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September 2018

Harbour Update - posted 28/09/18

This morning was our second school bird boat trip of the autumn where a nippy NW wind whipped across the harbour. The Brownsea Lagoon saw 10 Spoonbill and c250 Avocet but actually very little else other than 4 Greenshank and the usual Oystercatcher, handful of Curlew and c100 Black-tailed Godwit. On Shipstal Point, Arne the other Spoonbill flock of around 30 birds were still present on the high tide and in Middlebere Avocet numbers also seem to be building with c200 present. Marsh Harriers were seen at Swineham and Middlebere and a Hobby was over Hartland. At Lytchett Fields a Great White Egret was reported along with 1 Spotted Redshank, 57 Dunlin, 4 Greenshank, 2 Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Kingfisher. In Holes Bay NE a Great White Egret was seen and there were c200 Wigeon on the tide line but there were very few waders around.

Harbour Update - posted 27/09/18

How often do you get so excited about going birding that you forget to check the forecast? Last time we checked it was supposed to be clear sky and no breeze at dawn. Well, the no breeze bit was correct but a bank of thick fog was settled across the harbour, which was no use at all for our survey boat this AM up the Wareham Channel. Still, a count of 50 species exactly wasn’t too bad with highlights including several Bearded Tit in the mouth of the Frome, plus we believe there are now up to 43 Spoonbill in the harbour with 31 counted on Shipstal, Arne and 12 on the Brownsea Lagoon. There were also Kingfisher up the frome Valley, 57 Mute Swan in the Wareham Channel, several Cetti's Warbler sub-singing and large numbers of Little Egret with c30 at Shipstal alone. Despite favourable conditions over night there was almost zero passage overhead at dawn and after the fog cleared, but it will be any night now that we encounter the first Redwings of the autumn passing over. At Holton Lee the Kingfishers were putting on a good show again and a Marsh Harrier made several passes. A Roseate Tern was seen off Salterns Marina near Parkstone and 5 Sandwich Tern were off Baiter. At Lytchett Fields the normal run of waders were spread across the site with 210 Redshank, 14 Greenshank, 61 Dunlin, 8 Green Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 540 Teal, 1 Spotted Redshank and 3 Yellow Wagtail. At Middlebere the Barn Owl was seen and c300 Black-tailed Godwit were at the top end of the channel with 4 Grey Plover.   

A Foggy Morning in the Wareham Channel

 

Harbour Update - posted 26/09/18

Although sadly not seen, the 2 Common Crane from the previous two days were reported to be heard ‘bugling’ at dawn near/at Arne which must have been a great sound to hear. At Lytchett Fields there were 5 Stonechat, 37 Dunlin, 1 Spotted Redshank, 150+ Common Redshank, 10 Greenshank, 6 Green Sandpiper, 100+ Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Whinchat. At Middlebere a large total of 789 Black-tailed Godwit roosted on the high tide with 11 Knot, 12 Dunlin, 38 Redshank, 15 Wigeon and a Marsh Harrier also logged. Migration through Lytchett Heath consisted of 1 late Willow Warbler, 9 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Blackcap and 1 Firecrest. Whilst at Ballard Down 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 14 Chiffchaff and 59 Blackcap were logged.

Firecrest - Lytchett Heath - Shaun Robson

Harbour Update - posted 25/09/18

With summer seeming to steal the hand of autumn once more, a gorgeous day was to be had which saw the two Common Crane from yesterday being re-found, although sadly by an estate worker on private land with no access. Hey hoe, maybe they’ll have the decency to hop on about 100m so that they can be visible from a well known nature reserve in the harbour. At ringing and migration stations in the harbour Blackcap are certainly the most common species encountered currently with 64 logged moving through Ballard along with 12 Chiffchaff, 3 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler and 1 Stonechat. In Middlebere 2 different Marsh Harrier were seen and 11 Knot were in the channel. On the Brownsea Lagoon 11 Spoonbill were present which seem to be a separate flock from the current Shipstal birds. We’ll try and conduct a full count over the coming days to see how much the combined harbour flock has risen too.

Harbour Update - posted 24/09/18

Although its been ‘a slow’ autumn so far for rarities/scarcities, the sight of 2 Common Crane flying low in over the harbour mouth late afternoon must have been quite a sight for the one lucky observer who witnessed this today. They headed off SW and couldn’t be re-located sadly but there’s a possibility they could hang around. It was also reported that there were 3 Great White Egret in Middlebere late afternoon but no further details were provided. The Grey Phalarope was still on the Brownsea Lagoon for most of the day, showing well from the lower hide where there were also 3 Spotted Redshank and 250+ Avocet. A flock of what looked like 19 newly arriving Spoonbill flew in from the high north above the Sunnyside scrape at midday with a Hobby over too also 1 Whinchat and 2 Wheatear. Will we see a late surge of Spoonbill over the coming weeks? Migration through Ballard today was steady with 63 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler and 1 Sedge Warbler logged. Migration through Lytchett Heath seemed busier with 42 Chiffchaff, 6 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 24 Blackcap, 1 Firecrest and 34 Meadow Pipit logged. On Lytchett Fields there were 10 Greenshank, 42 Dunlin, 1 Spotted Redshank, 8 Green Sandpiper, c200 Meadow Pipit, 1 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, c30 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and 1 Marsh Harrier. In Holes Bay north there was a good count of 776 Black-tailed Godwit plus 1 Knot, 36 Dunlin, 178 Wigeon and 6 Shoveler. At Baiter 2 Wheatear were along the rocks of the main cycle path.

Harbour Update - posted 23/09/18

With yesterdays yucky weather lingering on until this morning but then clearing beautifully, it was enough to encourage our last Osprey chick, 002 to head south on migration. Leaving 10-days later than the last chick last year we were beginning to think he would never leave. However having had a decent feed three times a day for the last five weeks he would have left in the best possible condition and here’s hoping he has a safe and effortless journey south into southern Europe or West Africa. Its been a challenging year but we now have a good set of birds all heading south for the winter, and believe it or not, spring 2019 sees the possible first return of our released chicks from 2017. All we have to do is see out the long cold winter….something tells us its going to drag on…slowly. Here’s hoping for a Waxwing winter to help pass the time. One thing that could help pass the time is logging/counting Cattle Egret, and it was reported today that a flock of 8 (a Poole Harbour record) were seen in fields at Bestwall/Swineham although they could not be relocated late afternoon. At Lytchett Fields there were 11 Greenshank, 162 Redshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50+ Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Dunlin, 6 Green Sandpiper, 40+ Lapwing, 1 Whinchat, 300+ Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Marsh Harrier. At Swineham there were 2 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Whinchat behind Curlews Cottage and off the Swineham Point 4 Greenshank, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Whimbrel and 3 Sandwich Tern. At Baiter there were 8 Turnstone, 11 Ringed Plover and 2 Wheatear with 2 Spotted Flycatcher in the copse at the back of the recreation ground. At Arne the Spoonbill flock was still at 30 and a Marsh Harrier was in Middlebere.

Osprey chick 002 (lower) and 008 before departing

Harbour Update - posted 22/09/18

Today wasn’t about the Birds off Poole Harbour, but in fact about the birds of the whole of the UK. Today a Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife was launched which provides 200 ideas; covering 17 topics in ways we can improve our impoverished environment. Sadly, the UK is in a sorry state of affairs when it comes to how we look after our landscapes and its inhabitants. Declines are rife and dramatic and drastic action is needed to help change not only these declines but our total mind set on what we really believe protection to be. Please read the manifesto HERE as it also provides many ideas as to how you as individuals can make small (and not so small) changes too. To launch the manifesto a walk for wildlife was held in London where c10,000 people gathered in Hyde Park before marching to Downing Street to hand over a large Peace Treaty that had been created as a symbol for change. Despite the rain the event felt like the beginning of a movement, one we were thrilled to be a part of.

Sadly, being in London did mean we missed a Grey Phalarope on the Brownsea Lagoon but I think we can handle that…just about. The rain pretty much stopped play by mid morning however the Sunnyside Scrape attracted 6 Ringed Plover and on Lytchett Fields 121 Black-tailed Godwit appeared with 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 30+ Snipe and 3 Yellow Wagtail. On Lytchett Heath, before the rain set in 29 Blackcap, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 19 Chiffchaff, 3 Reed Warbler and 2 Sedge Warbler were ringed. At South Haven a strong passage of Meadow Pipitconsisted of  337 birds in 90 minutes. At Shipstal, Spoonbill numbers are now beginning to build with 30 present today, which is a bit more like it. At Baiter Park 8 Turnstone, 9 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin were along the shoreline.


The masses gathering before the Walk for Wildlife - Hyde Park

 

Harbour Update - posted 21/09/18

Still a bit blowy today with limited sightings reported but did include 1 Spotted Redshank, 11 Greenshank, 8 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Yellow Wagtail and a Marsh Harrier at Lytchett Fields. At the Sunnyside scrape there were still a few Yellow Wagtail around and at Holton Pools 3 Greenshank, 1 Kingfisher and a fly by Peregrine.

Harbour Update - posted 20/09/18

This wind isn’t going anywhere fast. Well, technically it is…about 30-40mph fast, but you know what we mean. These low-pressure systems are stuck in place until early next week. Most stuff was again keeping low today with highlights being now 30 Spoonbill at Shipstal, Arne. At Holton Pools there was 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Greenshank. At Lytchett Fileds a juvenile Arctic Tern was hawking over the fields, a Cattle Egret was on Otter Island, a Marsh Harrier flew through as did a Hobby and a Spotted Redshank was on the fields. In Middlebere there were 5 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 10 Grey Plover, 1 Little Stint and c100 Black-tailed Godwit. Spurn up on the north east coast saw the first large vis-mig movement of the autumn and with conditions looking near perfect next week, it looks as if Dorset could see its first big push of mid-late autumn migrants begin passing over our coastal areas too.

Harbour Update - posted 19/09/18

Highlights from today included a Cattle Egret at Lytchett Fields again with 12 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper and 2 Dunlin fields on the fields. At Sunnyside an Osprey flew over towards Hartland, struggling into the wind with a fish, with a Whinchat and Kingfisher also at Sunnyside.

Harbour Update - posted 18/09/18

Windy? Errr…yep! There’s literally no chance of finding much ‘small stuff’ over the next few days unless you fancy doing some sea watching and you happen to come across a Grey Phalarope or two. Sadly a strong SW wind isn’t very productive for Poole Bay bird watching but species like Gannet, Fulmar and Kittiwake have all been blown into the harbour in conditions like this with some even ending up of Wareham town centre! Holton Pools, Lytchett Bay, Brownsea Lagoon and Sunnyside will all be worth checking as species look to take shelter and by scanning through gull flocks you never know when you’re going to come across a Little Gull, Black Tern or something rarer. On Brownsea there was still 1 Curlew Sandpiper present and 111 Avocet. In Middlebere there were 8 Spotted Redshank and 10 Greenshank with another Spotted Redshank on Lytchett Fields with 1 Knot, 7 Greenshank, 40+ Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 30 Redshank and first 3 Little Grebe of the winter in Lytchett Bay. Peregrine flew over Holes Bay, Middlebere and Brands Bay. At Holton Pools Greenshank were feeding close to the hide and the Kingfisher was seen again.

Harbour Update - posted 17/08/18

With the tail end of a couple of hurricanes heading our way, it’s all set to change this week…but what will these weather systems bring with them? Sabine’s Gull, Grey Phalarope, Pectoral Sandpiper, Skua’s are all worth keeping an eye out for, especially in areas where large numbers of birds gather like the Brownsea Lagoon, Lytchett Fields and Middlebere. Either way, it now certainly feels as is the ‘great’ summer of 2018 is now officially over. In the harbour today, despite the building wind a good number of birds were logged with 176 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Greenshank, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 42 Common Redshank, 44 Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit all logged in Middlebere along with 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Marsh Harrier. At Sunnyside a Kingfisher was on the scrape and 11 Stonechat and a single Whinchat were on along the fence line.  On the Brownsea Lagoon Avocet numbers finally reach three figures with 115 present. At Holton Pools a Marsh Harrier drifted past the hide and numerous Stonechat were out around the heathland and remarkably a Polecat was caught on a night camera trap there too……there aren’t to many records of those from around the harbour! At Arne 17 Spoonbill were on Shipstal Point and migration through Ballard Down consisted of 21 Blackcap, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and a late(ish) Willow Warbler.

Harbour Update - posted 16/09/18

Today was the first Poole Harbour WeBS count of the 2018/19 autumn/winter season which saw a good number of waders logged but not very many over-wintering duck have returned yet, but seeing as its only mid-September that’s not very surprising. Highlights included 2 Great White Egret in Holes Bay NW (Upton CP), 20 Spoonbill at Arne, 1 Common Sandpiper in Holes Bay SE and still good number of Sandwich Tern hanging around. Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Curlew and Dunlin were well represented for so early on in the season. At Sunnyside 10+ Yellow Wagtail were on the scrape, and Lytchett Fields there were 7 Green Sandpiper and 1 Marsh Harrier.

Harbour Update - posted 15/09/18

This morning the Stour Ringing Group hosted a ringing demo for the Dorset Wildlife trust in which we supported and a nice selection of common migrants were ringed with Reed and Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and Blackcap all logged. Sadly, yet again low numbers of Chiffchaff were caught with just 2 netted and even more frustratingly the best bird of the morning was caught as we were packing up and everyone had left…an adult male Bearded Tit! Near by at Lytchett Fields it was all about the waders with 1 Ringed Plover, 10 Greenshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, c30 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 4 Greenshank plus 7 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine. Out in Lytchett Bay a flock of 100+ sinensis Cormorant were feeding. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper still and 3 Spoonbill. In Poole Park a Kingfisher is back (and will now stay for the winter so keep an eye out) plus out on Baiter 9 Turnstone, 11 Oystercatcher and 2 Little Egret. Marsh Harrier are appearing at a few sites now and its thought 3-4 have been present this last week with a new female in this AM and others sighted today in Middlebere and Holton Pools.

Curlew Sandpiper - Brownsea Lagoon - Clare Slade

Spoonbills - Brownsea Lagoon - Clare Slade

Sedge Warbler - Lytchett Heath 

Bearded Tit - Lytchett Heath 

Harbour Update - posted 14/09/18

Today was fairly quiet with a few ‘odds and sods’ reported including 7 Yellow Wagtail and a Whinchat at Lytchett Fields, an Osprey in Middlebere, 2 Kingfisher in the mouth of the PC World outflow in Holes Bay NE, a reasonable pulse of hirundines, mainly House Martins pushing through, a Wheatear at Holes Bay (they’ve been very scarce this autumn), 2 juvenile Hobby at Morden Bog and on Baiter beach the small Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Dunlin flock were feeding along the tideline at low-tide. Up on Ballard there was an obvious movement of Blackcap with 73 ringed along with 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 19 Chiffchaff, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Reed Warbler and 3 Sedge Warbler.

Ringed Plover - Baiter Beach - John Pick

Harbour Update - posted 13/09/18

We were planning on placing our night sound recording gear out last night as it looked as if a blanket of cloud cover would produce the goods and get birds moving. However, at dusk the clouds disappeared and a crystal clear (and very cold) night followed so we didn’t bother placing our gear out as these conditions in the past have been useless for recording night migrants. We made a mistake. As it transpired the drop in temperature further north prompted a large movement of birds and this morning good numbers of migrants were recorded at many sites. At the PC World drain there were singles of Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, c20 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Kingfisher and 2 Jay. At Lytchett Heath an impressive 54 Blackcap, 24 Chiffchaff, 12 Sedge Warbler, 7 Reed Warbler and 2 Common Whitethroat moved through the site. On the Brownsea Lagoon a Great White Egret was present for a while and another (or the same) flew across the Studland Road towards Littlesea. In Middlebere there was Marsh Harrier, 1 Spoonbill, 5 Grey Plover and 16 Knot. On Lytchett Fields a Sanderling was a nice surprise.

Pied Flycatcher - PC World Drain (Fleets Corner) - Paul Morton

Pied Flycatcher - PC World Drain (Fleets Corner) - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 12/09/18

Here’s a quick round up of today. In Lytchett Bay there were 4 Yellow-legged Gull, 87 Wigeon, and 300+ Black-tailed Godwit and a Spotted Redshank was on Lytchett Fields. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 87 Dunlin, 9 Greenshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 85 Avocet. At Arne there were 19 Spoonbill. Osprey’s were in Middlebere and at Lytchett Bay.

Harbour Update - posted 11/09/18

A grey cold, blustery day saw a few new additions to the Brownsea Lagoon including 5 Curlew Sandpiper which leapt to 13 individuals by mid afternoon. We also received some limited news back from the colour-ringed Redshank we saw on the Brownsea Lagoon last weekend which has been confirmed as being originally ringed in SW Norway at a site in Klepp, although we’re awaiting the full set of information. In Middlebere there were 36 Yellow Wagtail, 540 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Spotted Redshank, 21 Greenshank, 70 Dunlin, 7 Grey Plover, 3 Avocet, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Hobby. Highlights from Lytchett Fields included an adult Spotted Redshank.

Harbour Update - posted 10/09/18

We’re not quite sure what’s going on with Spoonbills at the moment. We should be (if trends over the last 7 years were to be followed) seeing an almost daily increase on the Brownsea Lagoon. On Saturday last week a peak of 21 was reached but the birds only stayed briefly before moving back to their now already favoured site of Shipstal Point, Arne which normally isn’t adopted until at least mid to late October. Like everything else, it may just be that they’re going to arrive late, but considering the harbour reached a peak of 75 last October we’ve got some serious catching up to do if the record is to be broken again for the eighth consecutive year. There were 3 Curlew Sandpiper again on the lagoon today with 12 Greenshank, c80 Avocet and smaller numbers of Dunlin, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. Migrant Osprey sightings are now definitely reducing although we still have three of our translocated juveniles hanging around. Our best guess is that the next break in the weather (likely Thursday) will see them depart for their first migrations south, although they seem quite settled and happy being fed twice a day still….typical youngsters!

Harbour Update - posted 09/09/18

Not many sightings reported today so we’ll just provide a nice selection of photos that have been sent to us instead. Sightings that were reported to us today included 3 Firecrest on Brownsea along with 16 Spoonbill, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, c250 Dunlin, 9 Knot, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 99 Avocet, 33 Shoveler, 16 Greenshank and a Peregrine. An Osprey flew over Swineham and another was in Lytchett Bay with 2 Hobby, 3 Knot, 1 Spotted Redshank and 38 Dunlin also on Lytchett Fields.

Kingfisher - Holton Pools - Clare Slade

Whinchat - Lytchett Fileds - Ian Ballam

Wheatear - Baiter Park - John Pick

Turnstone - Baiter Park - John Pick

Ringed Plover - Baiter Park - John Pick

 

Harbour Update - posted 08/09/18

It’s looking as if it could be another Cattle Egret winter with birds ‘popping up’ all over the county. Today at Lytchett Fields two appeared with the cattle at the end of Slough Lane and then a Great White Egret appeared later in the day, meaning Lytchett Bay experienced its first ever egret hat-trick (Little, Cattle, Great) in a single day. There was also another Great White Egret at Middlebere too and a Ruff on Lytchett Fields. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, c250 Dunlin, 14 Greenshank, 9 Knot, 18 Spoonbill, 99 Avocet, 33 Shoveler and 1 Wigeon. At Sunnyside Farm there were 2 Whinchat, 3 Redstart, and 10 Yellow Wagtail. Osprey’s were seen at Coombe Heath, Arne and Lytchett Bay and a Marsh Harrier was at Holton Pools. On Baiter Beach during the low-tide Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone were feeding along the shoreline.

Harbour Update – posted 07/09/18

There were signs of some more arrivals today with a Ruff and Spotted Redshank fresh in on Lytchett Fields, also 8 Greenshank, 6 Dunlin, 1 Osprey and 3 Green Sandpiper. In Holes Bay NW there were 623 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Dunlin and a Common Gull. At Shipstal Point 13 Spoonbill were roosting and 5 were on Brownsea. In Middlebere there were 14 Knot, 1 Whimbrel, and 1 Curlew Sandpiper. A Little Stint and 2 Spotted Redshank were on the Brownsea Lagoon along with 15 Shoveler and the 1stWigeon for Brownsea this autumn. At Holton Pools the Kingfishers were impressing again and there was a Spotted Flycatcher near the hide.

Harbour Update – posted 06/09/18

The sun continues to shine and at Lytchett Fields a newly arrived Cattle Egret commuted between the cattle heard and French’s Pools. An Osprey was active again in the bay throughout the day and 2 Marsh Harrier commuted through. On Lytchett Fields were 23 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 7 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper and 5 Greenshank also 20+ Yellow Wagtail and a 1 Whinchat were in the area. On Brownsea the Spoonbill population increased to 15 for a short while before most moved back to Shipstal Point, Arne. In Holes Bay NE the Wigeon total increased to 92 and up to 4 Osprey were seen over towards Arne.

Harbour Update – posted 05/09/18

Even though things seemed to have slowed down a bit migration continues to pulse on through with some vis-mig even beginning. At South Haven, Studland there were 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and a Kingfisher. Vis-mig over the harbour mouth included 1 Hobby, 5 Tree Pipit, 3 Grey Wagtail, 8 Yellow Wagtail, 99 Meadow Pipit and a large House Martin and Swallow migration. At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Osprey, 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Knot, 12 Dunlin, 7 Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 1 Whinchat. At Middlebere an Osprey was in the dead trees and there were 14 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, c300 Black-tailed Godwit and a Marsh Harrier. On Holton Pools there were 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Kingfisher and 3 Yellow Wagtail over.

Harbour Update – posted 04/09/18

Today was the second day of our Dorset Discovery tour and a migrant filled day it was too. Up on Ballard the huge House Martin and Swallow passage continued with birds head NE into the wind all morning also several Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap also present. At Greenlands Farm there were c20 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, c10 Stonechat, 1 Osprey and 1 Spotted Flycatcher with Brands Bay holding 3 Pintail, 2 Greenshank, c50 Black-tailed Godwit, c10 Great Crested Grebe and c20 Redshank. On Brownsea the juv Curlew Sandpiper was still there along with 8 Greenshank, 5 Spoonbill, 2 Common Sandpiper, both Common and Sandwich Tern and low numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Redshank. In Lytchett Bay the 2 Osprey were fishing again in the bay from 8:30am and visited several times during the course of the day and on the fields were 8 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 12 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper and 1 Greenshank.

Harbour Update – posted 03/09/18

During the autumn its always nice when you’re able to give an area ‘a real good going over’ and a full Brownsea Lagoon count produced 1 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 18 Avocet, 689 Oystercatcher, 150 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank, 30 Common Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 20 Little Egret, 7 Spoonbill, 1 Peregrine and 1 Kingfisher along with a spread of Shoveler, Teal and Shelduck. At Lytchett Bay there were 2 Osprey hunting on and off through the day and a Red Kite and Peregrine passed on through with only 2 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 3 Greenshank and 1 Avocet on the fields. At Arne it was the beginning of our Autumn Dorset Discovery Tour and our group had a huge House Martin passage overhead along with 2 Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Swift, several Dartford Warbler and a Sand Lizard.

Harbour Update - posted 02/09/18

The Brownsea Lagoon was watch pretty intensively again today but totals weren’t as high as previous days. Only 2 Spoonbill were present for most of the day and a single Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 3 Knot, 150 Dunlin, c400 Oystercatcher, 1 Peregrine and 2 Kingfisher were the main highlights. Also present on the lagoon (and also Brands Bay) were the first 8 returning Pintail of the autumn. Around Lytchett Bay there were 40+ Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 3 Yellow Wagtail, a flock of 33 Little Egret over, 2 Osprey and 18 Wigeon out in the bay and 1 Wheatear near Lytchett Fields. Things seemed a bit quieter today on the migrant front with 19 Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 4 Whinchat and 1 Reed Warbler logged up around Old Harry and in Brands Bay waders consisted of 81 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and 113 Curlew along with a juv Osprey seen again. From Coombe Heath, Arne Ospreys commuted between the Middlebere nesting platform and the dead trees at the back of the channel and a Peregrine flew through several times as did a Marsh Harrier with Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Whimbrel, Ringed and Grey Plover all present in Middlebere. At Sunnyside a Hobby flew through and there were several Yellow Wagtail around. Wigeon numbers in Holes Bay increased to 17. Holton Pools is now seeing regular Kingfisher using the perching posts.

Greenshank - Nocturnal call of individual passing over Brownsea Lagoon - 01/09/18 @ 01:15am

 

Nocturnal Avocet flock arriving on to Brownsea Lagoon - 01/09/18 @ 01:37am

Harbour Update - posted 01/09/18

With birds dropping in and out of the Brownsea Lagoon continuously during the autumn, conducting daily counts provides a good indication on the level of passage taking place at certain times. Today on the lagoon counts consisted of 19 Spoonbill, 1 Spotted Redshank, 15 Greenshank, 95 Redshank, 210 Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 41 Avocet, 4 Knot and just 1 Sanderling. Around Greenland’s Farm, Studland there were 25 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 5 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear and 1 Spotted Flycatcher. At Brands Bay a further 3 Wigeon had arrived back, also 3 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 63 Redshank, 2 Lapwing and an Osprey caught a fish. On Coombe Heath, Arne 2 Whinchat were logged and Osprey were active in the area for most of the day with 6 Grey Plover, 2 Spoonbill and a Peregrine in Middlebere. At Lytchett Bay an Osprey caught a fish in the bay and settled in a tree at Holton Lee, plus Redstart, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were logged around Lytchett Fields.

Common Redshank - Brownsea Lagoon - Nick Gadenne

Green Woodpecker - Brownsea Island - Nick Gadenne

Harbour Update - posted 31/08/18

An intensive watch of the Brownsea Lagoon over the course of the day produced 18 Spoonbill, 4 Knot, 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 27 Ringed Plover, 6 Sanderling and 34 Avocet. Numbers of many birds on the lagoon are building very slowly currently, we just hope that through Septembers numbers begin to swell. For example there are currently no juvenile Black-tailed Godwit back using the lagoon yet which for late August is a bit odd. An un-ringed Osprey was seen leaving on migration from Brands Bay mid-morning, heading SE out of the harbour and across Poole Bay with 66 Teal, 3 Greenshank, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel and 133 Curlew also in Brands Bay. The Purple Heron still remains at Littlesea and was seen during the day today. Ospreys were again conspicuous with several sightings from around the harbour including a newly arrived fresh juvenile seen over Swineham and 3 seen over Lytchett Bay late afternoon. At Sunnyside Farm there were 3 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and a Greenshank on the new scrape. In Middlebere there were 150 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Avocet, 1 Grey Plover and an 4+ Osprey seen. You know autumn has really landed when the first Wigeon begin returning back and today saw the first of this autumn in Holes Bay.

Migrant juvenile Osprey - Swineham - Peter Moore

Translocated juvenile Osprey 007 - Middlbere - Russell Brown

Harbour Update - posted 30/08/18

Goodness knows how many Osprey there are in the harbour currently. Putting our translocated chicks to one side there seems to be a good number using and passing through currently with new freshly fledged juveniles from breeding sites further north now arriving into the harbour. Lytchett Bay had 4 seen within the space of 45 minutes today with other birds seen in the Wareham Channel, Brands Bay and Middlebere. There was also a large Little Egret flock the left Lytchett Bay at dawn consisting of 67 birds in total which is a site record for the bay. Migrants continue to drip through with Redstarts seen along Soldiers Road, Lytchett Fields and at Sunnyside Farm. On Slepe Heath in the sheltered NE corner there were 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Tree Pipit and 20 Willow/Chiff and on top of Hartland 2 Whinchat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Wheatear, 6 Yellow Wagtail and a flock of c300 Goldfinch. Up on Ballard Down 20 Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 3 Wheatear, 1 Garden Warbler, and 5 Yellow Wagtail were logged. In Brands Bay the ‘winter roost’ of Great Crested Grebe is building already with 31 tonight.

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