Wednesday 14 December 2022

Lower Hamble River

Dunlin Calidris alpina

Wednesday 14 December

Light cloud and the sun shining through but still bitterly cold with the biting wind taking the temperature down to around -3C.  However, wrapped up warm and off for an hour's walk up the Hamble River to the conservation area and back.  The tide was half-way in and birds pushed up nearer to the shore but relatively little about for the first hundred meters or so save a Curlew, Redshank and single Black-headed Gull.  Once round the first bend a few Brent Geese and a pair of Turnstone.

Redshank Tringa totanus

Reaching the first bay a large flock of resting Wigeon with half the that number of Teal sheltering under the bank on the opposite side.  A few Dunlin, before a huge flock flew in on the way back, and resting at the far end of a spit seven Shelduck along with more Dunlin and a pair of Great Black-backed alongside a couple of Herring Gulls.  The inlet on the land side of the path held a single Greenshank.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Further in up the river I came across more Brent Geese feeding in small groups or resting at the water's edge and on the large, damp meadow a number of foraging Ringed Plover. On the other side of the path  the first of two Oystercatchers to be seen during the walk.

A few of the Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula

Once at the conservation area more Wigeon and Teal with a few Black-headed Gulls.  A Greenshank flew in to join the last and the river's edge another Black-tailed Godwit.  On a grassy mound at the back of the area three resting Heron.  A couple of Cormorant flew upriver and, back on the inlet, a Grey Plover.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola

Making my way back a more Curlew, at least eight seen during the walk, and the first of eight Carrion Crows. A Little Grebe was observed fishing in the main river and more Brent Geese and Ringed Plovers had arrived to feed and roost and at the end of the walk at least a score of Wood Pigeon and a single, male, Blackbird.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis on the open water

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Greenshank, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Carrion Crow.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Curlew Numenius arquata

Mainly Dunlin Calidris alpina

Dunlin Calidris alpina

Resting Herons Ardea cinerea

Shelduck Tadorna tadorna with Dunlins

Resting Teal Anas crecca

Wigeon Anas penelope

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