Sunday 22 January 2023

Lower Hamble River, Warsash

Sunday 22 January

What a beautiful winter's morning with clear blue skies, a shining sun and heavy frost on the ground as, with week-end guests Barrie and Jan Avis, we walked up the Hamble River to the conservation area and back.  With high tide during the walk most birds had already moved to the shelter of the now flooded Bunny Meadow to our right but still much to be seen.  Only the occasional Redshank on the shoreline but a score or more Wigeon and the occasional Black-headed Gull along with a trio of Brent Geese.

As we continued up the river to accompaniment of the whistling Wigeon, we soon added a Great Crested Grebe before the remaining tops of the grassy islands revealed a variety of waders including, mainly, Dunlin and both Grey and Ringed Plover.  Just  the three Curlew noted but also a single lack-tailed Godwit.   On the shore a quartet of foraging Turnstone. The next, smaller, grassy remains held thirty resting Ringed Plovers.  Perhaps the odd ones out were trio of Feral Pigeons.

Meanwhile on the inland side of the path, first more Redshank then a lone Greenshank before finding a dozen Shelduck.  On the field at the back a dozen Canada Geese and scores of Woodpigeons.  By now most of the small waders had joined the additional Brent Geese on the shallow water along with the Curlew.  Overhead a regular passage of occasional Carrion Crows and then we found four resting Herons but not a single Little Egret.  Amongst the two dozen Black-headed was a handful of Herring Gulls.  Also here was the main flock of Teal totalling just over two dozen.

Perhaps the bird of the morning was the Rock Pipit that we found half-way up the path to the conservation area and the bird even rested atop the low vegetation not two metres away.  Perfectly positioned with the sun behind us for close up photography - but none of us had brought a camera to complete the operation.  On the return walk we were once again to find the pipit which seemed to accompany us most of the way back.  I winder if it will still be about if I return to the riverside in the morning?

Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus

Whilst at the conservation area we finally found the only Oystercatcher of the morning and then on the return walk we came across a single male Blackbird in a tree at the back of the meadow followed by a trio of foraging Magpies in one of the large gardens at the back.  Approaching the end of the path a couple of Dunnock were, presumably, picking up grit and the the last tree of the morning held a singing Blue Tit on one its top branches.  A beautiful couple of hours in which duly produced 28 species.

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Rock Pipit, Dunnock, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow.

For the latest news follow the Axarquia Birds and Wildlife Facebook page for more photos and comments and the opportunity to share with the wider birding world.

No comments:

Post a Comment