Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Harbour Update – posted 17/05/24

Posted on: May 17th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another stunning day in the harbour once the bank of fog burned off this morning. This gave great, still conditions for another of our Morden Bog ID courses. Plenty of good birds to see and hear with 1 Cuckoo, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Nightjar ‘churring’ in the daylight, 1 male Redstart, 2 Yellowhammer and plenty of Darford Warbler spread across the site. Lots of White-tailed Eagle activity in the harbour with multiple sightings of the pair enjoying the thermals today including at Wareham, Ridge and Ham Common. 1 Osprey was in Lytchett Bay this morning.

More news from 5H1, the first returning wild fledged Osprey chick from the south coast population. She was captured on camera on a nest in the Usk Valley, south Wales at 12:48pm today. Another of our female Ospreys that has ended up in Wales! She is still a young bird and so this is quite typical behaviour, exploring far and wide and interacting with other Osprey populations that she may come across. Let’s hope she carries on travelling and makes it back to Poole Harbour!

Female Osprey 5H1 landing on a nest in the Usk Valley


Harbour Update – posted 16/05/24

Posted on: May 16th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Interesting record of a male Nightjar churring during the day on Lytchett Heath this morning. Nice to see Nightjar activity picking up – by early June it will be the perfect time to get out at dusk to listen to their displays on the nearby heathlands. 1 White-tailed Eagle was seen soaring high over Lytchett Bay, and there was also 1 Whimbrel reported in the bay.

We’ve just released our final batch of tickets for our Carey Osprey Tours in partnership with Careys Secret Garden, now running up until mid-July. You can find out more information and booking details here.

Harbour Update – posted 15/05/24

Posted on: May 15th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Absolutely fantastic Spring Safari Cruise this morning with the 2 White-tailed Eagles (G466 & G463) hunting in the Wareham Channel and successfully catching a Grey Mullet. While rising on the thermals, G466 was also mobbed by 2 Common Buzzard and 1 Red Kite, giving an awesome size comparison between the three species. The pair of Marsh Harrier were also active in the channel, and c.100 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel were making use of the exposed mudflats near Swineham on the low tide. Over on Brownsea Lagoon, along with the high numbers of Sandwich and Common Tern highlights included 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, 80 Oystercatcher and 2 Avocet. Also a nice sighting of a Yellow Wagtail on the Sherford Pools at Lytchett Fields this morning.

White-tailed Eagle G463 – Wareham Channel – Kate Plater

Harbour Update – posted 14/05/24

Posted on: May 14th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Momentous news today with 5H1, the first wild fledged Osprey chick from a nest on the south coast of England for 180 years, successfully returning for the first time! She was photographed this morning at 6:06am, meeting up with her father 022 on the Middlebere Nest Platform, which amazingly was the last place she was seen in 2022 before she left on migration. This is such fantastic news and now all we need is 374, another male from our translocation project to meet up with her. He was seen at Fishlake Meadows, Romsey on Saturday.

Plenty of Osprey action in the harbour with 1 bird possibly 5H1 being seen off Swineham Point later in the morning and an unringed Osprey in Brands Bay, Studland eating a fish on the muddy island with 5 Whimbrel also present. 3 Grey Plover were still in the lower Piddle Valley, north of Swineham gravel pit as well as c100 Black-tailed Godwit and a flock of c20 Dunlin and Ringed Plover. The Boneparte’s Gull was seen higher up the Frome Valley today at Holmebridge on the floods. There were 17 Bar-tailed Godwit at Whitley Lake.

5H1 and 022 (her father) on the Middlebere nest platform this morning!

Closeup of 5H1’s Leg Ring


Harbour Update – posted 13/05/24

Posted on: May 13th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Very limited sightings today with the rain pushing in late morning and setting in for the day. A small amount of spring wader passage still ongoing with 2 Grey Plover and 3 Whimbrel in Brands Bay. There was 1 Common Sandpiper on the Sherford Pools at Lytchett Fields and 1 adult plumage Grey Plover from the Rock Lea View.

Hobby – Morden Bog yesterday – Mark Wright

Harbour Update – posted 12/05/24

Posted on: May 12th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Fairly quiet today with most people out enjoying the sun, rather than birds. The White-tailed Eagle pair were in the Wareham Channel this morning before heading up the Frome Valley. In the Lower Piddle Floods there were still 5 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Greenshank. There was a 1st winter Little Gull on the Brownsea Lagoon. A female Pied Flycatcher was in a Parkstone garden this afternoon and Garden Warbler were logged at Ridge Wharf, at Bestwall and on Wareham Common. There was still a minor passage of Red Kite with 3 over Brownsea Lagoon, 2 over Oakdale, 3 over Upton and 2 over Hartland. There were also 2-3 Cuckoo and 1 Hobby on/over Hartland this evening.

Harbour Update – posted 11/05/24

Posted on: May 11th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

We’re sure you’ve all seen enough photos of the ‘Dorset Lights’ from last night, and if you managed to experience it, then good work….what a treat! The sun then rose this morning which led into another fine, bright, hot day with a few highlights but nothing as spectacular as lasts nights light show. Best from today was a new adult Little Gull on the Lower Piddle Floods which accompanied the 1st winter thats been present for several weeks, The floods also held 37 Little Egret, 1 Cattle Egret, 5 sum plum Grey Plover, 3 Knot, c100 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshank and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. At dawn there were counts made of 87 Reed Warbler , 24 Cetti’s Warbler & 7 Sedge Warbler plus 14 Reed Bunting. At RSPB Arne, an Osprey was seen from Middlebere along with 2 Red Kite. 

Little Gull – Lower Piddle Floods – Garry Hayman

Harbour Update – posted 10/05/24

Posted on: May 10th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

What another perfect day, which started off with a perfect new set of experiences for us from our Up with the Lark cruise this AM. With the cruise focusing more on bird song and bird sound today, the flat calm conditions and still weather allowed for sound travel perfectly across the water which peaked when the White-tailed Eagle pair flew across the Wareham Channel and landed in a tree close to the boat and started duet calling with one another. Despite many, many sightings over the years, we’ve never actually heard them calling to one another, so it was a blissful experience to be in the presence of this sound, with a boat full of equally thrilled guests. The cruise then continued and logged an Osprey, which looked to be the un-ringed male from recent days, whilst the reed beds were busy with Reed and Cetti’s Warbler. A few Grey Plover were on the RSPB Arne shorelines and there were 2 Ringed Plover in the mouth of the Frome. A Little Gull was on the Brownsea Lagoon, there were 3 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover and a Red Kite over Lytchett Fields. On the Lower Piddle Floods this evening the Little Gull was around again and a good haul of waders were logged with 3 sum plum Grey Plover, 10+ Ringed Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Knot. 

We apologise for yesterday’s sightings not appearing, but for some reason they didn’t upload?! Anyway, to catch up, there were 6 Ruff (including 2 breeding plum males) on the Lower Piddle Floods with the Bonaparte’s Gull still. Hobby, Red Kite, Osprey and a reported fly over Common Crane were all noted at Carey Secret Garden and the White-tailed Eagle pair were in the Wareham Channel at dawn.

Finally, we received some great news this evening that our 3-year old male Osprey, ‘374’ who arrived back on April 19th, but hadn’t been seen since, was photographed today at Fishlake Meadows in Romsey, Hampshire. This is brilliant as we were beginning to get worried about his whereabouts. As the Osprey fly’s, this is only about 30 miles from Poole Harbour, so there’s a good chance we may see him back again soon, hopefully adopting the nest platform he settled on last year.

Female White-tailed Eagle G466 from Up with the Lark Cruise this AM

Facebook post of 374’s appearance at Fishlake Meadows – Robin Pascal

Harbour Update – posted 09/05/24

Posted on: May 9th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Stunning conditions in the harbour allowing for some movement today. 1 Common Crane was reported flying over Careys Secret Garden, heading West. 6 Ruff dropped in to Swineham this afternoon in the Lower Piddle Valley which is still producing well with the Boneparte’s Gull and Little Gull still present along with 3 Greenshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover and c300 Black-tailed Godwit. 1 Osprey was seen interacting with 2 White-tailed Eagle at RSPB Arne.

Red Kite – Ballard Down – Nick Hopper

Harbour Update – posted 08/05/24

Posted on: May 8th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Another fine day with settled conditions saw breeding birds now getting into a rhythm and finding their voices. The House Martin colony at Frenches Farm, Lytchett Bay finally got round to nest building and were mud gathering in the SANG car park at Frenches Farm and a Spotted Flycatcher was along the lane leading down to Lytchett Fields. A Little Gull was on the Brownsea Lagoon and there are now 155 Sandwich Tern nests on the breeding islands. An un-ringed male Osprey was in Middlebere this afternoon and both White-tailed Eagles were in the Wareham Channel. Late news, the Forster’s Tern was seen at Shipstal Beach yesterday at RSPB Arne.

House Martin gathering mud – Frenches Farm – Lytchett Fields

House Martin gathering mud – Frenches Farm – Lytchett Fields


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