Monday 4 April 2022

Warsash and Solent Shore

Sunday 3 April

Little Egret Egretta garzetta with feeding Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta

Beautiful sunny morning and with an almost complete drop in the recent windy weather and not too cold led to a very enjoyable walk along the front shore of Warsash and on past the Spit to the Solent shore; almost ideal birding weather and the incoming tide pushing the shore birds much closer, especially on the outward journey past the Scrape and on to the meandering Lake.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Once past the yacht compound and on to the path in front of Strawberry Field the first Black-tailed Godwits and the occasional Black-headed Gulls were noted quickly followed by a brace of Redshank. Approaching the School of Navigation a large feeding flock of Black-tailed Godwits and Brent Geese in addition to an Oystercatcher, a pair of Shelduck and the only Curlew of the morning.  The last leg of this shore before turning west towards the Spit produced the main flock of Brent Geese and a couple of Herring Gulls.  Meanwhile, walking along this former path both Blackbird and House Sparrow.

A few of the many Brent Geese Branta bernicla

The water on the inland side of the Spit produces aver a score of Wigeon along with more Black-headed Gulls and a single Ringed Plover.  In addition there were a few Mallards and a handful of Teal whilst a small pool in front of the reedbed held a pair of Gadwall.  The rapidly disappearing mudflats held a dozen or more Shelduck and a constant movement if Carrion Crows.

Gadwall Anas strepera

Making my way towards the Scrape I had a couple of Wood Pigeon and then a solitary Little Egret in the narrow steam stretching back from the stream alongside the shore.  Once at the Scrape I was able to add a second Little Egret, a pair of  Avocet and a lone male Tufted Duck at the northern end whilst also on the water and island were more Shelduck, Black-headed Gulls, Mallard and  a good number of Shoveler.  Even a Little Grebe put in an appearance before I picked up the pair of Mute Swans in the tall reeds.  At the back of the neighbouring field a male Stonechat posed on top of a gorse bush, a Cetti's Warbler started calling from below me and a pair of Linnets quickly arrived and departed carrying nesting material.

On the island: Oystercatchers, Shelduck, Mallard and Black-headed Gulls

Moving between the Scrape and Meandering Pool I noticed my first of five Magpies and a Sky Lark was ascending.  Once at the water, in addition to a pair of Teal also a pair of Canada Geese. Time to start the return journey and immediately both Chiffchaff and Robin arriving at the same bush. Then, best of all, immediately past the Scrape a Dartford Warbler upped and flew across a couple of gorse bushes before disappearing down below.  How do these birds manage to fly so close to the bush tops?  The final sightings of the morning were both Blue and Great Tits as I made my way back along the path between shore and Strawberry Field.

Resting Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Sky Lark, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Linnet.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Wigeon Anas penelope with Gadwall A.strepera

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