Saturday 25 February 2023

Hook with Warsash Nature Reserve

Flighty Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

Saturday 25 February

A double visit to the local area today.  First, this morning, a circular walk down Workmans Lane taking in the Horse Fields, then on down to the shore and along the coast passing both the Meandering Pool and the Scrape before arriving home after 2 1/2 hours for the 5 1/2 hour circuit.  Then, mid-afternoon, a return to  the top of Workmans Lane so that I could walk the length of Hook Park Road and back, a gravelled track at best, hoping the hour spent on the 2 1/2km walk might produce a Mistle Thrush; it did not but I did add a further six species to this morning's total making a final count of 45.

Noting the Collared Dove, a bird not often seen at our end of the village, I arrived at my starting point around 9.45 I immediately had many calling Great Tits and the first of many Carrion Crows.  A Magpie was foraging in the adjacent horse field and a lone Black-headed Gull few over.  On the grassy meadow to my right as I walked down the lane more Carrion Crows and Magpies along with a single Brent Goose near the much-reduced water.  A Robin was recorded in the hedge and around me many passing and resting Woodpigeons.

The walk along the side of the Horse Field produced a few more Carrion Crows and in the meadow to my right a couple of Stonechat and a single Linnet.  making my way back I managed to find the resting Peregrine Falcon that was partially hidden behind the top tiers of the pylon.  Finding myself at the end of the path, where I had noted both Blue and Great Tits along with a single Long-tailed Tit on the feeders of the nearby bungalow, a Song Thrush was singing its heart out at the top of a tall tree and below it a pair of foraging Long-tailed Tits.  As I left to make my way down to the shore a Heron drifted over and away inland.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

Once on the shore with the tide now at lest half-way in, very many Brent Geese totalling around 150 along with  single Redshank and an Oystercatcher.  On the water itself more Brents and a few Herring plus a single great Black-backed Gull.

Brent Geese Branta bernicla

Making my way to the Meandering Pool I picked up a skulking Moorhen in a watery area of reed and at the water itself a half-dozen Teal along with a single Snipe.  Next on to the Scrape where the pair of Mute Swans were accompanied by a few Mallard, a score of Pintail and small numbers of both Teal and Wigeon.  Two Oystercatchers were resting on the nearby small island and at the back along with a trio of Brent Geese a quartet of resting Shelduck.

Resting Shelduck Tadorna tadorna with a trio of Brent Geese

Finally the Spit area and the bays either side of the School of Navigation pier. At the first around forty Wigeon along with a few Black-headed and a single Common Gull plus a lone Little Egret.  The (still) mud flats on the sea side of the spit held over fifty Oystercatchers and a trio of Curlew.  The bays produced another two hundred Brent Geese along with around 450 Dunlin.  In addition, a few more Curlew plus a trio of Grey Plover, dozen Ringed Plover, about the same number of Redshank and maybe ten Black-tailed Godwits.

Hundreds of Dunlin Calidris alpina and Brent Geese Branta bernicla

In the weeds on the beach at the the northern side of the pier a couple of foraging Turnstone and on the small pool inside the ground of the School of Navigation a single Mediterranean Gull busy washing and preening itself.

Once lunch way out of the way I set off again to the top of Workmans Lane and took a the gravelled track, still known as Hook Park Road to its end in the centre of the hamlet of Hook itself.  Lots of Carrion Crows, Woodpigeons and Great Tits to start and then a couple of Rooks on my right at the edge of the neighbouring horse field.  In a field to my left no less than ten Magpies and on the wires a score of Starling.

Carrion Crow Corvus corone

The bushes along the road produced more Blue and Great Tits along with both Robin and Dunnock.  After also recording a couple of Long-tailed Tits I took the side path towards the main Horse Field to check what might be in the distance and quickly saw a pair of Canada Geese.  As I rounded a bend in the narrow path a Wren dashed out form cover to cross in front of me and away to my right on the flooded track in front of the house seven Pied Wagtails and a male Chaffinch. Then, making my way back to the car, I added a Blackbird and a Kestrel was found resting in  tree to my right. And no sooner was I settled inside the car than a few drops of rain started to fall!

More Brent Geese Branta bernicla

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Pintail, Little Egret, Heron, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Snipe, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Wren, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Linnet.

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