Saturday 12 February 2022

New Forest Birding

Nuthatch Sitta europaea

Friday 11 February

Leg feeling a little better, so once jobs sorted jenny and I set out for the new Forest just after11.30.  However, not willing to take the risk so a day of mostly stationary birding by visiting three well-known sites starting with Fishlake Meadows in Romsey as we headed west along the M27.  Rather that walk the actual site itself I was dropped off on the main road for twenty minutes with a view overlooking the main water whilst Jenny parked the car.  Lots of Black-headed Gulls about along with Coots and still a good-sized flock of Greylag Geese.

Roadside view of Fishlake Meadow pond

Initial thoughts completed time to use both bins and scope to see what else was on or around the water.  A number of resting Cormorants at the back along with a lone Heron and even a distant pair of resting Magpie in the trees at the far back.  at the water's edge on the far side I soon picked up both Gadwall, Shoveler and Common Pochard and nearer to me, as well as at the back, a number of Tufted Duck.  Checking the resting gulls I was also able to ad both Common and Herring Gulls.  Whilst watching a few Teal paddled into sight and even a closer Pochard.  Whilst a Wood Pigeon flew over me, the neighbouring bushes and trees produced Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and male Blackcap.

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus

Time to move on and into the new Forest with our next stop at Eyeworth Pond at the far edge of Fritham. Approaching the site both Blackbirds and a single Redwing flew up from the roadside verge into the neighbouring trees and as soon as we arrived to reverse into a parking space overlooking the pond the quartet of Mandarin Ducks were moving away from the main Mallard flock at the water's edge where they had, presumably, been feeding on food thrown down by previous visitors.  Once parked time to find the Manadarins but only two located, one of which had settled down on a mossy bank below the trees not too far distant.  Other than the Mallard and Mandarin Duck the only other water birds present were a pair of Moorhen.

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata

Meanwhile, the bushes and shrubs in front of us were alive with small birds, no doubt as a result of food put out by interested parties.  Lots of Robins and Chaffinches along with a few Dunnock but mainly members of the tit family. Scores of Blue Tits were expected along with almost as many Great Tits but its was good to also find a few Coal Tits along with a least a trio of Marsh Tits.

Marsh Tit Parus palustris

No sooner had the first Blackbirds arrived than we were also presented with a very friendly Song Thrush.  At the same time, one of the local Nuthatches paid a repeated visit to the site. It was also her that I took a chance to walk a couple of hundred metres along the main track into the wood and was rewarded by a feeding flock of Chaffinches working the leaves on the ground and accompanied by a handful of Brambling.  After an hour we made our way towards the nearby Royal Oak pub for a ploughman's lunch and also recording a couple of Starling as we made our way from the pond.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

After a late lunch a pleasant drive through the eastern side of the New Forest to the Solent shore at Lepe, possibly the closest place to the isle of Wight just across the water but no sig of a drifting White-tailed Eagle!  However, the tide was out so lots of waders and gulls along with a few Carrion Crow.  mainly Black-headed but still a handful of Herring Gulls.  Over a score of Brent Geese were recorded and waders were almost exclusively Oystercatcher albeit we did find a roosting flock of about twenty Curlew.  The occasional Cormorant and a number of duck species including Mallard and Gadwall but mainly Wigeon.  A Pheasant walked down the road.  On the other hand we were favoured with the visit of a Little Egret.  And so back to Warsash having recorded a total of 40 Species during our three stops.

Very "Mikadoian!" Three little tits from school are we, etc!

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Mandarin Duck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Blackcap. Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Magpie, carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling.

Nuthatch Sitta europaea

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

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