Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Hook with Warsash Nature Reserve

Wednesday 15 July

Fresh water Hook Links Scrape seen from the beach
Bit of a dull day today so after lunch with Jenny to take a different route to the Hook with Warsash Nature Reserve concentrating on the "Scrape" which I had previously referred to as Hook Pond.  Parking the car above the area we then took the footpath down to the shore with the now filled-with-reed Hook Lake on our right and meadow, referred to as the Scrape on our left.  Working our way through the trees we first had a single Greenfinch followed by a number of Wood Pigeon before reaching the shore of Southampton Water.  No sooner out in the open and the sight of frequent Black-headed Gulls and a Robin sitting on a concrete ledge which I ten to use as a path rather then work my way through the shingle.  A couple of Carrion Crows and then the first of a quartet of Magpies.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Reaching the Hook Links Scrape we spent some time observing the fresh water pond which had a number of Mallard and resting Black-headed Gulls.  A flock of nine Canada Geese flew over before we found the single Little Egret.  To the extreme left a male Pintail, told it had been here all summer, and then to the distant, narrow island which, in addition to the resting Black-headed Gulls, held a single resting Oystercatcher and both feeding Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover.  Having already found one Little Grebe on the ;eft-hand side of he water we then found the second near the above narrow island.

Resting Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus plus a lone Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Moving on southwards we observed another pair of Carrion Crow and a couple more Magpies but little else until we noticed the hovering Kestrel. As we started the return walk we were lucky enough to catch site of the pair of Roe Deer, the male sporting magnificent antlers, moving through the grass at the back of the Links.  Then a stop to trace the small bird moving about in the gorse in front of us.  patience paid off as we followed the Dartford Warbler to its next bush where we had good views.

Back to the Scrape and this time we had a better view of the Pintail, albeit very distant and the need of the scope, plus the arrival of a Common Tern which came to rest on one of the poles arising out of the narrow island and a single Canada Goose.  It was as we left the Scrape that we had a brief but good sighting of our second Dartford Warbler followed by a Sky Lark.

Distant record shot of Pintail Anas acuta

Our final stop just before turning inland to take the long path back to the main road was to watch the progress of the Queen Mary II as it it made its way slowly down Southampton Water past Fawley and Calshot towards the Isle of Wight.  No sooner seen than a pair of Collared Doves flew over and walking the path we had Reed Warblers calling in the reeds of Hook Lake followed by a male Blackbird as neared the end of the path.  Is it strange to note that no hirundines have been seen over this fresh water?  A most enjoyable ninety minutes.

Queen Mary II heading slowly down Southampton Water
Birds seen:
Canada Goose, Mallard, Pintail, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sky Lark, Robin, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Greenfinch.

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