Wednesday 16 February 2022

Weston Shore, Southampton

 Wednesday 16 February

With all the recent reported sightings of a Great Northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser and Shag in the area, Jenny and I took the short drive to Weston Shore, Southampton to see what we might find.  With national forecasts about extremely strong winds and much rain, hopefully the relatively early morning visit, albeit high tide, might prove worthwhile.

Arriving at the northern end of the shore nothing to be seen but a few Carrion Crow and a number of Black-headed Gulls, either on the water or being blown around in the strengthening wind.  So off and up to the car park at the southern end of shore line.  Here we were greeted by not only more Black-headed Gulls but also at least thirty Carrion Crow.  (Certainly a case of not listening to the old saying, "If you see a single Rook it's Crow and if you see twenty Crows they're Rooks.")  In addition a couple of foraging Rock Doves and a small number of Wood Pigeon in the trees at the other side of the road plus the lone Mute Swan that was paddling along a couple of metres off shore in front of us.

With nothing happening on with another layer of clothes and a walk along the cycle track/path to Weston Sailing Club on the other side of  copse.  Not expecting to find anything I rather silly to leave the camera in the car with jenny.  Nothing extra so started on the return journey.  Almost immediately some dark on the water about five metres out n addition to the Black-headed Gulls.  Rather surprised to see the single Great Crested Grebe but when I rechecked the sighting about twenty metres on I found that there were now two individuals and they were slowly progressing in the same direction.  However, my constant scans of the sea were to pay off as, more by luck than judgement, I saw a dark shape almost in front of the distant buoy; and by "distant" I mean distant.  Fortunately the bird remained on the water long enough to really focus and get a clear view of the Great Northern Diver that had been recently reported from the area.  And to me that means a Great Northern Diver rather than "Common Loon!"

Summer plumage Great Northern Diver Gavia immer from Internet

So, around 45 minutes in the area for just 7 species but what class!

Birds seen:

Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Black-headed Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow.

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

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