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June 2019

Harbour Update - 15.6.19

Easy breeze today and the weather has taken a better turn later in the day! Lytchett Fields saw 270 Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Gadwall, 1 Redshank, 3 Lapwing and an unusual sighting of a Little Ringed Plover. Holton Lee saw similar with 100 Black-tailed Godwit, Teal, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Lapwing, and 3 Curlew. On local heaths unnamed, sightings included Dartford warbler, Stonechats, Linnets, Firecrest, Siskens – all showing signs of breeding or having young. Nightjars have also been noted over local heaths. 

Harbour Update - posted 14/06/19

Sadly no sign of any Osprey today but that’s not surprising, as newly arrived 2 year olds often go missing for days even weeks at a time before dropping back into their local haunt. We’re now so full of optimism that we’re half expecting another one of ours to turn up in the coming weeks. Here’s hoping!

There was a decent selection of birds around the harbour today including another new arrival in the shape of a male Marsh Harrier at Holton Pools. There has been a Marsh Harrier in the harbour these last few weeks but it’s been a juv/female type, so we know this male is new in. At Upton CP there were 3 different singing Firecrest which is a great total. At Lytchett Fields this AM there were 242 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Lapwing, 1 Dunlin and 1 Oystercatcher. Also, being concerned about the lack of Swifts in the local area we recruited volunteer Jacob Ball to go and check various Poole colonies and the results so far are as follows, ‘Upper Poole’ (Hospital area) 41, Old Town Poole 2, Hamworthy 9 with a nest location identified too. We still plan to check Parkstone and Wareham colonies too but with these totals, it doesn’t look as if it’s going to be a productive season this year. Oddest sighting of the day goes to a drake Pintail at Wareham Quay that was feeding on bread, so no doubt an escapee from somewhere. At Holton Pools the 3 Lapwing chicks were still present and a Little Ringed Plover was on the scrape. On the Browsnea Lagoon 4 Spoonbill were still present.

Harbour Update - posted 13/06/19

Another cold and wet day, with much stronger winds after the calmer breeze we had yesterday. Great Spotted Woodpecker with it’s juvenile has been back on the Holton Lee webcams most of the day. 14 Bar-tailed Godwit were feeding at Baiter Park this morning alongside 40+ Oystercatcher, showing how important wet parkland as a habitat can be for our waders even through the summer! Lytchett Fields saw 121 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 2 Redshank, 1 Lapwing, 1 Teal and 27 Gadwall. Brownsea lagoon still has the 4 Spoonbill feeding and roosting, and the oldest Black-headed Gull chick turns a month old today as the earliest report of a day or two day old hatchling was 14th of May! In Brands Bay the over-summering Brent Goose was still present and a blue-ringed Osprey attempted to fish in the Middlebere Channel at around 11:30am

Osprey LS1 is back! We have seen him yet again today in the harbour mingling with CJ7 this AM. If you would like a fuller report see the link below, we will certainly keep everyone updated with his movements and interactions with CJ7. The team are thrilled to hear he's back, and we are excited to see what happens over the upcoming weeks!!

https://www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk/first-poole-harbour-osprey-chick-arrives-back-africa

Harbour Update - posted 12/06/19

VERY exciting news today of a blue-ringed, male Osprey sighted this AM on one of the nests with CJ7. Finally, a male Osprey in the harbour! It was then later tracked down and confirmed to be one of our 2017 translocated chicks LS1. THIS HUGE NEWS, and a big first step towards colonisation here on the south coast. We'll be doing a full write up in due course. 

Cool temp, calm winds today with short showers - how is this June!? Flocks of c20 Swift flying with House Martin around Poole Park and Baiter Park this AM. Alpine Swift was seen at Durlston yesterday evening so worth keeping an eye out! Reed Warblers seen at Holton Lee, whilst reported Firecrest, Nightjars, Stonechats and Dartford Warblers were also sighted around unnamed local heathland sites. c4 Firecrestseen around Upton Country Park. Well worth learning their high-pitch, ascending call to see if you can hear them holding territories around your patch or home. Our Puffin Crusie this evening was a big success despite the drizzle. At Dancing Ledge we saw 7 Puffin plus numerous Guillemot and Razorbill rafts along the coast. We also logged 5 Gannet, 6 Fulmar, 19 Kittiwake, 2 Peregrine 2 Cuckoo and 4 Spoonbill, along with 20+ Barrel Jellyfish.

First footage of LS1 back in the harbour 

Harbour Update - posted 11/06/19

A dreary afternoon with mild NE winds of 10-15mph has seen the Common Tern population increasing with 9 chicks spotted on the camera and 117 adults eagerly awaiting their hatchlings. Sandwich Tern numbers reached c295 today with c82 chicks. Also seen were 4 Spoonbill, 5 Avocet, 82 Oystercatcher, 5 Gadwall, c110 Shelduck, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Black-tailed GodwitAn Oystercatcher has been guarding its 2 chicks on the spit just off of the marina on Poole Quay. Black-tailed Godwitnumbers are increasing over at Lytchett with 78 on Lytchett Fields and another 39 on the bay. 

Today autumn got well under way……sorry! Summer is now over, before its really even got started. The reason for this is because the first Green Sandpiper of the autumn appeared at Holton Pools this afternoon. These are really early autumn passage migrants with the first returning birds passing south through the harbour in mid-June with numbers peaking in late July before dropping off again. At some sites like Lytchett Fields, Holton Pools and the Sunnyside Scrape numbers can reach quite high, with Lytchett Fields almost seeing 30 individuals last year. 

Harbour Update - posted 10/06/19

Several bits of interest today. Firstly, after a month of ‘staying away’, female Osprey CJ7 was on one of the Poole Harbour nest platforms mid afternoon. Although she’d been seen around the harbour in recent weeks she had been staying away from the platforms as her breeding instinct waned away. At Lytchett Fields there were 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Lapwing and 2 Redshank with c20 House Martin mud collecting near the SANG car park. At Sunnyside there were also 3 newly fledged Lapwing out on the pools, which is great news. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 4 Spoonbill briefly and several Avocet, but no signs of any breeding.  At Holton Lee a Cuckoo was out on the heath with others at Hartland and Swineham. Finally, we’re beginning a nocturnal migration sound recording experiment at Corfe Castle in partnership with the National Trust which has already turned up some interesting finds which you can read about HERE.

Harbour Update - posted 09/06/19

A complete contrast to yesterday’s windy weather, today has provided calm and warm conditions with mild SW Winds of 7mph. The busy boat show hasn’t deterred birds from visiting the Quay with a Little Egret, 14 Canada Geese, c12 Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Tern and 4 Oystercatcher all seen from the HQ. Over at Holten Lee the resident male Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen feeding a juvenile on the feeding table! Other highlights caught on the webcam were Nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Great Tit.

Lytchett Fields has had an interesting array of species today including; 1 Curlew, 2 Oystercatcher, 4 Lapwing, 25 Gadwall, 2 Teal and 38 Black-tailed Godwit.

Brownsea Lagoon has produced its first Common Tern chicks, popping their heads out from under parents. Sandwich Terns are busy fattening up their growing chicks, as are the Greater Black-backed Gull and Black headed Gull. The resident 6 Avocet have been joined by 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Spoonbill and Gadwall. The Canada Geese have started building in numbers for their moult with 19 spotted today.  

At Upton CP the duck pond has been rewilded and as a result is full of Reed Warbler which is both good to see and hear. At Arne 2 Cuckoo were around Middlebere/Coombe Heath and in Brands Bay an over-summering Brent Goose was found. 

Great Spotted Woodpecker with young - Holton Lee feeder cam 

Male Nightjar singing from song post - Slepe Haeth - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 08/06/19

High winds with gusts of 40mph have been blowing a gale over at the Poole Quay. This hasn’t hampered a Red Kite which was spotted at a distance from the HQ gliding over the water. 7 Canada Geese and 2 Oystercatcher were also taking in the sites of the boat show.

Holten Lee webcam picked up the usual Great Spotted Woodpecker, chaffinch, Nuthatch and Goldfinch, while at Asda a Peregrine Falcon was perched up on a balcony in car park this afternoon at 15.30.

The Sandwich Tern Chicks, of which there are c53, are getting braver at Brownsea Lagoon moving further from parents and dipping a toe (claw) in the water. With c225 adults there are plenty of eyes to watch out for the Greater Black-backed gulls, all c105 of them, taking the opportunity to pick off any wondering chicks to feed their own. No chicks from the Common Terns (c233) just yet but there are large numbers Black-headed Gull chicks with 85 spotted amongst 128 parent birds. 16 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Avocet were also present.

Keep your eyes peeled for Storm Petrels in the Harbour as a gathering of these have been reported down at Christchurch Bay.

Harbour Update - posted 07/06/19

A very wet morning has seen Sandwich Tern chicks, Greater-Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull chicks hiding under their parents, but this afternoon the sun crept through the clouds and they all came out to dry off. 6 Avocet were seen with some signs of nesting but no sign of any eggs or chicks yet. A Godwit species, Oystercatcher (1 nesting) and large numbers of Shelduck were also spotted.

Sea watch reported a spectacular c20 Gannets off Branksome Beach whilst as Brands Bay 8 Curlew and c10 Oystercatcher were seen. At Holten Pool there were 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Lapwing, a Redshank, a Gadwall in Flight and a Mediterranean Gull.

Harbour Update - posted 06/06/19

The islands on Brownsea lagoon were very busy today! The Black-headed Gull chicks were growing in confidence, choosing to explore their island and venture further into the water. The Sandwich Tern chicks were also keeping their parents busy and were regularly seen requesting food and flapping their wings. Avocet, Oystercatcher, Shelduck and Gadwall were all seen enjoying the sunshine on the lagoon as well.

Great to hear that an Osprey was seen at Middlebere channel this morning and c20 swallows were seen flying around the fields close by.

Harbour Update - posted 05/06/19

The Sandwich Tern chicks have been active over at Brownsea Island Lagoon with most Terns having at least 1 chick, keeping the parents busy bringing Sand Eels in for food (see video below0. Also over at the lagoon were large numbers of Shelduck (c40), Common Tern (c150), Greater Black-backed Gull, 4 Avocet, 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, c40 Oystercatcher, c20 Cormorant and 3 Gadwall.

Our Holten Lee camera caught the resident Great-spotted Woodpecker. We also took a group of from the Dorset Wildlife Trust out on a walk there this morning and saw, Little Owl, Dartford Warbler, Linnet, Mediterranean Gull, Swifts, Swallows, Chiffchaff, a Bullfinch with a hungry juvenile and Reed Warbler being fed by the parents. At Holton Pools there were 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Little Egret and a newly fledged Pied Wagtail. Over at Middlebere a Sparrowhawk and a Blackcap were also spotted.

Harbour Update - posted 04/06/19

Tonight we hosted our first Nightjar walk of the season, which turned out to be a real beauty. Despite the quick drop in temperature at sunset we were treated to a chorus of at least 8 different males, plus a few fly-bys of courting pairs including wing-clapping and numerous contact calls. We even managed to flush one, a male (by accident) from the side of the footpath just as we started our walk at 8pm which allowed us to see the bird, including the bright white spots in broad day light. We also sadly found a whole tail of a male Nightjar on a path which looked as if it had been pulled out by a predator, although the tail was fully in tact which suggests the bird may have got away….but is now just flying around ‘tailless’. Other highlights included a Marsh Harrier out on Arne moors, 1 Hobby over the heath, a decent fledged party of both Linnet and Stonechat, 4 Emperor Moth, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Willow Warbler and a few Dartford Warbler. If you’d like to experience Nightjar in all their glory then our Nightjar walks are every Tuesday through the summer (until end of July), so to book on CLICK HERE.

Other highlights from today included 2 sightings of Osprey, one see flying over the northern Arne shoreline and a second sighting (of possibly the same bird) seen from the Holton Lee side, out across the Wareham Channel. Cuckoo were still calling on Hartland, Slepe Heath, Middlebere and at Morden Bog. A Peregrine took a gull chick from the gull islands and in Middlebere a Marsh Harrier flew past the hide. Bearded Tit seem to be having a good year at Lytchett Bay with family parties already being seen/heard from Lytchett Bay view and at the end of Lytchett Heath Nature Reserve. At Holton Pools 2 sum plum Black-tailed Godwit were feeding in front of the hide, as was an Oystercatcher, 2 Little Egret and up to 4 Reed Warbler are nesting around the perimeter of the pools.

Watching and waiting for Nightjar on our Nightjar walk - Slepe Heath


Tail of male Nightjar found on our Nightjar walk - Slepe Heath

Harbour Update - posted 03/06/19

There was already a few possible signs of return migration or failed breeding today with Greenshank, Redshank and Lapwing (all adults) on Lytchett Fields, along with the long-staying male Little Ringed Plover. There was also a Cuckoo flying around the waterworks at dawn Nice to see so many Nightjar being reported from numerous sites including Arne, Slepe Heath and Holton Lee. The Dorset Nightjar team were also out last night at sites in Poole Harbour north and managed to track down several individuals using radio-tracking technology. Many birds are already well into feeding second broods with the heathlands seeing plenty of 1st brood Stonechat about. Freshly fledged Starlings are noisily moving about in ever growing flocks, waiting for their younger siblings to join them in a few weeks time as hungry calls tumble out of holes in tree trunks and from under roof guttering. There was no sign of CJ7 today but a Hobby was over Middlebere and 2 Egyptian Geese were at Sunnyside.

Harbour Update - posted 02/06/19

An overcast morning turned into a dreary afternoon with SW winds and cool temperatures. Over at Brownsea Lagoon the Tern chicks have been tucked away out of the rain again. 1 Oystercatcher seems to have made its nest in amongst the Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns. Also spotted were 18 Dunlin, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Oystercatcher (incl. 1 on nest), 6 Avocet (1 on nest) and 7 Gadwall. High numbers of Shelduck were observed with c113 and 8 ducklings spotted. Over at Holten Lee the webcam picked up several Nuthatch, the regular Great-spotted Woodpecker and usual Robin and Bluetit were seen along with some boisterous Rooks. Lychett Fields reported a Little Ringed Plover, Whimbrel and 30 Black-tailed Godwit. A Hobby was spotted at Hartland Moore flying towards Middlebere. Bullfinch, Linnet and Dartford Warbler were seen along the track to Middlebere hide. A lovely sight of 3 Spotted flycatcher and a Lesser Whitethroat was captured at Wytch farm along with the background call of CuckooOver at Old Harry Rocks 3 Fulmar were seen, along with lone Dolphin who was following boats too and from the Harbour.

Harbour Update - posted 01/06/19

Another beautifully sunny day in the harbour with light South Westerly winds providing perfect conditions for the Tern chicks to start venturing out from under their parents at Brownsea Lagoon. Sandwich Tern numbers have reached c220 pairs with most parents having at least one chick hatched now. The Common Tern population is also looking healthy with c150 pairs counted and almost all sitting on an egg or two. A couple more weeks and we should being seeing these eggs hatching too. Also seen over on the Lagoon were 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, c40 Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin and 4 Avocet, 1 of which has been sitting on a newly constructed nest! The Graylag Geese, Canada Geese, Shelduck and Greater Black-backed Gull also have goslings/chicks. The Holten Lee webcam captured a Siskin, a Nuthatch and Chaffinch whilst over at the HQ on the Quay staff spotted a Buzzard gliding in the distance. Lychett Fields featured a Little Ringed Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit a Stonechat and 2 Oystercatcher.

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