Saturday 1 January 2022

Warsash Shore

 Saturday 1 January

Happy New Year one and all!

Sleeping Curlew Numenius aquata

I started the first day of the year with a walk along Warsash shore down to Southampton Water then along to the scrape and nearby pool before retracing my steps back home.  The tide was full in so the hope of resting birds but very little to be seen.  And whilst there was, initially, some broke cloud and the hazy sun trying its best to break through, the wind was getting stronger and stronger as the journey progress but, at least, back home before the expected light rain arrived.

A Goldfinch on the feeders as I left home and nothing else until off the road and walking the path past Strawberry Fields where a Robin dashed across the footpath and into the low scrub.  Once beyond the School of Navigation a lone Carrion Crow on the slip way and a single Black-headed Gull resting on the water, now lapping up against the sea wall.  Heading towards the Spit I could see a number of resting birds on the thin edge of shingle and tucked out of the way of the wing coming in off the Solent.  Two Brent Geese flew over me and out towards the main water as I raised my bins to check the above shore.

Wigeon Anas penelope with Curlew N. aquata (left) and Oystercatcher H.ostralegus (right)

Apart form as many as twenty of more Carrion Crows foraging and moving about there were over a score of Wigeon along with as many as thirty Oystercatchers.  But in between them all I could not but identify the handful of Redshank and at least nine sleeping Curlew.

Resting Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus plus a Curlew and a Wigeon behind the Spit

Moving on to the Solent shore itself and following the narrow track next to the boundary fence I picked up a Magpie in the field on the other side and then approaching the Scrape looked up to see not one but to Sky Larks overhead.  Stopping to take a closer look at the Scrape itself it was mainly about a dozen or more Black-headed Gulls until I picked up a total of 17 Canada Geese.  A single Gadwall paddled out and swam alongside the far reeds and off to the tall trees to the rear I watched a pair of Buzzards drift over and, at least one, drop into the top of the tree.

Nothing to see at the neighbouring waters so back to the Scrape, noting the male Blackbird that exploded out of the adjacent low bushes with typical alarm calling, where I stopped to introduce myself to fellow birder George Baker and compare notes, etc.  As we talked, not only did we get the briefest glimpse of a Dartford Warbler that dashed across a gap between gorse bushes but the Sky Larks put in a reappearance and a Little Egret came in to land on the water.  Meantime, looking towards the sea, we watched as a large flock of Dunlin flew parallel to the water's edge having been disturbed by a wandering dog.  No doubt, judging from George's previous sighting of this flock, there were probably both Ringed Plover and even Sanderling in their company - but not identified by me.

Resting Wigeon Anas penelope with both Redshank Tringa totanus (left) and Curlew N.aquata

So back home and checking the roosting birds on the Spit I was also able to add a couple of Teal in with the Wigeon and find a singing Robin on the empty lobster pots back at the "harbour" before encountering the first Wood Pigeon as reached home - and the coming rain.

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Little Egret, Buzzard, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Sky Lark, Robin, Blackbird, Dartford Warbler, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch.

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

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