Harbour Update – posted 19/01/20

Today’s update is a special one as we’ve just begun collating all of the data from our Big Poole Harbour Bird Count. Firstly, to anyone that was out today and have sent us their sightings a huge thank you is in order. We’re still early on in collecting data but it seems like we had some excellent coverage today with practically the entire harbour surveyed at some point over the course of the day. Plus, what a day to be out with the sun shining, a light frost on the ground and hardly a breath of wind. We hope that if you were out that you enjoyed your day and it inspires you to be a lot more come wind, rain or shine!

Now, with so many people out there counting and looking and surveying properly it was always likely a good few species would be logged along with decent totals recorded. We haven’t started analysing the data yet but below are a list of highlights from throughout the day. The official totals will be ready in the coming weeks once we’re happy we’ve received all counts and we can begin making sense of it all! So, if you were out today and you havn’t sent in your records yet please email them to

Here we go…from Jerry’s Point there were 2 Long-tailed Duck, 6 Great Northern Diver, 4 Slavonian Grebe, 9 Black-necked Grebe and 11 Goldeneye. In Holes Bay SE 5 Scaup were found and in the Piddle Valley 2 Goosander were on the river just north of Wareham water meadows. In total 4-5 Marsh Harrier were logged in the Wareham Channel and a single Hen Harrier was logged a few times during the day. 2-3 Merlin were counted including one that came into the harbour at dawn through the harbour mouth. Off South Beach 4 Common Scoter were logged and 13 Black-necked Grebe were off Middle Beach. A preliminary count of Great Crested Grebe came to 239 but counts from other areas haven’t been added yet and the same goes for Red-breasted Merganser which totalled 255. In total 2 Siberian Chiffchaff were logged (Wareham Common and PCW Drain). We also need to look at all the data for Great Northern Diver but currently the count is 17 different individuals and 2 Red-throated Diver were counted off Branksome chine. At Little Sea, Studland 2 Great White Egret were logged. Pochard just about made it onto the list with 2 on Swineham and between 15-20 Bearded Tit were at Lytchett Heath, Lytchett Bay. In total 3 Jack Snipe were logged (1 Baiter, 2 Lytchett Bay) and 4 Water Pipit were also at Lytchett Bay. Only 2 Woodcock were counted on Hartland with a further 4 at Studland. The Black Brant was found off Goathorn and in Rempstone 16 Crossbill were seen. Barn Owls were seen at Bakers Arms and on Slepe Moor and the Little Owl at Holton Lee was voval at sunset. At dawn c65 Shag entered the harbour mouth. Blackcaps were recorded in several gardens. Sandwich Terns were noted off South and Shell Beach and a massive roost of c5000 Black-headed Gulls were settled on the water off Hamworthy Beach. There were plenty of other highlights over the course of day including Spotted Redshanks, good counts of PintailKnot and Sanderling, numerous Peregrine sightings, drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers and singing Song and Mistle Thrush suggesting that despite today being a winter survey……spring is only just around the corner.

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