late news of a Bittern at Swineham on Friday afternoon.  

Harbour Update - posted 16/10/16

Today was the second Poole Harbour WeBS count of this autumn/winter period and on first impressions it looks as if the harbour is holding a good number of wetland bird species. The Wareham Channel was particularly busy, as were the southern shores. Highlights included a drake Scaup off Arne, 1 Common Scoter in the Wytch Channel, 38 Spoonbill off Fitzworth plus good early winter totals of Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and Shoveler. At Norden Train Station a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen. In the Lower Frome Valley near Sunnyside a late Whinchat was present. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still present along with 150+ Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Greenshank, 260 Dunlin, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine Falcon. Along the Arne Road a flock of 5 Woodlark were flushed. In The Arne car park still at least 3 Firecrest can be found. Up on Hartland at least 1 Merlin was seen and out in the Wareham Channel 2 Marsh Harrier were hunting. General birding in the harbour can be hugely rewarding this time of year, not to mention being very good for your physical and mental well being. With deer rutting, numerous fungi species growing in the fields, autumn migration in full swing, big numbers of over-wintering species arriving, dramatic skylines, orange and golden avenues of trees….we can’t encourage you to get out enough!

Spoonbills and Black-tailed Godwit - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton

 

Avocet - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 15/10/16

With the rain coming and going throughout the day, any birding opportunities had to be timed well. At Lytchett Fields, just after the early morning downpour the Lesser Yellowlegs was found on French’s Pools, Lytchett Fields with 109 Dunlin, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 155 Redshank, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe and 1 Marsh Harrier, 6 Skylark and 1 Rock Pipit were also recorded on site. In Middlebere the Great White Egret was again seen early AM with c500 Avocet, c300 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Pintail, 1 Kingfisher right in front of the hide and a pretty dramatic Peregrine chase. Tonight our local ringing group carried out its first winter Woodcock lamping session of the season, and although no Woodcock were back on site yet, we did encounter 10 Jack Snipe (and ringed 3) and c20 Common Snipe (and ringed 1).

Jack Snipe - Lower Frome Valley - Paul Morton

  

Common Snipe - Lower Frome Valley - Terry Elborn

 

 

Kingfisher - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

 

Harbour Update - posted 14/10/16

Things are getting very autumn like now as bellowing Sika Deer can be heard in many locations around the harbour and Redwing and now a handful of Fieldfare welcome us at dawn. In Middlebere the Great White Egret flew in around 8:30am and landed on the marsh to the left of the Middlebere Hide and out in the channel c500 Avovet and c300 Black-tailed Godwit were roosting, a Marsh Harrier passed over and a Peregrine dashed through. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was on French’s Pools with 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Grey Plover. Up on Hartland a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen briefly along with 2 Merlin and 2 Marsh Harrier were in Poole Harbour west.

Great White Egret - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 13/10/16

Reports were few and far between today with just the Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Grey Plover, 80+ Snipe, 6 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 1  Curlew Sandpiper  and 1 Marsh Harrier at Lytchett Fields. There are till 20-30 Spoonbill out on Shipstal Point, and good numbers of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit in the Middlebere Channel. Over at Shore Road, Sandbanks both Bar-tailed Godwit and Sanderling can now be found feeding on the low tides. In Poole Harbour west there are still 4 Marsh Harrier emerging from the roost each day and up on Hartland there were both male and female Merlin. A night sound recording session from our listening station in Old Town Poole produced 178 Redwing calls, 167 Song Thrush calls, 6 Blackbird calls, 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Redshank.

Sanderling - Shore Road - Simon Kidner

Bar-tailed Godwit - Shore Road - Simon Kidner

 

Harbour Update - posted 12/10/16

A bit of a quieter day today but a vis-mig session at South Haven proved fairly fruitful with 269 Redwing, 11 Song Thrush, 96 thrush sp, 11 Fieldfare, 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Blackbird, 1 Mistle Thrush, 167 Goldfinch, 47 Siskin, 27 Linnet, 1 Crossbill and a Sparrowhawk. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs made its way back on French’s Pools now that all the work is complete with 1 Knot, c30 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover, c100 Snipe and 3 Fieldfare also in the area. At Arne there were still 30 Spoonbill on the spit at Shipstal and at least 2 Firecrest in the car park. In Middlebere the Avocet flock is building with c400 birds at present and Marsh Harrier are present there most days now.

Over the last week Alaska have been carrying out site improvement works at Lytchett Fields thanks to a grant from the Dorset Bird Club where they have created new high tide roost islands, cleared some vegetation that was obscuring some of the views and also created a small viewing mound. The work was carried out specifically to improve the site for both birds and people and we hope that you’ll be able to get down there soon to enjoy the new set up. 

New island creations on Lytchett Fields - Shaun Robson

 

Harbour Update - posted 11/10/16

Incredibly, a 6thYellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was trapped and ringed this morning, this one at Lytchett Heath making it the 21st record for Poole Harbour alone since September 28th. Up on Ballard Down 5 Ring Ouzel were at the Glebeland’s end with a reasonable passage of Goldfinch, Linnet and Siskin, a strong passage alba wagtails and Meadow Pipits, c50 Swallow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Yellowhammer, 3 Reed Bunting and a handful of Chaffinch. In the scrub on top of Ballard there were good numbers of Chiffchaff and Blackcap creeping through with several newly arrived Goldcrest too. A Great White Egret was on Slepe Moor, near Middlebere. A Hobby dashed through Lytchett Bay and the Lesser Yellowlegs was on Lytchett Fields, a Woodlark passed over Lytchett Heath and a few Redwing and Song Thrush passed over Boarder Road. At Arne there were still several Firecrest in the car park area and 30 Spoonbill on Shipstal Point. 

 

Yellow-browed Warbler - 6th to be ringed in Poole Harbour within the last week! - Lytchett Bay Shaun Robson

Harbour Update - posted 10/10/16

Just a quick round up of todays sightings with the Lesser Yellowlegs in Lytchett Bay, a Yellow-browed Warbler at Boarder Road, Lytchett Bay and another in the Arne car park with 3 Firecrest. At the PCW Drain a minimum of 30 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and a Kingfisher. At Arne still 40+ Spoonbill.

Harbour Update - posted 09/10/16

It was a bit quieter today in terms of birds reported but still enough to keep the average birder interested. The Lesser Yellowlegs was again out in Lytchett Bay for its third day feeding on the low tide, with 3 Curlew Sandpiper and a few Ringed Plover also dropping down. There was a Yellow-browed Warbler in Chads Copse at Lytchett Bay too and a flock of 9 Lesser Redpoll passed over Lytchett Fields. A Great White Egret was in Middlebere having gone missing for a few days and 43 Spoonbill were out on Shipstal Point, Arne. Our latest night recording session produced 361 Song Thrush calls, 631 Redwing calls, 34 Blackbird calls, 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 alba wagtail flock and what we’re pretty sure is a Black-tailed Godwit flock.

We now also have our EVENTS SCHEDULE updated with field trips and bird boats available to book on to NOW. To view our full list of events CLICK HERE

Goldcrest 09/10/16 @ 2:29am Calls of a night time migrant - Old Town Poole listening station

Harbour Update - posted 08/10/16

It would be fair to say that so far this autumn has very much been a Yellow-browed Warbler and Ring Ouzel autumn with yet more records of each species today. Yellow-browed Warblers were recorded at Lytchett Bay (1) and Arne (1) and there were 2 Ring Ouzels at Arne, 1 ringed at Lytchett Bay, 2 night sound recorded over Lytchett Bay and 2 night sound recorded over our listening station in Old Town Poole. The Lesser Yellowlegs was again out in Lytchett Bay with Greenshank and 3 Curlew Sandpiper on Lytchett Fields. At Arne the Spoonbill flock was at around 40 birds, presumably with some on the Brownsea Lagoon too and there were 3+ Firecrest around the car park. Totals from our night recording session included 253 Redwing calls, 12 Song Thrush calls, 34 Blackbird calls, 2 Ring Ouzel and an alba wagtail flock in the very early hours.

Ring Ouzel 07/10/16 @ 23:18 Call of a night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

Yellow-browed Warbler - Lytchett Bay - Shaun Robson

 

Ring Ouzel - Lytchett Bay - Shaun Robson

Harbour Update - posted 07/10/16

The dark overcast sky and spits of rain at dawn, combined with the constant NE got some passage going with a viewpoint in Poole Harbour north counting 720 House Martin, 12 Jay, 32 Greenfinch, 18 Goldfinch, 20 Siskin, 43 Meadow Pipit, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 58 Song Thrush, 5 Redwing, 2 Skylark, 1 Woodcock at dawn and 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker. At South Haven another vis-mig session logged 295 Redwing, 28 Song Thrush, 103 Meadow Pipit, 261 Siskin, 154 Goldfinch, 353 House Martin and 52 Swallow. Our night sound recording session also indicated a switch from Song Thrush to Redwing being the most encountered with 402 Redwing calls, 236 Song Thrush calls, 41 Blackbird calls, another 3 Ring Ouzel and 4 Meadow Pipit. At Baiter a male Greenland type Wheatear was on the beach and 16 Common Scoter were off the beach before flying back out to sea. In the Wareham Channel a Great White Egret flew west and a Marsh Harrier quartered the Frome Mouth. At Lytchett Bay the Lesser Yellowlegs was out in the bay, showing it wasn’t too disgruntled with all the work going on at Lytchett Fields. Also in Lytchett Bay was 1 Spoonbill, 4 Greenshank, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 130+ Dunlin. In Poole Harbour north, incredibly a fourth Yellow-browed Warbler was ringed in just three days. Finally, a record was broken today with the UK’s largest ever flock of Spoonbill gathering on Shipstal Point, Arne with 60 in a tight flock. Although 60 were present in the harbour for a short time in October 2015, they were never all in the same flock.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 06/10/16

The morning got off to a great start when a ringing session at one of our sites in Poole Harbour north produced not one, but two Yellow-browed Warbler and an adult male Ring Ouzel. Coupled with a Cetti’s Warbler and 31 Chiffchaff it was a great morning. Even more bizarre was a Pink-footed Goose that passed over Hatch Pond mid morning calling away. At Arne there were reports of between 3-5 Yellow-browed Warbler dotted around the reserve and the Spoonbill flock reached 56. Night recording was much quieter from last night with just 124 Song Thrush, 5 Redwing, 14 Blackbird, 1 Common Snipe, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Ringed Plover and 16 Meadow Pipit

Ring Ouzel - Poole Harbour north - Terry Elborn

 

Yellow-browed Warbler - Poole Harbour north 

Harbour Update - posted 05/10/16

There was an obvious passage of Song Thrush this morning with birds moving across the harbour, following different flight lines. Around 100 went over Lytchett Fields with another c300 moving north across the harbour mouth. Also counted at South Haven were 36 Redwing, 54 Siskin, 2 Common Snipe and a good hirundine passage. Our night sound recording session also picked up 1544 Song Thrush calls throughout the night along with 61 Redwing and 40 Blackbird calls, 3 Ring Ouzel, 1 Skylark, 4 Robin, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Turnstone and 3 Common Snipe. The Spoonbill total keeps creeping up and it looks like we may break another record for the fourth year in a row as 52 were out on Shipstal Point for most of the morning. The UK record is 60 Spoonbill, which came from the harbour in October last year, so all we need is another 9 to arrive and we’re there! There were also 3 Black-necked Grebe off Goathorn. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still present, until the work began on Lytchett Fields when it then disappeared, also there 218 Dunlin, 5 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Marsh Harrier. A Redstart turned up in Wareahm mid-morning. An Arctic Tern also entered the harbour mouth at dawn. 

Below are cuts of the 3 Ring Ouzel we had over our listening station last night, each producing a very similar call type. The 3 we had on the night of October 2nd/3rd actually produced a different series of calls, of which you can listen to further down this page. 

Ring Ouzel 05/ 10/ 16 @ 01:31 Call of a night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

Ring Ouzel 05/10/16 @ 03:08 Call of a night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

Ring Ouzel 05/10/16 @ 00:55 Call of a night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

 

Common Redstart - Wareham - Trevor Warrwick

 

Harbour Update - posted 04/10/16

The strong NE wind looked promising for some visible migration to get going, but as patiently as we waited up on Ballard Down it never got going. The best we could muster was c100 Redwing over the harbour mouth with a small handful of alba wagtails, Goldfinch and Linnet. Luckily the Yellow-browed Warblers were still going strong with 2 still at the PC World drain, another ringed close by in Poole Harbour north and one in an Oakdale garden. The Spoonbill total is increasing with 48 present now, with 45 at Arne and 3 on Brownsea. On Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was there again with 5 Curlew Sandpiper, c150 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover, as well as the usual good numbers of Redshank, Snipe, Lapwing, Teal etc. On Brownsea there was a Little Stint, 1 Sanderling, 15 Curlew, 3 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Avocet, 2 Spotted Redshank and 1 Wheatear.

IMPORTANT LYTCHETT FIELDS INFO

Thanks to a grant from the Dorset Bird Club and additional support from the Birds of Poole Harbour and the RSPB, site works will begin at Lytchett Fields on Wednesday to create islands to provide high tide roosts. The works will also include some improvements to habitat and viewing facilities on Sherford Pools.
This will cause some unavoidable disturbance during Wednesday to Friday least. Visitors may wish to bear this in mind. 
 
Yellow-browed Warbler - Poole Harbour north - Paul Morton
 
 
Ketch heading out across Shell Bay at dawn - Paul Morton

 

Black (and spot the Bar)-tailed Godwit - Middlebere - Simon kidner

Harbour Update - posted 03/10/16

It’s no wonder autumn is a birders favourite time of year, the variety of birds is just stunning and the unexpectedness is worth every minute you get out of bed early for. This morning, with most of the country dripping in Yellow-browed Warblers there was surely one hiding in the harbour somewhere, in fact as in panned out there were three…all in the PC World drain behind KFC at Holes Bay. Night recording from our listening station in Old Town Poole came up trumps too with 3 Ring Ouzel, 224 Song Thrush calls, 96 Redwing calls, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 small flock of Common Snipe and 1 Coot. At Arne there were also Redwing passing over, with 40 Spoonbill in Arne Bay, the Great White Egret at Shipstal, 5 Firecrest in the car park and a Hobby from the Raptor hide. There was late news of a ringtail Hen Harrier on Hartland from Sunday. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still on Lytchett Fields with 1 Grey Plover, 1 Knot, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, c100 Redshank, c50 Snipe and a Marsh Harrier.

IMPORTANT LYTCHETT FIELDS INFO

Thanks to a grant from the Dorset Bird Club and additional support from the Birds of Poole Harbour and the RSPB, site works will begin at Lytchett Fields on Wednesday to create islands to provide high tide roosts. The works will also include some improvements to habitat and viewing facilities on Sherford Pools.
This will cause some unavoidable disturbance during Wednesday to Friday least. Visitors may wish to bear this in mind. 
 

Ring Ouzel 03/10/16 @ 02:41 Calls of night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station 

Ring Ouzel 03/10/16 @ 01:44 Calls of night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

Goldcrest 03/10/16 @ 02:07 Calls of night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

 Common Snipe 03/10/16/ 01:11 Calls of night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

 Coot 02/10/16 @ 23:34 Calls of night time migrant, Old Town Poole Listening Station

 

Yellow-browed Warbler - PC World Drain - Ian Ballam

 

Yellow-browed Warbler - PC World Drain - Ian Ballam

  

 

Harbour Update - posted 02/10/16

A vis-mig session up on Ballard seemed like it could be productive but as dawn approached a few Goldfinch, Linnet and Siskin flocks moved through followed by a handful of Crossbill and that was about it. The biggest movers were Meadow Pipit and alba Wagtails with the prior moving all day on a broad front across the whole harbour. Up on Ballard there was a single Redstart and an obvious moderate arrival of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. Sadly, it was announced that a Great Skua was found exhausted on Shipstal Beach and had to be taken into care, which would have almost certainly bee the bird that was on the Brownsea Lagoon yesterday. On the rising tide today on Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs was still present with 136 Dunlin, 200+ Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 40+ Snipe and a Marsh Harrier. Up on Hartland there were 3 Merlin and 4 Marsh Harrier were in the west Poole Harbour roost. The Brownsea Spoonbill total was 40 with 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Spotted Redshank and a whole suit of other commoners waders. An early evening Osprey drifting low over Lilliput was a nice end of day surprise. 

Harbour Update - posted 01/10/16

The Brownsea Lagoon was again given another good grilling today and the reward came in the shape of a juvenile Great Skua which came and pitched down next to a dead gull for around an hour before moving off again. Other totals from the lagoon included 43 Spoonbill, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 8 Knot, 25 Greenshank, 15 Spotted Redshank, 174 Redshank, 9 Sanderling, 4 Turnstone, 456 Dunlin, 58 Bar-tailed godwit, 191 Avocet, 33 Ringed Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 2 Snipe, 600+ Oystercatcher, 3 Common and 4 Sandwich Tern, 2 Kingfisher and 3 Water Rail. Up on Hartland 2 Merlin were seen interacting, a male and a female. At Lytchett Fields the Lesser Yellowlegs remained and a juvenile Marsh Harrier passed through and there were also 2 Knot on the fields. At Swineham there were Yellow Wagtail at the end of the lane, a Hobby dashed through and at Swineham Point 2 Skylark, 2 Snipe and a Kingfisher, along with a Wheatear at Bestwall and 6 Sand Martin feeding over the main pit. 

Harbour Update - posted 30/09/16

Today a school bird boat took place and a Great White Egret was seen feeding on the shoreline of Long Island and another (or the same) was later seen feeding on Lytchett Fields briefly before heading off to Rockley Park direction. The Lesser Yellowlegs was still on Lytchett Fields where the high tide count also produced 1 Knot, 1 Ringed Plover, c50 Snipe, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint and a good count of Redshank, Dunlin, Greenshank, Teal and Wigeon. Some passerine passage was also evident with 1 Woodlark, 1 Skylark, 1 Firecrest, 1 Treecreeper, 3 Goldcrest, 7 Chiffchaff and 30 Meadow Pipit over around Lytchett Fields too with Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel all passing through. Around the Hartland Moor, Soldiers Road area there were 11 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 2 Blackcap and a Woodlark.

Harbour Update - posted 29/09/16

As September comes to an end, the prime time for Wrynecks is almost over. However there was just enough time for one to turn up in a Parkstone garden.. I bet the lucky finder wasn’t quite expecting that! The Lesser Yellowlegs was still on Lytchett Fields with 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Knot, 1 Little Stint, 150 Dunlin, 6 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Sandwich Tern and 3 Reed Warbler. On the Brownsea Lagoon Spoonbill numbers remain at 37, also there 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Spotted Redshank. A Firecrest was in Slough Lane, Upton with another 3 in the Arne car park. 

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