Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Harbour Update – posted 17/06/22

Posted on: June 17th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A stunning evening to be out last night running our Slepe Heath Nightjar walk which featured star appearances from White-tailed Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Dartford and Willow Warblers, 2 Cuckoo, 3 Glowworm and incredible Nightjar activity! We still have availability on our Nightjar walks running every Thursday evening through June & July… Find out how to join us here. More Nightjar activity continued into this morning when a male flew across the footpath before landing on a dead gorse branch at Lytchett Heath. Lytchett Bay also logged its first juvenile Lapwing of the year on the Fields this morning.

Nightjar (male) – Slepe Heath Nightjar Experience Walk


Nightjar (male) – Lytchett Heath – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 16/06/22

Posted on: June 16th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another very warm day, with the sightings highlight being a Honey Buzzard reported over Rempstone Heath this afternoon. At Lytchett Fields this morning, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine and 1 Cuckoo were seen. Having evaded us on most boat trips this month, White-tailed Eagle G801 was seen flying low over the Wareham Channel from Keysworth to Arne shortly before midday.

If you want to make the most of the muggy weather, we are running a Nightjar Walk at Slepe Heath from 8pm this evening, which still has some availability. Tickets can be booked here.

Mediterranean Gull (taken 14th June) – Hamworthy – Ian Julian

Harbour Update – posted 15/06/22

Posted on: June 15th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another stunner today, with the heat seeing female Osprey CJ7 sheltering her two chicks from the heat for most of the day, providing an essential Osprey shaped area of shade within the nest. The chicks are growing so fast and are now easily visible on the NEST CAM, especially when a food delivery is made. A Summer Safari Cruise headed out this morning and were treated to multiple Marsh Harrier sightings with the regular 2-3 mooching around the Swineham Point area. Up to 5 Bearded Tit were seen flying around the reed beds in the mouth of the Frome and both Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting were the most notably audible bird species singing. The Brownsea Lagoon had a combined total of 37 Shelduck ducklings, shared between 3 pairs. Also on the Lagoon were newly hatched Oystercatcher including a slightly older chick on the Seymers shoreline on the Brownsea North shore. The Dorset Wildlife Trust counted 135 Sandwich Tern chicks on the breeding islands which is an excellent total compared to last year.

Sandwich Tern colony – Brownsea Lagoon – Nicki Tutton

Harbour Update – posted 14/06/22

Posted on: June 15th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We apologise for the late post of yesterdays sightings, but we went on a day trip to the amazing Dyfi and Glaslyn Osprey Projects to get a feel for how other Osprey projects interpret and educate folk on Ospreys (and other birds of prey) conservation. Firstly, if you’ve never visited please do. Both set ups provide incredible views of nesting Osprey and the landscape and scenery are breathtaking. It’s certainly given us a few ideas on what things could look like here in the harbour over the next few years.

Regarding sightings, our Puffin Cruise on Monday evening produced a minimum of 4-5 Puffin off Dancing Ledge, a decent movement of Guillemot and Razorbill back and fourth off the cliffs at Durlston and Dancing Ledge, several Fulmar and only 1 Gannet. The simultaneous sunset and moonrise was amazing too, finishing off what was a perfect mid-June boat tour. A Honey Buzzard was seen just outside the recording area over Church Knowle and the over-summering drake Wigeon was still on the Upton CP shoreline. Also, great work to Upton County Park for their new Bird Screen/Hide which has now finished being installed. The park has missed having a hide for years so it’s great to now have one back at a site that sees so many families and visitors visit each year.

Common Guillemot – Durlston Head – Clare Slade

Puffin – Dancing Ledge – Clare Slade

Puffin – Dancing Ledge – Clare Slade

Sunset over Old Harry

Moonrise over Poole Bay

The new Upton CP ‘Lookout’ – Shaun Robson

The new Upton CP ‘Lookout’ – Shaun Robson

Harbour Update – posted 13/06/22

Posted on: June 13th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Very few sightings to report today, though hopefully our Puffin and Seabird Cruise this evening will be fruitful! 1 Spoonbill was reported in the Middlebere Channel again today, viewable from Coombe Heath. 1 Hobby was seen flying amongst a group of House Martin in the Piddle Valley this afternoon. The 2 Osprey chicks are growing rapidly, showing much more strength and even displaying their rudimentary “wings” to the camera today. The size difference between the two is noticeable, particularly as the older chick has progressed further with moulting their downy-feathers making it appear darker, which will be matched by the other in the next few days.

If all the current Osprey excitement wasn’t enough, we’re also hosting a talk with expert Alan Poole this Thursday 16th evening, “Ospreys: Revival of a Global Raptor”. The talk is free to watch, though donations are welcomed, but booking is essential and can be completed through our website here.

CJ7 (left) and 022 with both chicks


Cuckoo – Middlebere yesterday evening – @birderOtbt

Harbour Update – posted 12/06/22

Posted on: June 12th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A decent day, with more sightings logged today than in previous days. This morning male Osprey 022 was seen hunting in the Wareham Channel at 6am, and then again later in the afternoon. Sadly he didn’t appear during our first ‘Summer Safari’ boat tour this morning but we did get lots of decent views of the local Marsh Harriers, as well as 2 of the Common Seal that reside in the mouth of the River Piddle. At Swineham a few Bearded Tit were in the reedbeds off Swineham Point and there were multiple Reed Bunting on territory along the river, most in full song. A Red Kite drifted west over Keysworth and there were 2 Spoonbill in Middlebere. As the tide dropped up to c40 Shelduck were feeding on the mud in the Wareham Channel and a Green Sandpiper was in front of the Middlebere hide. At Lytchett Fields there were 3 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Ringed Plover with an increase in Lapwing with 9 now present and up to 23 Gadwall with another 18 on the Brownsea Lagoon. A drone filming Power Boats leaving Poole Quay annoyed the local Oystercatchers with 4 attacking it over the Quay Marina and a new nesting Oystercatcher was found as we passed one of the large barges moored off Hamworthy Beach, with an adult settled on 2 eggs on some old concrete! Last night a Tawny Owl visited the Osprey nest, looking quite interested in CJ7. Luckily she didn’t flush and the chicks remained safe. The 2 juv Peregrines were still looking content on the Barclays building.

Oystercatcher on Hamworthy barge – Clare Slade

Tawny Owl visits Osprey nest  last night

Harbour Update – posted 11/06/22

Posted on: June 11th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

This wind is due to die down over the coming days and next week is looking like it could be the first ‘scorcher’ of the year with temperatures reaching 27 degrees. This will be a great Nightjar week as the warm muggy nights will get lots of insects active and really see Nightjar activity increase with intense territorial displays. In Middlebere 3 of the over-summering Spoonbill were feeding in front of the hide and 2 Hobby were over Slepe Heath again. There was Cuckoo calling at Swineham and plenty of Reed Warbler still singing away. We’ve also been getting some nice data regarding an area in teh harbour that has seen the hatching of 7 Lapwing chicks this spring which are all progressing well.

Lapwing chick – Poole Harbour south

Harbour Update – posted 10/06/22

Posted on: June 10th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A blustery day with few sightings reported. Male Osprey 022 was seen fishing in the Wareham Channel this morning, in the mouth of the Frome and 2 Hobby were high over Arne Moors. A Little Ringed Plover was night sound recorded over the Lower Piddle Valley two nights ago.

Harbour Update – posted 09/06/22

Posted on: June 9th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There were more small waders on the Shell Beach shoreline this afternoon including 35+ Sanderling and a few Turnstone and Dunlin. There were 3 Marsh Harrier in the Wareham Channel with 8 Great Crested Grebe on the water. Just outside Poole Harbour in Swanage an adult Rose-coloured Starling was in a private garden. There doesn’t seem to have been a UK influx (yet) of this species, unlike the last couple of years, but the fact one has made it to Dorset shows one could turn up anywhere and with Starling flocks already beginning to build as post breeding groups start forming, then seeing a bright pink imposter amongst them during the rest of June doesn’t seem too far fetched.

Turnstone – Shell Bay – Phyl England

Sanderling – Shell Bay – Phyl England

Harbour update – posted 08/06/22

Posted on: June 8th, 2022 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was good to see that the two remaining juvenile Peregrines on the Barclays balconies this morning after the sad news the other day that the third flew into an office window and died only hours after fledging. The two remaining chicks look to be doing well and hopefully will stay out of trouble for a while and successfully fledge. A Quail was flushed from a meadow in the Lower Piddle Valley around lunchtime and White-tailed Eagle G801 was still in the Wareham Channel mid-morning. There were 2 winter-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit on the Arne shoreline and 2 winter-plumaged Turnstone on the Brownsea Quay beach. Having not been reported so far this spring it was good to hear of 2 Yellowhammer at Challow Hill, Corfe and in Corfe village there were no less than 15 Common Swift flying around.

Yellowhammer – Challow Hill

Stonechat – Challow Hill

Call 01202 641 003