Wednesday 29 December
Rain promised for most of the day so whilst dry, if windy and overcast, I set off for Fareham to top up with fuel and so able to call in a the fishing lakes at Newlands where first I unsuccessfully sought the elusive Manadrin Duck fortnight ago. All very wet and muddy but a large number of Magpies and a few Blackbirds noted. the occasional Wood Pigeon and a Carrion Crow but with anglers settled down with their equipment around the water virtually nothing other than a single Coot to be seen.
So on to the shopping area and Asda to top up the car's fuel before travelling back to Warsash via Hill Head and the the Meon shore. All very rough at sea with the sailboarders out in force and dashing about here and there. Looking inland at the lowest pool adjacent to the Titchfield Haven reserve a few Coot and Mallard on the water and and a number of birds hunkered down on the island including Lapwing, Cormorant and Black-headed Gulls. On one exposed area of shore beach a couple of Oystercatchers, a trio of Turnstone and a handful of Carrion Crows. A couple of House Sparrows as I set off and approaching Chilling Wood a single Jay crossed the road.
|Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Taking the narrow, single, concrete road towards Brownwich Estate a I came across a few Wood Pigeon and at the deserted and dreary looking Brownwich Lake a pair of Mute Swans, single Tufted Duck and a few Coot. On returning towards the main road I noted a good-sized flock of Starlings then stopped to observe the large flock of Canada Geese accompanied by very many Black-headed and a handful of Herring Gulls. Finally, a few Jackdaw as I passed through Posbrook and back to Warsash.
|Jackdaw Corvus monedula
I though that was it for the day but as I sat eating a snack for lunch I became aware that not only had the light rain stopped but that the sun was actually shining through the thin clouds. Would it last? Nothing ventured, nothing gained so I once more donned shoes and coat and set of to cross the road and take a short walk up the Hamble river to the conservation area and back, noting both Goldfinch and Wood Pigeon as I left the house.
With the water on its way in but at least another hour or so before high tide, there was still plenty of exposed muddy shore but the riverside path was awash with large puddles to keep the shores clean if wet. Immediately Black-tailed Godwit and Curlew followed by a Redshank. Just beyond the ferry pier a few Dunlin and a couple of Oystercatchers before finding the first of a few Grey Plovers during the walk. A good number of Black-headed Gulls were resting in a number of places and as I passed the first main inlet I found the expected large number of Wigeon. Also on the water a pair of Little Grebes and then the most pleasant of surprises as I double-checked my eyes on seeing a Meadow Pipit, not a Rock Pipit this time, on the path in front of me. Plenty of time to watch the bird as it happily moved slowly along until a loose dog gave chase!
|Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
The muddy green of Bunny Meadow held a small number of Brent Geese whereas the the water's edge held seventeen Canada Geese. Lots more Redshank and Curlew along with feeding and passing Carrion Crows. having watched the passing Little Egret I than picked up the eight foraging Ringed Plovers and two resting Heron in the long grass at the back of the meadow. So on up to the conservation area where I found more Wigeon and the main flock of Teal along with a few Turnstone on the beach and another pair of Black-tailed Godwits along with a few Herring in amongst the Black-headed Gulls.
|Wigeon Anas penelope
Home and still dry and reasonably clear, probably the reason why half the village seemed to have come out to enjoy the unexpected dry weather to walk themselves and their four-legged friends. And quite pleasing to realise that I had actually recorded 33 species during the day.
Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Coot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.