Monday 27 December
The rain finally stopped, the sun was trying to break through the cloud cover to give a dulled lighting and I set off for the neighbouring Hamble River with my brother-in-law, Chris. My word it was cold as a result of the very strong wind blowing upriver. (All very well, but the return journey would see us walking directly into this icy blast!) The tide was already half-way in but straight away the first Curlew and a couple of Brent Geese. Lovely to pause for a few minutes and watch a Kestrel hovering not five metres above our heads. Almost immediately we added Oystercatcher and Redshank as we made our way along the flooded path past the ferry pier and, of course, by now we were seeing regular sightings of the local Turnstones.
|Curlew Numenius aquata
Continuing on to the first inlet produced the first of many Wigeon and a good-sized flock of Dunlin. Yet another Curlew but also a couple of Sanderling and a Grey Plover. What did come as somewhat of a surprise was to find a couple of Little Grebe out in the middle of the inlet, quiet happily diving and fishing to their hearts' content. A little further on and our friendly Rock Pipit hopped off the path in front of us and settled on the beach. Teal on the water on the other, inland, side of the track and then the large expanse of exposed mud flat in front of Bunny Meadow where, as expected, we found sixteen Shelduck and a large flock of feeding Ringed Plovers.
|Dunlin Calidris alpina
Not until the conservation area did we find our first Heron and Little Egret along with both Wigeon and Teal. A few resting Redshank but also a couple of sleeping Greenshank. It was on the far side of the river that we found our two resting Cormorant. It was also t this point that we found the flock of twenty-one Canada Geese on the river's edge before they took flight and settled at the back of Bunny Meadow.
|Redshank Tringa totanus
Other regular sightings along the river included Carrion Crow, Black-headed and a couple of Herring Gulls. At the conservation area we also found more than a handful of Jackdaw but just the two Black-tailed Godwit. Before undertaking the return journey we made a short detour through the wood below Holly Hill, encountering a couple of Magpie, and teen on return to the river walk found yet more Oystercatchers, Wigeon and Teal. We had already had an overfly by a couple of Feral Pigeons and, almost at the end of our walk, another Wood Pigeon to make three for the morning.
|Black-headed Gull Larius ridibundus
Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Greenshank, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Rock Pipit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow.