June 2017

Harbour Update - posted 29/06/17

The first juvenile waders are already beginning to turn up in the harbour with good numbers of Lapwing appearing on Lytchett Fields along with the first juvenile Little Ringed Plover of the ‘autumn’. Little Ringed Plover don’t breed in the harbour as far as we know, although there are plenty of local quarry workings which could hold breeding LRP, so there’s a chance this juvenile hasn’t come very far. Juvenile Redshank are also beginning to appear on the Brownsea Lagoon with some adults still quite vocal and on territory at places like Middlebere and Arne Moors. We mentioned last week that the terns on Brownsea seem to be doing well and a check of our Brownsea Webcam highlights the remarks perfectly. The un-fenced islands now see ten’s of little feather balls bouncing around the shingle with the adult Common Terns busy trying to keep their chicks in check. The Sandwich Terns within the fenced islands are also holding on strong with only the occasional peck on the head from an angry neighbour presenting the biggest risks. It will be interesting to hear the official totals at the end of the season but it look’s like it could be the best Common Tern year for a very long time. The low cloud cover and mild temperatures got good numbers of Swift feeding over Poole Park boating lake, swooping low over the road and pavements. Back in 2012 a huge gathering of Swift (c800-1000) descended on the Poole Park area after a storm the night before had stirred up food sources in the area. It was an incredible urban scene as Swift dodged in and out of cars whilst others whizzed past your head at close quarters. 

Harbour Update - posted 28/06/17

That’s more like it! A June day full of rain…this is what we’re more used to. To be quite honest, it was much needed. So far this spring/summer we can count on one hand the number of times its rained sufficiently enough to actually have had an impact on plants and water levels. The rain filled up sites like Lytchett Fields and Holton Pools, which combined with the high tide forced out many of the roosting waders, although 2 Spoonbill, 4 Green Sandpiper and a Shelduck familywere attracted in on to French’s Pools. The Osprey was again on the post in Middlebere for a short while before disappearing, presumably to shelter from the rain.

We’ve also just published dates for our Winter Bird Boats, which start this December. This winter we’re hosting four trips including a new Wareham Channel/Harbour Cruise trip. For full details and to book on CLICK HERE

Shelduck - Middlebere - Olly Slessor


Harbour Update - posted 27/06/17

The male Osprey was on the post in Middlebere again today having gone missing for a couple of days. It caught a whopping great big mullut(?) and proceeded to eat it alive….head first! Who’d be a fish? Up on Ballard, juvenile Whitethroat were moving around the hedgerows which are almost certainly the initial daring adventures of locally fledged birds rather than signs of autumn passage getting underway, although give it another four weeks and our locally fledged youngsters will be joined by wanderers from further afield. The 5 Spoonbill were again on Brownsea. Initial signs seem to indicate its been a good breeding year for local birds with good numbers of juveniles of many species beginning to emerge, lets just hope that pattern is replicated across the whole of Europe and that we’re about to witness a huge passage of birds this autumn period. 

Harbour Update - posted 26/06/17

With the whiff of autumn migration just several weeks away it seems us birders are the only ones wishing away the summer each year. Towards the end of July passerine migration gets underway with the first pulse of Willow Warblers, Garden Warblers even Grasshopper Warblers all beginning to move south with waders following suit a week or two after. As we approach the end of June, sightings still remain limited as thoughts turn to cloudy sky’s over cool coasts during the autumn. Late June and early July can still see small arrivals of birds and things have definitely started to stir with Little Ringed Plovers and Green Sandpipers already beginning to turn up with mid-July also being a good time for early returning Ruff and Wood Sandpiper. So, as we approach July its well worth keeping an eye out for early signs of passage and for those first returning lemon yellow Willow Warblers amongst those Long-tailed Tit flocks. Today, just the 5 Spoonbill were reported to us and the Avocet pair are still on their nest with another 2 keeping a helpful eye out too.

Little Egret - Middlebere - Olly Slessor

Fox cub - Middlebere - Olly Slessor

Harbour Update - posted 25/06/17

We’ve been receiving daily updates on the sitting Avocets on the Brownsea Lagoon and there’s still no news/sign of any hatching yet so the waiting game continues. Also on the lagoon today were the 5 Spoonbill, 1 Greenshank and another 3 Avocet. On Lytchett Fields again, there was just a single adult Little Ringed Plover.

Sandwich Tern - Brownsea Lagoon 


Common Tern - Brownsea Quay 


Harbour Update - posted 24/06/17

Well, the good news is that the Avocet pair are still sitting tight on the Brownsea Lagoon. Its not know when the eggs were laid but with Avocet chicks hatching at other sites around the UK it could be any day now we see young arrive, that’s assuming the eggs are fertile and still alive. The 5 Spoonbill were back on the lagoon again too. At Lytchett Fields there was just the 1 Little Ringed Plover today but an increase of 6 Green Sandpiper already. This evening we also helped out Terry Elborn from the Borough of Poole Heathland management team along with Stour Ringing Group as we carried out a Nightjar ringing demo on Canford Heath. Terry and other members of Stour Ringing Group have been researching Nightjar populations on Canford for several years now and its great to be able to showcase some of this work to local residents. Although the forecast was a bit touch and go, by dusk the wind had dropped off completely and right on cue the Nightjar activity began. As the anticipation amongst the keen group of visitors grew, one of our team returned from a net-round with a Nightjar in hand and eyes grew wide as it was extracted from the bird bag. Seeing Nightjars is special in any circumstance, but to be able to see one this close is a real treat and after many questions and much discussion the group went away with beaming smiles. 

Female Nightjar - Canford Heath - Simon  Treasure

Harbour Update - posted 23/06/17

Despite a bit more searching today for Wednesdays Elegant Tern, the bird still never reappeared, however something equally as exciting was discovered on the lagoon mid-afternoon. The discovery didn’t involve a rare bird this time, but in fact something which is relatively common throughout the winter here in Poole Harbour. During an early evening ‘tern hunt’ yesterday some locals noticed an Avocet sitting tight next to a log on the opposite side of the lagoon. Being early evening this could have simply been a favored pre-roost sitting spot although it’s motionless stance and eagerness to stay hidden seemed interesting. Today the bird was in exactly the same spot having not budged for almost 24 hours. Then, at around 14:00 a chance check on the bird saw another Avocet walk over to the sitting Avocet, nudge it out of the way and then settle down in exactly the same spot……A NEST SHIFT CHANGE OVER! This behavior confirmed that the pair is actually on eggs, which in a Poole Harbour/Dorset context is incredible news. Avocet haven’t successfully nested in Dorset for many many years, with the last attempt taking place on Brownsea in 1999 when two pairs hatched young but were sadly predated. The nest is now being closely monitored to see when the eggs hatch, but being in such close proximity to so many Great Black-backed Gulls it could be a rough ride for any new Avocet parents and their chicks. We’ll keep you posted along the way. There was just a single Spoonbill on the lagoon today with another 4 on Lytchett Fields where there were also 2 adult Little Ringed Plover still, 41 Redshank, 7 Teal, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and the first Hobby for the site went through.

Harbour Update - posted 22/06/17

Well, all the excitement from yesterday was short lived as the Elegant Tern which roosted on the Brownsea Lagoon, and was still viewable on our webcam through the night, upped sticks and left around 5:00am never to be seen again…throughout the day anyway. A small flow of people made their way to Brownsea throughout the day in the hope the tern may arrive back, but sadly it never did. During its short stay on the Sandwich Tern islands it was receiving quite a bit of grief from the parent Sandwich Terns, so maybe it had just very quickly out-stayed its welcome? Other birds seen on the lagoon whilst waiting for the tern included the 5 Spoonbill, 1 early/late Common Sandpiper, 1 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and several Black-tailed Godwit. At Arne one of the Osprey was on the perching post again and 2 were seen fishing out in the Wareham Channel late afternoon. On Lytchett Fields there were 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Green Sandpiper and 62 Black-tailed Godwit with the seasons first newly fledged Black-headed Gull seen in Lytchett Bay. When watching the Elegant Tern yesterday we were trying to get some film footage but frustratingly the battery ran out on our gear and we thought we’d walked away ‘footageless’. However, when uploading our memory card we were thrilled to find we had managed to get a relatively decent 15-second video of the bird canoodling with the Sarni Terns before our camera conked out. 

Elegant Tern - Brownsea Lagoon - 21/06/17

Elegant Tern roosting at night on  Brownsea Lagoon - 21&22/06/17

Harbour Update - posted 21/06/17

Yep, today was one of those days. If the blazing sun wasn’t enough to get us hot under the collar then the days birding surely would. What started fairly routine with our regular checking of the moth trap which in its self bursting with goodies flowed into a filming piece we carried out at Arne with BBC South Today to discuss the Osprey translocation piece (link available soon). This in its self was eventful enough as 2 Osprey came and circled over us whilst we were filming before heading out into the Wareham Channel. We also saw and heard Hobby, Dartford Warbler and 1 Woodlark, all whilst stood in one place! Heading back to Poole, we decided to check an area that’s usually good for reptiles and low and behold found a stunning Nightjar hunkered up on an exposed log, tucked up in some bracken. Personally, this is always my ultimate find each summer, and a goal I don’t very often achieve. This is only the 3rd Nightjar I’ve ever found that hasn’t then been spooked and actually stayed in one place upon the discovery. It quite happily sat there as I took a series of photos and video before I quietly retreated and left it to its sunbathing. Then….we got the call, Elegant Tern on Brownsea!!!!! A mad dash to the Brownsea Ferry and a run to the Mac hide saw several of us get to see this beauty, with its long, orange bill and ridiculously spikey crown. It flirted for a while with some of the local Sandwich Terns before moving off and leaving the harbour mouth possibly never to be seen again. However, a chance check on our Brownsea Lagoon webcam at around 19:30 saw him back again and which is where he then stayed until darkness fell and he roosted on the Brownsea Lagoon. The best bit was around 20:00 when we checked and around 150 people were logged on watching him on one camera and 5 Spoonbill on the other….talk about being spoilt! 

Nightjar - Arne Road


Elegant Tern - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton

Elegant Tern - Brownsea Lagoon Webcam

Nightjar - Arne Road - Paul Morton

Spoonbill - Brownsea Lagoon - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 20/06/17

Today we announced some exciting news which stated that this summer we’ll be beginning a 5 year Osprey translocation project here in Poole Harbour. This will be a joint project between us, The Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and local wildlife camera business Wildlife Windows. The project will involve translocating juvenile Ospreys from healthy sustainable populations up in Scotland and bringing them down to Poole this July in a bid to try and restore a population here on the south coast. Osprey were once wide-spread across the whole of Western Europe during the 1600 & 1700’s but were sadly wiped out during the 1800’s almost entirely due to human interference such as persecution, DDT poisoning, egg collecting and taxidermy. Although Osprey have since done well in northern Europe they are still extremely scarce in Western Europe with just a handful of tiny fragmented populations dotted through the region. The plan is to hopefully establish a colony here on the south coast which will then act as a stepping stone for UK and French  populations to start interacting with one another. There has only ever been one other Osprey translocation carried out in the UK before and that was at Rutland Water during the late 1990’s. The Rutland population is now (as of this year) a self sustained population of 8 pairs which is made up entirely of non-translocated birds which is great. We’re also thrilled to have Roy Dennis and Dr Tim Makrill as our partners in the project who are arguably two of the highest regarded Osprey experts in Europe and who were involved in setting up and running the Rutland Project from the start. The juvenile Ospreys will be arriving in mid-July and will be held in specially designed holding pens at a confidential spot in Poole Harbour for only two-three weeks before they are then released again out into the wild before they make their long migration back down to Africa. We then don’t  expect to start seeing them return again until spring/summer 2019 and it could be several more years after that before they start breeding. So, in terms of time-scale this is a long term project which we hope the whole community will get behind and with other wild Osprey beginning to summer in the area this year it looks as if Osprey will soon become a welcome, regular and familiar sight in Poole Harbour/Dorset for the foreseeable future. You can read our official press release about the story HERE. 

Maybe Osprey S1 has heard the good news which is why he’s sticking around but true to recent form, he was up on the Middlebere perching post this AM eating a fish with another (perhaps the recent female) seen feeding in the Wareham Channel before heading off to Wareham Forest. The 5 Spoonbill were still on the Brownsea Lagoon. In the Wareham Channel two non-breeding female Marsh Harriers were still kicking around and a Hobby was over the Arne Road. At Lytchett Fields a Green Sandpiper was on the pools again. 

Osprey S1 - Middlebere - Olly Slessor

Harbour Update - posted 19/06/17

Today was another blisteringly hot day which kept many birds low and hidden in the shade. A Red Kite drifted over Arne at around 1pm heading NW and an Osprey was sat on the perching post early morning feeding on a fish. There were also Hobby at Arne, out over the Middlebere Marsh and a Marsh Harrier was in the Wareham Channel.  On the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill were still present with 3 Avocet and a few more Redshank appearing too. On Lytchett Fields there was 1 Green Sandpiper, 17 Redshank and a single drake Teal.

Harbour Update - posted 18/06/17

Too hot for anything today really. The male Osprey was seen again on the perching post early morning and at Lytchett Fields. 2 Hobby were over the Arne Road and most interesting record of the day goes to (what’s likely to be a failed breeder) Nightingale in a suburban garden in Poole, providing short bursts of song mid-morning. Just outside the recording area a female Red-footed Falcon was found at Morden Bog. 

Harbour Update - posted 17/06/17

This evening we carried out the commentary on a Brownsea Island Ferries led boat tour to go and see the Puffins over at Dancing Ledge, and although this is well outside our Poole Harbour recording area it was great to meet so many new people and be able to discuss our work with them. Plus, with the boat leaving from and returning to Poole Quay, for more than 50% of the trip we were within our Poole Harbour recording area any, plus….we just wanted to see some Puffins! And why not? It was a stunning evening and we had some great birds too. As we passed the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill were an added mid-summer bonus as Sandwich and Common Terns hawked past the boat. Out in Poole Bay several Gannet showed well, one right over our boat and a single adult Kittiwake headed west. Up on Old Harry, we were able to locate the Peregrine nest which still had 2 not quite, but very nearly fledged chicks in it, with one of the adults standing guard not too far away. Then, as we approached Durlston the Guillemot colony came into view as birds dashed back and fourth low across the water. And then finally, the grand finale welcomed us as we approached Dancing Ledge with several Puffin sat on the water and a few up on the cliffs too. In total we must have seen a minimum of 7-8 birds…just stunning. There were also several sightings of Osprey around the harbour with birds seen over Lytchett Bay, Middlebere and the Frome Valley, almost certainly all involving the 2 birds that have been around these last few weeks. There were more signs of autumn passage getting underway with 3 newly arrived Green Sandpiper on Lytchett Fields and a really early returning Snipe, also 32 Lapwing, 18 Black-tailed Godwit and 9 Redshank all out on the fields. Finally, there was a slightly odd record of a Little Tern on the Brownsea Lagoon, which is only odd due to the time of year as this species is more frequent during peak passage times in spring and autumn. 

Harbour Update - posted 16/06/17

There was a fine scene in Middlebere this afternoon when both the male and female Osprey were seen sat on the nesting platform for a short while, before one then headed off to the dead trees at the back of the marsh. Although this all looks very encouraging, we have been seeking advice from a couple of experts who were involved in the Rutland project who explained that although this behaviour and activity around the nest is exciting it doesn’t necessarily indicate a sign of things to come. As we know the male is a 2nd summer individual and it’s likely the female is too. The over-summering of 2nd summer Osprey in a fish rich area is classic behaviour for a bird of this age and although it may like it here, their own biology prevents them colonising and pioneering new sites other than in very rare occurrences and its likely (the male at least) will venture back to Rutland next spring, or the year after ready to breed. We’ll certainly be keeping our fingers crossed, but the key is to attract as many birds (male and female) as possible to hang around in the harbour during the early spring (March and April) for the best chances of them remaining to breed. There were further signs of autumn passage getting underway with the first Little Ringed Plover arriving back on Lytchett Fields with 35 Lapwing also back (almost certainly failed breeders or first year birds) and 24 Black-tailed Godwit. At Holton Pools a large mixed-tit flock bounded through the Silver Birch with lots of young Chiffchaff mixed in…not long before the Willow Warbler join them too! Well, a good 4 weeks anyway. 

Harbour Update - posted15/06/17

Sometimes, you just never know what’s going to turn up. Hard core patch watcher Ian Ballam has been monitoring Lytchett Fields almost daily for about 3 years now and has had some decent rewards. This spring however has been rather slow for scarcities, not just at Lytchett Fields, but across the whole harbour. So it was welcome news when Ian phoned this morning saying he had a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on French’s Pools, Lytchett Fields. This is only the second ever Poole Harbour record of this rare North American visitor and to have it in June is even more scarce. A typical time of year for this species would be late August or early September when youngsters moving south get blown across the Atlantic on their maiden voyage to their wintering grounds in South America. Sadly it didn’t stick around long and was gone before many other people got to see it. It could still be around somewhere so worth checking Lytchett Fields, Holton Pools, Brownsea Lagoon or any recently ploughed fields! The male Osprey was still hanging around the Arne peninsular with reports of one catching a fish right in front of the Shipstal Hide and 2 Hobby were over Slepe Heath, Middlebere area. The 5 Spoonbill were still on Brownsea too.

There’s also a Purbeck Coastline Puffin Cruise on Saturday evening leaving from Poole Quay and hosted by Brownsea Island Ferries, but we’re doing ‘the guest commentary’ so if you fancy an evening out on the water then you can book on by calling 01929 462383. The weather forecast is looking fab so for more INFO CLICK HERE

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam


Harbour Update - posted 14/06/17

Today it seemed both the male (S1) and female Osprey spent time on the Middlebere nesting platforms, albeit at different times of the day. On the Brownsea Lagoon the 5 Spoonbill spent all day roosting and feeding, having decided they’d had too much off Lytchett Fields for the time being. Although a nice summer-plumaged Grey Plover obviously took a fancy to Lytchett Fields late afternoon. 

Harbour Update - posted 13/06/17

Still, the only regular reported news currently is of the male Osprey S1 commuting between Morden Bog  and Poole Harbour with him being seen in the Wareham Channel early morning and then in Wareham Forest later in the day. 

Harbour Update - posted 12/06/17

We had some good news today when we were able to obtain the ring details of the male Osprey that’s been hanging around for 3 weeks. One of our team, Olly spent time up at Arne all last week waiting for the bird to come in on the nesting platform but the wind seemed to keep it at bay. However, as soon as the wind dropped off today, he was back and with a strained eye and good optics the ring number was read as S1. We contacted the team at Rutland who confirmed this is one of their birds, a male that hatched in 2015. As expected he wasn’t seen last year by the team as Osprey tend to spend their first summer down in Africa, however it seems S1 is now back and taking in the sights. Ringing data can provide so much and just by simply obtaining the ring number we’re able to tell you a bit more about this bird. S1 was actually sighted back at Rutland this spring on May 10th and was hanging around and causing mischief by gate-crashing other nests at Rutland. You can read a blog entry about this from the Rutland Team HERE. He was last seen at 16:00 at Rutland on May 24th which co-insides perfectly with a colour ringed Osprey being sighted in Poole Harbour on May 25th. Several weeks past without us knowing where this bird had come from but thankfully today the ring number was obtained and we can start piecing together his movements. Then today, early AM, local raptor watcher Peter Hadrill emailed through stating there was in fact another Osprey in the Wareham Channel this morning too. Ospreys in the harbour in June is unusual but it’s not unheard of and data provided by Jol Mitchell from Dorset Bird Club, shows that over a 10 year period (2004 – 2013) Poole Harbour has had small number of visiting Osprey mid-summer. Who knows where these birds will head to next year when they arrive back, but they’re obviously enjoying their time down here in sunny Dorset. Finally, the 5 Spoonbill were again on Lytchett Fields.

Total number of Poole Harbour Osprey 'bird days' 2004-2013 (Months split into early month and late month)

Osprey (S1) - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 11/06/17

At Middlebere there was a Cuckoo along the track and a Hobby out over the reedbed. The Osprey was seen in Wareham Forest again with a fish so its assumed it was in the harbour for a period before 10am. 4 Spoonbill were on the Brownsea Lagoon. 

Harbour Update - posted 10/06/17

A very quiet Saturday with just the male Osprey seen again in the Wareham Channel and then in Wareham Forest. 

Harbour Update - posted 09/06/17

As mid-June approaches, the rate of sightings inevitably begins to drop off as people start turning their attentions to summer holidays and BBQ’s….and quite rightly so. But although it all gets a bit ‘samey’ this time of year we’re so lucky that our ‘samey’ is in fact incredibly rich in variation. Many birds are now on second (or even third) broods and whether you’re tracking down parties of Dartford Warbler, family groups of Stonechat, small flocks of Woodlark, trilling Linnets, noisy and raucous Sandwich Terns, mystical Nightjars, melodic Blackcaps, vocally explosive Tree Pipit, acrobatic Hobby or even just out for a nice stroll in the Dorset countryside then there is still plenty to see and experience. The weeks seem to move so fast now and it won’t be long before long summer days already draw in cool autumnal breezes over dark coastal sky’s so with the whether next week set to be a scorcher get out there and enjoy it with the birds. Today the 5 Spoonbill were again roosting on Lytchett Fields and the Osprey was seen heading to Wareham Forest having just caught a fish in the Wareham Channel.  

Spoonbill - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 08/06/17

With the wind swinging round more southerly it gave Poole Bay a chance of hosting some Storm Petrels and seeing as Hengistbury had 15 by mid-morning it made sence to have a check off Branksome chine and sure enough, within a few minuets 2 Storm Petrel past west fairly close into shore. We didn’t stay long so there could have been more out there but 8 Gannet, 5 Sandwich Tern and a Fulmar were also counted. There was a report of a drake Common Scoter in Arne Bay which given the strength and direction of the wind is absolutely possible, even though its early summer. On the Brownsea Lagoon, the Sandwich Terns are now feeding chicks which you can watch LIVE on our Brownsea Lagoon webcam. Also on Brownsea were 3 Spoonbill, 1 Avocet and c40 Black-tailed Godwit. 

Harbour Update - posted 07/06/17

Things did pick up slightly today with an Osprey high over the Wareham Channel mid-morning although it seemed the wind and choppy water made it hard for it to hunt. Also out over the Wareham Channel/Arne moors area were 2 Hobby and a female type Marsh Harrier. The 5 Spoonbill were again on Lytchett Fields before moving off late morning. We also forgot to mention that on June 4th a Red Kite passed over the Osprey nesting platform in Middlebere. 

Harbour Update - posted 06/06/17

Today was another cold and blustery day with few sightings reported. Lots of Hirundines (Swallow & House Martin) and Swifts enjoying the breeze though, feeding low over floodplains in the Frome Valley where cattle were present. Most birds it seemed were keeping low, and quite rightly too. You know things are tough when you resort to ‘focus practice’ on a heard of distant Sika Deer to test the true capabilities of your binoculars! Oh well, there always tomorrow. 

Harbour Update - posted 05/06/17

As predicted the weather really set in today and by mid afternoon it was lashing down…..oh the joys of June! There was a bit of birding to be had through the morning and amazingly last weeks Common Crane was seen again flying west along the Arne Road at 6:15am and was again seen later flying over Wareham around 10:30am. We also managed to ring our first Barn Owl chicks of the year with 4 healthy chicks at a nest box in Ridge. We had only put this box up within the last couple of years so are really pleased its now being used after a blank first year. Its been a good season for Barn Owls so far this year with pairs at Middlebere, Arne, Ridge, Swineham, Worgret and also a likely pair near Holton Lee.The Arne Osprey wasn’t seen today, however Marsh Harriers were seen over Arne Moors and at Middlebere where there were also 6 Grey Plover out on the mud. There were also still 5 Spoonbill on Lytchett Fields. A brief sea watch at Branksome Chine produced 46 Manx Shearwater, 1 Kittiwake, 1 Fulmar and 5 Gannet.

Barn Owl chicks - Ridge

Harbour Update - posted 04/06/17

Other than the Arne Osprey, 4 Spoonbill on Lytchett Fields, 2 Marsh Harrier in the Wareham Channel and Cuckoo seen on Slepe Heath there wasn’t a lot reported today. Interestingly the BTO’s sat-tagged Cuckoo project is showing the some male Cuckoo’s are ALREADY heading back south again for the winter……its only June 4th!!!!!! You better believe it guys, autumn migration has already begun, and with tomorrows forecast looking particularly iffy, it may feel like winter is shortly to follow. Still, its good conditions for a sea-watch. 

Harbour Update - posted 03/06/17

The weather is due to take a turn for the worse over the coming days so it was a welcome sight for our monthly field trip to have clear blue sky and little wind for our trip to Holton Lee this morning. Our group did well with a nice mixture of birds including 5 Spoonbill which flew in from the south/west and dropped down on to Lytchett Fields. A Red Kite drifted over-head heading north/west which seemed to be part of a bigger movement across southern Britain today. On the heath there were 2 Woodlark, 2 Tree Pipit, 1 Dartford Warbler, plenty of Linnet, Stonechat and newly fledged birds including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue, Great and Coal Tit. We also nipped into the newly opened and refurbished Holton Pools hide which produced Reed Warbler and c60 Black-tailed Godwit flying by. The Osprey was again on the perching pole at Arne before making its way over to the dead trees and a Marsh Harrier was out hunting to the right of the hide. 

Osprey - Middlebere - Mark Wright (02/06/17)


Spoonbill - Holton Pools/Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam


Monthly field trip - Holton Lee - Barbara Bisset

Harbour Update - posted 02/06/17

Another day and another hour spent on the Middlebere nesting platform by the male Osprey. It spent time on the perching post initially and then hopped on to the actual nest its self for 20 minutes. Also at Arne were 3 Hobby, 1 Marsh Harrier, 5 Dartford Warbler and a Tree Pipit, all seen from Coombe Heath. There were 18 Swift ‘screaming’ above Ashley Cross, Parkstone mid-evening which is apparently more than usual this time of year. There seem to be several un-paired Great Crested Grebe still out in the harbour with birds still in Holes Bay, Lytchett Bay, Brands Bay and Parkstone Bay. There was also a report of 3 Kayakers acting suspiciously at a small and remote Gull colony on Long Island, directly opposite Shipstal Beach, Arne. One individual was seen walking out across the colony, however its so late in the season that almost all eggs would have now hatched. 

Harbour Update - posted 01/06/17

Today, the what seems to now be a semi resident Osprey kept up the intrigue by hanging around the Arne area before alighting on the Middlebere nesting platform again late afternoon. On Lytchett Fields the 3 Spoonbill were present again having been on Brownsea earlier, with 1 Grey Plover, 2 Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Gadwall, 5 Lapwing and 4 Ringed Plover also on Lytchett Fields. Another Nightjar ringing session in the Canford Heath area produced another new bird ringed. We also received news back from Doc Martin Collinson of a tristis type Chiffchaff caught and ringed at Fleets Corner back on Jan 27th 2017 confirming via DNA analysis that it was indeed a Siberian Chiffchaff which wasn’t surprising considering it called repeatedly like one and was also as pale as dish water. 

Harbour Update - posted 31/05/17

There was an interesting couple of sightings today which first consisted of a colour-ringed Common Crane in the Lower Frome Valley, Arne Moors, found at 6am which revealed (after a quick call to the RSPB) to be a five year old female called Margaret. This bird was part of the RSPB’s ‘Class of 2012’ group hatched on the Somerset Levels. Sadly it didn’t hang around long and wasn’t seen again after 8:30am. The other intriguing sighting from today consisted of another ringed bird which was an Osprey seen sat on the nesting platform in Middlebere around lunchtime. Again, this bird didn’t stay long either, but as it flew over the observer a photographed revealed it had a blue ring on the right leg, indicating its either a Welsh or English bird, rather than a Scottish one. We assume this is the same bird that’s been hanging around for a few weeks now and what’s even more interesting was that there were 2 reported in Wareham Forest too. Any Osprey sightings, within Poole Harbour or Wareham Forest please report to us either via Twitter or by email and we’d be really interested in seeing/receiving any photos too. The 3 Spoonbill were again on the Brownsea Lagoon.

Roseate Terns - Brownsea Lagoon - Jon Mercer (27/05/17) 

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