Thursday 23 December 2021

Warsash and the Solent Shore

Thursday 23 December

After yesterday's cold but sunny day I was out of the house by a minutes after nine to walk along the shore from Warsash southwards down Southampton Water to the "Scrape" at the local nature reserve. That was certainly the intention but I was greeted by a calm, cold start to the walk with an overcast sky and a dampness in the air.  Within half an hour a steady light drizzle had set in, the sort that you hardly feel but end up completely soaked.  Thanks goodness I had dressed warm and gone prepared.

A Robin as soon as I reached the shore along with the first Wood Pigeon and with the tide starting to rise there were plenty of Brent Geese on the mudflats plus both Black-headed and Herring Gulls.  Waders included Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatcher as I made my way past the School of Navigation towards the spit.  Once the drizzle had set in there was to be no chance of any photographs so some steady walking southwards with regular stops to check the shore and creeks, producing the occasional Carrion Crow and Blackbird.

Wigeon Anas penelope

Once in the bay sheltered by the spit a good number of Wigeon plus a number of Teal and a trio of Mallard before pressing on along the shore, taking the track next to the field rather than the beach. On a very narrow path through the short grass I cam across a Song Thrush a bare ten metres ahead who then, rather than fly, simply walked or ran along in front of me or almost a hundred metres before taking to the air and disappearing to the bushes on the other side of the adjacent stream.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

Once at the scrape not too much bird life but I did find a Shelduck, pair of Shoveler and half a dozen Gadwall.  A couple of Magpie were on the grass ahead of me but it was time to turn round and get the drizzle at the back of me.  The tide had moved further in but still plenty of mud and as well as the Wigeon and Teal I was now also to add a few waders, mainly Dunlin but also a couple of Sanderling and a little further on a handful of Ringed Plovers and a few Turnstone.  A small flock of Starling flew over me to the nearby tall trees and back at the sailing club's boat park a friendly Dunnock on the path followed almost immediately by a Pied Wagtail.  Only 26 species but quite happy given the circumstances.

Dunnock Prunella modularis

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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