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July 2019

Harbour Update - 17.07.19

With a high of 23C and SSE winds we have had some interesting report of juvenile Yellow Wagtail on Shell Bay Beach as well as young Redstart. Common Scoter drake seen again in Bramble Bush Bay that was seen back on the 7th July in Brands Bay.

Holton Lee webcam captured a Dunnock, whilst over at Lytchett Fields 12 species of wader were recorded including 2 Spotted Redshank, 5 Greenshank and 5 Little Ringed Plover. Plus 2 Little Ringed Plover at Sunnyside Scrape.

Brownsea Lagoon webcams have seen 6 Spoonbill who have spent the majority of their day preening on one of the islands. 8 Avocet, 16 Dunlin, 1 Curlew, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and c65 Oystercatcher were also seen.

Harbour Update - 16.07.19

It’s been a busy day at Lytchett fields today 20 Green Sandpiper, 7 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew, 1 Oystercatcher and 2 Mediterranean Gulls. A juvenile Peregrine was also stirring up the waders gliding over-head.

The Tern Islands over on Brownsea Island are looking bare, with the majority of Sandwich Tern chicks having fledged. There seems to be several Common Tern sitting on nests again so could this be a second brood/failed first breeders or perhaps they are just late on in the breeding season.

Harbour Update - posted 15/07/19

Things are bubbling up nicely with more waders arriving and a few more migrant passerines beginning to pass through. Today at Lytchett Fields there were 9 Greenshank, 5 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, c40 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Redshank, 57 Lapwing, 1 Curlew and the first juv Med Gull of the season. At Sunnyside Farm 2-3 Green Sandpiper were on the scrape and in the Frome Valley an Osprey headed down towards the Wareham Channel where CJ7 and LS7 were also seen later in the day. Its young birds galore at the moment with final broods of many species all fledging currently including good numbers of Dartford Warbler and there are numerous Mistle Thrush flocks moving around the Arne peninsular. At Holton Lee it's been confirmed there are 2 Little Owls again, begging the question has a new adult moved in or is there a juvenile present, having one sadly dies a few weeks ago. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 6 Spoonbill, 4 Avocet, 2 Greenshank and a couple of really young Common Tern chicks.

Harbour Update - posted 14/07/19

An overcast and muggy day with a high of 22°C. 6 Spoonbill have been reported from Brownsea Lagoon today along with 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Dunlin, 1 Curlew, 2 Redshank, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 7 Shoveler. Most of the Tern chicks have now fledged.

Poole Park has reported 180 Greylag Geese, 4 Tufted Duck, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Blackcap, 2 juvenile and 2 adult Blackcap and a Great-spotted Woodpecker

Harbour Update - posted 13/07/19

Gentle North-Westerlies today with more humid weather! Lytchett Fields has seen the nice diversity of waders again with 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plover (inc. 2 juvenile), 3 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, also Gadwall, Teal, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, and Mediterranean Gull. Baiter Park has been visited by a small flock of Oystercatcher.

Brownsea Lagoon has seen some of the recent arriving migrant species, waders such as Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, plenty of Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, also Canada Geese, Shelduck, Moorhen with chick, Great Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret, and 6 Spoonbill!

2 Ospreys were seen from Coombe Heath briefly early this AM. 

Harbour Update - posted 12/06/19

A warm sticky day today indicates the midst of summer, however it looks like the autumn migration birds are well and truly settled in, with the first migrant Sedge Warbler of the season ringed at Lytchett Heath seen this morning, along with a selection of locally Fledged young including Cetti’s Warbler and Blackcap. Lytchett Bay Fields recorded 4 Little Ringed Plover (3 of which were juveniles), 7 Green Sandpipe and 3 Greenshank.

Holton Pools reported Lapwings, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Egret and a high-flying Marsh Harrier. It was also reported last night that two Little Owl have been sighted at Holten Lee again, which is great news.

Over at Brownsea Lagoon, most of the Sandwich Tern juveniles have fledged, however one adult seems to be nesting, interestingly sitting on a large flint stone!  Also reported were 7 Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Mediterranean Gull and 5 Spoonbill.

Sedge Warbler - Lytchett Heath - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 10/07/19

There were more signs of dispersal this AM with a minimum of 10 juvenile Blackcap in the PC World Drain, along with 2 juv Reed Warbler too.  At Lytchett Fields there were 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 juv Little Ringed Plover, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Whimbrel was out in the bay. At Arne, female Osprey CJ7 flew over Hydes Heath towards Middlebere, and in Middlebere there was a female Marsh Harrier and 4 Greenshank. At Poole Park 187 Greylag Geese were logged with 50 of the colour-ringed birds logged from two weekends ago.

Harbour Update - posted 09/07/19

An overcast day but still warm with 22°C highs. An Osprey has been seen from Lytchett Fields flying over Otter Island towards Wareham Channel. Another individual was reported from Swineham Gravel Pits along with some House Martin.  Nearby ay Lytchett Bay 3 Greenshank (1cr) were seen the Approach Pool and on Lytchett Heath a churring Nightjar and 3 Reed Warbler were heard.

It was quiet at Brownsea Lagoon today, but a bobbing Common Sandpiper turned up for a short visit. The Sandwich Tern chicks are on the move with most of the juveniles already fledging but not wondering too far from the safety of the Islands.

Harbour Update - posted 08/07/19

It really feels like it could be a good autumn with passage waders already passing through and good numbers of young local breeding birds present. It’s literally just a matter of days before young passerines begin filtering through the area too so keep an eye out for species such as Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and Pied Flycatcher over the next three weeks. At Lytchett Fields there seemed to have been a mini arrival of new birds today with 2 new Common Sandpiper present bringing the total up to 4 and a new juvenile Little Ringed Plover was present with 4 on site today.  Also there were 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Greenshank. On the Brownsea Lagoon 5 Spoonbill were still present and Redshank numbers are increasing. Also the Sandwich Tern chicks are now fledging one by one, leaving the nesting islands fairly bare during the day before they then return toost there again in the evening. At Arne, 2 Osprey were seen over the Hyde’s Heath area, most likely to be LS7 and CJ7 and 2 Hobby were seen over Hartland.

Finally some Moth news, our Moths of Poole Harbour team caught this rare Scarce Merveille Du Jour at a private site in between the Frome and Piddle valley last night. This species is only encountered about once a year in Dorset, so is an exceptionally good record.

Scarce Merveille Du Jour - Abby Gibbs

Harbour Update - posted 07/07/19

An exciting amount of species seen out in the harbour today; Lytchett fields has reported 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 21 Redshank, 19 Lapwing, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, 1 Stonechat, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Peregrine and 2 Hobby present before the rising tide. A nice amount of Green Sandpiper were also seen with 16 back at the fields. An Osprey has also been spotted at Arne, Hyde’s Heath Trail at 13.30. 2 were also seen at Morden Bog and 1 also at Lulworth Lake (although not directly in the Poole Harbour area it’s an interesting report). Also at Morden Bog was one of the first Juvenile Cuckoos on the heath. There has also been an interesting nocturnal migration call picked up on the sound equipment in the Piddle Valley with Quail vocalisation recorded at around 2.35am, likely to be the first record since 1993!  Holten Lee Webcam picked up on a Dunnock and over at Brands Bay 97 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel and 3 Dunlin have been spotted. The highlights over at Brownsea Lagoon have been; 7 Curlew, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Spoonbill, 6 Little Egret, 2 Redshank, 2 Mediterranean Gull and 2 Avocet.

Harbour Update - posted 06/07/19

With Highs of 26 degrees on the Quay, Holten Lee Pool reported Lapwing, including several fresh juveniles and 7 Black-tailed Godwit and the webcam picked up a Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit and Goldfinch. Poole Park has seen 9 Tufted Duck and 185 Greylag Geese. If you would like to assist in researching movements of Greylag Geese please report and sighting Greylag Geese with white colour leg rings beginning with the letter ‘U’ followed by 3 letter to pooleparkgreylags@gmail.comOver on Brownsea a Curlew, 16 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Spoonbill, 1 Little Egret, 4 Avocet, 2 Dunlin (new migrants), 10 Gadwall,  3 Moorhen, and 1 Redshank amongst the usual high numbers of Sandwich Tern c250, Common Tern c150, Shelduck c50, Oystercatcher c80, Black-headed Gull c300, Cormorant c40, and Great Black-backed Gull c50. Out over the Wareham Channel 2 Ospereywere seen. 

Finally, we were rewarded with a right result last night when night recording in the Piddle Valley when a Common Quail called as it flew over our mic’s at 02:35am. This is an incredibly rare species in Poole Harbour with the last confirmed singing of a bird in being 1993! There may be more recent records we’re unaware of but it gives you a rough idea of just how scarce they are. Let’s hope the next one drops down and stays a tad longer!

Common Quail - Call of night time migrant - Piddle Valley 06/07/19

Harbour Update - posted 05/07/19

What a beautiful sunny day to take out a survey boat and head down the Wareham Channel to see what we could find. This is important research to document numbers of Summer/Autumn birds and keep and eye on potential threats to populations. The low tide allowed us to record a whole myriad species including a gargantuan 460 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, c90 Curlew, c40 Redshank, c30 Little Egret, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 153 Mute Swan, 10 Reed Warbler and a beautiful Osprey flying over the Channel, likely to be CJ7. Another Osprey was also spotted high over Ridge with a damaged/missing primary on its left wing.  

An additional 2 Spotted Redshank were seen over at Lytchett Fields in summer plumage, also a Greenshank, a Little Ringed Plover and 2 Common Sandpiper. The safe shores of Brownsea Lagoon are currently providing a nursery for a variety of chicks and ducklings with 8 Shelduck ducklings, 1 Moorhen Chick, 50 Oystercatcher chick, 218 Black-headed Gull juveniles, 7 Great Black-backed Gull juveniles, 73 Common Tern Chicks and 49 Sandwich Tern Chicks. Also logged were Curlew, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, Mediterranean Gull, 5 Avocet and 5 Spoonbill. Lastly a flash of electric blue from a Kingfisher was photographed at Holton Pools.

Harbour Update - posted 04/07/19

Are you bored of the heat yet? Don’t worry, we’re not really summer grumps, we just enjoy the spectacle of Autumn migration which tends to build quite nicely as July progresses. The main issue from a birders point of view at this time of year is actually blimmin heat haze. Still, give it a couple of weeks and species such as Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Willow Warbler will be appearing in scrubby habitats around the harbour and the ringers will be catching the first Sedge and Grasshopper Warblers out in the reedbed’s as they move south. Today was a hot and not very productive day for birds, although Lytchett Fields saw another increase in Green Sandpiper and almost 50 Common Redshank. Last night 3 Little Ringed Plover were on Holton Pools and on Brownsea today 6 Spoonbill were still present.

Harbour Update - posted 03/07/19

The first 3 Avocet of the Autumn were spotted at Middlebere this morning. There has also been an increase in waders over at Brownsea Lagoon with 8 Curlew, c10 Bar-tailed Godwit, c5 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Spoonbill. Also seen were 1 Mediterranean Gull and 5 Gadwall along with high numbers of Shelduck and Oystercatcher. Over on the Tern islands the Sandwich Tern chicks have grown in size and are gaining their adult plumage. Although numbers haven’t been as high as yesterday’s sightings over at Lytchett fields, there has been a lovely variety of species recorded today, including some Autumn visitors, with 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank (CR), 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Green Sandpiper seen. Although there has been sad news of the loss of one of the Little Owls over at Holten Lee, it's a slightly bit of better news that the other individual has been spotted today. 

Harbour Update - posted 02/07/19

A lovely sunny day in the Harbour today with Northerly 8mph winds. Not a lot has been reported today, however Lytchett Fields had a good number of species with 1 Greenshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Green Sandpiper, 64 Redshank, 51 Black-tailed Godwit and 32 Lapwing reported. Highlights from Brownsea Lagoon were 6 Spoonbill and some very active Sandwich Tern Chicks desperate to get into the sky! Plenty of Shelduck with their ducklings and c50 Oystercatcher. At Lytchett Bay late evening 2 Great White Egret were out in the bay and on the fields there were 3 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank and 3 Green Sandpiper. Our Nightjar walk was also a real gooden, with 3-4 Nightjar active around us, also 1 Cuckoo, 1 Hobby, 2 Dartford Warbler, 1 Fox cub and 2 Hares seen. 

Harbour Update - posted 01/07/19

Wow, the first of July…where is this year going? Although I feel we’re partly to blame for constantly wishing the summer away, just so we can see some autumn migrants arrive. Well, the June doldrums are now out of the way, and July heralds the true beginning of Autumn and we’re already seeing things begin to turn. We’re really beginning to think its been a good breeding season with plenty of young birds of numerous species being encountered around the harbour. Young Chiffchaff are already joining Long-tailed Tit flocks and it won’t be long before the first lovely lemon yellow Willow Warblers follow suit too. Today at Lytchett Fields there was an increase in waders again for a third day in a row with Green Sandpiper reaching double figures with 10 in totals, also 3 Little Ringed Plover again, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 52 Redshank, 59 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Marsh Harrier. Osprey’s were seen out over the Wareham Channel and it looks like LS7 was out over Morden Bog too. Sadly we also received a phone call that one of the Little Owl’s at Holton Lee was found dead on Saturday evening. We took it for an X-ray today and it thankfully highlighted no foul play, but did show a badly broken wing and it was very emaciated so could have been hit by a female Sparrowhawk or similar. On the Brownsea Lagoon 5 Spoonbill were still feeding at the back from the Mac Hide and at Middlebere the Great White Egret was seen again and there was also 1 Hobby, 30+ Black-tailed Godwit and 50+ Swallow.

Great White Egret - Middlebere - Keith Rawling


Little Owl - Holton Lee 

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