News Article03/01/2023

Winter Big Poole Harbour Bird Count

Join us birding the harbour for another big day on 29th January

The Big Poole Harbour Bird Count is a quarterly, harbour-wide, community-birding project that encourages everyone to get out and record the birdlife across the local area. With your help, we have surveyed every corner of the harbour during through the seasons and generated valuable community-science led data. This all helps us build a better understanding of the ecology and trends of Poole Harbour’s birdlide throughout the year. You can explore the results and data from our previous counts on our interactive webpage.

How to get involved

It’s simple, go birding in Poole Harbour on Sunday 29th January and record what you see! This could be a nearby park, urban space, nature reserve, or even your own back garden (please ensure you have permission to be there first). If you’re not sure where to go, why not head to our Go Birding webpage for inspiration? Once you’re out and about, make a note of the species you identify and the total number of individuals of each species you count. Please also document the name/s of those taking part (this information will not be shared), the location where you were birdwatching and what times you were there.

To make submitting your records as simple as possible we’ve created a species recording sheet, available to download below. Once completed, please email to

Big Bird Count Recording Sheet – Winter 2023

Alternatively, you can submit your sightings via eBird or BirdTrack. Please note, any sensitive records (e.g. rare breeding birds) will not appear publicly in BirdTrack or eBird checklists, so please share any sensitive records with us directly by email. Our Big Bird Count data output will also restrict these sensitive records publicly to protect the species whilst helping to inform research and conservation efforts for the species.

When you head out we recommend bringing a pair of binoculars with you as this will help you spot and identify the birds you encounter. But don’t worry if not, or even if you only see a few birds: all sightings are valuable so please share them with us! January is a bustling month as the total number and abundance of overwintering species reaches its peak, so there should be plenty to spot.

Want to get involved but not sure where to start? Join the Birds of Poole Harbour team out in the field between 11AM and 1PM at various sites across the harbour. We’ll be covering as much of the harbour as possible with members of the team stationed for free pop-up watches at Jerry’s Point (Studland), Holes Bay Hide (Upton Country Park) and Rock Lea Viewpoint (Lytchett Bay).

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