August 2019

Harbour Update - posted 21/08/19

Another productive day in the harbour today with lots going on. The main highlight was the harbour’s (and the UKs) first Ortolan Bunting of the autumn which was sound recorded at night flying over/through the Corfe Gap at 4:30am. It was a good night for night recording despite the crystal clear sky which also saw 1 each of Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin and Redshank logged, also a small Common Tern flock, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Tree Pipit, 10 Robin, 2 flycatcher sp and 1 Little Grebe. Hopefully this means the flood gates are open and we’ll begin recording plenty more of these species.

This morning we also hosted our first Osprey watch event at Ham Common viewpoint, Rockley which was a great success with 4-5 different Osprey seen, including three at once for several minutes. Our team were set up with telescopes and binoculars for visitors to use and the good news it we’ll be there again next Wednesday morning so why not join us. Or, if you can’t wait until then to see an Osprey our Osprey cruises are running from Aug 24th to Sept 1st and for full booking details CLICK HERE.

Elsewhere in the harbour an Osprey was on the Middlebere nest platform for a lot of the day, and was even seen nest prepping/stick moving later in the afternoon which suggests CJ7 may not be the only interested female in town. In the Wareham Channel there were 328 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Common Sandpiper in the mouth of the Frome. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 12 Spoonbill and 2 Arctic Tern were in a large gull flock off Arne. At Sunnyside Farm a Hobby dashed past the scrape viewing screen and a Yellow Wagtail flew over the cattle field. Marsh Harrier’s were seen over Giggers Island and at Holton Pools where a Kingfisher was on he sticks too.

Harbour Update - posted 20/08/19

If you thought yesterday was Osprey-tastic, then today was Ospre-ndulous! A grand total of 4 Osprey were seen together circling over Wareham Channel. Numerous sightings were also recorded once again across Holten Lee, Lytchett Bay and Middlebere.

A grand afternoon on Brownsea Lagoon produced 1 Curlew Sand, 1 Knot, 226 Dunlin, 11 Greenshank, 102 Redshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Avocet, 42 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Turnstone, 5 Ringed Plover, 12 Spoonbill, 1 Wheatear and 2 Peregrine. Several butterflies were also recorded including 1 Clouded Yellow & 3 Painted Lady. The water levels on the Lagoon are looking superb at current - offering incredible views of common wader species.

There were ‘Groppers’ galore on Lytchett Heath at the ringing session this morning. The record day saw a count of 32 Grasshopper Warblers!!

Sedge Warbler - Lytchett Heath

Grasshopper Warbler - Lytchett Heath

Harbour Update - posted 19/08/19

It was Osprey-tastic again today with numerous sightings around the Middlebere area with 2 different individuals seen with fish and another couple out in the Wareham Channel, and with our Osprey cruises coming up at the end of this week and most of next week the new arrivals couldn’t have come at a better time. SEE HERE FOR BOOKING INFO.

Find of the day goes to a summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe off Jerry’s point which is about 2 months early, but we won’t grumble. At Lytchett Fields there were 14 Greenshank, 1 Marsh Harrier, another Osprey, 2 Tree Pipit overhead, 1 Hobby, 13 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper. In Brands Bay only singles of Grey Plover and Whimbrel were logged. At dawn a Barn Owl was sat on the Middlebere hide and there was a Peregrine on the Brownsea Lagoon.

Harbour Update - posted 18/08/19

Osprey were recorded all over the western side of the Habour today with numerous sightings logged across Holten Lee, Lytchett Bay, Wareham Channel and Middlebere. An impressive 3 Osprey were seen at the same time over the Wareham Channel at midday. Mid-August to early September can be the best time to try and spot Osprey about the Harbour as migrants stop off to refuel before continuing their migration south for the winter.

Spotted Flycatcher was also of note at Holten Lee this morning and the Studland Black Tern was still present at the same location as yesterday. A Hobby was hawking over both Coombe and Hyde’s Heath at Arne while the ASDA Peregrine was observed perching on the supermarket this afternoon.

Harbour Update - posted 17/08/19

Studland saw the Harbour’s first Black Tern of the Autumn. The bird was seen feeding between Redhorn Quay and Jerry’s Point this morning. Moving further north, Lytchett Bay punched in with another decent wader count including 8 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 76 Redshank, 41 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Greenshank, 9 Dunlin and 2 Spotted Redshank. Singles of Whimbrel, Hobby and a Marsh Harrier along Sherford River were also logged. An additional 2 Hobby were recorded at Morden Bog.

Continuing with bird of prey roundup, a single Osprey was recorded at Middlebere, again favouring the dead trees. Other sightings from the channel include 2 Greenshank, 2 Curlew and singles of Dunlin and Green Sandpiper.

Harbour Update - posted 16/08/19

A dreary day out in the Harbour today with 19mph SSW winds. Before the rain set in 3 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 6 Redshank, 10 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, 19 Black-tailed Godwit, c70 Redshank and a Snipe were seen at Lytchett Bay.

An Osprey was photographed perched next to a nervous looking Pigeon from the Coombe Heath hide at Arne.

A brave birder surveyed Brownsea Island today and recorded several wet looking individuals including 122 Redshank, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Greenshank, 271 Dunlin, 75 Ringed Plover, 10 Avocet, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Turnstone, 293 Oystercatcher, 14 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 10 Spoonbill, 60 Cormorant, 6 Moorhen, 3 Sandwich Tern, 37 Common Tern, 48 Great Black-backed Gull, 7 Herring Gull, 61 Black-headed Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Shoveler, 12 Mallard, 16 Gadwall, 14 Shelduck and 48 Teal.

In Middlebere 7 Grey Plover flew over and another 3 landed in the channel plus a Green Sandpiper was on the pool in front of the hide with a Greenshank out on the mud. A juvenile Marsh Harrier also flew by.

Harbour Update - posted 15/08/19

Pleasantly long sunny intervals with what feels like never-ending westerlies was the theme for the day. With no change of wind direction in sight for at least the next week ahead, let’s hope for shift in direction come September. The Holton Lee Little Owl was seen today along with a single Spotted Flycatcher. There were 3 Redstart recorded at Sunnyside, while 2 Osprey were observed at Middlebere before flying north-west towards the Wareham Channel.

A scan with the Brownsea Lagoon webcam revealed 8 Spoonbill, 12 Avocet and reasonable numbers of Curlew, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Oystercatcher and a mobile mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Harbour Update - posted 14/08/19

Extensive cloud cover, poor visibility and showers dominated throughout the day. At times Brownsea Island would disappear out of sight from Poole Quay. However, a scan with the Lagoon webcams revealed an influx of DunlinBlack-tailed GodwitGreenshankRinged Plover accompanying numerous RedshankAvocet and Curlew. The Lagoon is looking superb at the moment with heaps of exposed mud drawing in waders passing through the Harbour.

Seawatching from Branksome Chine produced a total of 5 Balearic Shearwater, 3 Kittiwake, 4 Fulmar, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and an abundance of GannetSandwich Tern and Common Tern. Wader counts at Lytchett Bay totalled 2  Spotted Redshank, 112 Redshank, 113 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, 19 Dunlin, 5 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Ringed Plover, 8 Greenshank, 2 Curlew and 70 Lapwing. A single Yellow-legged Gull and an early returning Little Grebe were also present. An evening visit to Sunnyside scrape produced 3 Wheatear and 3 Gadwall.

Harbour Update - posted 13/08/19

You know things are getting birdy when you get excited about the possibility of hearing Tree Pipit calling at night. Ok, that sounds a bit OTT, but no more than going outside and experiencing Redwings on a cold, overcast October night. What many people don’t realise is that Tree Pipit move in big numbers in the latter part of August and early September, and by standing outside on an overcast night during this time period you can hear the high pitched flight calls of many Tree Pipit as they pass overhead through the dark. The reason we’re talking about this now is because we set our sound recording gear up last night in the Corfe Gap and recoded the first 2 Tree Pipit of the autumn. This is a low number, but at some sites like Ballard and Portland, these sites can sometimes reach over 1000 calls in a single night in late August which is quite an audible spectacle. Also through the Corfe Gap last night was a Common Sandpiper, 1 Nightjar and a mystery wader which sounded like it could have been an Avocet. At the PC World Drain there was also a decent flurry of migrants with 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 7 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff and 1 Kingfisher. At Lytchett Fields wader totals consisted of 121 Redshank, 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Green Sandpiper, 9 Dunlin, 8 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 1 Ringed Plover. In Holes Bay north there was a great count of 3 Ruff along with 387 Black-tailed Godwit, 69 Redshank, 1 Whimbrel, 9 Ringed Plover and 1 Common Sandpiper. There was a Redstart sp (either Common or Black) on the Nuffield Estate. In Middlebere there was a summer plumaged Grey Plover along with a lone Spoonbill, 1 Ringed Plover 1 Peregrine and an Osprey was in the dead trees. On the Brownsea Lagoon 8 Spoonbill were present.

As mentioned on our social media channels late last week we successfully raised and released our 11 Osprey chicks this year and they instantly attracted the attention of the local pair, CJ7 and LS7 who’s daily routine now involves visiting our release site, nicking a load of fish from our feeding nests before then moving off and canoodling one a nest platform elsewhere in the harbour….young lovers hey!

Harbour Update - posted 12/08/19

With the wind finally subsiding today it paved the way for more passerines to found around the harbour as well as a growing number of waders. At Sunnyside Farm the first Redstart of the autumn was in the hedgerow and at Lytchett Fields the first Yellow Wagtail was on the approach pools. Along the Turlin shoreline there was 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Whitethroat with another Garden Warbler at the PC World Drain. Up on Hartland 8 Wheatear were logged along with 2 Yellow Wagtail with cattle and several Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.  Also at Lytchett Fields were 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 5 Greenshank, c40 Common Redshank, 8 Dunlin, c40 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel. In Middlebere 1 Spoonbill was feeding and there were 4 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin and 20 Black-tailed Godwit out on the mud whilst female Osprey ‘Beaky’ caught a whopper of Grey Mullet and sat quite happily on the Middlebere nest platform whilst devouring it. There were 2 other Osprey out in the Wareham Channel at dawn which we think were CJ7 and LS7. On the Brownsea Lagoon there were 8 Spoonbill along with 1 Peregrine, 12 Avocet, 7 Greenshank and a smattering of Redshank, Dunlin and Oystercatcher.


Yellow Wagtail - Lytchett Fields 

Female Osprey 'Beaky' with huge Grey Mullet

Harbour Sighting - posted 11/08/19

Numerous Osprey sightings were logged across the Harbour today. At least 2 individuals were seen on the Middlebere platform today and another individual was recorded at Wareham. Other sightings from Middlebere channel include 11 Spoonbill (highest count so far this autumn), 20 Ringed Plover and 6 Dunlin.

Brownsea Lagoon, Holton Pools and Sunnyside Scrape are all areas that are asking for a thorough grilling through August and September. Lytchett Fields, another fine wader hotspot, produced 4 Ringed Plover, 67 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Greenshank, 6 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 10 Dunlin, 80+ Redshank, 50+ Lapwing and singles of Spotted Redshank, Whimbrel and Curlew.

At Brands Bay Great Crested Grebe numbers are building already with 24 present, also 3 Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpiper and 108 Curlew. 

A visitor to the BoPH HQ reported 5 Turnstone along the Quay. A wander along the Quayside can produce lovely views of these stocky, medium-sized waders from now onwards throughout the winter months.

Harbour Sighting - posted 10/08/19

A turbulent south-westerly wind persisted throughout the day. Despite the distinct lack of easterlies, a Curlew Sandpiper was recorded at Lytchett Bay along with a small Sand Martin passage and singles of Yellow-legged Gull, Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank and Whimbrel among the usual wader assemblage frequenting the Pools.

All 10 of the Harbour Spoonbill were seen at Middlebere along with a migrant Osprey, ‘Beaky’. This is the fifth consecutive day the large female has been seen around the channel. Outside of our recording area a Black Guillemot was collected by a local wildlife rescue service from Bournemouth Promenade. Following this unsettled weather, a scan of Poole Bay may produce a disorientated petrel or auk.

Harbour Sighting - posted 09/08/19

A very blustery day with SSW windspeeds of 18mph and rain showers coming and going, leaving us all a bit windswept! Lytchett Bay 41 Dunlin, 6 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank and a Garden Warbler.

Brownsea lagoon has a full count done which saw 1 Spoonbill 30 Common Tern, 1 Knot, 5 Greenshank, 56 Redshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Avocet, 103 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, 136 Oystercatcher, c22 Shelduck, 2 Moorhen juveniles, c40 Cormorant and the first of the autumn Ruff seen.

Over at Branksome Chine a keen birder was out sea watching and reported 3 Juvenile Kittiwake, 4 Common Scoter, c30 Gannet, 3 Dunlin and c50 Sandwich Tern.

10 Spoonbill landed at Middlebere this morning and a Peregrine was also seen.

Over on the Webcam at Holten Lee the Goldfinch were feeding in large numbers with 14 spotted in one sitting (some of which were juvenile). The resident Great Spotted Woodpecker also visited today.

An Osprey has been spotted at 11am on knarly trees with fish near to Coombe Heath, Arne. 

At Holton Pools there were Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Lapwing, Greenshank and Common Redshank on view. 

Harbour Update - posted 08/08/19

A more productive ringing session at Lytchett Heath this morning produced 61 newly ringed birds from a nice variety of passage passerines including Grasshopper Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Bullfinch. The highlight was a Belgian controlled Sedge Warbler to start the session.

‘Beaky’, the beastly migrant female Osprey, was once again observed feeding on the Middlebere platform, accompanied by 6 Spoonbill in the channel. With another 4 Spoonbill roosting on Brownsea Lagoon, that brings the latest total count to 10 individuals.

A Peregrine flushed the familiar wader assemblage at Lytchett Bay along with a single Wheatear on Sherford Pool.

Harbour Update - posted 07/08/19

Another smashing day at Lytchett Bay today with similar counts to yesterday; 22 Dunlin, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 10 Greenshank, 14 Green Sandpiper, 57 Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher.

Over at Brownsea Lagoon we have seen 5 Avocet, 2 Redshank and c50 Dunlin. The scrape at Sunnyside is getting more popular with a second Wheatear of the autumn seen and some Meadow Pipet movement.

Harbour Update - posted 06/08/19

A decent number of passage waders were recorded at Lytchett Fields this morning including 135 Redshank, 47 Teal, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Green Sandpiper, 17 Dunlin, 11 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper and singles of Spotted Redshank and Oystercatcher. Over on Brownsea Lagoon 8 Spoonbill were observed feeding/roosting and yesterday saw Peregrine take a Common Tern chick from the Island.

An un-ringed Osprey, probably ‘Beaky’, was caught on camera on the Middlebere platform this afternoon. ‘Beaky’, a large female, was previously observed feeding at the same location for a week back in May this year.

Harbour Update - posted 04/08/19

Yesterday was a Spring tide and with high waters clocking in at just after midday today a visit to Upton Country Park this morning (on a rising tide) produced 70+ Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, 3 Curlew, 20 Little Egret and 1 juvenile Water Rail.

One ringed Osprey, likely CJ7, was spotted near Wareham Forest this morning and another Osprey sighting was logged at Arne. A quick scan of Brownsea Lagoon with the webcam recorded 8 Spoonbill, 2 Avocet, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Curlew and larger flocks of Dunlin, Redshank and Cormorant.

Harbour Update - posted 03/08/19

A relatively quiet ringing session at Lytchett Heath this morning capitalised on the small Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Blackcap passage. Singles of Grasshopper Warbler and Garden Warbler were among the morning’s highlights. The appearance of 1 Great White Egret, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 Egyptian Goose provided additional excitement amongst the familiar waders frequenting Lytchett Bay. Nearby, a single Osprey was observed at Holten Lee before heading off towards the Wareham Channel.

Just South of our recording area a Pied Flycatcher was seen at Durlston Country Park – the Harbour’s first of the Autumn must be any day now. Returning to our recording area, a single Wheatear was recorded at Hartland Moor and 8 Spoonbill were seen on Brownsea Lagoon, equalling yesterday’s count.

Garden Warbler - Lytchett Heath


Sedge Warbler - Lytchett Heath 

Harbour Sightings - posted 02/08/19

A partly cloudy day in the Harbour with a High of 24°Cand Southerly 7mph winds. We have had reports from right across the harbour today starting with an Un-ringed Osprey catching a fish over at Middlebere. This will be the 3rdOsprey currently in the harbour. Over at Holten Lee Pools a Little Egret and Lapwing have been spotted and at Upton Country Park Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank have also been logged.

It been busy at Brownsea today with plenty of waders coming– c110 Dunlin, 8 Spoonbill, c10 Redshank and 12 Curlew. Last night 101 Redshank, 20 Common Sandpiper, 5 Avocet, 6 Ringed Plover and 157 Dunlin.

PC World Drain reported 10 Blackcap, 5 Willow Warbler and Lytchett Bay saw 2 Spotted Redshank, 28 Green Sandpiper (approaching the record), 6 Greenshank, 8 Common Sandpiper, 111 Redshank, 4 Dunlin, Whimbrel and Curlew.

Harbour Update - posted 01/08/19

Unlike the weather which quickly settled after the recent strong winds, it seems that yesterday’s Curlew Sandpiper on Brownsea Lagoon did not hang around. A scan around the Lagoon with the webcam today picked up 7 Spoonbill and a handful of Black-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper. Lytchett Bay remained bustling with waders including c40 Redshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpiper, 4 Green Sandpiper, numerous Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Stonechat. An additional 4 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 7 Lapwing and 2 Little Egret were seen on Holton Pools. A highlight from this afternoon proves it’s always worth having an eye to the sky as an Osprey and Hobby were seen circling over Wareham town centre.

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