Thursday 11 August 2022

Meon Shore, Hill Head

 Thursday 11 August

Away from home before 6.30 and straight to the Meon shore adjacent to Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve. An immediate look, against the sun, at the lagoon at the Meon estuary conformed very many Common Tern along with a number of Black-headed Gulls, Mute Swans, Mallard and Coot

Common Terns Sterna hirundo

A handful of Black-tailed Godwit led to me finding the foraging quartet of Glossy Ibis, a similar number of Moorhen plus Redshank and Lapwing.

Glossy Ibis Plegadus falcinellus

Nevermind the Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, have these Glossy Ibis recently arrived from Hook Pond?

Just the one Little Egret but crossing the road to check the bars off the beach as the tide starting to make its way back in many more were to be found.  A few Oystercatcher and the occasional Turnstone before a short walk north along the beach took me much nearer to the resting flocks at the water's edge.  Hundreds of Common Tern and a closer look through the scope revealed a number of Little Tern plus a very large resting flock of Mediterranean Gulls, a good number wearing colour-coded rings of white, yellow and green in addition to their numbered alloy ring on the left leg.  Talking to a nearby birder, it would appear that the yellow-legged birds are from Holland, the green from Germany and the white ringed in the UK.

Mainly Common Terns Sterna hirundo

Mainly Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus and Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus but also a Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

Moving further on I was also able to pick a number of Herring and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls in addition to the very many Oystercatchers. Before moving back to nearer the harbour I also recorded a couple of Rock Doves on the beach along with a quartet of Carrion Crows.

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus

A final check of the lagoon from the roadside viewing area revealed a pair of waiting (for me) Wood Pigeon and a Cormorant flying upstream and both more Redshank and Lapwing.  A pair of Teal made a leisurely paddle downstream and then from the bridge over the outflow into the harbour, not only a Great Crested Grebe but a Kingfisher resting on a dead twig immediately below me taking advantage of the bright, low morning sun.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis in the low, early morning sunlight

Back across the road and scoping the far Solent I found my Black Tern almost on the edge of the Isle of Wight as it searched for its morning feed. To my left many more Common Tern and another large group of Oystercatchers.  Listening to the two birders I met near the yatch club, I too then scoped the distant waters and found the three Common Scoters. Naturally, there was no shortage of Mallards and Turnstones in the harbour itself.

Resting Turnstone Arenaria interpres and Mallards Anas platyrhynchos to the front

As I took my leave to return home for  breakfast a group of six Canada Geese flew into the Titchfield Nature Reserve and at the top of Posbrook Lane, just a had happened on the outward journey, more Jackdaws along with a Collared Dove and a couple of Starling.

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Teal, Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Glossy Ibis,  Little Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Kingfisher, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Breakfast's arrived! for this Common Tern

Many Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus 

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