Poole Harbour sightings blog

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

Latest Sightings

Harbour Update – posted 12/06/24

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

Our Summer Safari Cruise this morning gave views of Osprey 022 hunting in the Wareham Channel, as well as female White-tailed Eagle G466. 1 Spoonbill was present on Brownsea Lagoon early this morning, as well as 3 Avocet and 30 Bar-tailed Godwit also reported from the lagoon. The unseasonal Red-throated Diver was still present in Studland Bay today. 1 Hobby was active over Careys Secret Garden this afternoon.

Red-throated Diver – Studland Bay – Aidan Brown (@aidanjb118 on Twitter)


Harbour Update – posted 11/06/24

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

Star bird of the day goes to a very unseasonal Red-throated Diver off Studland beach, a great June record! The 2 White-tailed Eagles were in the Wareham Channel again from our Summer Safari Cruise this morning. There were 32 Bar-tailed Godwit in Brands Bay on the rising tide along with 2 Dunlin. Impressive numbers of Swift over Sunnyside/Swineham area with over 200+ counted this morning.

Red-throated Diver – Studland Beach – Aidan Brown on X

Harbour Update – posted 10/06/24

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

Apologies for the delay in sightings from yesterday. It was fairly quiet as is often the case in June, but good to see lots of breeding activity in the local breeding birds. 1 Spotted Flycatcher was at Wytch Farm, Rempstone. At Morden Bog several pairs of Woodlark were still singing along with Tree Pipit, 1 Cuckoo 1 Hobby and lots of Dartford Warblers with recently fledged young. In Holes Bay 4 Raven flew over Pergins Island and 1 Curlew and 1 Common Tern were also present.

Spotted Flycatcher – Wytch Farm, Rempstone – Rob Johnson on X

Harbour Update – posted 09/06/24

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

An interesting day today with some notable (and weird) sightings. Most weird was a Fulmar that was seen from our Summer Safari Cruise this AM, heading north over central harbour, over Poole Quay and out towards Holes Bay / Lytchett Bay. This might not have been quite so unusual if an autumn gale was blowing with a harsh easterly wind, but it was very weird in crystal clear blue sky’s in June, with a northerly wind! Also notable were (the first?) 3 returning Spoonbill of the autumn on the Brownsea Lagoon. Initially all 3 were feeding, but then started clambering on the Tamrisk Island, and mutual preening one another, a sight we don’t normally until late July/ early August here in the harbour. Also on the Brownsea Lagoon were 6 Turnstone, 2 Knot, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and decent numbers of tern chick including 59 Sandwich Tern and 36 Common Tern, which were counted by Nicki at Dorset Wildlife Trust. There was also a new visiting White-tailed Eagle today, in the shape of 2019 female G274 which came and did a tour of the Wareham Channel, before being seen off by a Marsh Harrier(!) and moving off high south as she headed back to the Isle of Wight. It didn’t seem to bother our local White-tailed Eagle pair which just sat and watched her from the edges of the Wareham Channel, before they too later headed off high south. At Swineham there were c100 Black-tailed Godwit on pools on the RSPB Arne Moors side and there were also fly overs of Hobby and Peregrine distantly.

Female White-tailed Eagle G466 over the boat from Summer Safari Cruise this AM – John Thorpe

Random Fulmar over central harbour yesterday from Summer Safari Cruise – John Thorpe

Adult Oystercatcher and newly hatched chick – Poole Quay – John Thorpe

Harbour Update – posted 08/06/24

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

Not so chilly today, with the added bonus of a/the Little Tern being seen on Brownsea again. These are a scarce June bird in general with most records coming in April, May, July or August. It was hanging out with the long staying Little Gull in amongst the Common and Sandwich Terns on the Brownsea Lagoon. This evening 3 Puffin were seen off Dancing Ledge during our Jurassic Coast Puffin Cruise.

Puffin – Dancing Ledge – Rene Goad

Harbour Update – posted 07/06/24

Posted on: June 7th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

Things started of summery today, but ended like mid-autumn! A cold SW was whipping across the harbour by this afternoon/evening making it feel like a mid-October day. If it wasn’t for the big gathering of Swifts and hirundines over Swineham this evening then you wouldn’t have been able to tell it was June. The White-tailed Eagle pair were loafing about the edges of the Wareham Channel tonight, male Osprey 022 did two very quick catches with 20 minutes in Arne Bay and Oystercatcher hatched young on the north Brownsea shoreline. Woodlark were feeding young again viewed from the Osprey viewing platform at Carey Secret Garden and there were also 2 Spotted Flycatcher in the car park. Both Peregrines were on the Asda building for most of the day, often interacting and fighting over food.

Adult and juvenile Sandwich Terns – Brownsea Lagoon – Martin Adams

Common Tern – Brownsea Quay – Martin Adams

Harbour Update – posted 06/06/24

Posted on: June 6th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

There are plenty of young birds now beginning to appear around the harbour. Noisy newly fledged Blue Tit and Great Tits are taking over feeders, young Stonechats are following their parents around and the first broods of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs are now emerging, with second broods now likely being incubated. Highlights during June tend to relate to local breeding birds, and that was the case today with male Osprey 022 seen fishing in the Wareham Channel a few times plus the White-tailed Eagle pair were also in the same area. A Hobby was over Middlebere, a Greenshank (not breeding!) was at Swineham with 38 Black-tailed Godwit, Holes Bay had both Peregrines on the Asda building and 15 Swift were over the PC World Drain. Despite the chilly nights, Nightjar are very active at the moment with all the local heaths seeing plenty of action including a few day roosting birds being found.

Nightjar – Lytchett Heath – Ian Ballam

Harbour update – posted 05/06/24

Posted on: June 5th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

A typical early June day with migration now at an almost complete stop and breeding birds now tending to young in their nests or possibly thinking about second (or third) broods already. Male Osprey 022 was seen hunting in the Wareham Channel this afternoon, there were c30 Black-tailed Godwit on the scrapes at Swineham and c10 Bar-tailed Godwit on the Brownsea Lagoon where 2 Avocet were still present. The Peregrine pair were up on the Barclays building, c50 Swift were over Swinheam and a White-tailed Eagle was over Middlebere.

Harbour Update – posted 04/06/24

Posted on: June 4th, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

It was a cold June day today with a SW wind building which made fishing a tad tricky for male Osprey 022 who yesterday brought in multiple Grey Mullet and Bass to the nest, whereas today he only managed a poultry 2 fish between breakfast and dinner. It was great to witness him fishing in the Wareham Channel from our Summer Safari Cruise this AM, where we were also lucky enough to see both White-tailed Eagles, male G463 high over Wareham, and female G466 getting chased by gulls on the Wareham Channel  shoreline. There was also a Great White Egret over Keysworth, a 1st summer Little Gull on the Brownsea Lagoon, c70 Black-tailed Godwit in the mouth of the Frome and decent numbers of Reed Bunting and Reed Warbler along the Frome. Bird of the day though, goes to a Hawfinch that was seen flying over Ballard down this morning which settled briefly before moving on.

White-tailed Eagle – Wareham Channel from Summer Safari this AM – Dave ward

Little Gull – Brownsea Lagoon – David Ward

Harbour Update – posted 03/06/24

Posted on: June 3rd, 2024 by Birds of Poole Harbour

More sunny weather in the harbour today with lots of the floodplains beginning to dry out now. 1 female Marsh Harrier was quartering over Wareham Common this afternoon. 1 Osprey was seen off Swineham Point, presumably 022, but there was some alarm calling this afternoon at the Osprey Nest, suggesting that another bird is still in the area and briefly intruding at the nest. At Lytchett Bay,  there was 1 very late Wheatear, 11 Ringed Plover and 4 Avocet on French’s Field as well as at least 1 male Nightjar on Lytchett Heath. Plenty of Sandwich Tern and Common Tern nests starting to hatch chicks on the Brownsea Lagoon as seen in the picture below. 1 Cuckoo was singing and several Nightjar were at Slepe Heath this evening.

Sandwich Tern with chicks – Brownsea Lagoon – Nicki T on X


Call 01202 641 003