Poole Harbour sightings blog

A record of all interesting and notable sightings from around the harbour throughout the year.

Latest Sightings

Harbour Update – posted 21/02/2020

Posted on: February 22nd, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The day began with a Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl having a mini-bust up in Lower Frome Valley, near Swineham. A minimum of 8 Mediterranean Gull were recorded at Baiter this morning, along with a Common Gull. A walk from Knoll beach to Jerry’s Point, Studland offered views of a Mediterranean Gull, Little Egret, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Wigeon, 30 Oystercatcher, 5 Redshank, 3 Sanderling, 7 Turnstone, 4 Great Northern Diver, 15 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Great Black-backed Gull and 25 Brent Goose.

Mediterranean Gull – Baiter – David Foster

Harbour Update – posted 22/02/20

Posted on: February 22nd, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Very high numbers of Black-tailed Godwit (c.5000) on Brownsea Lagoon were reported from our harbour cruise, along with 50 Avocet, 60 Bar-tailed Godwit, c. 400 Dunlin, 60 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 40 Teal, 5 Grey Plover and 1 Peregrine. Sightings from the Wareham Channel included 500 Lapwing, 120 Curlew, 60 Canada Geese, 20 Greylag Geese, 30 Shelduck and 1 Green Sandpiper. Swineham produced 4 Common Snipe and 1 Water Pipit. 2 Great Northern Diver were also reported in the central harbour.

Reports from Poole Park included 12 Red-breasted Merganser and 10 Tufted Duck and Baiter park included 93 Brent Geese, 4 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Other highlights include a Merlin flyover Poole Quay, as well as a Great Northern Diver reported in Holes Bay South. It’s also worth having a listen to this lovely recording of a Little Owl calling at Holton Lee:

Harbour Update – posted 20/02/20

Posted on: February 20th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Some of the Black-tailed Godwit are beginning to show off their summer finery, with large numbers of birds still visible at Brownsea Lagoon on the high tide. A huge Lapwing count was recorded at Sunnyside scrape today, peaking at 356 individuals in the afternoon.

Fancy a day in with a good book during this bleak weather? We’ve got your birding material covered as the Lytchett Bay 2019 report is hot off the press! Check it out here.

Black-tailed Godwit transitioning to summer plumage – Brownsea Lagoon – Hamish Murray

Harbour Update – posted 19/02/20

Posted on: February 19th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Up to 11 Spoonbill were feeding out in the Wareham Channel today and a maximum of 4 Marsh Harrier could be seen along West Poole Harbour throughout the day. Other notable sightings include a Great White Egret frequented Ower Bay and a quartering ringtail Hen Harrier was seen near Hartland. The long-staying Holes Bay Scaup remain in the harbour, accompanied by a female Goldeneye, while a further 2 Goldeneye and 3 Red-breasted Merganser were present at Poole Park Boating Lake. The lake also offered superb views of Water Rail, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. Baiter park produced 37 Brent Goose, 48 Oystercatcher, 12 Turnstone, 1 Little Egret, 1 Great Crested Grebe, Pied Wagtail and several hundred Starling feeding in the field.

Great White Egret -Ower Bay – Shaun Robson


Harbour Update – posted 18/02/20

Posted on: February 19th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With such huge flooding in numerous river valley’s across the UK, it seemed a large proportion of the south coast Black-tailed Godwits have taken to residing on the Brownsea Lagoon with another Poole Harbour record broken today as c3900 were counted by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Later in the evening an amazing 3500-4000 gulls, mostly Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls came into roost just before dark, and another few thousand Black-headed Gull’s in Holes Bay south. With so many gulls visiting the harbour now and being late Feb, this is the best time to be watching out for scarcer species such as Iceland, Glaucous and Ring-billed Gull. Plus, it was Feb 2008 when a Franklin’s Gull was found in the Wareham Channel gull roost, so you just never know! In Holes Bay south 3 Scaup remained and on the main Poole Park boating lake the Water Rail was still showing well with the lower water levels.

Black-tailed Godwits – Brownsea Lagoon – Hamish Murray

Harbour Update – posted 17/02/20

Posted on: February 17th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today was a bit calmer now Storm Dennis has passed through the harbour. Few sightings to report despite the improved weather. A count on Brownsea Lagoon recorded 4 Mediterranean Gulls and 1 Spotted Redshank, amongst high numbers of Black-Tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Avocet. 2 Spoonbill were again reported roosting on Otter Island in Lytchett Bay this morning.

2 Mediterranean Gulls, Brownsea Lagoon – Martin Adams

Harbour Update – posted 16/02/20

Posted on: February 16th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Very limited coverage of the harbour today, unsurprisingly. An inclement visit to Baiter Park this morning offered 6 Black-tailed Godwit in with c300 Dark-bellied Brent Goose. With weather like this is hard to imagine the first migrant Ospreys arriving in just over a months time…

Look out for smart summer plumage birds (like this Cormorant below, photographed yesterday) as we slowly creep towards spring.

Cormorant – Poole Park – Phyl England

Harbour Update – posted 15/02/20

Posted on: February 15th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Storm Dennis battered the harbour today. Those who battled the winds enjoyed 2 feeding Spoonbill on the rising tide at Lytchett Bay this morning and a Firecrest sheltering in the nearby bramble at Turlin Moor Local Nature Reserve. The water levels were so high at Sunnyside scrape that a Cormorant was diving! Elsewhere, Baiter Park featured, c50 Oystercatcher, c30 Starling and c200 Dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Great Crested Grebe offshore. The Poole Park Water Rail made another appearance today.

Sunnyside “lake” – Jol Mitchell


Harbour Update – posted 14/02/20

Posted on: February 14th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A low tide visit to Jerry’s Point produced 5 Great Northern Diver, 8 Black-necked Grebe, 4 Slavonian Grebe, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 250+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 21 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Goldeneye and 800 Black-tailed Godwit from Brownsea. Other highlights from the area include numerous Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Sanderling, 2 Dartford Warbler and a Peregrine flyby. A Merlin stormed through Lytchett Bay View early morning. Another Merlin was perched on a post at Shipstal point, Arne along with 16 Spoonbill, 10 Pintail, abundant Wigeon and Shelduck and c.40 Brent Geese over. The drained Poole Park continued to draw in birds, today featuring the unusual sight of a Water Rail washing in a coconut!

Water Rail – Poole Park – Phyl England

Harbour Update – posted 13/02/20

Posted on: February 13th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Our Poole town birding walk experienced all weathers this morning. A drained Poole Park was carpeted with Black-headed Gulls amongst several Common Gull, Little Egret and numerous Redshank feeding near the islands. The boating lake also saw an increase in Red-breasted Merganser to 2 drakes and a female. Singles of Shelduck, Black-tailed Godwit, Water Rail and Rock Pipit were also recorded. Baiter Park offered superb views of Dark-bellied Brent Goose battling the winds alongside feeding Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit.

Quartering Marsh Harriers were recorded at Middlebere and Holton Lee. Middlebere also featured singles of Peregrine, Spotted Redshank, Hen Harrier (hunting over Slepe Moor) and a Firecrest by the sewage plant. An inundated Holton Pools held 1 Water Pipit, 1 Greenshank, 112 Redshank, 3 Shelduck, 1 Green Sandpiper, 21 Lapwing and a Snipe.

Poole Park (Drained)

Holton Pools Inundated (high tide) – Gary Hayman


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