September 2019

Harbour Update - posted 30/09/19

Today started fine and ended not so fine….torrid in fact. Still, there’s still a good suit of birds across the harbour. Ospreys are clinging on perhaps into October with 1 at Lytchett Fields, 1 at Middlebere and 1 in Holes Bay NE. The Brownsea Lagoon looked prime for a rarity but sadly it wasn’t to be but there was still a great range of species with 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 916 Oystercatcher, 1 Spotted Redshank, 9 Greenshank, 4 Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 113 Avocet, 336 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 121 Redshank, 4 Knot, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Peregrine. From dawn there was another big push of Swallow, House Martin and Chiffchaff with a good number of Blackcap on the move too. At Middlebere/Hartland there were 12 Wheatear. In the Wareham Channel 3 Marsh Harrier were active flushing the masses of gulls that were out feeding on the flooded fields and 36 Spoonbill were feeding there too and a Cattle Egret was on the Swineham floods again. Marsh Harrier were also at Middlebere and Lytchett Fields. Kingfishers are putting on a good show at Sunnyside and Holton Pools currently and tomorrows forecast looks as if it could bring the first Redwing of the autumn with northerly winds late tomorrow night.

Curlew - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 29/09/19

The recent heavy rain led to very high water levels observed across the Harbour. The ephemeral water bodies can draw in large numbers of wildfowl and waders, making for great birding spectacles. Sunnyside attracted 42 Mallard and 9 Gadwall, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Sedge Warbler and a Kestrel. Swineham and Bestwall also experienced flooding and new Swineham scrapes along the Two-Rivers walk look fantastic with a pair of Wheatear, 6 Cetti’s Warbler, 17 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Peregrine, 1 Hobby and a passage of Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin all observed. The gravel pit featured 130 Coot, 20 Gadwall, 70 Cormorant. Numerous Black-headed & Lesser Black-backed Gulls, c50 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Curlew and c40 Lapwing frequented Lower Piddle flood fields.

At least one Cattle Egret was present in the flooded fields between River Frome and Bog Lane along with abundant hirundine movement, 15 Lapwing and 12 Mute Swan. 2 Marsh Harrier were spotted at Holton Pools this afternoon. Lytchett Fields harboured great species diversity racking up totals of 2 Osprey, c150 Black-tailed Godwit, c120 Redshank, 26 Dunlin, 6+ Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and a single Ruff.

Harbour Update - posted 28/09/19

Middlebere Channel was bustling with activity today, clocking up totals of c300 Avocet, c50 Black-tailed Godwit, 58 Shelduck, 6 Curlew, 2 Common Tern, 1 Whimbrel, Kingfisher, 2 Buzzard and a Peregrine. A Hobby was seen over Hartland Moor and an unringed adult Osprey was also spotted fishing over the channel before heading towards the Wareham Channel. A second unringed Osprey (juvenile) was observed around in Brands Bay and showed to within 40m of the hide.

Large mobile flock of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit flying up from the salt marsh at Middlebere today. Disturbed by a raptor- Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Hobby were hunting along the channel. A large Swallow and House Martin passage was recorded through Sunnyside this morning.

Lytchett Fields featured 12 Dunlin, 9 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, numerous Redshank and several Black-tailed Godwit. A Common Crane was also seen over the Fields, along with 2 Osprey and singles of Peregrine and Marsh Harrier. An unusual visitor to Brownsea Lagoon was captured on our webcam - 4 Peacock spent the morning roaming around.

Peacock - Brownsea Island

Harbour Update - posted 27/09/19

The strong westerlies today may seem a little disruptive (with boat trips to Brownsea Island cancelled) but the conditions also make for excellent birding opportunities. Outside of the Harbour’s recording area a Sabine's Gull was observed off Hengistbury Head and a Long-tailed Skua from Mudeford, Christchurch.

Scarce migrants are certainly passing through the harbour, so now’s a great time to check a local patch! Osprey continue to pass through the Harbour with sightings coming in from Lytchett Bay, Holton Pools and Shiptal point, Arne. The individual at Lytchett was first spotted in a dead tree opposite French’s Viewpoint. Other notable sightings at the site included 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ruff, 4 Green Sandpiper, 4 Greenshank, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Sparrowhawk.

5 Turnstone and a single Swallow was recorded at Sandbanks while a Marsh harrier was seen hunting over Slepe Moor this morning. The Poole Harbour Spoonbill flock continues to build, today recorded the highest count of the autumn with 50 individuals logged at Shipstal, Arne.

Marsh Harrier - Slepe Moor - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 26/09/19

A blustery day in the harbour again today but not much rain so conditions were a little better for birding. Over on the Brownsea Lagoon c100 Redshank, 14 Curlew, 2 Avocet, 2 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 Peregrine, 4 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, c10 Pied Wagtail, c200 Teal and 1 Brent Goose were recorded along with c40 Cormorants .

With a very high tide 1 un-ringed Osprey was seen over at Lytchett Fields and another at Holton Pools, likely the same late migratory individual that was there yesterday. Also at Lytchett Fields was a late Juvenile Common Tern, 1 Ruff, 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, many Meadow Pipits, a lone Lapwing and a Grey Wagtail.

There were 2 Hobby around Middlebere plus single a Spoonbill and Whimbrel together with 250+ Avocet. And also 3 Hobby, a single Woodlark and 1 Marsh Harrier from Hyde's Heath.

It seemed there was a massive Meadow Pipit movemnet going on this morning with parties overhead and out on short pasture across the whole harbour.

Over at Swineham a Female Merlin was seen chasing down Meadow Pipits and Starlings. 5 Yellow Wagtail and c50 Black-tailed Godwit were also logged. Movements of c40 Meadow Pipits were also coming in off of Branksome Chine.

The birds are starting to get more confident with the bird feeders at Holten Lee after being absent for a few weeks.  A male Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Robin, a Blue Tit, several Goldfinch and a Chaffinch have been seen on the Holton Lee Webcam.

 Osprey - Lytchett Fields

 Common Tern - Lytchett Fields

Harbour Update - posted 25/09/19

Another overcast day today with 30mph gusts providing some unpleasant sea conditions. Some nice sightings today with Lytchett Fields recording pairs of Marsh Harrier and Spotted Redshank along with c75 Redshank, 3 Common Snipe, 7 Pintail, 4 Green Sandpiper and a single Ruff. Middlebere had 2 lovely flocks of Avocet feeding again, several Black-tailed Godwit and a Peregrine chasing down a Lapwing at speed.

On the Western side of the harbour 4 Marsh Harrier, 3 Hobby and a Merlin were seen in addition to an Osprey over Arne. Baiter Fields saw 2 Black-tailed Godwit amongst c300 Oystercatcher. Holes Bay recorded 2 Black Swan, likely to be the pair often seen in Wareham river. Upton Heath logged it’s 3rdWheatear of the season.

Harbour Updated - posted 24/09/19

A wet and windy day with just a few breaks in the cloud to allow for some sightings. Lytchett Fields recorded 2 Ruff, 6 Spoonbill, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Dunlin, 8 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, c10 Black-tailed Godwit, c10 Wigeon, c300 Teal and a Peregrine.

Over at Holes Bay a c40 Teal, c40 Wigeon, several Shoveler, 3 Curlew, c30 Redshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and a good record of a Curlew Sandpiper was logged from the stone Bench.

Brownsea Lagoon has been quiet recently with only 5 Avocet, c20 Black-tailed Godwit and numerous Shelduck being the highlights today but the high water levels on the lagoon haven't helped. A likely Hen Harrier was also seen on the edge of Slepe Heath and up to 3 Hobby were again active over the heath. In Middlebere a winter scene was beginning to develop as a flock of c300 Avocet fed out in the channel and Teal and Wigeon numbers increased as a juv Marsh Harrier quartered above.

Avocet Flock - Middlebere 

Harbour Update - posted 23/09/19

It’s always worth doing a sea watch if possible during September and especially with a strong southerly wind. A quick check off Branksome Chine this afternoon produced Poole Harbour’s 4th only record of Sooty Shearwater late afternoon. It arrived in from the east and did a couple of lengths of the waterline before being lost to the mist. There wasn’t much else moving other than a few Sandwich Tern and Gannet. In Whitley Lake, 28 Sandwich Tern were roosting on the jetty pylons of East Dorset Sailing Club. Off Knoll Beach another Brent Goose had arrived and an Osprey was again seen hunting in Lytchett Bay before the wind and rain kicked in. On Lytchett Fields there was a single Curlew Sandpiper also 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ruff, 3 Ringed Plover, 12 Greenshank, 446 Teal and 24 Dunlin. On Holton Pools Greenshank and Kingfisher were seen from the hide along with 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine. At Baiter 31 Turnstone and 8 Ringed Plover were on the beach and a light passage of House Martin flew along the quay front at dawn.

Over the weekend the first wave of Yellow-browed Warbler hit the east coast, so it won’t be too long before the first Dorset/Poole Harbour record appears….we just need the forecast SW winds to ease off now and swing the other way.

Sooty Shearwater - Branksome Chine - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 21/09/19

Today saw the last of the fine weather before a shift towards heavy rain and strong westerly winds. Osprey are still being logged about the harbour, particularly around the northern bays of the Harbour. However, Osprey sightings are likely to thin out come the changes to weather conditions. As well as featuring the migrant Osprey, Holes Bay harboured c200 Black-tailed Godwit, c180 Wigeon, 3 Knot, single Yellow Legged Gull and large flocks of Redshank and Curlew. A high tide at Lytchett Fields this morning produced 3 Spoonbill, 2 Spotted Redshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 4 Wigeon, 6 Yellow Wagtail with cattle. A Total of 37 Dunlin were flushed by a Peregrine hunting in the Bay, with 80+ Cormorants and a Little Grebe also observed.

 A fine spread of waders was also recorded at Middlebere Channel including singles of Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover, as well as c550 Black-tailed Godwit, c60 Avocet, 1 Whimbrel, 20 Knot, 15 Dunlin, 3 Pintail and Spoonbill. Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and 2 Marsh Harriers also made appearances. Hobby were recorded from Ridgewarf and Slepe Heathamongst a flock of c100 Swallow.

Harbour Update - posted 20/09/19

With the howling south-easterly wind that had built by mid-afternoon it made birding a tad tricky however Osprey continue to be seen at several sites. It really has been one of the best Osprey autumns on record with a likely three different birds still in the harbour with 2 juveniles in and around the Holes Bay area/Lytchett Bay area and an adult at Middlebere. Spoonbill seem to be multiplying by the day with 42 now in the harbour with the entire flock feeding out in the Wareham Channel on the low tide this morning. Also out in the Wareham Channel were c50 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 8 Knot and a huge number of gulls also 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Peregrine. At Swineham the Cattle Egret was again in the fields behind Curlews Cottage. At Holton Lee 2 Spotted Flycatcher were out on the heath with another 2 at the PCW Drain. At Lytchett Fields 2 Ruff, 8 Dunlin and 2 Greenshank were feeding. From the ‘Stone Bench’ at Upton CP 503 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Teal, 4 Shoveler and 2 Pintail were counted.  Just outside the harbour a White Stork was reported flying over Sturminster Marshall.

Adult Osprey - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 19/09/19

Migrant Osprey continue to frequent the Harbour with an unringed juvenile observed over Lytchett Bay, Holes Bay and Brownsea Island by the afternoon. Holes Bay NE bird activity continues to build on the low tides day on day with c500 Black-tailed Godwit present surrounded by 203 Wigeon, 2 Knot, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Yellow-legged Gull and a surprisingly low Redshank count of only 8 individuals logged. Singles of Kingfisher and Wheatear were also recorded within the Bay. Other passage migrants found across the Harbour include Whinchat and Wheatear on Nine Barrow Down.

A Marsh Harrier was seen quartering over Lytchett Fields this morning, flushing the waders and gulls present. Pintail are slowly building in numbers too, with 11 eclipse males recorded over Middlebere Channel this morning and a Great White Egret was located in Bramble Bush Bay early morning, before flying over to Brownsea Island north shore.

Pintail - Middlebere - Simon Kidner

Harbour Update - posted 18/09/19

There was no sign of yesterday’s Common Crane at Keysworth today. However, a single Cattle Egret was with a herd on Arne Moors and 22 Spoonbill were observed in the channel early morning. West Poole Harbour also produced 4 Marsh Harrier, 1 Osprey and 2 Hobby – a fine morning for birds of prey. Osprey were also logged several times over Lytchett Bay and Holes Bay today with 2 individuals recorded in the morning and an additional sighting in the afternoon.

PC World Drain contained a splattering of passage migrants including several Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher. Large Black-tailed Godwit movement was seen moving from Wareham Channel direction towards Holes Bay totalling 800+ birds. Godlington Heath picked up a single Hobby hunting and Red Kite passing over while over on Brownsea Island 2 Curlew Sandpiper were observed late morning.

Spotted Flycatcher - PC World Drain - Ian Ballam


Harbour Update - posted 17/09/19

Keysworth shoreline, Wareham Channel this morning produced a welcome vagrant to the Harbour - Common Crane. One individual was observed mid-morning along with trios of both Marsh Harrier and Hobby. With populations increasing in Eastern and Central-Southern England it's no surprise we're seeing more records of Common Crane in the harbour in recent years. The previous record was earlier in the year (January 8th – 29th) with the bird commuting regularly between Middlebere and Hartland Moor.

There was no sign of the recent Little Ringed Plover or Little Stint at Lytchett Fields today, but the 2 Ruff remained present. A brief visit to Holes Bay NE on a rising tide this morning produced 124 Wigeon accompanied by c800 Black-tailed Godwit and singles of Kingfisher and adult Yellow-legged Gull. A nice mixture of migrants also frequented Baiter Beach with 2 Wheatear, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Ringed Plover and c30 Turnstone all logged this morning.

Brownsea Lagoon harboured 5 Avocet, 15 Dunlin, 5 Shelduck, 10 Shoveler, 63 Cormorant, 36 Spoonbill, 5 Little Egret, 11 Greenshank and 5 Redshank. Migrant Osprey were also observed over Greenslands, Studland and Lytchett Bay.

Holton Lee Pools; 1 Little Egret, 2 Black Tailed Godwit & an Osprey over the bay.

Middlebere;58 Avocets, 272 Black tailed Godwits, 1 Hobby, 1 Curlew & a heavy passage of Swallows & House Martins.

Wytch Channel; 36 Mallard, 8 Black-tailed Godwits & more Swallows & House Martins.

In the field between Middlebere Farm & Wytch Channel; 9 Stonechats, 2 Meadow Pipits, 2 Whinchats & a flyover Yellow Wagtail.

Harbour Update - posted 16/09/19

It looked as if it could have been a good ‘fall’ morning with low cloud cover and a light northerly wind but sadly it wasn’t to be. There was still a nice variety of species logged from across the harbour. At Little Sea, Studland a Great White Egret was seen leaving the heron roost. At Lytchett Bay 2 Osprey circled together around lunch time and another was seen in Middlebere. There were 2 Hobby seen in Middlebere with 1 Marsh Harrier and c60 Avocet and another Hobby seeing off a Buzzard in the Piddle Valley where a Green Sandpiper was on the river. On the Brownsea Lagoon it was reported that up to 38 Spoonbill were present. In the PCW Drain 1 Whitethroat and numerous Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were feeding in the blackberry bushes. At Lytchett Fields the Little Stint was still present along with 2 Ruff and the Little Ringed Plover also a decent count of 56 Yellow Wagtail. On Poole Quay the first Kingfisher of the autumn was present on the quay front, hopefully several more will join it over the coming weeks.

Harbour Update - posted 15/09/19

Another great day for birds of prey in the Harbour following the Goshawk sighting two days ago. A total of 3 migrant Osprey were observed enjoying varied success fishing. Towards Arne Moors 3 Marsh Harrier were logged while 3 Hobby (including 2 juveniles) were seen on the wing over Slepe Heath. A Peregrine Falcon was also located perching on the ASDA supermarket overlooking Holes Bay. Holes Bay is beginning to bustle with activity day on day featuring a minimum of 500 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Great White Egret, 4 Knot, 17 Little Egret, and c78 Wigeon along lower numbers of Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Cormorant, Common Gull, Kingfisher and a flock of 16 Goldcrest.

Although fewer hirundines were observed today compared to the previous few days, the recent passage continued throughout the day with good numbers of Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin recorded over the River Piddle near Swineham.

Lytchett Fields logged several species of passage passerine including Wheatear, Whinchat, Whitethroat and several Spotted Flycatcher. The first Wigeon have returned to Lytchett Bay with a flock of 10 arriving today, accompanying the 2 Ruff still present. Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit are also beginning to return to the Harbour in numbers for the winter with at least 50 and 110 individuals observed respectively at Arne today.

Harbour Update - posted 14/09/19

With mild 5mph winds it’s felt warmer than the high of 19°C in the Harbour today. There has been a continued passage of Meadow Pipit and Hirundines (Swallows, Sand Martin and House Martin) passing over the harbour in large numbers.

Spectators at Holten Lee were lucky enough to watch 2 Osprey hunting over the pools and 2 Marsh Harrier were also quartering over the area.  Osprey were also logged at Middlebere and Lytchett Fields. Singles of Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and some Greenshank 3 Whinchat and a pair of Ruff were also seen at Lytchett Fields.  

Brownsea Lagoon is seeing increased numbers of Autumn waders with 29 Spoonbill, c45 Avocet, 32 Greenshank recorded in addition to 4 Little Egret, a Green Woodpecker and several Shoveler.

A Cattle Egret is still present over at Swineham in addition to a Sedge Warbler, Reed Warblers, Chiffchaff and Swallows. A Merlin was also recorded flying over Lytchett Matravers.

Harbour Update - posted 13/09/17

What a day to be out and about with a high of 22°C and a warm NNE 12mph wind, perfect conditions for a Poole Harbour bird survey to be conducted.

Some of our team spent the day out on a survey boat around the harbour including a trip up the Wareham River and then over to Brownsea which saw an excellent range of species and autumn migration in full swing. The highlight in terms of a visual spectacle was the constant passage of Meadow Pipit, Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin that pulsed north for the majority of the day. Over the hours we were on the boat several thousand must have passed through the harbour, which was an incredible sight to see. There seemed to be plenty of other birds on the move too with numerous Wheatear in open pasture fields and Chiffchaff abundant in hedgerows. There were plenty other highlights from across the harbour too with a large female Goshawk seen over Slepe Heath, a Great White Egret at Lytchett Bay and a Cattle Egret on the Swineham floodplain. An Osprey passed very close to the Survey boat at the mouth of the Frome and one caught a fish in Lytchett Bay and headed over Holton Lee. A mixture of 18 Pale Bellied and Dark-Bellied Brent Geese were also recorded in Ower Bay, on the South side of the Harbour which is a great early autumn count.

The Spoonbill were seen early over at Shipstal Point, Arne with 22 recorded and 30 were later seen back at Brownsea Lagoon. Also seen at the Lagoon were; c400 Oystercatcher, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Avocet, 5 Little Egret, 30 Spoonbill, 4 Greylag Geese, c20 Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Whinchat and 1 Peregrine.  Over Arne Moors 2 Marsh Harrier were logged with another in the mouth of Middlebere.

A fair amount of activity at Lytchett Fields with 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Little stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Wheatear, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Marsh Harrier logged. 

Holton Pools saw WhinchatWheatearStonechatMarsh Harrier and Kingfisher whilst Yellow Wagtail were seen heading over Poole Quay and Swineham GP.

Along numerous sandy shorelines around Arne and Furzey Island migrant Bar-tailed Godwit hunkred up with the roosting Oystercatchers and Great Crested Grebe numbers are increasing with a raft on 35 in Brands Bay.

With ESE winds forecast over the weekend the harbour will surely offer another mouth watering array of birds, so don’t start that long over due painting or decorating just yet and make sure you get out there and explore. Its perfect conditions for a Wryneck or Red-backed Shrike to drop in so don’t leave any bush un-checked because you never know what you could find.

Cattle Egret - Swineham - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 12/09/19

PC World Drain was swimming with migrants passing through with 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Common Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap, c10 Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest. However, Lytchett Fields was the day’s talking point which featured a Black-winged Stilt observed briefly on Sherford Pool before heading towards Holton Pools. The last sighting in the Harbour dates back to May 2016 at the same location! The site also exhibited a respectable mixture of migrant waders including singles of Little Stint, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, a pair of Ruff and 14 Greenshank. A Marsh Harrier wasalsoseen quartering around Middlebere this morning.

The Osprey migration season is now winding down with the final individuals still drifting though. A single Osprey was spotted today over Holes Bay. However, never fear as the summer migrants are leaving us the winter migrants are just warming up. Numbers of wildfowl in Holes Bay are really beginning to build.

Harbour Update - posted 11/09/19

A wonderful array of waders and new wildfowl arrivals were observed at Holes Bay today. The star of the show was undoubtedly the Little Stint, a rare bird for the Bay! A grand total of 637 Black-tailed Godwit, 155 Redshank and 54 Curlew were all observed along with smaller numbers of Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Knot and Oystercatcher. Wildfowl numbers are increasing across the Harbour, and the same proved true for Holes Bay featuring 4 Pintail, 3 Shoveler, 49 Wigeon, 164 Teal, 1 Gadwall and 20 Mallard. And if that wasn’t enough species for you, a migrant Osprey was seen fishing in front of Stone Bench successfully catching a fish after four failed attempts.

Lytchett Fields also harboured its own fine selection of notable sightings including 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, and singles of Whinchat and juvenile Peregrine. The wintering Spoonbill flock is slowly building with 25 individuals was recorded from Shipstal Hide, Arne this morning and the colour-ringed White Stork was still present at Sunnyside along with 2 Wheatear.

Harbour Update - posted 10/09/19

Although yesterday’s Little Stint did not hang around, Lytchett Bay once again featured impressive species diversity with singles of Spoonbill, Wheatear, Great White Egret, Curlew Sandpiper, Knot, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper all observed. Other migrants present include pairs of Ruff, Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit as well as 8 Greenshank, 2 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, Spotted Flycatcher and Whitethroat.

The Sunnyside colour-ringed White Stork was still present today. While over on Brownsea Lagoon notable sightings included 1 Spotted Redshank, 23 Avocet, 27 Spoonbill, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and 17 Curlew. Hartland Moor also received its fair share of passage passerines logging Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Whitethroat and Wheatear.

Harbour Update - posted 08/09/19

The rain today downed a nice selection of waders at Lytchett Fields including the autumns first Little Stint, along with 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 10 Ringed Plover, 9 Dunlin, 1 Common Snipe, 9 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, c50 Black-tailed Godwit, c80 Common Redshank, 6 Lapwing, 1 Curlew and 1 Oystercatcher, along with c100 Teal and 52 Yellow Wagtail this morning! Around Poole there were c15 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover at Baiter and lots of Swallow feeding over the playing field and in Holes Bay NE the Wigeon count went up to 38 with 1 Common Sandpiper there too, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c100 Black-tailed Godwit and c50 Redshank. There were 23 Spoonbill at Arne with another 3 on Brownsea and 1 in Middlebere. Along the track at Middlebere were Common Whitethroat, Wheatear and several Blackcap. The Knepp White Stork was still at Sunnyside and the Holton Lee Little Owl was active at dawn.

Harbour Update - posted 09/09/19

A calm day out in the Harbour today with 8mph winds and 19°C highs. Brownsea Lagoon recorded  12 Spoonbill, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 4 Sanderling, 2 Knot, 4 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin, c40 Redshank, 1 Avocet, unusually on its own, 3 Greenshank and a Water Rail was heard calling. On the heath on Brownsea there was 1 Pied Flycatcher, 14+ Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, 8 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 15 Chiffchaff and 6 Willow Warbler.

The White Stork was been seen again at Sunnyside Scrape along with 3 Wheatear, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Spotted Flycatcher and Gadwall. Over at Holten Lee, unusually, a Canary was photographed but an adult.Osprey flew over mid morning with a big Mullet.

Several Osprey sightings today with an individual spotted eating a fish near Salterns Marina and another, likely to be a juvenile practicing fishing, was seen over the Wareham Channel. Another sighting was of an individual at the East lake on Brownsea and then drifting towards the Brownsea Lagoon and a forth record came in from Swineham with an unringed individual flying over the Gavel Pits towards the Channel. Also seen at Swineham were 2 Hobby, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Yellowhammer, 4 Blackcap and Reed Bunting.

Holes Bay recorded 33 Curlew near Peregrins Island, c1000 Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher.

Harbour Update - posted 07/09/19

The colour-ringed White Stork was still present on Sunnyside today. Few other birds are frequenting the scrape and a fox was observed prowling around early morning. Low wader numbers were observed at Lytchett Fields this morning despite the favourable water levels. Singles of Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper were all recorded along with 11 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 32 Redshank, 2 Spoonbill, 2 Yellow Wagtail and c200 Teal.

Middlebere featured the first returning Pintail for the winter. A total of 3 eclipse males were logged together with 13 Spoonbill, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Avocet, 18 Yellow Wagtail. A grilling of Holes Bay this afternoon produced 11 adult Yellow-legged Gulls at Holes Bay, mostly loafing on the rooftops by Kerry Foods. A reasonable selection of passage passerines were observed at Hartland Moor including 3 Common Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, 10+ Chiffchaff, 10+ Blackcap and singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart and Wheatear.

Ruff - Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam



Harbour Update - posted 06/09/19

A windy start to the day has seen gusts of 19mph and a high of just 18°C. Over at Sunnyside Scrape a White Stork was strutting about, which is one of the recently released birds from the Knepp Estate translocation project. Also there was a Hobby which took a meadow pipit on the ground and several Yellow Wagtail overhead. At Lytchett Fields a Wryneck was seen a couple of times briefly on the approach track down to the viewpoints, but darted into cover both times and couldn't be relocted. Out on the fields were 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and the usual spread of commoner waders. A Hobby was chasing a lone Swallow over Wareham Town Centre this AM and 3 Marsh Harrier including the really dark juvenile left the West harbour roost and a fourth flew over at dawn. 

Sightings were limited on Brownsea with just 4 Black-tailed Godwit and large numbers of Oystercatcher but an Osprey did fly over.  Bog Lane/ Frome Flood fields logged a collection of 13 Lapwing and a pair of Buzzard. A Marsh Harrier was seen cruising at Middlebere, along with a Green Sandpiper. Little Egret and Spotted Redshank were recorded at Holten Pools and at Baiter Park; c30 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, c30 Turnstone, 2 Wheatear (1 juv), 4 Meadow Pipit and a Sandwich Tern. Finally Holes Bay recorded 27 Wigeon and a Wheatear. 

Finally, some sad, but great news......ALL OUR OSPREY CHICKS HAVE LEFT! We received a final signal at 9:15am yesterday morning from chick 019, and by 11:30am there was no signal at all, meaning that the final six left yesterday morning. We'll write a full 2019 overview in due course but to know they've now all left (apart from poor 025 which was predated by a Fox just days, maybe even hours before leaving on migration), and are all heading south for their first winter in Africa is such a great feeling and we really can’t now wait until spring 2020 to see what exciting updates follow.

White Stork - Sunnyside Farm - Nick Mudge

Harbour Update - posted 05/09/19

A Cattle Egret spent the day sulking about the River Frome Flood Fields, Wareham accompanied by 13 Lapwing (4 immatures). A White Stork drifted south-west over Corfe Castle late-afternoon. Middlebere featured c40 Yellow Wagtail and a modest selection of waders totalling 1 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Green Sandpiper and 1 Hobby.

A similar wader assemblage from yesterday was on show at Lytchett Fields today with highlights of 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Knot and 3 Ringed Plover. A stunning dark form Marsh Harrier was also quartering the fields this morning, observed at Middlebere yesterday. Sunnyside also picked up a Marsh Harrier and a pair of Wheatear.

Harbour Update - posted 04/09/19

Today’s blustery weather has seen 17mph winds from the west, with birds getting blown about by the occasional strong gust here and there. Brownsea Lagoon has recorded 1 Shovler, 8 Curlew, 3 Little Egret, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and large numbers of Oystercatcher, c400, again.

It’s been quiet over at Lytchett Fields on the low tides, only recording 1 Ruff early this morning but on the high tide 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 5 Dunlin, 126 Redshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 14 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c40 Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Lapwing and c150 Teal were present

At the Coombe Heath hide a fair few Birds of Prey reporting 1 Osprey, 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzard, a Peregrine and also 40 Dunlin. Middlebere recorded a Juvenile Marsh Harrier and 35 Knot and over at Sunnyside Scrape a Green Sandpiper was spotted.  Holes Bay also logged 2 Knot and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Over at Studland a Pied Flycatcher, 22 Mistle Thrush, 17 Stonechat, 1 Redstart and 4 Chiffchaff were logged.

Mistle Thrush - Studland 

Pied Flycatcher - Studland  

Harbour Update - posted 03/09/19

A mostly cloudy day today with a high of 20°C. Brownsea Lagoon has seen a variety of species  including; 22 Spoonbill, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Avocet, 7 Greenshank, 12 Dunlin, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Peregrine, Redshank, c3 Curlew and 1 Kingfisher.

A Great White Egret was seen at Brands Bay and 37 Yellow Wagtail with the cattle by the road to Stoborough

An Osprey fishing, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Hobby, Green Sandpiper, 1 Whimbrel, a Yellow Wagtail were logged  in the Wareham Channel and Lytchett Bay recorded 3 newly arrived Cattle Egret, fresh in from somewhere, 8 Spoonbill, 4 Curlew Sandpiper and a Knot whilst over at Lytchett Fields a Ruff was seen.

At Middlebere there were 2 unringed Osprey and 2 different Marsh Harrier.

2 House Martin, 1 Swift, many Sand Martin and a few Swallow were all seen at Swineham Gravel Pit whilst 1 Whinchat and 8 Stonechat were seen in Fields near Swineham Farm.

Unusually A flock of 17 Grey Heron were moving down the Piddle from Carey in the direction of Swineham and the Harbour.

Harbour Update - posted 02/09/19

There was a definite cold, crispness to the air this morning, with more than just a hint of autumn creeping in. More arrivals included 30+ Wigeon in Holes Bay, 21 Turnstone on Baiter and c75 Avocet on the Brownsea Lagoon heralding the start of colder days yet to come.

Yesterday’s sunny sky and gentle breeze was also all it took for some of our juvenile Osprey from this year’s project to up and leave with the sighting of 022 from our Osprey cruise being the last sighting of him before he headed south for the very first time. Other departures have included chicks 015, 016 and 018 meaning it won’t be long now before all of this years birds move on. A very sad but also very rewarding time. We’ve also seen our happy couple CJ7 and LS7 leave, with no sightings since late on Aug 28th meaning they probably left early on the morning of Aug 29th . We really do wish them both well and look forward to their safe return next spring!

There was plenty more on offer today including a rich looking Lytchett Fields which saw 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 12 Knot, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Ruff, 12 Greenshank, 264 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Green Sandpiper, 4 Ringed Plover, 100+ Redshank, 40+ Lapwing and 3 Spoonbill, along with 2 Marsh Harrier and 1 Kingfisher. At the PC World Drain there were c15 each of Blackcap and Chiffchaff with 1 Common Whitethroat. On the Brownsea Lagoon the Spoonbill count had reached 25 and there was an adult Peregrine there. Marsh Harrier numbers keep increasing/decreasing regularly with a new bird in today that joined the (current) resident male and female, but some recent newbies have moved on already. In Middlebere an Osprey was very active hunting, catching a fish close to the Middlebere hide before taking it to the nest platform and a flock of c300 Black-tailed Godwit were spooked by a Peregrine.

Wheatear - Coombe Heath - Rene Goad

Harbour Update - posted 01/09/19

Today marked the last of our Osprey cruises for 2019 - and it didn’t disappoint! A total of 4 Osprey were frequently observed across the Wareham Channel, including 3 of our 2019 translocated juveniles. The trip concluded with a scan around Brownsea Lagoon producing 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 24 Knot, 1 Turnstone and 47 Avocet.

Sunnyside scrape is beginning to establish itself as a fruitful wader spot with today’s sighting of a Wood Sandpiper and 5 Yellow Wagtail. Middlebere was again a focal point of the day’s Osprey action, logging numerous sightings by midday. A Peregrine was also observed over Middlebere, flushing the c100 Black-tailed Godwit frequenting the channel.

Autumn continues to progress with 21 newly arrived Wigeon in Holes Bay along with 2 Greenshank. A visit to PC World Drain produced 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Chiffchaff. In the early hours of this morning, nocturnal recordings at Corfe Gap logged a small Ringed Plover flock heading towards Harbour while at Lytchett Fields a single Wheatear, 2 Tree Pipit, 7 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Curlew Sand, 2 Turnstone, 12 Ringed Plover, 2 Spotted Redshank, 12 Dunlin, 10 Greenshank, also Wheatear and Whinchat were observed at Lytchett Fields.

Ringed Plover - Calls of night migrants over Corfe Castle - 01/09/19 @ 4:32am 

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