Monday 15 August 2022

Warsash and Solent Shores

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

 Sunday 14 August

Out of the house by 7.40 for a walk along the village shore at Warsash and then on down to the Spit followed by Southampton Water to the Meandering Pools and back, with a quick look at the first mudflat on the Hamble shore which duly produced a couple of Turnstones.  Perhaps the best recording of the year with a final tally of 37 species in the couple of hours it took to cover the 5.2 km.  Whilst the tide was well out and only a couple of hours in on the return, the very low morning sun, and often in the wrong direction, somewhat restricted attempts for any half-decent photographs.

Once pas the shore car park and overlooking the first of the mud a couple of Herring Gull plus a trio of Rock and two Collared Doves.  Soon evident that a very large flock of Black-tailed Godwits was feeding at the water's edge and the first of very many Black-headed Gulls began to appear.  Of the godwits, many juvenile bids as well as some adults still retaining their breeding plumage.  The occasional foraging Carrion Crow and Herring Gull as I continued on plus the first Little Egret and a few overflying Wood Pigeon.

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Approaching the Spit many more Black-headed Gulls along with a Curlew and a Greenshank.  Very many Oystercatchers rather than the occasional individual already recorded resting and feeding on the sea side of the Spit.  On the land side a Magpie was resting atop one of the larger trees and soon more were to be seen along with regular Wood Pigeon sightings.

Curlew Numenius arquata

On the inlet on the Warsash side of the Spit many resting Black-headed Gulls along with a dozen mallard and a couple of Gadwall, three Little Egret and two Heron.  Behind me at the edge of the extensive reed bed I was fortunate to be looking that way when a Sedge Warbler landed on same and rested for seconds before disappearing.

Gadwall Anas strepera

So on down to the scrape (Hook Pool) where I encountered just the single Mute Swan in the wide ditch whilst the pool itself held a further two dozen resting Black-tailed Godwits plus a half-dozen Little Egret, a few Mallard, four Teal and a Little Grebe.  At the back a flock of 23 Canada Geese, seven Cormorant and a couple of Coot. However, perhaps best f all were the two visiting Spoonbill, one of which sported a white ring indicating a Dutch individual.

Little Egrets Egretta garzetta

The walk alongside the recently burnt area produced a distant Stonechat and a couple of passing Barn Swallows and once at the Meandering Pool just a couple of Mallard plus, surprise-surprise, a resting Bar-tailed Godwit

Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Turning and retracing my steps I spent sometime alongside the damaged gorse bushes and very productive it turned out to be.  Not just more Stonechats but an adult Dartford Warbler and three juveniles of the same species.  Watching a Willow Warbler land in a large black shell of gorse bush and work its way to the vase and some fresh grass shoots it disturbed a Great Spotted Woodpecker that took off to the trees at the back.  Also in the same area a couple of Linnet and then, posing for the briefest of times, a Northern Wheatear.  Above the area over a score of feeding Barn Swallows, including many juveniles, and a single Sand Martin.

Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica

Checking once more the pond as I passed by I was soon back beyond the Spit and heading for Strawberry Fields where, on the shore below, I found a handful of Redshank.  A most enjoyable couple of hours.  (And taking the footpath from Newtown Road down to the Spit a couple of  hours later to "enjoy" for my first entry into the Solent now that the tide was just about fully in, hardly call it a swim, I also added both Blackbird and Great Tit to the day's sightings.)

Linnet Carduelis cannabina

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Stonechat, Wheatear, Blackbird, Sedge Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Linnet.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

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