Thursday 31 March 2022

Testwood Lakes

 Wednesday 30 March

At Testwood Lakes in Totton on the western outskirts of Southampton by 8.30 for a couple of hours birding during which I hoped to find the recently-seen Garganey, but it was not to be.  On the other hand. I did manage to record 35 species.  As I was about to turn off to the M27 at Junction 2 for the nearby lakes I noticed the usual small group of Mute Swans in adjacent field and, on this occasion, also a small flock of Rooks.  Fortunately, I was accompanied by the promised dry but cloudy weather following yesterday's light rain with more and of the same and colder weather setting in from this evening.

Having parked the car at the main, lower, car park I immediately had a couple of Carrion Crows drifting around and no end of both Robins and Song Thrushes singing at full blast.  And soon I was also seeing both bird species.  As I set off on an anti-clockwise walk around the min Testwood Lake a couple of Wood Pigeons and a pair of Black-headed Gulls on the neighbouring Little Testwood Lake.   Meanwhile, on the main lake, a few Great Crested Grebes along with Coot, Mallard and more Back-headed Gulls.

Song Thrush Turdus iliacus

Taking the footpath towards the River Blackwater to walk to the first of two screens overlooking the lakes I encountered both Robin and Blackbird followed by a pair of Long-tailed and a single Great Tits. A lone Mistle Thrush was singing from the very top of an almost bare tree and a Chaffinch was foraging below. Having also recorded Goldfinches I stopped at the first screen overlooking The Scrapes to discover most of the Wigeon flock on the other side along with a number of Lapwing.  A little further on a pair of Canada Geese and a handful of Shoveler.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

The Chiffchaffs and Great Tits were in full song as I carried, having noted a pair of Teal from the second screen and then a Dunnock on the path in front of me.  On through the trees and eventually I arrived at the first of the two hides from where the Sand Martin Hide gave a good view over the pool and top end of the Scrapes.  More Shoveler, a couple of Tufted Duck and a few Gadwall plus Great Crested Grebes before carrying on the Heron Hide at the northern end of the reserve.  All very quiet here other than a couple of Mallard and a Coot until I saw my first Swallow of the year glide over the water.

Back to the Sand Martin Hide for a longer stay and was rewarded with a handful of Sand Martins which had already started to checkout the nest boxes in the artificially sand bank.  Over to the right a trio of Ringed Plovers and on one of the shingle beds a pair of Oystercatchers had started their nesting preparations.  Plenty of Lapwings about and even a Little Grebe away to the right.  However, the highlight was the trio of Grey Wagtails foraging at the water's edge near the Sand Martin nesting site.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus with two Ringed Plovers Charadrius hiaticula

Back via the Visitors Centre to the bottom car park accompanied by calling Blue Tits and more Blackbirds and Robins along with a quartet of Magpies.  Approaching the Sea Scouts headquarters a pair of Herring Gulls were resting atop a light post and on the neighbouring post  a single Lesser Black-backed Gull.  And on the [pontoon next to the shore a fourth Grey Wagtail came to rest for a minute or so, immediately after turning off the camera! But just in time for me to eventually get a record shot.  Into the car and had to wait until the Collared Dove decided moving was a better option than being spread flat and as I moved off a Jay crossed the lane.

Record shot of Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

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

Wednesday 30 March 2022

Roquetas de Mar with the Arboleas Birding Group

 Wednesday 30 March

Dave an his Arboleas Birding Group seem to be certainly finding lots of summer visitors.  Great to read about returning Collared Pratincoles, Woodchat Shrike and Spectacled Warbler, never mind Mandarin and marbled Ducks.  Only a month to go and Roquetas de Mar is also my "to visit" agenda; just hope the track will have dried out sufficiently to enable my Citroen 4 x 2 to make the most of the site.

Roquetas   -   Wednesday 30th March

I had to do an airport run to Almeria to pick up Paul and Kath, the former being one of our visiting birders. They had a solicitors appointment at lunchtime so we had two hours free to check out the Roquetas pools and savannah.  We drove onto the very bumpy and wet track just past the large lake. I saw something fly across from right to left.  It perched on a bush.  My first Woodchat Shrike of the year.  
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Moving on, not more than 50 metres, I heard the sound of Bee Eaters.  About half a dozen flew over the truck.  Further on, on the pools to the right there were numerous Red-crested Pochard and Coot.  There were a few Greater Flamingos and Black-headed Gulls.  Some Yellow-legged Gulls flew over.  I then had a brief glimpse of a pair of Marbled Duck coming into land before they disappeared below the shrub line.  A flurry of flying birds was caused by a passing Marsh Harrier.  Carrying on we were delighted to see a pair of flying Collared Pratincoles.  On a pool to our left I found a pair of Ruff and a Mallard.  On a sandbar we added Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt and Dunlin.  Also seen were Thekla Lark and Shoveler.  Turning right down the track to the old pump house we disturbed a Chiffchaff.  The water was quite high at the bottom, but we did see Little Egret, Redshank, Greenshank and Gadwall.  On the water there were at least three Great Crested Grebes.  Cormorants were resting on the rocky causeways.  Beside some Yellow-legged Gulls I spotted a couple of Whimbrel.

Ruff Philomacus pugnax (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

We headed back, retracing our steps.  A Magpie flew over.  Paul spotted something on a bush.  A Spectacled Warbler!  He spotted something else.  I got out to have a look and found a male Northern Wheatear.  A Hoopoe flew over.  Paul spotted a Turnstone.  A squadron of Glossy Ibis was seen.  We saw a few Iberian Yellow Wagtails and Common Swifts.  As we approached the turning into the little "Red Knobbed Coot" pool as it's called, we were approached by a Spanish bird photographer.  He showed us a photo of a male Mandarin Duck in all his glory.  Apparently it was on the pool.  We scurried round but he eluded us.  But we did see a Marbled Duck, which, when I put the photo on my computer, was amazed to see it had a satellite tracker on it. 

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

That completed our hour and 40 minute birdwatch.  We saw 34 species.  Be advised the track at the moment is only for 4x4 vehicles. Thanks to Kathy for being the secretary.
Regards, Dave

Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

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

Monday 28 March 2022

 Monday 27 March

Always an opportunist, I certainly envy Dave for being able to get in a bonus visit to El Fondo up in Elche.  Nevermind the limited time and "only" 34 species, what species they were.  Garganey, Garganey and also all those Marbled Ducks.  Certainly something there for many more to look forward to.  Just a shame, I suspect, that the Garganeys will be gone when I pay a call to the site in late May after delivering Jenny to Alicante airport and have an overnight nearby.

El Fondo bird reserve, Elche: Monday 28th March

Garganey Anas querquedula (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

I had to take one of Gilly's patients to Alicante airport and it would've been rude not to drop into the El Fondo bird reserve just south of Elche.  As I drove along the road from the North Gate entrance towards the Information Centre I spotted Serin, a flying Great Spotted Woodpecker, White Wagtail, Blackbird and Collared Dove.  Overhead there were lots of Barn Swallows together with a few House Martins and Common Swifts.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

I parked in the car park and had a cup of Thermos coffee.  I had been up since 4am and on the road since 5.30am so I needed it!  A Red-rumped Swallow flew over.  It was a bit overcast, but thankfully no rain.  I even ventured out with only a T-shirt and waistcoat on (Yes, and trousers!).  I stopped to scan the shallow pool and reeds in front of me and was immediately the target of hundreds of mosquitos.  Back to the car for my fleece!  Once suitably covered up apart from my hands and face I returned to recommence my scan.  There was a single Glossy Ibis and tens of Black-winged Stilts and Avocets as well as some Black-tailed Godwit and Coot.  I found some Teal and a Shoveler just before at least three Garganey flew in.  A Squacco Heron flew past . Also seen were House Sparrow and Moorhen.  I moved around so I was adjacent to the Information Centre.  A Purple Swamphen was showing well.  I then found a group of 6 resting Garganey.  I heard both Cetti's Warbler and an Iberian Green Woodpecker.  A Hoopoe flew over.  I then moved to the viewing area at the end of the covered picnic shed which overlooks a small enclosed pool. There were at least 6 Marbled Duck swimming around.  Also seen were Coot, Moorhen and Mallard, but unusually no Red-knobbed Coot.

Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

I walked along the raised wooden pathway.  I added Snipe, Greater Flamingo and Little Grebe.  I was following a group of 3 Finnish birders.  One suddenly looked up and pointed. An Alpine Swift!  Then there was a Red-knobbed Coot swimming within 10 metres of me. At the far end of the pool was a nesting box with a Marbled Teal standing on it as a male Garganey swam by.  Also seen were Black-headed and Yellow-legged Gull plus a Magpie.  I continued the loop back to the car as I was very tired.

Marbled Duck Marmaronetta a. atop nest box (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

34 species seen or heard in only probably 40 minutes.  Unfortunately the patient returns via the Corvera airport so no return trip here!
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

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

Sunday 27 March 2022

Farlington Marsh

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

 Sunday 27 March

A quiet , sunny morning at Farlington Marsh, north of Portsmouth, where the sun was shining brightly but a cold breeze coming off the water.  A two and a half hour walk round the perimeter plus a short foray inland totalling jut over 6 kilometres eventually produced 38 species, the pick of which were a couple of Avocets and Mediterranean Gulls plus a single Knot.

Taking the anti-clockwise walk along the perimeter path I was soon seeing hundreds of Black-headed plus the occasional Common Gull.  Before turning westwards I had also added Lesser Black-backed and towards the end of the walk even Herring Gulls.  On the river opposite the Information Centre at almost the end of my walk, checking the massed Black-headed I even found a pair of Mediterranean Gulls.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus with 2 Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus and a single Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

On my first stretch of the walk the tide was rapidly receding also exposing the mud that encouraged the waders to draw closer and this, in turn, produced many Redshank and then a single Knot feeding alongside a single Redshank giving an excellent size comparison.  Also in this first area I found a lone Whimbrel and within the next 200 metres as the path turned left the first of many Curlew.

Curlew Numenius arquata

This next stretch also provided me with many Turnstone and Redshank plus the small number of Brent Geese that seemed to prefer the more open waters and accompanying mud flats.  Meanwhile, the inland pools were producing Little Egrets, CootsShelduck, Teal, Wigeon and Mallard as well as more Black-headed Gulls and the first of the scores of Canada Geese.  Even a pair of Mute Swans albeit later n I was to see many more.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Continuing on, despite the war, bright sunshine there was a distinct cold breeze coming from the north. I was now seeing very many Canada Geese and as I turned inland on the far side I could see the, possibly, hundreds of both Brent and Canada Geese.  Not having seen a Starling for a week or more I now had a feeding flock over a hundred on the grass across the stream to my left plus others resting in nearby trees and bushes.  A thicket of dense bushes in front of me held a posing Song Thrush and a Blackbird was foraging on the more open ground nearby. 

Distant Song Thrush Turdus iliacus

To my right of the mudflats a few Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Turnstones plus the occasional gull and Little Egret but mainly over a hundred feeding Dunlin.

Where have all the Starlings Sturnus vulgaris gone?  They're here, at Farlington Marsh in Hampshire

The large inland pool held a huge flock of Black-headed Gulls along with Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Mallard and Shoveler.  No shortage of Coots and on the adjacent grassy fields many Lapwing along with a single Heron and the regular passing Carrion Crows.  Further on I came across a handful of Jackdaw and a couple of Magpie plus, of course, many Wood Pigeon as I neared the trees.  The next small stream held a number of feeding Black-tailed Godwits.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa coming into breeding plumage

So on to the Information Centre and a stop to check the water opposite where I picked up a pair of Little Grebe plus Mute Swans and more Black-tailed Godwits.  A couple of Robins were singing in the trees behind me but masked by twigs to prevent a photograph.  I then took the inland path that followed this main waterway and had sight of more Mute Swans, Little Egrets and both Shoveler and Mallard as well as Coots.  Checking the Black-headed I managed to find the pair of resting Mediterranean Gulls and, even better, a pair of Avocets.  Time to head slowly back to the parked car and passing the groups of small trees and bushes I added both Greenfinch and Goldfinch to the morning's sightings.

Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta

Birds seen:     

Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Knot, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

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

Friday 25 March 2022

Titchfield Canal

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

 Friday 25 March

Another beautiful, warm and sunny start to the day albeit a cool, light breeze when exposed in the more open elements.  A the Titchfield Canal car park by 9.30 and first a walk with the scope as far as the second pool to check the bird life before returning to the car to deposit scope and walk through the adjacent spinney before taking off down the can al path once again and this time right on for a couple of miles.

No sooner out of the car than a visiting Wren, the first of five that I was to see in the next hour.  also present both a Robin and a couple of Magpies then the massed sighting of all the widespread Wood Pigeons.  A Carrion Crow flew over as I approached the Barn Owl site but no sign of the bird on this occasion.  Given the length of his absence  can only imagine that the bird has moved on in search of a new mate and/or a better nesting site.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

Resting here I was able to scope the first pool and find many Black-headed but also a handful of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  Most of the ducks seemed to be sheltering out of site under the bank but both Mallard and Canada Geese were on the open water.  Once again, just the one Lapwing noted.  Great Tits were calling as I made my way to the second pool where I found even more Black-headed Gulls along with a single Little Egret.  In addition to many Canada Geese thee was also a small number of Greylag Geese along with a few Shovelers.

Making my way back tot the car i stopped to admire the circling Sparrowhawk and then, once scope deposited, made my way through the little spinney picking up more Wrens and Greenfinches before re-joining the canalside path.  The field beyond the canal held not only foraging Wood Pigeons but also a dozen Jackdaws also searching the grassy soil.  On the wires above me a resting Stonechat but the facing light prevented a half-decent photograph.

Continuing on down the path more Great TitsWrens and a first Blackbird plus a Cetti's Warbler.  Before returning to the car I was to identify a further three Cetti's in the area.  The first Blue Tits were finally seen as opposed to being heard an then the sighting of those lovely little Long-tailed Tits.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

Meanwhile, a Pheasant was calling on both sides of the canal  and having started the return walk I also added many Chiffchaff and a "yaffling" Green Woodpecker.  Upon reaching the pools the ducks were now more visible along with the very many Black-headed Gulls and Coots which produced a number of both Gadwall and Shoveler in addition to the Mallards plus a dozen or so Teal and thirty Wigeon.  The pair of Shelduck and another Little Egret were somewhat of a bonus.  Right at the back of the end water a lone Heron and then, high above me, a circling Buzzard to complete the morning.

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pheasant, Little Egret, Heron, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Wren, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Greenfinch.

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

Thursday 24 March 2022

Birding South Lincolnshire

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus with Shoveler Anas clypeata

Wednesday 23 March

Leaving our overnight accommodation near Uppingham at 8.30 to drive over to Langtoft in Lincolnshire, we had a roosting Buzzard as soon as we entered nearby Stamford Road followed almost immediately by a pair of Kestrels atop an electricity pylon.  With Jenny safely delivered to her friend's home, I had about three house for some local birding so started at nearby Deeping Lakes.  t was a beautiful, clam and sunny morning with clear blue skis so able to bird without the need for any additional clothing Extra coats that is, not in the nude!).

Stopping at the first observation platform as I entered the reserve I soon had sight of at least twenty species on the opening pool.  Having already recorded KestrelCollared Dove, Pheasant and Rook as I approached he site I immediately noticed the large flock of Black-headed Gulls and a small number of Mute Swans.  Whilst checking both Lapwing and Coot a Carrion Crow flew across the water before concentrating on the mixed grouping of ducks including Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Ducks.  Not just Greylag and Canada but also a couple of Egyptian Geese on the water plus a few resting Cormorants.  A while before I eventually found the first Moorhen and then a pair of Great Crested Grebes at the back plus a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus

Eventually reaching the car park I encountered both Great Tit and Wood Pigeon and a single Little Grebe was on the small pool to my left.  First up the river embankment where I found another dozen Mute Swans on the water along with a handful of Mallards and a single Little Egret.  Back down to the track and onwards to the woods.  More of the same on the next pool but I did see the single Goldfinch. The main lake had many more Black-headed Gulls plus plenty of both Wigeon and Tufted Ducks.  Obviously the nesting colony for a number of Cormorants as can be seen by the accompanying photograph.  However, it did produce a pair of Pochard.

The active Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo breeding colony

Strangers at the colony!

Making my way along the waterside path at least two Cetti's Warblers and a couple of Long-tailed plus Blue TitsRobins were regularly heard and seen and then, at last, a Blackbird. As I continued I enjoyed the "yaffling" of a nearby Green Woodpecker and picked out the first  of two Herons sheltering on the far bank.  By the time I was through the small wood I could also hear hammering Great Spotted Woodpecker plus the occasional call and then, back on the river embankment, more Mallards and a single Little Egret.  Just before returning to the car park I noticed that with the three Greylag there was another Egyptian Goose.  Finally, siting in the car, I picked out the half-dozen Jackdaws feeding on the grass a short distance away in front of me.

Distant Heron Ardea cinerea

With time in hand I decided to make a first visit to nearby Maxey Gravel Pits.  Only a very short stay which enabled me to walk down the bridle track separating two waters tot he present commercial workings.  As I approached both Greenfinches and a male Reed Bunting took off from the small tree next to the entrance gate and the first, more recently worked out, pool to my right produced both Coot and Tufted Duck along with Black-headed Gulls.  A single Little Egret was at the far end and on a sandy beach near to me a pair of forging Redshank.

Redshanks Tringa totanus

The larger pool to my left with more vegetation in and around the edges held both Mallard and Moorhen with Coots and Mute Swans out on the open water.  Carrion Crows, Magpies and Wood Pigeons were active and returning to the entrance area I picked up the Lesser Back-backed Gulls on the first lake and both Great and Blue Tits near the entrance.  Just outside the site both a male Pheasant and a trio of Rooks were noted along with a single male Chaffinch.

Lovely carpet of Primroses Primula vulgaris

And so on to Baston Fen in search of the recently arrived "special."  Very many Wigeon and a healthy supply of Tufted Duck to add to both Mallard and Shoveler.  A dozen or more Mute Swans and a similar number of Lapwing.  Just the four Great Crested Grebes seen along with a number of Coot and, of course, a very healthy supply of Black-headed along with a handful of Herring Gulls.  On the other hand, this seems to be a popular site for resting/staying Greylag Geese but no Canada Geese to be found.  A regular fly-over by both Carrion Crow and Magpies and even a feeding flock of Rooks on a neighbouring field. It was whilst double-checking for the "special" species that I found the Gadwall and, almost in front of me, a pair of late Whooper Swans drifted into view.  What a way to end the morning before collecting Jenny and making a start on the long journey back to Warsash.

Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnu

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Whooper Swan, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Back-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.

No shortage of either Greylag Anser anser or Canada Geese Branta canadensis on site but these two seemed to have paired up and could they produce a Greyada or Canlag Goose?  If so, might carry the scientific name of Anser branta ridicularius

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

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Rutland and Eyebrook Waters

Tuesday 22 March

Gradually working our way home after visiting brother in Nuneaton yesterday afternoon and this morning.  Time, therefore, to make a quick stop at Rutland Water before driving on to Eyebrook Reservoir before spending the night close by in Uppingham.  Still beautiful weather with very warm temperatures, clear blue skies and hardly any wind.  First stop at Lyndon where we duly recorded many Blue and Great Tits along with Cjaffinch, Reed Bunting, Dunnock and Blackbird.  A pair of Mallards and a Moorhen were on the pond next to the feeders with both cock and hen Pheasants plus Wood Pigeons on the grass.

Moving on to the main reserve in Egleton we stopped at the inlet bridge and were able to see the newly arrived Ospreys with the female having returned about eight days ago and the male yesterday.  Arriving at the car park we soon added House Sparrow and both Jackdaw and Carrion Crow and the local rookery seemed to have moved nearer the Visitors Centre with plenty of activity by the local Rooks. The first Robin was also recorded waking towards the feeders.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus (male above and female below on nest site)

Once inside the the VC we noted Canada and Greylag Geese along with Mute Swans on Lagoon 1 and then the many ducks including Red-crested Pochard, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall and Pintail.  Also present were Coots, Cormorant and Great Crested Grebes.  Only Black-headed Gulls on this water but we did find a single Oystercatcher on one of the nearby small islands.

Jenny heard the saw a Wren as we made our way back to the car for the relatively short drive over to Eyebrook Reservoir.  Stopping first at the little car park below Stone Dry we found more tits along with Chaffinches and Blackbird, no doubt encouraged by the voluntary use of feeders in the trees to attract in various small birds.  Lots of Mute Swans and both Canada and Greylag Geese to be seen along with a variety of ducks and Great Crested Grebes but with the sun in our eyes it was best that we travelled round to the far side of the water.  A stop at the small bridge revealed more tits, Moorhen and Pheasant in the area and so onto the first view point.  Lots of Cormorants and very large numbers of Black-headed Gulls but also a pair of Common Gulls.  On the far side a single Little Egret and a Heron then a look at the field on the opposite side of the road produced a handful of Red-legged Partridges and a roosting Buzzard.

Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo at rest

Moving on we found the recently reported Slavonian Grebe on the far side next to a Lesser Black-backed Gull.  

Spot the very distant, record shot of the Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus

A little further as we started to climb the hill we stopped at the next feeding area and here found not only Chaffinches, Blue and Great Tits but also a handful of Yellowhammers.  A cock Pheasant seemed happy to just sit and watch the world go by whilst behind him a pair of Red-legged Partridges were making a hasty retreat away from watching eyes.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella

Working our way round to the far end of the reservoir we also added a couple of Starlings, a single Great White Egret watching over a small pool, Kestrel and more Robins.  Over an hour at this site but by the time we left to make our way to the evening's hotel we gad actually recorded 43 species.  Most rewarding,

Hen Pheasant Phasianus colchicus

Distant Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Slavonian Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Heron, Osprey, Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting.

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

Sunday 20 March 2022

Hamble River, Warsash

 Sunday 20 March

Out by 9.30 to walk up the Hamble river to the conservation area and back in beautiful sunshine with clear blue skies albeit a cold wind.  Upon returning I carried on along the shore through the village and almost  out to the spit to see what might be in the bay - and there was plenty.  Certainly quite warm 100minutes later as well as the wind dropping to no more than a light breeze.  Only 24 species recorded but lovely to be out and enjoying the 6km walk.

Brent Goose Branta bernicla

A couple of singing House Sparrows to see me on my way and, for a change, a calling Collared Dove. Once at the water a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits along with a number of Black-headed plus a couple of Common and the odd Herring Gull.  No sooner had I seen a quartet of Brent Goose than I was seeing score as I made my way upstream.  The first of a half-dozen Curlew and then a pair of Mallard enjoying the company of a handful of Teal.  On the water a pair of Shelduck and the first of the many Wigeon.  A Carrion Crow flew across the track and, again, many more were to be seen.

Note the changing plumage n the Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

Continuing on up towards the conservation are I soon added a number of Redshank along with at least eight Oystercatchers.  The quartet of Dunlin took more finding as they were on the sheltered edge of the far, muddy island and that, in turn, revealed a quartet of Grey Plover. A lone Cormorant flew down the river and on the water itself, close inshore, a trio of Little Grebes. The conservation area was to add nothing new save a solitary Little Egret on inland the mud flat.

Grey Pluver Pluvialis squatarola

Back to the village and off along the track round the bay where all I managed to add to the morning's list were a Magpie, Wood Pigeon and Robin along with a dozen sleeping Ringed Plovers at the end of my outward walk on the bank of the inlet this side of the spit.

Sleeping Ringed Plovers Charadrius hiaticula

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Robin, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow.

Curlew Numenius arquata

Resting Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

A small section of the 200+ Brent Geese along with Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits

Carrion Crow Corvus corax
Male Wigeon Anas penelope

Always a Robin Erithacus rubecula to be found

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