Sunday 12 December 2021

The Solent shore at Warsash

 Saturday 11 December

Mostly settled in, so a first foray down to the shore, this time along Southampton Water rather than the Hamble river from our new home in Warsash.  Dry, clam and cloudy with some broken cloud and the Sun trying to peep through as I made my way to the beach passing both Dunnock and Wood Pigeon as I set off.  Soon obvious that the torrential rain and high tide had caused much damage to the footpath but the Brent Geese were back and feeding at  the water's edge at low tide.

Wigeon Anas penelope the dominant duck species on site

Making my way along the footpath away from the sailing club park there were few waders to be seen a the water's edge but ere long a Curlew and then an Oystercatcher were seen.  No shortage of Black-headed Gulls which then drew my attention to both Turnstone and the first Redshanks of the morning.  (Indeed, my return journey found a close feeding flock of thirty.)  Past the School of Navigation and the right-turn towards the spit and yet another Carrion Crow.  Reaching the muddy, empty stretch in front of the spit I looked up to see a flock of more than thirty Carrion Crows in the air.  What was this, some sort of Crow celebration?

Carrion Crow Corvus corone

However, the ever-present narrow stream running through this muddy waste did hold a number of Wigeon plus a few Teal and Mallard.  Huge flocks of Black-headed Gulls were swirling around and, on the ground, a single Herring Gull.  Even a number of Brent Geese arrived to joining a feeding search.

Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus over Southampton Water

Walking to the scrape I encountered the first Magpie and once on site could see yet more Black-headed Gulls.  On the water a half-dozen Pintail and a few Teal.which were then joined by a flock of Brent Geese.  Also present a single Lapwing and a pair of Gadwall.  

Warsash "scrape" with Brent Geese Branta bernicla and Black-headed Gulls L.ridibundus

To the right a lone Little Grebe paddled out from behind the island. Just the one Shelduck on the water but starting my return journey a party of fifteen Shelduck were flying low towards the south over Southampton Water.

Shelduck Tadoma tadoma with Pintail Anas acuta in background

Continuing my walk back towards Warsash I had both a Robin and a Pied Wagtail feeding on the grass in front of me and them a pair of Wrens out one side of a bush and straight into the next.  Better yet, a Song Thrush made a short flight over the meadow on the opposite side of the side stream to land and pose for a few moments on a relatively nearby bush.

Pied Wagtail Motcilla alba

The mudflat beyond the spit not only produced more Curlew but a single Grey Plover wandering along the edge of a dip and barely visible.  Back, approaching Strawberry Fields, a Jay flew into the tree in front of me and a few metres on a pair of Blue Tit arrived in an open tree on the opposite side of the path.

Very distant Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Pintail, Little Grebe, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, 

Distant Curlew Numenius arquata

Pintail Anas acuta

Wigeon Anas penelope

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

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