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June 2018

Harbour Update - posted 28/06/18

It was another (mini) wader fest today most notably at Lytchett Fields where 12 Green Sandpiper had dropped in, along with 6 Little Ringed Plover still present the 1stCommon Sandpiper of the autumn, c30 Lapwing, c50 Redshank and c20 Black-tailed Godwit. There was also a Barn Owl hunting over the fields early evening. A Cattle Egret was out on Arne Moors (viewable from Slepe Heath) with the cattle herd and a Hobby was over there too. There was also an Osprey out over the Wareham Channel with a different bird out over at Morden Bog. We hadn’t received any news of Spotted Flycatcher from around the harbour this summer, which is very worrying so it was great to hear of one singing along Holme Lane yesterday. Although just one Spotted Flycatcher across the whole harbour isn’t quite good enough. We also received a better photo of the presumed American Golden Plover at Brands Bay last week, which does indeed show it was this rare American vagrant and a first for Poole Harbour.

American Golden Plover - Brands Bay - Claire Robinon (19/06/18)

Barn Owl - Lytchett Fields  

Harbour Update - posted 27/03/18

This high pressure and growing moon seems to have got some waders moving,  which are likely to be either failed or just non-breeding birds. An amazing total (for late June) of 8 Green Sandpiper were on Lytchett Fields along with a spanking summer plumaged Spotted Redshank along with 75 Common Redshank, there were also 6 Little Ringed Plover, 131 Black-tailed Godwit and the first juvenile Lapwing to arrive onto the fields. There was evidence of passage on the Brownsea Lagoon too with the first Common Sandpiper of the autumn and 1 juv Little Ringed Plover, also 25 over-summering Bar-tailed Godwit (the first ever we think) and c100 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Avocet (and no chicks), c100 Oystercatcher including one nest with three chicks and the ever-growing Sandwich and Common Tern chicks. Out over the Wareham Channel there were 2 Osprey and Hobby was over the Arne approach road.

Juvenile Lapwing - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Little Ringed Plovers - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 26/06/18

There were 2 Osprey out over the Wareham Channel mid-afternoon and the Great White Egret was seen heading east along the Wareham Channel, along the northern Arne shoreline. Lytchett Fields saw 5 Little Ringed Plover and 156 Black-tailed Godwit. Out in Brands Bay there was a single Whimbrel along with c40 Curlew. It’s also a great time of year to test your aging skills of birds with plenty of young around now. Freshly fledged Juveniles this time of year will have completely fresh and new feathers, often making them look neat and sometimes a bit ‘off-colour’. Adults on the other hand will be looking rather ‘worn’ either because they haven’t begun moulting yet or because they are moulting. A good example is of the two Linnets below that were photographed at Brands Bay. The left hand bird is a juvenile and you can see the buff-brown edges to the coverts, where as the adult on the right has stronger tones to the feathers without any buff fringes to the coverts.

Juvenile Linnet (left) and adult (right) - Brands Bay

Harbour Update - posted 25/06/18

oday we began our three-day Dorset Discovery tour in partnership with the Dorset RSPB team which today began at Arne. We’ll do a full trip report in due course but highlights from our first day included 1 Osprey over the Wareham Channel, 2 Hobby over Arne Hill, 5+ Dartford Warbler, several Stonechat family parties, a small passage of Swift south and a carpet Silver-studded Blue Butterfly on parts of the wet heath. In Middlebere the Great White Egret was seen again and there were 3 Greenshank and 28 Redshank also back in the channel. On Lytchett Fields there were 108 Black-tailed Godwit, 47 Redshank, 5 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Ringed Plover.  

Little Egret - Holton Pools - John Pick

Harbour Update - posted 24/06/18

It’s always nice when a surprise bird ‘pops up’ out of nowhere and today a photo was sent to us by Debbie Derrick that was titled: Golden Plover, Redhorn. However, Golden Plover in Poole harbour are scarce enough, let alone in the middle of summer, so it was an even bigger shock when we open the email and the bird in the photo looked to be an likely American Golden Plover, a first for Poole Harbour. Apparently it had been present since June 18th-22nd, but the bird was looked for today but sadly couldn’t be relocated. There’s a chance it could still be around somewhere so well worth keeping an eye out around Brands Bay, the Brownsea Lagoon, Middlebere and Lytchett Fields. There was also a good total of birds out on Lytchett Fields indicating that some birds really have given up for the summer already as 5 Ringed Plover dropped onto the fields whereas the first juv Little Ringed Plover joined 4 adults also on the move south. There were also 51 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Green Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Greenshank, 57 Redshank, 23 Lapwing (all adults) and 1 Curlew. Late afternoon saw a Great White Egret pass over Middlebere in heavy wing moult which is the first since the early spring and in Middlebere there were 109 Curlew which for mid-June doesn’t bode well for a successful breeding season. Barn Owls are active at Arne, Lytchett Fields, Greenland’s Farm, Swineham and Middlebere. Along Soldiers Road there was a Cuckoo still, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Hobby. In Studland Bay a Gannet was feeding close into Shell Bay.

Presumed American Golden Plover - Redhorn/Brands Bay - Debbie Derrick

 

Gannet - Richard Stephenson - Studland Bay

 

Harbour Update - posted 23/06/18

Tonight we hosted the commentary on the Brownsea Island Ferries Puffin cruise out to Dancing Ledge, which is always a pleasure. Leaving Poole Quay and heading out past Old Harry and Durlston Head it gives us a chance to see species we don’t often get to see during the summer here in Poole Harbour, in fact we’ve never seen a Puffin within our Poole Harbour recording area and chances are we won’t in the foreseeable future either! Highlights from the trip included 6+ Puffin off Dancing Ledge, a family of 5 Peregrine including an adult feeding 4 youngsters, 3 Gannet, c1000 Guillemot, c80 Razorbill, 10 Fulmar, c10 Kittiwake, Common and Sandwich Tern and several Med Gulls. Around Lytchett Bay Nightjar and Barn Owl were active and on Lytchett Fields there were 4 Little Ringed Plover, 7 Green Sandpiper, 30+ Black-tailed Godwit and 30+ Redshank. On the Brownsea Lagoon the Avocet chicks seem to be holding strong and with 2 more seeming to be sitting on eggs is this the beginning of a Poole Harbour colony?

Puffin - Dancing Ledge - Paul Morton

Guillemot Colony - Durlston Ledge - Paul Morton

Old Harry Rocks at sunset - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 22/06/18

There were more waders around to day with 4 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Lapwing on the Holton Lee Scrape and on Lytchett Fields the colour-ringed Greenshank from Montrose is now back in the harbour for its 4th autumn and there were also 3 Little Ringed Plover, 35 Redshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover and 1 Dunlin. At Arne an Osprey was high over the Wareham Channel, there were 2 Hobby over Hartland and a Marsh Harrier was over Swineham. We’re now also well into building our pens for this summers Osprey translocation with our new batch of 14 chicks arriving in only 3 weeks time! We’ll be speaking more about this in due course.

Osprey Translocation 2018 Begins!

Harbour Update - posted 21/06/18

There was a great find today when a Little Owl was found and photographed at Holton Lee, a species that’s been absent for almost a decade within the harbour. They used to breed at Lytchett Bay, Upton CP, Arne and Middlebere but none have been recorded from any of these sites in recent years. Hopefully its breeding on site and we could potentially see a mini revival. This also took the disappointment away of the American Royal Tern missing Poole Harbour completely yesterday and heading straight to Weymouth. Will it rock up here later in the summer? On the Asda building at Holes Bay there were 2 Peregrine again. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Little Ringed Plover.

Little Owl - Holton Lee - Richard Stephenson


Harbour Update - posted 20/06/18

Well, we watched and waited for the Royal Tern to arrive on to the Brownsea Lagoon which in all honestly it should have done out of sheer politeness, but sadly it by-passed the harbour completely and decided to spend a brief part of its summer holiday in Weymouth…for an evening! There were still 4 Little Ringed Plover on Holton Pools along with a few Lapwing, 2 Gadwall and 3 Little Egret.

Harbour Update - posted 19/06/18

We’ll start off today with a species that hasn’t been seen in the harbour but in fact seen c75 miles east of us in West Sussex. An American Royal Tern which spent the latter part of last year and this winter in the Channel Islands appeared in the Sandwich Tern colony at Church Norton West Sussex yesterday evening. Despite the distance and the apparent remote chances of this bird appearing here, there’s actually an outside possibility it could appear within our own Sandwich Tern colony here on Brownsea Island. The reason we think this is because we saw an exact same situation last year when a rare Elegant Tern (the first confirmed for Britain) appeared in the same colony at Church Norton where it spent a few days before decamping to the tern colony on the Brownsea Lagoon for half a day. So, if you’re on Brownsea over the coming days please keep an eye out for a large tern with a long, bright orange bill. And if you see it….call us! Pleeeeease. 01202 641003 ;-)

Now back to the birds that were actually here. It was interesting to watch several Common Tern crossing the twin sails bridge site and the rough ground next to it, as we’d never witnessed this before. We were aware that terns follow the channel through into Holes Bay but always assumed they stuck to the channel and hadn’t considered that they’d take shortcuts across the rough ground and roads. Something to consider if and when that area becomes developed. The non-breeding female Marsh Harrier that’s been hanging around the harbour this summer was seen again in the west near Swineham. On the Brownsea Lagoon, Middlebere, Shipstal, the Wareham Channel and in Holes Bay little humbug Shelduck ducklings are beginning to appear and on Lytchett Fields the first newly fledged Redshank appeared a few days ago. All around the harbour now freshly fledged juvenile birds are beginning show and it won’t be long now (with July only being next weekend) that we begin seeing the return southward migration of both passerines and waders through Dorset.

Harbour Update - posted 18/06/18

What was presumed to be Osprey CJ7 was seen fishing in the Wareham Channel early morning on the low tide.

Harbour Update - posted 17/06/18

Didn’t think we’d be saying this anytime soon but it was actually good to feel a bit of rain on our faces today seeing as it’s been super dry of late. Still much of the same at present with a Spoonbill in Middlebere, an Osprey was out over the Wareham Channel, 1 Little ringed Plover at Holton Pools, 10 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin at Lytchett Fields, 2 Hobby were over Slepe Heath and newly reported were 2 Spotted Flycatcher near the waterworks at Lytchett Bay.

Up and coming events

We have a few events coming up over the coming weeks. Firstly, this Saturday June 23rd we’re doing the guest commentary on a Brownsea Island Ferries Puffin cruise out of Poole Harbour and along the Jurassic Coast. For full details and to book on call 01929 462383.

Then on July 1st and 15th we’re hosting our Summer ‘Up with the lark’ Wareham Channel cruise. For full details and to book CLICK HERE

We have just 1 space left on our Poole Harbour Nightjar experience walk on July 13th so to grab that CLICK HERE.

Harbour Update - posted 16/06/18

The undoubted highlight from today was that a pair of Avocet hatched two chicks on the Brownsea Lagoon. This is wholly significant because they’re (currently) the only Avocet pair in Dorset. A pair bred and hatched young last year too on the lagoon, in fact it looks as if one of this years birds is the same as it has a limp. But sadly the 3 chicks last year were predated by gulls over the course of the following week. Rumour has it that this summer there is also another pair sitting on eggs on the lagoon, so the Dorset population of breeding pairs could have potentially doubled in a single year! George Greens ‘Birds of Dorset’ states that Avocet have bred in the county before but it doesn’t state dates so its safe to say the any previous breeding success are truly historical rather than recent. There were a couple of early returning Little Ringed Plover about too with one on Lytchett Fields and another on Holton Pools with 8 Lapwing, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Oystercatcher at the latter site too. Hobby were again seen over Slepe Heath, Middlebere and one was further up the Frome Valley near East Holme. 

Little Ringed Plover - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 15/06/18

This has been without doubt one of the best springs for Osprey in recent Poole Harbour history with birds present most days/weeks as of early March. There had been a few sightings of ‘an Osprey’ in the last few weeks but it was unknown whether it had a ring on or not so we were keen to try and get a fix on the bird to try and confirm an ID. Luckily we managed to find the bird mid-morning on a private part of the Arne Reserve (thanks to the RSPB for granting us access) and we were able to see it had a ring on it. With careful stalking we were able to get a number on the ring and sure enough it was CJ7. Had she been away and come back again or had she been here the whole time? Either way she obviously likes the harbour and finds it productive. But then again, we thought that about S1 last summer and he’s now on a nest looking for a female up at Rutland! The difference however is that a) S1 is a male and is keen to nest where he himself was raised which is typical for males, plus, last summer he wasn’t sexually mature and was just doing what 2nd year Osprey do which is hang out in food rich areas for the summer. CJ7 being a three-year old female means she sexually mature now and could in theory be lured away from her natal site IF a male was to start courting her. Next spring (with luck) some of our trans-located birds will begin to come back, so is there a chance one of those could begin forming a bond with CJ7 should she return again? Sadly, breeding with any of our returning birds is unlikely as they won’t be fully sexually mature, but it could be start of something special??

Also at Arne today the first Crossbill of the autumn were on the move as 2 passed over south. Also present were 2 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Woodlark, c6 Dartford Warbler and c10 Swift. At Lytchett Fields again there were 7 Green Sandpiper and a small number of commoner waders such as Redshank, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit and Lapwing.  At the PC World drain several young Blackcap were noted again and it seems some birds are really in need of their post-breeding moult! 

Female Osprey CJ7 - RSPB Arne - Paul Morton

Robin - Upton CP - John Pick

Nuthatch - Upton CP - John Pick

Harbour Update - posted 14/06/18

Once again the Green Sandpiper total at Lytchett Fields increased again today with 7 now present across the site. This is quite a high total for mid June and we wouldn’t expect to see this many until later in the month. Are we witnessing the early return of these birds because the spring was just simply ‘too late’, therefore not allowing them to breed? How many will we see arrive over the coming days and will it just be Green Sandpiper or will we see the early return of many other wader species? The only other species of note reported to us was a Hobby at Middlebere, 3 Spoonbill flying over the Wareham Channel and 2 Woodlark at Holton Lee. 

Harbour Update - posted 13/06/18

The return wader passage continued this AM with Lytchett Fields Green Sandpiper totals rising from 3 to 5 today and there was still a Grey Plover and Greenshank out on the fields too. It seems to be a good Hobby year in terms of numbers present, lets hope they all successfully breed but birds were seen hawking over Slepe Heath and Hartland, Arne, the Wareham bypass and at Morden Bog up to 6+ birds were present. At Holton Pools a Little Ringed Plover was on the new scrapes. There is a real absence of Spotted Flycatcher this summer so we’d be really keen to hear of any nesting in people’s gardens or if anyone knows of any sites then please also let us know. There are none at the traditional sites and spring passage was very limited this year. Around the harbour mixed-tit flocks are already forming and newly fledged Chiffchaff and blackcap are joining them and it won’t be long until the first Willow Warblers start joining them too. We also found a small colony of Silver-studded blue Butterfly on Lytchett Bay Heath which is actually a first record of this species for the whole of Lytchett Bay and a welcome addition to the Lytchett Bay non-avian list.

Little Ringed Plover - Holton Pools - Trevor Wilkinson

Silver-studded Blue Butterfly - Lytchett Bay Heath - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 12/06/18

Yep, It’s over! Summer has officially finished. Ok, a bit drastic but this morning we saw the first returning Green Sandpipers of the autumn with 3 on Lytchett Fields first thing this AM. ‘Green Sands’ are always one of the first to begin passing through south, often followed by juvenile Little Ringed Plovers by the end of June. With the still, mild weather over the last week Nightjar watching has been at its prime with reports coming in from many different heathland sites across the harbour. A watch on Slepe Heath saw no less than 6 birds active at dusk along wit 2 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo and 2 Tawny Owl. At Holton Lee 2 Woodlark were along one of the heathland tracks and there are now several fresh juv Great Spotted Woodpeckers using the feeders at the feeder hide. At Fleets Corner (PC World drain) there are plenty of newly fledged Blackcap and Chiffchaff, continuing the evidence that this site is an important oasis for some breeding birds in the middle of town. At Arne an Osprey was seen near Shipstal and after an absence of a few months it seems a Peregrine Falcon is now back using the tall part of the Asda building near Holes Bay as a roosting spot. If it hangs around for a few more weeks we’ll try and arrange and set up an event inviting the public to come and see these amazing birds. 

Peregrine Falcon - Asda Building, Poole

Harbour update - posted 11/06/18

Having been away in Somerset for the last four days it was great to get out onto a Poole Harbour heathland this afternoon. A vigil from Slepe Heath produced an Osprey over the Wareham Channel (the first to be seen over the last few days), a Hobby over the Arne Road. There were also 3 Willow Warbler singing around the fringes of Slepe Heath along with a Cuckoo. A good number of freshly fledged, yellow gaped Dartford Warbler were dotted around the heath. At Sunnyside Farm Lapwing were still active over the site, hopefully suggesting that they’re now with young. Plenty of Silver-studded Blue Butterfly were on the wing. At Lytchett Fields there were 80 Black-tailed Godwit, 27 Teal, 12 Lapwing, 7 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover and 1 Grey Plover. A nice record of 2 Barn Owl hunting near Greenlands Farm, Studland was a welcome surprise. We did put up a Barn Owl box there some years ago so we’re hoping this could be a pair that’s taken up residence at this site? A good total of 11 Nightjar were logged calling across Godlingston Heath and 2 Cuckoo were very vocal there too until after dark. 

Harbour update - posted 10/06/18

We think most people were out enjoying the weather rather than birds by the end of today, as the harbour was drenched in golden glory for most of the afternoon. Still, Holton Pools had a Little Ringed Plover on the new scrapes for most of the day which is almost certainly an early returner and at Lytchett Fields the first juv Black-headed Gull of the summer was present along with 88 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Lapwing, 2 Ringed Plover and 2 Greenshank.  At Holton Lee the first Great Spotted Woodpecker fledglings in the harbour were seen at the feeder hide and young Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit can be found and heard forming mixed-tit flocks already which will build in number between now and September. 

Harbour update - posted 09/06/18

There’s a great new Nightjar study taking place on the boarders of the harbour which is a joint partnership project between the Stour Ringing Group, Bournemouth Uni and Biotrack. For regular updates follow their new twitter profile @DNightjars. Last night their team were out on a heath in the north of the harbour where they caught their first 5 birds  (2 females and 3 males) and between the five, three were fitted with radio tags to enable the team to track and find nesting sites and gage where birds are heading off to feed at night. At Lytchett Fields there were 88 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Lapwing, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover 1 Greenshank and already a build up of Teal with 24 counted. A Puffin cruise also left Poole Harbour this evening, which ventured out towards Dancing Ledge. Although this is a tiny colony in comparison to other sites around the UK, just 3 birds were seen which mirrors the sad decline of this birds national population with bigger breeding colonies seeing big drops in their population. Also logged from the boat were 25 Bar-tailed Godwit and 30 Black-tailed Godwit on the Brownsea Lagoon, plenty of Common and Sandwich Tern fishing in Studland Bay, several Gannet close to the boat near Old Harry, a Peregrine over the boat and a few Kittiwake and Fulmar. 

Harbour update - posted 08/06/18

It seems a few waders are on the move but which way are they going…north or south? Its been such a strange spring that you feel that some birds may have given up on the breeding season already this year and are instead just going on a bit of a summer jaunt. At Lytchett Fields there were 78 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Greenshank and 1 Redshank. In Middlebere there were 2 Grey Plover again with 5 Dunlin. At Arne 2 Hobby were over the Salterns Marsh. We also received news from Jason Fathers who monitors and rings the Bournemouth Peregrines that blue PK, a juvenile from last years brood has been hanging out at Ballard Down this summer and was recently photographed. 

Peregrine blue PK - Ballard Down

Harbour Update - posted 07/06/18

The mid-summer doldrums have set in and with most birds hidden away rearing (and now fledgling) young, it’s all a bit quiet on the (south) western front. Still, its great to see so many young birds now fledging, many taking advantage of garden feeding stations. Getting your head around the ID of freshly fledged young can be a good challenge so why not try and test your selves on trying to age the birds you see coming into your garden to see how productive the breeding birds in your area have done. Bird news was slow with 3 Grey Plover in Middlebere reported to us and no sign recently of any Osprey. 

Harbour Update - posted 06/06/18

Just outside the harbour area, what was assumed to be the Red-footed Falcon that was seen heading towards the harbour on Tuesday afternoon over Swanage was re-found at Morden Bog briefly early evening. The two Osprey were at Arne again and there were 2 Little Tern off the Brownsea Quay. Other highlights on Brownsea included 32 Bar-tailed Godwit, 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Knot, 220 Sandwich Tern and 210 Common Tern. There were also freshly fledged Shoveler and Gadwall which are both scarce Poole Harbour breeders.

Harbour Update - posted 05/06/18

Lytchett Fields had the Garganey still with a Hobby and a Grey Plover there too plus a sustained passage of Swift through of around 80 birds. The two Osprey were still hanging around Arne and a Hobby was along the Arne Road. A Red Kite also passed over Wareham and on the Brownsea Lagoon the first 4 Sandwich Tern chicks hatched. 

Harbour Update - posted 04/06/18

A short update today with planning of a busy schedule ahead for BoPH over the coming months including our Osprey Translocation kick starting again in just over a month. We also had an amazing 1097 people through the doors of our BoPH HQ during the May half term which is just fantastic. Sightings wise today a Garganey was on Lytchett Fields with 5 passage Knot and 1 Grey Plover. At Arne, the un-ringed Osprey was present on the Middlebere pole for most of the day and a photo taken by Arne visitor Amanda Duff yesterday revealed that the un-ringed bird is a female.  Although not Poole harbour a Red-footed Falcon was seen heading towards the harbour over Anvil Point, Durlston at midday so is well worth looking out for around the harbour over the coming days. 

Knot - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Osprey - Amanda Duff - Arne

 

Harbour Update - posted 03/05/18

The sun was beating down on the harbour once more and surprisingly 3 Spoonbill appeared in the Wareham Channel. Surprising only because they’ve been very few and far between since the early spring, so it would be good to have them over-summer for the next few months. The more we see begin to over-summer then the higher the chances they may begin to settle and look to set up territories and colonies. The two Osprey were yet again hanging around the Arne peninsular and best viewed from Coombe Heath, Arne. There were also 2 Avocet in the Middlebere Channel and several Ringed Plover in Holes Bay. There are now lots of fledged young of many a species around the harbour offering plenty of head scratching opportunities. Stonechats, Woodlarks, a few Chiffchaff, Goldfinches, all the tit species, Mistle and Song Thrush, plenty of Robins, several Jackdaws, Carrion Crows and the first brood of Dartford Warbler have all been sighted in the last couple of days concluding to the fact that for some of these specie the breeding season is now over! Blue, Great and Coal Tit all only have one brood so the rest of the summer will be focused on recalibrating, relaxing for a short while before then moulting all of their feathers ready for the autumn before some move off to other areas of the county, UK and even possibly abroad.

Ringed Plover - Holes Bay - John Pick

Osprey - RSPB Arne - Amanda Duff

Harbour Update - posted 02/06/18

At Arne, the 2 Ospreywere still putting on a good show with each bird taking it turns over the course of the day to sit on the platform at Middlebere. They both seem to be catching plenty of Mullet, which bodes well for any future nesting/breeding efforts in and around the harbour. There was also a lovely write up in the Telegraph today focusing on an environmental journalists jaunt through and along the northern edges of Poole Harbour which gave a kind name check to our new Birds of Poole Harbour HQ on Poole Quay.

Harbour Update - posted 01/06/18

There was a nice run of birds today to lead us into the weekend with 2 Osprey seen again around the Arne, Middlebere area. It seems one has a blue ring on its right leg, suggesting CJ7 is still around and the other bird is un-ringed. They were both seen over Shipstal at midday but then split later in the afternoon with one taking favour of the Middlebere platform and the other hanging out over near the Wareham Channel. At Lytchett Fields 2 Garganey were still present, a male and a female along with 10 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin and c100 Black-tailed Godwit. There were Hobby sightings over Arne, Sunnyside Farm and Stoborough Heath. The NW Europe Rose-coloured Starling influx almost reached the harbour with an adult at Morden Bog. If you do see any pink Starlings in amongst your regular Starlings at home, don’t worry you’re not seeing things. These striking birds are relatives of our Common Starlings but originate from SE Europe but there is currently a mini influx hitting the UK with Dorset seeing several already, so keep your eyes peeled.

Harbour Update - posted 31/05/18

With fog dropping in and out all day it meant a few passage waders were forced down into various areas around the harbour. In Middlebere 7 Grey Plover and a Knot arrived around midday. A blue colour-ringed Osprey was at Arne again, which could well still be CJ7. Cuckoo’s were actively calling at Middlebere, Brands Bay and Lytchett Bay. On Lytchett Fields there were 3 Garganey (2 male and a female), which is a site record, also 3 Grey Plover, 1 Turnstone, 11 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, 2 Lapwing and c200 Black-tailed Godwit. On Slepe Heath 2 Hobby commuted over Slepe and Hartland. At Holton Lee a good mix of finches are visiting both our webcam feeder and the feeder hide including regular Bullfinch, Siskin, Goldfinch Greenfinch and Chaffinch. More newly fledged Mistle Thrush were near Corfe and on Lytchett Heath a Chiffchaff nest was found and the first mixed-tit flock of the ‘autumn’ were buzzing around the fringes with freshly fledged Coal, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit all hanging out together. Amazing there were also 3 newly fledged Stonechat at Lytchett Heath, which is the first successful nesting of Stonechat anywhere within Lytchett Bay for 12 years! A nocturnal sound recording session from Lytchett Heath was productive with 5 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 (possibly 2) Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Coot, 2 Nightjar and a Tawny Owl.

Nightjar song and wingclap - Lytchett Bay Heath - 31/05/18 @ 03:10

Little Ringed Plover - Call of night migrant - Lytchett Bay Heath 31/05/18 @ 01:16

Three Garganey and a Shelduck - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 30/05/18

A quieter day today with an un-ringed Osprey seen on the platform in Middlebere, suggesting there are still at least two hanging around the harbour. At Lytchett Fields there were 31 Ringed Plover, 4 Grey Plover, 16 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone, 3 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher and 89 Black-tailed Godwit. In Holes Bay north-east 2 passage Bar-tailed Godwit were out on the mud at low-tide.

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