Wednesday 21 July 2021

Hamble River, Hampshire, UK

Carrion Crow Corvus corone

 Wednesday 21 July

Up bright and early and walked across road at 6 o'clock to start my walk upstream from near the Hamble River's mouth.  Beautiful start to the day with clear skies, no wind and a low sun behind me. On the other hand, I had not expected the dozen or so joggers during the next hour or so with, on the return journey, the dog-walkers starting to put in an appearance.  Meanwhile the tide was well on its way in and pushing the waders and gulls nearer to the riverside path so good news for me.

A Blackbird as I made my way down through the hedges to the actual shore and as soon as I arrived fifty yards later a Whimbrel waiting for me on the shore line.  In addition, having noted both Black-headed and Herring Gulls close and a Green Sandpiper hiding in the corner to me left, a quartet of Mallard were enjoying their early morning bath in the shallows.  A pair of House Sparrows took off from the pebbles and a couple of Wood Pigeons moved down from the path to the beach.

Curlew Numenius arquata

having noted a couple of Redshank at the water's edge I looked further upstream and counted a further thirty.  In total there must have been around 55 on my 2km walk upstream.  The same with the Whimbrel.  Having seen one I was then to see a further six and to make it even more worthwhile a quartet of Curlew.

A few of the distant Redshank Tringa totanus

Next up both a solitary Greenshank on a shallow stream on the inland side of the track followed by the first of eight Oystercatchers.  

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

A single Little Egret was foraging in the shallows and then a couple of pairs of Carrion Crows, one on the beach and the other on the marsh. A Lapwing was also recorded on the inland edges near the tall grass.

Greenshank Tringa nebulatria

Amazing.  Having found a small group of Black-tailed Godwits within twenty yards the number had increased to almost forty.  And another score were to be found later a little further upstream.  As might be expected, many were still in their summer plumage.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

More Curlews and Redshanks before a single Turnstone was observed.  Meanwhile the "honking" of geese made me look up and follow the eight Canada Geese that were making their way down stream towards Southampton Water.  And all the way upstream, in addition to the few on the beach, scores of Black-headed and occasional Herring Gull.  However,  mid-way back I did find a couple of Common Gull.  Approaching a bend in the river I was in time to record the single Pied Wagtail that landed on the path before moving off out of sight.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

A most enjoyable walk in limited clothing to allow for the beautiful weather before it got too hot and approaching home I also managed to add a small charm of Goldfinch.

When the tide comes in the Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus and Little Egret Egretta garzetta seek shelter

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mallard, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus with Redshank Tringa totanus

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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