Monday 26 December 2022

Hamble River

Monday 26 December

Beautiful sunny morning with no breeze and temperature, at about 7C, quite acceptable. Time for  amid-morning walk up the Hamble River to the conservation area and back and given that it's Boxing day, no shortage of people and dogs!  However, no problem for checking the birds both on the water's edge and the damp meadow behind me awaiting the incoming tide. Both Robin and Carrion Crow as I approached the river but then very little to be seen, just the odd Redshank and a Black-headed Gull.

A few of the feeding Dunlin Calidris alpina

Making my way upriver and at he first bay I found a good number of feeding Dunlin along with the first two dozen Wigeon and a handful of Teal.  Only a dozen Brent Geese, and not many more further upstream, but both a Greenshank and the first of four Curlew seen during the walk.

Curlew Numenius arquata

However, checking beyond the island to the river itself I found a sleeping flock of about 100 Knot.  An immature Herring Gull along with a few of its Black-headed cousins on the beach followed by the first of two Oystercatchers.

Part of the 100+ flock of sleeping Knot Calidris canutus

More and more individual Redshank and then a most unexpected surprise as I found a feeding Whimbrel on the damp meadow that proceeded to wander away to the grassy area. A Heron flew downstream and a second was seen near to the conservation area.

Surprise sighting of a Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

On the next, larger, bat a couple of Brent Geese swimming close to a pair of feeding Little Grebe and I was to find another couple when I reached the conservation area. Whilst at the latter I found the rest of the Wigeon flock plus a dozen Teal and the same number of Black-headed Gulls.  But, on a far tussock at the back, a single Spotted Redshank which proceeded to make a hasty retreat towards the main river. making my way back to the starting point many of the birds now closer with the rising tide and only a couple of Wood Pigeon added to make a final total of 19 species; a question of more quality rather then quantity.

Brent Geese Branta bernicla with a Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Heron, Oystercatcher, Knot, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Carrion Crow.

More Dunlin with a Teal Anas crecca

Immature Herring Gull Larus argentatus

Redshank Tringa totanus

Male Teal Anas crecca

Male Wigeon Anas penelope

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