Wednesday 30 November 2022

Warsash Shores

Brent Goose Branta bernica

Tuesday 29 November

A dry, calm day but severely overcast, dull and cold!  Time to keep warm as I undertook a double walk along the local shores.  First, southwards along the front of the village and on down to the spit where I picked up Southampton Water and continued on down to the Meandering Pool before returning to the harbour to take the footpath access to the Hamble River so that I could make a return walk up to the conservation area.  In total a distance of just about five miles in the three hours since leaving home at 9.30 to coincide with the low tide a few minutes after 8.

Starting at the yacht club very few birds about other than a number of Black-headed Gulls but no sooner down towards the School of Navigation than scores of feeding Brent Geese to be seen along with a good number of Redshank and a few Ringed Plovers.  Just the one, initial, Curlew observed and a handful of Carrion Crows.  A small party of Feral Pigeons made their way inland along with about a score of Common Starling.  

A few of the many Brent Geese Branta bernica

Once round towards the spit more and more Brent Geese and large numbers of Dunlin along with a couple of Grey Plover

Distant Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola

 A few more Redshank and Ring Plovers and, behind me, a steady movement of Wood Pigeons.  A single Pied Wagtail and a calling Blackbird on the inland side of the path and then the first Oystercatcher of the morning on the mud.  By the time I had passed the spit I had recorded well over a hundred Brent Geese and twice that number of Dunlin.  A single Great Black-backed and a handful of Herring Gulls gave a little relief from all the Black-headed Gulls.  Whilst there were a few Mallards about and a handful of Teal, the inland stream in front of the spit contained the usual high numbers of Wigeon along with more Black-headed Gulls.  On the sea side of the spit, numerous Dunlin, very many Oystercatchers and a lone Little Egret.

A few of the very many Dunlin Calidris alpina seen during the morning

On to the Scrape where I was delighted to find a group of nineteen Pintails along with a dozen Canada Geese and a couple of Little Grebe.  A lone Mute Swan was resting in the brook between the shore and the fields.  In addition, a single Shelduck and a quartet of Gadwall to make up the numbers.  

Male and two female Pintail Anas acuta

Very little on the Meandering Pool other than a few Teal and a pair of Shoveler and the path alongside the fence proved to be very disappointing with just the occasional Magpie.  However, on the far side a flock of approaching 200 Wood Pigeons was moving between the trees. The return walk along this path provided a half-dozen Pied Wagtails and seven Meadow Pipits in the burnt area just before I re-joined the grassy edge of the bank.  Nothing new on the Scrape but a Moorhen was feeding in the brook near the Mute Swan.

Happily feeding Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis

Once back towards the School of Navigation still plenty of Brent Geese and Ringed Plovers to be seen along with a handful of Turnstone.  A Great Crested Grebe was in the midst of the channel and working my way back towards the harbour I was able to add both a Heron and pair of Black-tailed Godwits.  On the path itself a trio of Dunnock and almost at the end of the walk a couple of Great Tits.

Sheltering Teal Anas crecca

And so on to the River Hamble.  The tide still had a few hours to go before reaching its peak and initially just a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and a Curlew as I head up towards the ferry crossing and the fist inland pool.  Soon I had added both Turnstone and Black-headed Gulls and the first of a handful of Carrion Crows to be seen.

Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

Then hundreds of Dunlin and, maybe, two score of Ringed Plover along with a single Oystercatcher and more Curlews and Redshanks. There were many Wigeon on the river near the shore and the first of a few Herring Gulls.  A Cormorant flew down stream across the meadows and then I found a feeding Great Black-backed GullRinged Plovers were feeding/resting on the grassy meadows before the tide reached the area and the small bay opposite held a fishing Little Grebe.

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

Once up at the conservation area two score of resting Teal along with double that number of Wigeon.  Two Greenshank and a Little Egret made up the numbers whilst a Carrion Crow posed on a post watching all that was going on.  Just the one, lonely Heron and then back to start and return home.  Moving down the river I added both Magpie and Starlings in the gardens beyond the meadows and, again, a huge hundred plus flock of Wood Pigeons moving about along with a few more Curlew.

Carrion Crow Corvus corone

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, 

Curlew Numenius arquata

Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Redshank Tringa totanus in front of Dunlin C.alpina

Wigeon Anas penelope

For the latest news follow the Axarquia Birds and Wildlife Facebook page for more photos and comments and the opportunity to share with the wider birding world.

No comments:

Post a Comment