Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Harbour Update – posted 12/02/2020

Posted on: February 12th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With spring just around the corner, we’ve started to see Red Kite, with 1 seen over Holes Bay heading towards Lytchett Bay today, and later one 2 seen in Lytchett Bay. They are only a passage migrant here in the harbour, peaking in numbers in late April/early May. The 4 Scaup (1 male, 3 females) are still present in Holes Bay. From the bird boat, the highlight was 2 Great Northern Diver in the North Channel of the Harbour. Jerry’s Point was fruitful again today, with 2 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe and 2 Black-necked Grebe and another sighting of the Black-throated Diver this afternoon.

The council have been contacted about a fallen tree on Slough Lane – there is currently no access to Lytchett Fields via this route.

Harbour Update – posted 11/02/20

Posted on: February 12th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

With another set of low-pressure systems coming through this weekend it looks like Wednesday is going to be our only settled day of the week, with a cold, cold northerly wind cutting across the harbour today. Still, there were some good totals, especially on Holton Pools where 95 Lapwing, 8 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Redshank and 1 Marsh Harrier were logged. A Black-throated Diver was reported off Jerry’s point along with 2 Slavonian Grebe. The Siberian Chiffchaff was again on Wareham Common showing well. Middlebere held 180 Wigeon, 176 Teal, 218 Brent Geese, 373 Avocet, 86 Lapwing, 77 Redshank and showing of Dartford Warbler, Marsh Harrier and Raven up on Coombe Heath. The male Red-breasted Merganser is still giving point blank views in Poole Park and 3 Goldeneye were there too. There were 2 Mediterranean Gulls reported at Lytchett Fields, as well as 1 Spoonbill, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 20 Red-Breasted Mergansers in the Bay. At Baiter c.300 Starlings, c.200 Oystercatcher and 6 Brent Geese were counted.

Red-breasted Merganser – Poole Park – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 10/02/20

Posted on: February 10th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

February is pressing on nicely, and considering it’s possible (weather depending) to have the first Wheatears arrive in the first week of March…spring doesn’t really feel that far away now! Today certainly didn’t feel very spring like, and with snow being threatened for later in the week, it may get a tad colder before it gets warmer! There was certainly still a winter vibe today with the 4 Scaup still in Holes Bay SE. Off Jerry’s point 3 Slavonian Grebe were still present along with 3 Great Northern Diver. There seems to be a bit of movement in regards to Fieldfare which have been really scarce this winter, but small flocks/totals appeared at Holton Lee, Hartland Stud and Greenland’s Farm today, suggesting a possible northward movement already. Lytchett Fields saw good numbers of Lapwing with c150 present. In Upton CP 1 Firecrest was on the Hamworthy boundary near Symes Road.

Common Buzzard – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 09/02/20

Posted on: February 9th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

What a day! The winds were unforgiving today, gusting at least 65mph as several braved seawatches from Branksome Chine. Despite the strong south westerlies, Branksome did not produce any particularly unusual seabirds, with 8 Fulmar and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull the highlights. Also of note were several small parties of Black-tailed Godwit, totalling 140 individuals, recorded over the Poole bay, heading towards the harbour from Christchurch. Sunnyside scrape featured 77 hunkered down Teal. Birding the harbour over the coming days could produce some notable species counts as many birds seek shelter within the harbour. Record-breaking numbers of Black-tailed Godwit were logged in the harbour only a few weeks back, will we see this new record broken again?

Harbour Update – posted 08/02/20

Posted on: February 8th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A beautiful ‘Focus On’ Shell Bay event this morning kickstarted with 7 Common Scoter flying around Poole Bay. Throughout the morning, Mediterranean Gulls regularly drifted by over feeding numerous Cormorant, Shag and 2 Black-necked Grebe. One of the Black-necked Grebe was already in it’s stonking summer-plumage! Small flocks of Dark-bellied Brent Geese could be seen exiting the harbour mouth throughout the watch. Elsewhere, Jerry’s Point featured the 4 Slavonian Grebe and 3 Great Northern Diver early morning and the long-staying Holes Bay Scaup were happily feeding north of the railway line. Another 2 Great Northern Divers were seen off Baiter mid-morning. Brownsea Lagoon boasted another 13 Mediterranean Gull.

Blackcap – Upton Garden – Tony Furnell


Harbour Update – posted 07/02/20

Posted on: February 7th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

The Harbour’s overwintering Great White Egrets have been very faithful to Littlesea recently, however 1 was seen from Wytch this afternoon. The Scaup remained visible south of railway bridge at Holes Bay through out the day. An enjoyable Whitley Lake guided walk this afternoon offered a crash course on Mediterranean Gull and Black-headed Gull ID, as well as superb views of Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank feeding on the mudflat and several Red-breasted Merganser just offshore. The walk provided great opportunities to become more familiar with the various species of Gull in the harbour at the moment, with Common, Great Black-backed and Herring Gull also logged. We then concluded with wonderful sightings to compare both Rock Pipit and Meadow Pipit in the field.

Whitley Lake Guided Walk

Harbour Update – posted 06/02/17

Posted on: February 6th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There was good coverage today which saw 4 Great Northern Diver dotted around the harbour, also 3 Slavonian Grebe and 2 Black-necked Grebe were of Jerry’s Point. In the Wareham Channel there were 13 Spoonbill, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier and 300 Lapwing. On the low tide around the harbour there are still great numbers of Black-tailed Godwit with a record count of 3061 counted only a couple of weeks ago during our Poole Harbour WeBS count. In Holes Bay the 4 Scaup were still present and there was also a fresh Pochard new in, along with 3 more in the Wareham Channel, suggesting a bit of movement of this species considering there have only been 2 over-wintering in the harbour this winter, both at Swineham. Last night we hosted our second to last Sunnyside ringing demo which was tricky with the bright moon, but we still managed to pull strong with 2 handsome Woodcock and a Jack Snipe to show our guests and to talk through their ecology.

Woodcock – Sunnyside Farm 


Harbour Update – posted 05/02/20

Posted on: February 6th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A stunningly calm day with the whole harbour like a millpond. The 4 Scaup were in Holes Bay SE really close to the cycle path, along with an odd female Wigeon x Pintail hybrid that was associating with the Wigeon flock. The 2 Long-tailed Duck were again in the Jerry’s Point/Brands Bay area along with 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebe and 5 Black-necked Grebe. At Holton Pools a Marsh Harrier was over the reed bed, a Water Pipit and 4 Greenshank were on the pools and the Little Owl was calling at dusk. The Great Grey Shrike was still at Morden Bog.

Scaup – Holes Bay SE – Paul Morton

Sanderling – Shell Bay – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 04/02/20

Posted on: February 6th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A cold, windy day today with little coverage. A Water Pipit was on Holton Pools, at Poole Harbour mouth 5 Great Northern Diver and 2 Black-necked Grebe were logged and 2 Marsh Harrier were out over the Wareham Channel.

Water Pipit – Lytchett Fields – Ian Ballam

Harbour Update – posted 03/02/12

Posted on: February 4th, 2020 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Today the 4 Scaup showed well in Holes Bay SE again with a female Goldeneye there too. In Middlebere there were 5 Spotted Redshank, 75 Grey Plover, c125 Dunlin, 2 Spoonbill, 2 Firecrest and 1 Marsh Harrier. At dawn 13 Spoonbill lifted off Arne Moors and headed to the Wareham Channel. At Lytchett Fields there were 3 Water Pipit.

Pintail – Holes Bay – Rene Goad

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