July 2018

Harbour Update - posted 28/07/18

With a short but sharp storm battering the harbour last night and the remains still blowing ‘a gooden’ at dawn it was an amazing scene to have 3 Osprey circling together in the breeze at Lytchett Bay around 8am. At Holton Pools another Yellow Wagtail was on the scrapes along with a single Green Sandpiper and 3 Little Egret. Whimbrel are now ‘dropping in’ to various bays with several individuals in Brands Bay, Bramble Bush Bay, Arne Bay and in Middlebere. Juvenile Willow Warbler are becoming more and more conspicuous in Long-tailed Tit flocks as they move through scrub and heathland habitats and will soon be joined by species such as Redstart and Spotted and occasional Pied Flycatcher.

Harbour Update - posted 27/07/18

The heat wave looks set to be coming to an end for a brief period this weekend with some rain (yes rain) due to hit us over night tonight and then a proper down pour on Sunday. Never have we wanted it to rain so much with the heathlands all like tinderboxes and almost all of the countryside devoid of any moisture. The last 48 hours has also seen three devastating heathland fires across southern Dorset (Ferndown Common, Ham Common and Canford Heath) so a good drenching in in everyone’s best interest. With cloud cover rolling in over the course of the day a definite cooler feeling was set across the harbour with a few more migrants noted on the move. On Lytchett Heath a Long-tailed Tit flock contained 7 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler and 2 Blackcap. At Lytchett Fields a Grasshopper Warbler, 33 Sedge Warbler and 16 Reed Warbler were ringed. At Middlebere a single Osprey was on the Middlebere platform and the Spoonbill was still in the channel along with a Green Sandpiper in front of the Middlebere hide and a Peregrine.

Harbour Update - posted 26/07/18

With people trekking down to Middlebere to see Ospreys its great to hear that other species are being logged along the way. Today in the channel were 2 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Avocet, 1 Spoonbill, 10 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine Falcon and of course an Osprey on the Middlebere platform. In the Corfe Channel there were 10 Greenshank and 2 summer plumaged Spotted Redshank. At Lytchett Fields there were 6 Green Sandpiper, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Common Snipe.

Harbour Update - posted 25/07/18

With the hottest day of the year approaching (if that’s even possible) then getting your birding done before 11am is well advised. An early morning walk to Coombe Heath saw yesterdays Cattle Egret settled again to the right of the Raptor Screen at Arne and was later seen on the edge of Wytch Lake. Again, 2 Osprey were seen over the course of the day, mostly around the Arne peninsular but also over the Wareham Channel. More migrants were on the move and a ringing session at Lytchett Heath saw 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 45 Sedge Warbler, 21 Reed Warbler, 8 Willow Warbler and 3 Bearded Tit ringed over the course of the morning. On Lytchett Fields there were 20 Green Sandpiper and 3 Greenshank. At Holton Lee the 2 Little Owl were active early evening and the Cuckoo that was seen on Tuesday was seen again this evening and there were 2 Green Sandpiper on Holton Pools.

Little Owl - Holton Lee - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 24/07/18

Although there’s been no sign of the Purple Heron for a few days at Littlesea, the ‘heron run’ continues with a Cattle Egret that was seen at Arne, heading across Middlebere this morning. It goes without saying these days that 2 Osprey were seen at Arne and Middlebere throughout the day and from now on they’ll become a daily feature as numbers begin to rise as birds start heading south for the winter. Our ringing stations around the harbour are getting busier too with our Ballard site ringing seven species of warbler including Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler. At Lytchett Bay a Marsh Harrier was seen again and there was a single Common Sandpiper near the Waterworks, also 4 Sedge Warbler, c10 Reed Warbler and 15 Black-tailed Godwit. A large Starling flock of around 1000 birds dispersed west at dawn past Arne Moors which we assume is a large post breeding flock that’s forming.

Cattle Egret - RSPB Arne - Fabian Harrison

Common Sandpiper - Keith Rawling - Lytchett Bay

Harbour Update - posted 23/07/18

Wow, what a day. First we’ll go through the bird info, than talk about the several exciting events we hosted over the course of today. Highlights included a fresh juv Cuckoo at Holton Lee where 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 2 Lapwing were on Holton Pools. The first 2 migrant juv Willow Warbler were also at Holton Lee with a Marsh Harrier and a light passage Swift went out over south across the Wareham Channel. On Lytchett Fields an adult Little Stint was a turn up for the books with 10 Greenshank, 19 Dunlin, c100 Redshank and 39 Little Egret also present. At Arne and over the Wareham Channel up to 2 Osprey were again on and off during the course of the day.

This evening we were thrilled to host the end of the Chris Packham UK Bioblitz campaign tour at our Birds of Poole Harbour HQ on Poole Quay ending 10 days of intensive wildlife surveys around the UK.

Chris Packham’s BioBlitz campaign aimed to highlight the biodiversity of British wildlife across the nation, visiting 50 wildlife sites across the UK in just 10 days. The results will provide a benchmark with which future surveys can be compared, and see how the populations of different species rise and fall over time. Chris Packham started in the Scottish Highlands on July 14th, criss-crossing the UK and helping the survey effort along the way; from the smallest insect to the largest deer and everything in between. Specialists, amateurs, and enthusiastic naturalists have helped immeasurably along the way, including members of the public who have come along to events to listen and learn about the UK’s fantastic biodiversity.

Arriving at Poole Quay with his BioBlitz crew, Chris Packham boarded a ferry with 50 lucky Poole school children and the Birds of Poole Harbour charity team. Chris and his crew were treated to a cruise around Poole Harbour for a spot of birding, passing the internationally important Brownsea lagoon site and seeing common and sandwich terns in flight. The ferry docked back at the quay at 8pm, returning to an audience 200 strong to hear Chris’ rousing speech about the campaign and the future of British biodiversity. He then crossed the finish line at the HQ of local conservation charity Birds of Poole Harbour, where he then spent an hour meeting and speaking with visitors about wildlife and the environment.

Paul Morton from the Birds of Poole Harbour charity explained

“To have Chris and his team finish his campaign here in Poole Harbour was a real privilege. Over the ten days they visited some areas that were in dire need of environmental change but they were keen to finish here on the south coast because of how rich our biodiversity is and to highlight how some areas are getting it right”

You can get involved with Chris Packham’s campaign by contacting Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and telling him your concerns for the state of british biodiversity and the threats it faces. Chris Packham is also calling for everybody who cares about wildlife to join him in central London on September 22nd 2018 for The People’s Walk for Wildlife as a nature-inspired call to arms.

Check out his website for more information:

For more information about Birds of Poole Harbour, check out their website:


Common Cuckoo - Photographed during the Holton Lee Bioblitz - Clare Slade

Chris Packham addressing the crowd - Poole Quay - Debbie Parker

Chris Packham addressing the crowd - Poole Quay - Debbie Parker

Chris Packham crossing the finish line - BoPH HQ - Debbie Parker


Harbour Update - posted 22/07/18

There were more signs of migration today with the first Pied Flycatcher of the autumn seen on Brownsea, with a male feeding along the lagoon access track. Also on Brownsea an Arctic Tern was on the lagoon briefly and an Osprey passed over the western end. There were also 2 Osprey with sightings on and around Arne for most of the day. There was also the first real pulse of Sedge Warbler migration through the harbour with c10 at Lytchett Fields along with 14 Dunlin, 9 Green Sandpiper, 9 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Common Snipe, c150 Redshank, c40 Lapwing and 14 Little Egret.

Linnet - Lytchett Fields - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 21/07/18

The Purple Heron was again seen coming into roost at Littlesea late evening along with only 45 Little Egret tonight.  In Middlebere there was an Osprey on the nesting platform and a Spoonbill was in the Middlebere Channel. 

Harbour Update - posted 20/07/18

As summer progresses and autumn powers through the birding seems to get more and more exciting by the day. Today the Purple Heron was seen again at Littlesea Studland where photographer Malcolm Brunt managed to take what’s probably one of the best Purple heron photos ever seen in the UK let alone Dorset…just amazing. Then, this evening 6 Great White Egret flew over and settled on Lytchett Fields again which are likely to be the same flock as the ones seen a few weeks ago…or are they? Are we in fact seeing a steady arrival of this species into the harbour? On the Brownsea Lagoon the 2 Roseate Tern were on the ‘Boomerang’ again. On Holton Pools both Common and Green Sandpiper were using the scrapes and an Osprey was out over the Wareham Channel and at Middlebere for most of the day.

Purple Heron - Littlesea - Malcolm Brunt

Common Sandpiper - Holton Pools - Nick Mudge

Green Sandpiper - Holton Pools - Nick Mudge


Harbour Update - posted 19/07/18

The Purple Heron was seen today but earlier in the day around 16:30 flying towards the northern end of Littlesea but despite a prolonged evening watch it didn’t come into the egret roost at dusk sadly. Still, a mass hirundine flock containing c200 birds, consisting of mostly Sand Martin that came in just before dark to feed on the surface of the water was a picture in its self and there were 8 Great Crested Grebe, some with juveniles still in tow. At Middlebere an Osprey was on the post for most of the afternoon and in the channel 1 Spoonbill, 7 Greenshank, 1 sum plum Spotted Redshank and a Whimbrel were present during the afternoon. At Lytchett Fields there were c20 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 9 Dunlin and 1 Greenshank with a particularly showy Water Rail too. In Lytchett Bay Curlew totals rose to 39 and there were 25 Little Egret and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. There were also reports of Osprey over the Wareham Channel and at Morden Bog. A new Marsh Harrier entered the harbour too with a young male over near Swineham early morning.

Water Rail - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Grey Heron and Red-eared Terripins - Poole Park


Harbour Update - posted 18/07/18

It’s now at that time of year where we begin (in partnership with the Stour Ringing Group) really ramping up our ringing activities around Poole Harbour. From mid-July to early November a whole variety of birds will be on the move with different species moving at different times. In this early phase of the ‘autumn’ we’ll begin seeing a few warbler species passing through and into early August chats and flycatchers will appear with a few other warbler species. By late August and into September pipits, hirundines, wagtails and a few crests will begin to move and then by October finches, thrushes and more crests will be the main focus. Today really heralded the beginning of passerine autumn migration with a ringing session at Lytchett Heath catching the first 2 juv Grasshopper Warbler and juv Garden and Sedge Warblers of the season, none of which breed locally to that site. Up at Ballard Down a number of juv Common Whitethroat are being ringed too and it will only be a few days until the first lovely lemon yellow Willow Warbler begin turning up. On Brownsea today 2 Roseate Tern were again on the ‘Boomerang’ out in front of the Lower Hide. This evening the Purple Heron came into roost again for the third night in a row and was joined by 55 Little Egret. Thanks Steve Smith for a nice sequence of shots of the Purple Heron coming into roost.

Purple Heron - Littlesea, Studland - Steve Smith.

Twitter - @StudlandBirder  Blog

Harbour Update - posted 17/07/18

The heron purple patch seems to be getting well….purpler! This evening the Purple Heron came back into Littlesea, Studland late evening but was then joined by a Cattle Egret too which means today we had Great White Egret (Middlebere), Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron and Grey Heron all in the harbour! It also seemed to be some wader passage took place last night as a newly arrived summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper was on Lytchett Fields with c40 Dunlin, 7 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 8 Green Sandpiper there too. A Red Kite also passed over Lytchett Bay and an Osprey was over the Wareham Channel and in Middlebere.

Harbour Update - posted 16/07/18

Are we beginning to see a new mid-July trend? On Saturday we had 7 Great White Egret appear on Lytchett Fields, then a Bittern was seen dropping into the Frome Mouth on Sunday evening then tonight a juvenile Purple Heron was found at Littlesea Studland which is actually only the 3rd ever Poole Harbour record. This is notable as it possibly highlights the early dispersal of either recently fledged young heron species or post breeding birds as they begin to move south. We’ve had returning/passing Great White Egret each July now for the last three years, so will other species passing through this time of year soon become the ‘norm’? Passage waders were still moving around with 23 Green Sandpiper on Lytchett Fields along with 4 Common Sandpiper and 6 Greenshank with 1 Spotted Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 1 Spoonbill and both godwit species on the Brownsea Lagoon plus an Arctic Tern was seen off the SW corner of Brownsea. An Osprey was in Middlebere on and off for most of the day. In Holes Bay NE there were 3 Common Sandpiper, 102 Black-tailed Godwit and 38 Little Egret recently roosted there.

Harbour Update - posted 15/07/18

Today was our second summer ‘Up with the lark’ bird boat cruise which didn’t disappoint. It started with an Osprey out hunting in the north of the Wareham Channel which eventually caught a fish and as we crept up towards the mouth of the River Frome c500 Black-tailed Godwit numerous Little Egret, Curlew and 3 Greenshank were in the mouth of the Frome and in the mouth of the Piddle 2 Common Seal were hauled up onto the mud on the low tide. Up to 5 Common Sandpiper were along the riverbanks of the Frome as plenty of freshly fledged Sand Martin and Swallow skimmed low across the water. Strangely a Sedge Warbler was singing briefly (normally well finished by now) and a handful of Reed Warbler could still be heard and Reed Bunting were much in evidence. On Arne Moors 5 Yellow-legged Gull were settled with 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a few Herring Gull. Out in central harbour the oddest sighting was of a Common Scoter sat out on its tod! The Brownsea Lagoon was busy and a Roseate Tern was heard then seen leaving the lagoon with 2 summer plumaged Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 8 Avocet and 1 chick, c30 Bar-tailed Godwit and c100 Oystercatcher also present. Along the northern shore of Brownsea another 5+ Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel were at Seymers. Later in the evening a Bittern was reported flying over the mouth of the Frome and settling in reed beds. At Arne an Osprey was seen on and off during the day on the Middlebere platform as it fed and there was a Spoonbill in Middlebere again too with 7 Greenshank.

Harbour Update - posted 14/07/18

Without doubt, today’s best sighting (albeit brief) was when 7 migrating Great White Egret landed on Lytchett Fields for a few minuets before setting off again and headed off high north. It’s quite something that we’re no longer just seeing single birds in the harbour but now whole flocks! Even as recently as 2014 Great White Egret were still a real rarity in the harbour but between 1-3 have now been regularly over wintering since 2015 and with flocks of seven now appearing, how long will be it be until they’re as common as Little Egret? There was also a Spoonbill on Lytchett Fields. Brownsea was also productive today with 2 Roseate Tern settled all day with 1 Spoonbill and juv Garganey and Little Ringed Plover also logged. In Middlebere there were 2 Spotted Redshank and 5 Greenshank and an Osprey was on the Middlebere platform again.

Great White Egret flock - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Great White Egret flock - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 13/07/18

This evening we hosted our second Nightjar ringing demo on Canford Heath in partnership with The Borough of Poole and Stour Ringing Group. After sadly drawing a blank on our last ringing demo, tonight was a totally different kettle of fish with 6 birds caught and shown to a delighted crowd. It was a magical evening with a great flying display prior to the demo, then followed by a detailed description of the scientific work being carried out by the team whilst being shown the birds. A truly one off experience. In Middlebere the Great White Egret was seen again heading over the channel at dusk and there were 2 Osprey seen, 1 Spoonbill, 10 Greenshank and 2 Green Sandpiper also in the channel.

Nightjar post release after public ringing demo - Canford Heath 

Harbour Update - posted 12/07/18
Harbour Update - posted 11/07/18

What can we say…it’s not often two majorly exciting events of this magnitude take place on the same day. First and foremost we’re thrilled to announce that our 14 Osprey chicks for this years translocation safely arrived this afternoon at midday and were quickly placed into their new 5 star luxury pens at a secret location within the harbour where our team will now feed and monitor them for 2-3 weeks before releasing them again back out into the harbour. We’d like to say a huge thank you to numerous folk including Jason Fathers at Wildlife Windows who put in place all the infrastructure for the project which was quite a task we can tell you! Poole based fresh fish supplier Seafresh who have again kindly agreed to supply fish to our project to make sure the birds get the best possible start here in Poole. Also Roy Dennis and Tim Mackrill from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation who were up in Scotland collecting the birds and Emily Joachim and Brittany Maxted who fed and cared for the birds whilst they were being collected. A huge thanks to those members of the public too who have supported either via donations towards the project or have sent us really kind emails of support. With 14 new birds its going to be one hell of a season but we have a great team behind us so we look forward to updating you on the project along the way. Here is the press release we sent out today which gives a fuller overview of the project – READ HERE.

Waders are still making up the bulk of the sightings with 6 Grey Plover, 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank and 58 Black-tailed Godwit in Middlebere along with 2 Spoonbill and a fly over Great White Egret. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 4+ Greenshank, the first returning Knot of the autumn, 1 Little Ringed Plover and a new pair of Avocet with a chick…how long will it last though? On Lytchett Fields 18 Green Sandpiper were spread across the site as were 9 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and the 1st Snipe of the autumn back on site. Near Wytch 2 adult Redstart were seen but it’s unclear whether they were early migrants or local breeders.

Oh yeah, the second majorly exciting event to take place today….a certain Football Match. Its all too much!

Osprey chick 006 being placed into its new pen by Tim Mackrill

Harbour Update - posted 10/07/18

As the summer of wonder continue and with footy fever in the air, a feeling of optimism seems to be lingering in the heat haze. We’re not sure if its hope to see good birds arrive, or for a certain football team to win a certain football game but either way this week is planned to be a good week. Today it was much of the same with an Osprey out over the mouth of the River Frome. At Holton Pools there was a Green Sandpiper and Greenshank and on Lytchett Fields 1 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Spotted Redshank were reported. We’ve encountered numerous Long-tailed Tit flocks in recent days and in late summer/early autumn these can be good places to find good birds. Already these flocks are containing Chiffchaff (both adults and juv’s), however within the next two weeks lovely lemon yellow Willow Warbler will also be in tow and by early August species such as Redstart, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat often tag along. So, if you hear the high-pitched zee-zee-zee of a Long-tailed Tit train chugging along, be sure you’re stood on the platform watching as it goes by as you never know what may be on board!

Harbour Update - posted 09/07/18

As autumn ‘presses on’ more signs of migration appeared today with the first juv Yellow Wagtail of the season found at Lytchett Fields. Through August and September Yellow Wagtail will become a frequent diurnal and nocturnal migrants through the harbour but Lytchett Fields has seen the first arrive in early July for a few years now, even possibly suggesting they could be nesting close by?  Also at Lytchett Fields today were 12 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper and 1 Grey Plover.  An amazing flock of 16 Bearded Tit also moved through the reedbeds along Lytchett Fields. At Holton Pools the first Kingfisher of the autumn was in front of the hide and a Hobby passed through. In Middlebere this AM a lone Spoonbill was feeding and the/a female Marsh Harrier went through. An Osprey was over the Wareham Channel mid-afternoon and one was seen over Morden Bog again mid-morning.

We also have a series of exciting announcements this week starting off with the news that on July 23rd 2018 we’ll be hosting the end of the Chris Packham UK Bioblitz Campaign in our Birds of Poole Harbour HQ on Poole Quay between 8pm and 9pm. This important and necessary campaign aims to highlight how damaged and non-productive parts of our environment are across the UK with Chris and his team signing off the 10-day mission here in Poole. For full details about the campaign CLICK HERE. We also have two other announcements we’ll be making over the coming days so be sure to keep an eye on our Social Media pages.  

Bearded Tit - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 08/07/18

Loads of fledged birds can be seen/found around the harbour now. Young Black-headed Gulls are visible at numerous sites certainly on low tides, many of the Sandwich Terns are now up, up and away. On the roofs (and some pavements) around Old Town Poole many young Herring Gull Chicks can be seen wandering around. If you do find a young bird then the chances are the parents are close by, and even though its on the ground they’ll continue to feed it, so don’t worry.

Juvenile Herring Gull - Asda, Holes Bay - John Pick

Harbour Update - posted 07/07/18

As autumn progresses the Brownsea Lagoon is definitely a site birders should be watching, noting and getting excited about. The opportunity it provides is huge but it needs almost constant monitoring to get a full appreciation of quite simply how many birds pass through the site over the course of a day, a week or even a month. Today there were 10 freshly arrived Common Sandpiper and 1 juvenile 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank and a Spoonbill. Hangers on from the summer included 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Avocet and 6 Dunlin. There were also 18 fledged Sandwich Tern chicks out of a total of c80 on the lagoon.

Harbour Update - posted 06/07/18

There were Osprey in the Wareham Channel and at Morden Bog early morning. At Lytchett Fields a crazy count of 22 Green Sandpiper was almost a record count with 7 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and 1 Grey Plover also present.

Harbour Update - posted 05/07/18

There are still a few Cuckoo hanging around and the first few juveniles have been seen too with an adult at Middlebere and a juv at Hartland. Although wader passage is picking up it was slim pickings at Brands Bay with 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 28 Curlew, 2 Dunlin and the first 2 Common Gull of the autumn. At Arne an Osprey was resting up on the northern side, which was viewable from Slepe Heath and at dusk our guided walk (hosted in partnership with the National Trust) on Slepe heath saw us witness what could almost be described as a Nightjar epidemic! In all our time watching the harbour I don’t think we’ve ever seen activity quite like this with Nightjar (at times) hovering just a few feet away from us. Incredible scenes!

Sunset on Slepe Heath

Harbour Update - posted 04/07/18

It’s getting to that time of year where juvenile gulls begin to appear around the harbour, allowing you to really try and get to grips with this plumage type. This time of year is classic for fresh juvenile Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls to appear around the harbour, the former being an exceptionally smart bird to try and find, with the latter being an ID conundrum to get you’re head around. Juvenile Black-headed Gulls have been fledging for over 2 weeks now but at Lytchett Fields today the first juv Med Gull of the summer appeared which is likely to be one of the youngsters from our now thriving Med Gull population in the Wareham Channel. Holes Bay NE is the best place to try and see/find Yellow-legged Gull any time between mid July and late August. Today, the 2 Spoonbill that were on Brownsea were feeding in the mouth of Lytchett Bay on the low tide. At Sunnyside Farm a Cuckoo was on the fence-line near the viewing screen and 9 Lapwing were on the wet flooded part of the site. On the Brownsea Lagoon the first juvenile Sandwich Tern took flight and it won’t be too much longer before the rest follow suit. Although the Common Tern chicks still have some way to go.

Harbour Update - posted 03/07/18

There have been 2 Spoonbill in the harbour for a few weeks now but they’ve been quite hard to try and pin down. Today they spent most the day on the Brownsea Lagoon which is typical behaviour for this time of year with migrant birds normally beginning to arrive from breeding grounds in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Denmark by the end of July, with numbers building all the way through August, September and into October. An un-ringed Osprey was out hunting over the Wareham Channel at midday but wasn’t seen to feed anywhere. At Lytchett Fields the wader numbers just keep on growing with now 17 Green Sandpiper, 12 Little Ringed Plover still, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Grey Plover and the first Whimbrel of the autumn.

Harbour Update - posted 02/07/18

Fairly slow today with Spoonbill reported on the Brownsea Lagoon, 12 Ringed Plover, 14 Green Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank 2 Common Sandpiper and a Grey Plover on Lytchett Fields. An Osprey was seen over the Wareham Channel and a Hobby was on Slepe Heath.

Harbour Update - posted 01/07/18

Today we hosted our first ever summer ‘Harbour Cruise’ where we ventured up the Wareham Channel at dawn where another fine morning welcomed us, however a touch of cloud clover took a welcome edge off the recent searing heat. It was a great trip and as we travelled up the Frome Valley with the rising tide we were lucky enough to see several early autumn migrants including 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, several Redshank and plenty of Curlew. Around c200 over-over summering Black-tailed Godwit were seen as well as 4 Bar-tailed Godwit off Shipstal. Over Arne Moors a Marsh Harrier was hunting and unbeknown to our guests (and us) a Cattle Egret was also feeding out on the Moors, but the long grass would have prevented us from being able to see it. Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler were all still vocal and Swift, Swallow and House Martin darted over the boat. We also saw 3 Common Seals with one in the mouth of the River Piddle and 2 off Shipstal. Common and Sandwich Tern were very active and there were still a lot of gulls on the breeding islands suggesting we’ve still got a lot of young to fledge yet. On Lytchett Fields 12 Little Ringed Plover were feeding (including 4 juv’s), and there were also 3 Common Sandpiper, 8 Green Sandpiper, c30 Lapwing, c20 Redshank, c30 Black-tailed Godwit, c30 Teal, 1 Shoveler and the Barn Owl was hunting over the approach fields at dusk. Interestingly, at dusk when we were setting up our night recording gear at Lytchett Heath, a couple of hundred Swallow (mostly juveniles) come in from high and dropped down as if they were going into roost giving it a very autumn feel to the evening.

Little Ringed Plover (juv) - Lytchett Fields - Paul Morton

Little Ringed Plover (Adult) - Lytchett Fields - Paul Morton

Shoveler - Lytchett Fields - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 30/06/18

With summer powering on, it seems the young birds that are currently being tending to by their parents are doing well. Nowhere highlights this better than the Brownsea Lagoon currently which is bursting with life There are young birds all over the place including the standard good numbers of Sandwich Tern and Common Tern chicks, lots of Black-headed Gulls still with young, Oystercatcher chicks, Shelduck and Gadwall ducklings…the list goes on. If you get a chance to visit over the coming weeks its well worth it and a jot to watch.

Sandwich Tern chick - Brownsea Lagoon - Rene Goad

Black-headed Gull & chicks - Brownsea Lagoon - Rene Goad

Oystercatcher & chick - Brownsea Lagoon - Rene Goad

Gadwall duckling - Brownsea Lagoon - Rene Goad

Harbour Update - posted 29/06/18

Today was another hot one with a few notable sightings. It looks as if the Spotted Flycatcher are back in the Arne over-flow car park which is goo news considering there are next to none around the harbour currently. In the Wareham Channel 2 Black Swan appeared out of nowhere and the female Marsh Harrier was busy in the Wareham Channel. At Holton Lee a Cuckoo was testing its taste buds by eating Cinnabar Moth caterpillars.

Cuckoo - Holton Lee - Ricahrd Stephenson

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