|Brent Goose Branta bernica|
Tuesday 29 November
A dry, calm day but severely overcast, dull and cold! Time to keep warm as I undertook a double walk along the local shores. First, southwards along the front of the village and on down to the spit where I picked up Southampton Water and continued on down to the Meandering Pool before returning to the harbour to take the footpath access to the Hamble River so that I could make a return walk up to the conservation area. In total a distance of just about five miles in the three hours since leaving home at 9.30 to coincide with the low tide a few minutes after 8.
Starting at the yacht club very few birds about other than a number of Black-headed Gulls but no sooner down towards the School of Navigation than scores of feeding Brent Geese to be seen along with a good number of Redshank and a few Ringed Plovers. Just the one, initial, Curlew observed and a handful of Carrion Crows. A small party of Feral Pigeons made their way inland along with about a score of Common Starling.
|A few of the many Brent Geese Branta bernica|
Once round towards the spit more and more Brent Geese and large numbers of Dunlin along with a couple of Grey Plover.
|Distant Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola|
A few more Redshank and Ring Plovers and, behind me, a steady movement of Wood Pigeons. A single Pied Wagtail and a calling Blackbird on the inland side of the path and then the first Oystercatcher of the morning on the mud. By the time I had passed the spit I had recorded well over a hundred Brent Geese and twice that number of Dunlin. A single Great Black-backed and a handful of Herring Gulls gave a little relief from all the Black-headed Gulls. Whilst there were a few Mallards about and a handful of Teal, the inland stream in front of the spit contained the usual high numbers of Wigeon along with more Black-headed Gulls. On the sea side of the spit, numerous Dunlin, very many Oystercatchers and a lone Little Egret.
|A few of the very many Dunlin Calidris alpina seen during the morning|
On to the Scrape where I was delighted to find a group of nineteen Pintails along with a dozen Canada Geese and a couple of Little Grebe. A lone Mute Swan was resting in the brook between the shore and the fields. In addition, a single Shelduck and a quartet of Gadwall to make up the numbers.
|Male and two female Pintail Anas acuta|
Very little on the Meandering Pool other than a few Teal and a pair of Shoveler and the path alongside the fence proved to be very disappointing with just the occasional Magpie. However, on the far side a flock of approaching 200 Wood Pigeons was moving between the trees. The return walk along this path provided a half-dozen Pied Wagtails and seven Meadow Pipits in the burnt area just before I re-joined the grassy edge of the bank. Nothing new on the Scrape but a Moorhen was feeding in the brook near the Mute Swan.
|Happily feeding Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis|
Once back towards the School of Navigation still plenty of Brent Geese and Ringed Plovers to be seen along with a handful of Turnstone. A Great Crested Grebe was in the midst of the channel and working my way back towards the harbour I was able to add both a Heron and pair of Black-tailed Godwits. On the path itself a trio of Dunnock and almost at the end of the walk a couple of Great Tits.
|Sheltering Teal Anas crecca|
And so on to the River Hamble. The tide still had a few hours to go before reaching its peak and initially just a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and a Curlew as I head up towards the ferry crossing and the fist inland pool. Soon I had added both Turnstone and Black-headed Gulls and the first of a handful of Carrion Crows to be seen.
|Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa|
Then hundreds of Dunlin and, maybe, two score of Ringed Plover along with a single Oystercatcher and more Curlews and Redshanks. There were many Wigeon on the river near the shore and the first of a few Herring Gulls. A Cormorant flew down stream across the meadows and then I found a feeding Great Black-backed Gull. Ringed Plovers were feeding/resting on the grassy meadows before the tide reached the area and the small bay opposite held a fishing Little Grebe.
|Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus|
Once up at the conservation area two score of resting Teal along with double that number of Wigeon. Two Greenshank and a Little Egret made up the numbers whilst a Carrion Crow posed on a post watching all that was going on. Just the one, lonely Heron and then back to start and return home. Moving down the river I added both Magpie and Starlings in the gardens beyond the meadows and, again, a huge hundred plus flock of Wood Pigeons moving about along with a few more Curlew.
|Carrion Crow Corvus corone|
Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling,
|Curlew Numenius arquata|
|Greenshank Tringa nebularia|
|Little Egret Egretta garzetta|
|Redshank Tringa totanus in front of Dunlin C.alpina|
|Wigeon Anas penelope|
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