News Article01/10/2020

The Big Poole Harbour Bird Count Is Back!

Take part on Sunday 25th October

Birds of Poole Harbour is hosting a second Big Poole Harbour Bird Count.

Back in January, Birds of Poole Harbour organised our first Big Poole Harbour Bird Count, generating a wealth of community-led data. You can find our full analysis, as well as exploring species totals and distributions from the big day here. We received 189 submissions in total, collectively counting 63,072 birds of 131 species (including sub-species) across 137 sites in Poole Harbour. After accounting for potential duplications, we estimated total number of birds present in the harbour on 19th January was 48,854(!).

Poole Harbour is an important site for a whole range of species throughout the year. In recognition of this, Birds of Poole Harbour is now coordinating a Big Bird Count four times a year, covering every season. The collation and analysis of this important dataset is then used to generate a comprehensive snapshot of bird species diversity, totals and distribution across the Poole Harbour area in a single day.

How to get involved in this local citizen science project?

Contributing to the Big Bird Count is easy, simply visit your local patches across the Poole Harbour area on Sunday 25th October and share your bird records with us. Use our recording sheet (download available below) to record the bird species and numbers present at your site(s) and share your counts with Birds of Poole Harbour for in-depth analysis. You can also send us your lists via your favoured platform such as BirdTrack or eBird!

All records are valuable. Whether it’s working your local birding patch, or recording the abundance of our familiar garden residents as they become boosted by migrants from mainland Europe for the winter, all records help to formulate the picture of bird population numbers and distribution locally. October is an exciting time of the year, providing opportunities to connect with newly-arrived winter visitors and late-departing summer migrants.


All records are important to us but not as important as yours and other members of the publics health and safety. Please, if you’re heading out for the day to join in the Big Poole Harbour Autumn Bird Count please follow and stick to all current government guidelines and follow site specific rules and regulations. Different nature reserves and areas of land currently have their own rules and procedures in place, so upon arrival make your self aware of route plans, social distancing rules etc to keep your selves and other people safe. Getting out and enjoying the fresh air, the landscape and the birds is a big part of the Big Poole Harbour Bird Count and we can all do our bit to keep stress levels low and each other safe.

Essential information to record

  • Observer – Name(s) of recorders conducting count (not published in report).
  • Location – For example Poole Park, Holes Bay south, garden with postcode provided.
  • Time – Count start and finish times.
  • Species – Complete checklist of every species you identified during your count(s).
  • Total – A maximum count of each species seen.

Big Bird Count Recording Sheet (Word Document)

Please send your sightings to

Looking for inspiration? Visit our GO BIRDING page to explore the numerous birding sites across the harbour.

Things to consider on the day

Sunrise: 06:48 | Sunset: 16:55 | Low tide: 11:30

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