|Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus|
This afternoon we left it rather late to walk along the Hamble River with the tide almost in and those birds present being forced up the beach to take their twice-daily roost. It seemed at first, not arriving till just before 5pm, that all we would see would be Black-headed Gulls; scores and scores of them. As we walked up river I continued to count and eventually reached a tally of 210 individuals. However, within the groups we also found a trio of Mediterraean and a couple of Herring Gulls. Also close by a pair of juvenile Common Gulls.
|Part of Black-headed Gull roost with one Mediterranean Gull (back, centre right)|
|The Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus|
But we were not to be disappointed for as we continued on our way we gradually discovered other species, many hiding in the grasses a the back of the meadow. First a couple of Little Egrets and then the first of our five Herons. An Oystercatcher was resting low down in the vegetation and then our first Pied Wagtail took off from the shore and in doing so disturbed the, till then, hidden Meadow Pipit.
|Little Egret Egretta garzetta|
Reaching the breeding lagoon here still more Black-headed Gulls were roosting we then found another four Herons and a couple more Little Egret. At the very back another two Oystercatchers and a half-dozen Redshank. Not just Redshank but also a couple of Greenshank and then the discovery of a pair of Whimbrel.
|Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus|
Always the occasional Wood Pigeon moving around and then the discovery, as we started to make our way back, the arrival of forty Black-tailed Godwits and a single male Blackbird feeding in the grass behind them. Then, walking back along the riverside path, another couple of Pied Wagtails to finish the day and with the tide now just about at its height. Not a bad result for 80 minutes in the very late afternoon.
|Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa|
Little Egret, Heron, Oystercatcher, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird.
|Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus|
|Little Egret Egretta garzeta|
|Herring Gull Larus argentatus|
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