Wednesday 29 June 2022

Hayling Island & Farlington Marsh

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

 Tuesday 28 June

A relatively early start on a sunny day but quite windy to collect a small part for the car which was conveniently situated between the oyster beds at the north of Hayling Island and very nearby Farlington Marsh.  Arriving at Hayling Island at 8 o'clock the tide was still well out but a number of Black-headed Gulls feeding on the mud flats. A Curlew flew over and away to the adjacent oyster beds and then the sighting of both Oystercatcher and Carrion Crow also feeding below me.  Just a single Herring Gull and then a handful of foraging Rock Doves before I set off on the track to the oyster beds themselves.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus

Approaching the first bed I recorded both House Sparrow and Woodpigeon but very little on any of the beds save a few Black-headed Gulls and a pair of Shelduck.  A pair of Linnets made a brief landing on the pebbled beach and away at the back a lone Little Egret.  To the far, seaward side, a Heron as both Magpie and Cormorant flew across above me.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

On the final, largest pool a mass of breeding Black-headed Gulls with their now almost full-grown chicks on the banks and on the artificial floating islands a few more but mainly the remains of the breeding Common Tern flock, probably totalling at this time some forty plus individuals including well-grown youngsters.  And as I made my way back to the car park a couple of Blue Tits put in an appearance.

Mainly Common Terns Sterna hirundo

Thirty minutes or so later, after my garage visit, I was ready to explore the top end of Farlington Marsh where, in addition to more Black-headed Gulls, I also noted a few Lapwing.  A short walk along the side of the harbour took me to the large inland pond where I discovered Shelduck, a large group of Avocets and even a solitary Redshank.  A trio of Canada Geese were in attendance and above the the first of many feeding/drinking Common Swifts.  Indeed, these birds were to be seen all along this river-like lake as I left the main harbour to follow the trail alongside the inland water.  A lovely sight was that of a quartering Marsh Harrier following the opposite bank and ere soon the sound of many calling Reed Warblers.

Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta and even a lone Redshank Tringa totanus

In addition to more Oystercatchers, Little Egret and Magpie I also found a quartet of Mute Swans, a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Moorhen.  A rather lovely sight was that of a lone Sky Lark mobbing a passing Carrion CrowStarlings were to be seen in small numbers and then a group of eight Black-tailed Godwits. With a Greenfinch calling away to my left I finally came to the end of the field path and the little lane leading to the, closed, Visitors centre.

Black-tailed Godwit L.limosa with Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

Resting on the gate overlooking the lagoon at the end of the "river" I was delighted to finally find some of the local Mediterranean Gulls with a handful resting on the water immediately in front of me.  To the right side a pair of Canada Geese and a few Black-tailed Godwits along with single Coot and Lapwing. A small group of Mallards were at the back of the water and a Carrion Crow was foraging way at the side.  

Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus

Compare Mediterranean with Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus

Leaving the water to walk back along the cycle path tot he car pack I also managed to record Chaffinch and Blackbird with a Collared Dove patiently awaiting my arrival.  A most pleasant couple of hours in total.

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Mallard, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern,  Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Sky Lark, Barn Swallow, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Blue Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

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