October 2019

Harbour Update - posted 30/10/19

A very flooded Middlebere produced c400 Avocet, c500 Black-tailed Godwit, 76 lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper, 37 Curlew, 5 Spotted Redshank, 47 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 19 Pintail numerous Redshank and a male Marsh Harrier. A flock of 20 Fieldfare and hundreds of Starling were feeding among the surrounding hedges. A count of c150 Dark-bellied Brent Goose were recorded at the mouth of Middlebere Lake.

Lytchett Fields harboured a minimum of 3 Water Pipit, 2 Spotted Redshank, 103 Lapwing and 4 Tufted DuckA Firecrest was observed at Holton Lee today, while the Pools logged a single Green Sandpiper. Holes Bay South featured a Kingfisher early afternoon and a Grey Wagtail from the cycle path along Holes Bay East. A Black Redstart was reported on Brownsea Island this afternoon.

Harbour Update - posted 29/10/19

Sightings were a bit thin on the ground today, with Wareham Common and Swineham some of the few areas covered. The floods next to Wareham Bypass on Wareham Common held 2 Egyptian Goose and 163 Black-tailed Godwit. There was a Grey Wagtail at North Mill. On the Big Pit at Swineham there were 4 Pochard and 1 Pintail, but no sign of the Phalarope.

There was also no sign of the Phalarope on the pools, however, there were three species of wader on the Curlews Pool namely Lapwing 7, Curlew 10 and 4 Black-tailed GodwitOn Stilt pool there were 160 Canada Goose and a single Black-tailed Godwit.

Outside the recording area a Pomerine Skua flew past Durlston Country Park and a Hoopoe was also reported.

harbour sightings -posted 28/10/19

By far the most significant sighting today has been over 12,000 Wood Pigeon moving over the harbour, however this was halted when low cloud cover came in. Flying high over Brownsea c6000 were sighted whilst 2725w were seen over Lytchett around 09.20 and 7925 were also seen heading SW over Alum Chine Road between 07.15 and 09.00.  

A guillemot was also seen in Brands Bay, whilst a Firecrest was noted at Middlebere. A pair of Shoveler were also seen at Hatch Pond along with an increasing roost of 143 Magpie. Sunnyside is seeing a variety of species including a Snipe, 14 Lapwing and a Kingfisher.

There were plenty of Meadow Pipit seen at Holten Lee today as well as Little Egret. Clear visibility allowed sites of 2 Sandwich Tern and 2 Brent Geese over at Studland.

A count at Lytchett revealed 9 Avocet, 2 Dunlin, 7 Green sandpiper, 21 Lapwing, 8 Snipe, 120 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Greenshank, 100 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 34 Curlew, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Little Grebe.

Harbour Update - posted 27/10/19

A chilly high of 11°C and calm winds of 9mph brought a wintery crisp feel to the day today.  The Brownsea Lagoon webcam focused on a flock of c40 Avocet with most of them dispersing throughout the afternoon. Curlew, Grey Plover and Redshank were also present, and the Peregrine was back over on its usual island in the late afternoon.

Lytchett Fields recorded 1 Marsh Harrier and 3 Water Pipit were spotted from Frenches Farm viewing platform this morning.

The Coombe Heath hide at Arne provided views of c200 Avocet, flocks of Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon and Teal, all of which were spooked by a low flying Marsh Harrier along the Middlebere Channel.

Slepe Heath saw a flurry of Bird of Prey activity with 4 Marsh Harrier, 8 Buzzard and 1 Kestrel observed.  3 Raven, 1 Dartford Warbler, 4 Redwing, 8 Skylark, 1 Rock Pipit, c20 Meadow Pipit and 2 Lesser Redpoll were also logged at this location.

Swineham had a wide variety of species recorded today with 10 Bearded Tit over on the reeds, 3 Reed Bunting, 36 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 6 Great Crested Grebe, c100 Coot and 3 Marsh Harrier. A Phalarope (sp. presumed Grey) was also recorded at Swineham’s main Pit, whilst over at Swineham Scrape, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Lapwing, 2 Stonechat and 2 Curlew were spotted.  

Other notable sightings were a Hawfinch on the edge of Holten Heath, a lone Redshank on Holes Bay, 2 Nuthatch on the Holton Lee webcam and a Black Redstart visiting a garden feeder in Parkstone.

Harbour Update - posted 26/10/19

Not may reports trickled in today unsurprisingly - a miserable day all round! A visit to Middlebere produced small numbers. A total of 32 Avocet, 1 Curlew, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, c90 Teal, 40 Wigeon, 3 Pintail and 31 Canada Geese were recorded.

Many waders seemed to try and find some form of shelter on Brownsea Lagoon and a scan with the webcams revealed a large Avocet flock of c350 individuals. Black-tailed Godwit and common wildfowl were also numerous.

Harbour Update - posted 25/10/19

A relatively quiet ringing session at Lytchett Heath this morning produced an apparent Siberian Chiffchaff. Nearby, the ditch next to French’s viewpoint at Lytchett Fields has been cleared as part of RSPB management plan which has attracted in a good number of birds including the first Water Pipit of the season and 10+ Rock Pipit. A good size flock of at least 40 Fieldfare were observed along Arne Raptor Trail.

Tristis-type Chiffchaff - Lytchett Heath – Shaun Robson

Water Pipit - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 24/10/19

Highlights from a visit to Lytchett Bay on a falling tide included 73 Avocet and 2 Spotted Redshank. A single Black Redstart on French’s Fields was also of note. Large numbers of Black Redstart have arrived from Europe with sightings recorded across the South East and South West coast in the last 24 hours. Over at Hartland Moor a female Merlin and 3 Marsh Harrier quartering over the reeds.

A total of 8 Pintail were recorded at Middlebere, along with numerous Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit. A single Firecrest was knocking around a garden this morning in Wareham. A hours watch mid-morning from South Haven produced 38 Goldfinch, 126 Linnet, 9 Chaffinch, 3 Siskin, 5 alba Wagtail 5, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Skylark. Holes Bay harboured 21 Avocet, good numbers of Teal and Wigeon and Pintail, a single Yellow-legged Gull and several Water Rail calling into the afternoon sunset. Several Kingfishers were spotted around the Harbour with 2 near the cycle path at Baiter, 1 at Holes Bay and another at Holton Lee which was accompanied by singles of Greenshank, Little Egret and Marsh Harrier.

At Swineham there were Bearded Tits calling in the drizzle, Water Rail and a Green Sandpiper too. But at least a couple of Kingfishers showed themselves. Also 70 Lapwing, 1 Pochard and six Greylags on and around the main pit. 

Harbour Update - posted 23/10/19

A similar day to yesterday with 8mph ENE winds and a chill in the air with a max temperature of 13°C. A Spotted Redshank has been reported at Lytchett whilst a Black-necked Grebe at Studland, seen from Middle beach. Over at Middlebere a Great White Egret and 5 more Spotted Redshank were also logged here.

The Peregrine that spent the majority of yesterday perched in the large island in the Brownsea Lagoon also spent most of the day there again today. 1 Spoonbill sat amongst c8 Curlew and c30 Dunlin and c25 Black-tailed Godwit.

Late additional Sightings.....

Shell Bay; 11 Oystercatchers, 1 Ringed Plover, 20 Linnets, 4 Meadow Pipits, 3 Sandwich Terns.

Bramble Bush Bay; 12 Oystercatchers, 2 Black tailed Godwits, 1 Curlew, 2 Bar tailed Godwits, 2 Turnstones, 1 Little Egret, 7 Great crested Grebes, 1 Redshank.

On a sand bar off the houseboats; A further 22 Oystercatchers, 1 Brent Goose, 11 Ringed Plovers.

Jerry’s Point; 6 Oystercatchers, 3 Curlew, 12 Great crested Grebes, 5 Red breasted Mergansers, 1 Skylark (over).

Grebe Hide, Little Sea; 5 Great crested Grebes & Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers heard.

Middle Beach, Studland; 1 Black necked Grebe.

Middlebere; 6 Little Egrets, 319 Avocets, 4 Canada Geese, 30 Black tailed Godwit, 11 Redshank, 5 Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew, 3 Oystercatchers, 5 Pintail (3 males), 1 Dunlin, 1 Knot, 12 Grey Plover, 60 Wigeon, 302 Teal, 2 Herons, 6 Mallard, 1 Great white Egret, 8 Lapwing, plus, along the track 4 Mistle Thrushes & a mixed flock of 32 Redwings & Fieldfares, with a larger flock of 100+ seen from the hide over trees opposite.

Harbour Update - posted 22/10/19

A calm and quiet day out in the harbour with 7mph SE winds and not a great deal of sightings reported. The Brownsea Webcam recorded Avocet, Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank and various duck species including Teal and Shoveler. A Peregrine also spent the majority of its day sat on one of the islands surveying the area.

Lytchett Fields logged a Fieldfare whilst a Firecrest was caught at Arne.

Harbour Update - posted 21/10/19

Mid to late October is such an exciting time with the expectation of something ’juicy’ turning up and big numbers of birds on the move. Arne had a flavour of that excitement today with 5 Common Crane reported over Coombe Heath. There were also 3 Great White Egret in Middlebere and a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Arne car park. Also in Middlebere were c300 Avocet, c200 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Spotted Redshank, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 juv Spoonbill, 1 Firecrest and 1 Merlin. At Lytchett Fields there was a single Jack Snipe. In Broadstone another Yellow-browed Warbler was in Pine Springs Wood with a Long-tailed Tit flock. In Poole Harbour West there are now up to 6 Marsh Harrier in the Wareham Channel area along with a female Merlin near Swineham and a single Hobby remains over Arne Moors. Redwing were passing over last night along with Song Thrush and a few Fieldfare.

Harbour Update - posted 20/10/19

A good day for ducks on Brownsea Lagoon with, 5 Gadwall, 2 Wideon, 62 Shoveler, 210 Teal. 3 of the Spoonbill flock dropped in briefly in the morning but soon departed.   41 Avocet were dispersed across the lagoon and intergrated amongst the 40 or so Black-tailed Godwit. Also present were c 20 Curlew, 20 Redshank, 145 Dunlin, 14 Knot a Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine, who spent most of the day preening on one of the islands.

Visible Migration has finally picked up with counts from Ballard Down and South Haven. With a a cold Northerly wind on Ballard Down this morning a variety of species were logged including; 3 Brambling, 30 Redwing, 30 Song Thrush, 80 Pied Wagtail, 100 Linnet, 200 Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Bullfinch, 6 Reed Bunting, 9 Swallow, 200 Meadow Pipit, 17 Stonechat, 2 Wheatear, 11 Skylark and 15 Goldcrest...And at South Haven, Studland there 453 Goldfinch, 1 Brambling, 6 Lesser Redpoll, 199 Linnet, 3 Bullfinch, 30 Greenfinch, 2 Woodlark, 12 Reed Bunting, 5 Song Thrush, 16 alba Wagtail and 1 Swallow were logged. At Littlesea Studland there were 3 Great White Egret logged. There was also a Wheatear and 2 Turnstone recorded at Baiter Park.

Harbour Update - posted 19/10/19

With temperatures peaking at 14°C it has certainly felt like winter is on its way.  A 13mph WSW has brought through a few showery downpours too.

Scouting around the lagoon on the Brownsea webcam picked up 13 Avocet, Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Curlew and Redshank.

Over at Sunnyside 13 Lapwing, 1 Little Egret, Stonechat and 4 Linnet have logged whilst on Poole Quay the Kingfisher has been sighted again on the opposite side of the Quay to BOPH HQ.

Middlebere has seen big flocks with c1000 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Avocet, c40 Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal, Redshank and Curlew recorded. A spotter at Holton Lee also saw a Bearded Tit and a pair of Pied Wagtail and a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier from Holton Pools.

A Yellow-browed Warbler was also an excellent spot at Fleetsbridge. 

Harbour Update - posted 18/10/19

With torrential rain hitting the harbour throughout the day, birding was a tad tricky, but with a survey boat out this AM, we managed to avoid most of the down pours. Despite the rain there was a great selection of birds out around the harbour with a distinct wintery vibe kicking in. In the Wareham Channel off Swineham Point there was a flock of 10 Spotted Redshank, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 89 Dunlin, 82 Avocet, c1000 Black-tailed Godwit, 38 Spoonbill, 120 Lapwing, 3 Marsh Harrier and 1 Merlin. At Swineham a flock of c20 Bearded Tit were in the reedbed and on the gravel pit there were 110 Coot, 1 Pochard, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3-4 singing Cetti’s Warbler, 2-3 Rock/Water Pipit and numerous Reed Bunting. On the Swineham Scrapes 432 Canada Geese were settled with 8 Greylag Geese and 38 Curlew. Out in central harbour a flock of 520 sinensis Cormorant were feeding in a pack with 11 Sandwich Tern hunting above. Kingfishers were seen from Poole Quay and up the River Frome. The Brownsea Lagoon was looking good with 24 Grey Plover, c50 Knot, c100 Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, c50 Avocet, 12 Shoveler, 83 Wigeon and 1 Peregrine. Off Green Island there were 4 Red-breasted Merganser with another 2 in south deep and a second Great White Egret was in Newton Bay again. There are currently only around 30-40 Brent Geese back so far with another 10 off Studland Beach. A total of 10 Swallow went south low across the water near Hamworthy Beach and a few Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail were on the move before the rain kicked in. On the marina sea wall at Poole Quay 6 Ringed Plover were roosting on the high tide.      

Harbour Update - posted 17/10/19

Another successful School Bird Boat managed to miss the worst of this morning’s weather. After departing from the Quay, the sun soon appeared revealing 2 Great White Egret (one at Newton Bay and the other at Ower Bay) and 46 Spoonbill on Brownsea Lagoon, along with 4 Sandwich Tern and c50 Brent Geese.

A visit to Lytchett Bay on a rising tide produced c140 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 40+ Oystercatcher, 26 Curlew, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Dunlin, 10 Avocet, 21 Lapwing, 4 Greenshank, Teal and Wigeon. A handful of Snipe and 3 Rock Pipit were recorded on the saltmarsh.

Another Great White Egret frequented Middlebere today, accompanied by 2 Spotted Redshank and the more common waders and wildfowl assemblages. A Kestrel was seen hovering over Holes Bay NE this afternoon and a Great White Egret was seen going into roost at Littlesea, Studland. Shell Bay Beach was really flooded this afternoon too and hosted just singles of Sanderling and Ringed Plover. 

Raptors in the harbour are mainly sticking to the southern shores. There’s still currently no Hen Harriers settling here yet this autumn, but it could be because they’re all being slaughtered on the uplands further north, with news today that a 4th in four weeks has gone missing from a research program. It’s no wonder we don’t see the three, four or five roost sites that we did 15, 20 years ago. Things are a bit better for Merlin though with daily sightings around the Arne Moors/Swineham/Hartland area and there are still currently 4 Marsh Harrier about. At Swineham there were 30 Curlew on the new scrape along with c20 Black-tailed Godwit. Redwing and Song Thrush were on the move last night with the first decent wave of the autumn with peak passage between 10pm and midnight.

Harbour Update - posted 16/10/19

Baiter playing field provided great views to compare feeding Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed GodwitA visit to Hatch Pond this afternoon produced views of 11 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe and a single Gadwall.

A Great White Egret was spotted this morning at Newton Bay from the School Bird Boat along with a handful of Brent Geese arriving into the Harbour. PC World drain continued to hold the c20 Chiffchaff and 10 Goldcrest along with a flock of 20 Redwing over in the morning.

At Swineham, despite the drop in wildfowl numbers in recent years there seems to be an upturn recently with c200 Canada Geese today (excellent Sea Eagle food) along with c150 Coot, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 40 Wigeon, 73 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 flyover Spoonbill and a decent Starling murmuration of several hundred birds is beginning to form. Along the Wareham Walls a Wheatear was feeding and at Middlebere there were 300+ Avocet, 1000+ Black-tailed Godwit and building numbers of Pintail, Wigeon and a few Brent Geese were present. At Lytchett Fields a Ring Ouzel was flushed from the approach path and a Peregrine was in the dead trees on the edge of the fields.

At Baiter the first Brent Goose for the site was present mid afternoon along with 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 102 Oystercatcher, 27 Turnstone, 3 Rock Pipit and 2 Sandwich Tern. Whilst at Poole Park there were 2 Little Grebe, 25 Coot, 6 Sandwich Tern and a Sparrowhawk. At Shipstal, Arne only 40 Spoonbill were counted today. 

With no Osprey sightings today, could yesterday have been the depature date for the juvenile hanging around Holes Bay recently?

 Black and Bar-tailed Godwit - Baiter Park

Harbour Update - posted 15/10/19

The Osprey has been seen numerous times over at Holes Bay again today, settling on Pergins Island and circling the bay. A Peregrine, a Kingfisher and 2 Grey Wagtail were also spotted here.

PC World Drain has seen a nice variety of species with c30 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Kingfisher and 4 Goldcrest recorded. Baiter Park also had Black-tailed Godwit and Meadow Pipit Movement.

On Coombe Heath Trail (Arne) logged Black-tailed Godwit and Lapwing whilst over on the path to Middlebere; 7 Bullfinch, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Reed Bunting, increased Thrush numbers were observed.  55 Spoonbill were also recorded off of Shipstal and a Great White Egret seen at Middlebere.

A foggy start for the Brownsea Webcam but once cleared c20 Curlew, c30 Dunlin, Redshank, c50 Avocet, c20 Black-tailed Godwit were seen.

In Poole 2 Firecrest were at Constitution Hill Road viewpoint and on the Brownsea Lagoon 1 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 8 Greenshank, 4 Grey Plover, 6 Ringed Plover, 75 Avocet and good numbers of Common Redshank and Dunlin.  

Harbour Update - posted 14/10/19

Would you believe it…rain! It’s getting a bit boring now and we want those northerlies to kick in so the Redwing and Fieldfare can begin to arrive! The constant SW winds are certainly keep vis-mig migration at bay currently. That said, it seemed something tried to get going this morning with a number of Linnet and Meadow Pipit starting to move. At Lytchett Fields a single Spotted Redshank was on the fields along with 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 19 Common Redshank and 4 Grey Wagtail the highlights. At Holton Pools 3 Crossbill were in trees just behind the hide and at Fleets Corner c30 Chiffchaff were feeding in the Sycamores along the channel trying their best to look like a much rarer relative. In Brands Bay a single Osprey was present along with 1 Great White Egret, 3 Brent Geese and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Harbour Update - posted 13/10/19

A drizzly start to the morning but some afternoon sunny spells brightened up the afternoon today. Brownsea Lagoon recorded several wader species including c16 Curlew, c44 AvocetBlack-tailed GodwitDunlin and Redshank and several duck species including TealShoveler and Wigeon.  

Merlin was seen chasing Meadow Pipit at Middlebere whilst over at the hide a Great White Egret, c350 AvocetBlack-tailed GodwitGrey Sandpiper, 4 Spotted Redshank, 19 Lapwing, 8 Swallow, 10 Pintail and abundant and Teal and Wigeon were spotted.

A sea-watcher at Branksome Chine saw 6 Manx Shearwater, 2 Juvenile Kittiwake and a Gannet, whilstthe Osprey that has been spotted this week is still on Pergins Island, Holes Bay. The Peregrine has also been spotted at Asda (Holes Bay).

Not a lot recorded at Lytchett Fields with only a Redwing logged. 1 Mediterranean Gull and 218Oystercatcher at Baiter Park today.

A Merlin was seen chasing starlings at Swineham Point and plenty of Black-tailed Godwit were feeding on the Frome and Piddle Flood plain. Sunnyside Scrape has very high water levels with TealGadwall, 2 Little Egretand 5 Blackcap.

Harbour Update - posted 12/10/19

It’s been a bit of a rainy one again so we didn’t have loads of sightings come in today, though we had some excitement with a Grey Phalarope feeding for most of the day on Brownsea Lagoon, along with 2 Curlew Sandpiper still and including the other regular waders and wildfowl.

We’ve had sightings of Little Egret from the Quay, Brownsea Lagoon and Middlebere, as well as a Great White Egret at Lytchett Fields and another in Brands Bay.

At least one Osprey is still present in the harbour, with a sighting in central Poole Harbour from the Brownsea boat and over Holes Bay again.

A low tide count at Lytchett Bay saw 77 Avocet, 152 Wigeon, 4 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 100+ each of Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and 1 Peregrine.

Great White Egret - Lytchett Fields - Ian Ballam


Harbour Update - posted 11/10/19

Yet again, Holes Bay delivered on Osprey sightings. Today a single bird was observed on Pergins Island early afternoon. A wet and windy trip along Hamworthy beach this afternoon produced a feeding flock of 33 Turnstone and 5 Oystercatcher.

Spotted Redshank frequented Holton Pools today along with the more common waders. Brownsea Lagoon featured good numbers of waders and wildfowl. Highlights included a flock of 80+ Avocet with several feeding very close to the hides with GreenshankRedshankTeal and Shoveler.



Harbour Update - posted 10/10/19

Sunny spells turned into dark clouds over the harbour this afternoon with WSW winds producing 26mph gusts. An Osprey spotted on Pergins Island, eating a fish, around 11.45, Holes Bay. Brownsea Webcam recorded Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew.

A Wheatear was spotted on the Quay, Harbourside path and over at Sunnyside a Lapwing and a Little Egret were recorded. C32 Spoonbill are still being logged near to Shipstal Point.

Harbour Update - posted 09/10/19

Our second School Bird Boat of the winter took place this morning and they were lucky enough to see an Osprey circling right over the boat off Shipstal Point, Arne. A further 3 Osprey were also recorded over at Lytchett Bay so potentially 4 in the area currently. Also spotted from the boat was a flock of 55 Spoonbill at Middlebere and a Red-breasted Merganser in South Deep. Also, at Lytchett Bay, a ringing session this morning produced small movements of Goldcrest, Reed Bunting, Blackcap and Cetti’s Warbler. Lytchett Fields also recorded singles of Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit, along with 2 Greenshank.

A good variety of wader species were logged at Brownsea Lagoon this morning with 83 Avocet, c80 Black-tailed Godwit, c12 Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Dunlin and 1 Spoonbill. Wildfowl numbers are still high with Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal recorded. A Peregrine spent most of the day sat on the back wall of the lagoon surveying the area for unsuspecting prey.

Sunnyside produced a single Firecrest, whilst at the Quay several Swallow flew right over our office. Middlebere was also bustling with c350 Black-tailed Godwit, c150 Avocet, c50 Redshank, a Great White Egret, Lapwing, Teal and Wigeon. A Sparrowhawk was logged at PCW Drain and a Marsh Harrier was seen at Holton Pools in the afternoon.

Sparrowhawk - PC World Drain - Ian Ballam

Harbour Update - posted 8/10/19

A blustery day in the Harbour today with some showery downpours in the afternoon. Brownsea Webcam recorded a lovely flock of c24 Avocet and a Great Egret. Also present were c16 Curlew, c30 Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit flying in and out throughout the day.

A ringing session by the Stour ringing group at Lytchett Fields this morning logged a stunning 40 Bearded Tit in addition to 3 Cetti’s WarblerReed BuntingGoldcrestChiffchaff and Reed Warbler.

This morning an Osprey has been spotted over Holes Bay again heading towards the Twin Sails bridge and out into the Harbour.

A male and female Merlin were perched together Hartland Moor at midday and a Hobby was also spotted high over the Scotland Farm area shortly after. An adult male Marsh Harrier was also recorded alongside a sub-adult. Another Marsh Harrier was seen hunting over the fields at Holton Lee this morning.


Harbour Update - posted 07/10/19

A bit quiet today due to the weather but the harbours and the county’s first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autimn was found in the PC World drain, viewed from the KFC car park looking back across the channel. Also there 20+ Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap and 5 Goldcrest. At Lytchett Fields there was a late Yellow Wagtail also 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 9 Greenshank and c200 Teal. In Lytchett Bay there was a single Spoonbill. In Holes Bay an Osprey was seen briefly in the northern section. A night sound recording session just north of the harbour produced 8 Redwing calls, 17 Song Thrush calls and 1 Robin.

Harbour Update - posted 06/10/19

A Survey boat departed this morning and meandered down the Wareham Channel logging a plethora of species. Highlights included huge wader numbers comprised of 1874 Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Curlew, 7 Whimbrel and 16 Avocet among others. Other notable sightings include 11 Cetti’s Warbler, 4 Brent Geese, 240 Wigeon, 36 Teal, 48 Little Egret, 6 Greylag Geese, 2 Sandwich Tern, 240 Black-headed Gull and singles of Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gull, Snipe and Greenshank. Hirundine passage continued to trickle through with a splattering of Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin sightings. Additional sightings from Swineham include 197 Coot, 1 Pochard, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 9 Gadwall, 5 Little Grebe, 2 Ruff and 22 Lapwing.

Our second consecutive Osprey watch morning at Holes Bay came up trumps again with an un-ringed juvenile Osprey fishing over the bay, attracting a crowd of 50 or so onlookers. Feeding flocks of Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher were also observed along with Black-headed Gull, Wigeon, Teal, Kingfisher, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Grey Wagtail.

Last night our sound recording equipment was set up in the Corfe Castle Gap and identified 21 Song Thrush, 8 Redwing, and singles of Brent Goose, Oystercatcher and Moorhen. Sunnyside recorded passage Goldcrest and Blackcap whilst Lytchett Fields there were 15 Spoonbill, singles of Hobby, Whinchat, Grey Plover and 5 Bearded TitThe max Spoonbill count was recorded at over, logging a flock of 50 individuals. 

A juvenile Honey Buzzard was logged over the Piddle Valley late afternoon and another Osprey was in Brands Bay too. Around Swineham/Piddle floods there were 2 Ruff, 22 Lapwing, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Common Snipe.

Osprey - Holes Bay South - Fiona Liddiard


Harbour Update - posted 05/10/19

A spontaneous Osprey Watch Event at Holes Bay this morning was a great success with many people enjoying views of an Osprey successfully hunting over the Bay. After serval failed attempts the bird caught a fish and carried its prey to feed on Pergins Island. Feeding flocks of Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher and Redshank were also seen along with numerous Great Crested Grebe and Kingfisher sightings. Studland Bay has logged the first returning Black-necked Grebe for the winter. Two individuals were recorded as well as 5 Brent Geese and 35 Mediterranean Gull.

Brownsea Lagoon offered wonderful views of feeding waders including 19 Curlew, c36 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Avocet, 1 Merlin on the tern islands and a Peregrine. The Grey Plover are now frequenting Arne after arriving on Brownsea Lagoon late-September. Other species recorded on the reserve included Curlew, Lapwing, Avocet, Redshank, Dartford Warbler, and several passage Swallows. A female Goshawk was logged over Wareham Channel, coming in from the Frome over to Giggers Island. A large female was recorded over Slepe Heath recently on the 13th September. A pair of Marsh Harrier were also observed over Gigger’s Island. The Swineham Cattle Egret was still present at Gravel Pits today and the juvenile Spotted Redshank was again observed on Lytchett Fields.

Due to the success of our Pop Up Osprey Watch along the Holes Bay cycle path, c700m north of Asda this morning we plan to run it again tomorrow from 9am to 12pm. We will have scopes on binoculars set up ready so please join us if you can!

Merlin - Brownsea Lagoon - Derek Morgan

Harbour Update - posted 04/10/19

A dry start to the day quickly turned into a wet afternoon with 20mph WSW winds and light rain.

An Osprey was spotted just off of Cobbs Quay, diving in and catching a fish only to be followed shortly after by a second individual who also caught a huge fish, what a fantastic sight for this time of year. There was also a Common Redstart along the main footpath at Holes Bay.

28 Spoonbill and a Marsh Harrier were recorded in the Wareham Channel.  Another Marsh Harrier was also seen over at Holten Pools along with Greenshank and a Wren. A Ringed Plover was also seen with several Dunlin at Baiter Park.

Large numbers of c16 Goldfinch were visiting the feeders today along with the regular Great-Spotted Woodpecker.

Duck numbers are on the increase at Swineham with 9 Pintail in amongst a mixture of Gadwal, Wigeon and Teal. Numbers of Duck are also increasing at Brownsea Lagoon with Teal and Shovler amongst the variety. c12 Curlew, several Dunlin and Redshank also present.

Common Redstart - Holes Bay cycle path - Rene Goad

 Osprey in Holes Bay south - Paul Morton

Harbour Update - posted 03/10/19

A flock of 20+ Bearded Tit was recorded in the reedbeds between Pools Field and Lytchett Bay along with a single Marsh Harrier. A Peregrine bombing through Lytchett Fields flushed a lone Bar-tailed Godwit and newly arrived juvenile Spotted Redshank. A probable Merlin was also seen flying west across the Wareham by-pass early afternoon.

Holes Bay remains the place to see Osprey at the moment! This morning saw 3 different individuals over the Bay, a brilliant total for one place in early October! A glimpse of the disturbed gulls from Poole Quay warranted a quick scan with the binoculars and produced another Osprey soaring over the boat yard heading west towards Wareham Channel.

Holes Bay also harboured 1 Kingfisher, c400 Wigeon and 1 Brent Goose, an unusual sighting as Studland Bay typically hosts early returning birds in October.

Harbour Update - posted 02/10/19

Today we took out our first School Bird Boat of the winter and we were lucky with the weather, having only 6mph winds for a calm and pleasant cruise.  An Osprey was spotted first thing flying directly over the Birds of Poole Harbour Office. 4 further Osprey were recorded with 3 together at Holes Bay and 1 seen at the same time close to the boat, resulting in an unusually high number for this time in the year. Also recorded from the boat were 2 Peregrine, c30 Spoonbill, c50 Avocet, 4 Sandwich Tern and 6 Dark-bellied Brent Geese. A Wheatear was also seen at Holes Bay.    

Brownsea Lagoon was flourishing today with a variety of species recorded including 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Spotted Redshank, 14 Knot, 12 Greenshank, 52 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Ringed Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 1 Sanderling, c12 Curlew, 2 Kingfisher, 3 Firecrest and a Cetti’s Warbler (a rare sighting for Brownsea).

At Greenlands Farm there was a single Whinchat, 6 Wheatear and plenty of Chiffchaff. We also carried out our first night ringing session of the autumn in the south of the harbour which resulted in a handful of Common Snipe seen (1 caught and ringed) and a single Jack Snipe seen. 

At Middlebere there were 24 Wigeon, 800+ Black-tailed Godwits , 300+ Avocet, 4 Redshank, 9 Shelduck, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Spotted Flycatchers around the barns along with 10+ Chiffchaff. 

Harbour Update - posted 01/10/19

The miserable morning weather didn’t put off some, birding from a vehicle at Baiter Park produced a reasonable Turnstone flock of c20 birds around the slipway, also 4 Ringed Plover and the first 2 Rock Pipit of the autumn. A minimum of 5 Marsh Harrier were seen quartering along the Wareham Channel once the heavy showers passed this morning. Hyde’s Heath featured 3 Hobby chasing one another and another individual was spotted amongst the hirundine flow on Hartland Moor. A juvenile Peregrine was perched on a gatepost towards the Ridge end of the Moors and a single Osprey was observed crossing the Channel from Middlebere.

An Osprey was seen hunting over Lytchett Bay this morning before landing in tree and being mobbed by a Magpie. Meanwhile Lytchett Fields recorded 2 Knot and c15 Black-tailed Godwit. The several Grey Plover that arrived on Brownsea Lagoon recently were still present.

 Turnstones - Baiter Park

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