Thursday 16 March 2023

Lower Hamble River

 Thursday 16 March

Home from U3A Camera Club meet and the the sun shining brightly with hardly a breeze at all, so a quick lunch then off across the road to take a walk up the Hamble River to the conservation area and back with the tide working its way back in to reach the high water mark around 5.15pm.  Hardly anyone about so all peace and quiet and time to enjoy the scenery and its accompanying wildlife, albeit numbers not high in either species or quantity but I was happy with 25 species in around 75 minutes.

First up a Chiffchaff as I approached the river then a couple of Black-tailed Godwits accompanied by a handful of Brent Geese, a few Wigeon and both Herring and Black-headed Gulls.  The first of a number of Redshank arrived to see what all the fuss was about.

Redshank Tringa totanus

Moving on up river I soon added more Wigeon along with a dozen Teal and both Oystercatcher and Curlew before finding more than a score of feeding Dunlin - plus a few sleepy members of the flock. A couple of Cormorant flew down the river towards Southampton Water and in the garden on the inland side of the embankment path a couple of Woodpigeon plus both Magpie and Carrion Crows.

Sleeping Dunlin Calidris alpina

Moving on up the river, the next garden was playing host to a half-dozen Canada Geese and on the, as yet, uncovered water meadow.  Here, no less than a fourteen Shelduck plus a further four further up in the grass.

Five of the Shelduck Tadorna tadorna flock

Back at the water's edge a quartet of Grey Plover over the next hundred metres along with a single Turnstone. In both of the next two bays a single Little Grebe and then I was at the conservation area which produced more teal than Wigeon along with many Black-headed Gulls and a few more Redshank and another Greenshank.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia

As I made my way back a Little Egret flew over as it made its way up river to the conservation area and in the gardens, now on my left, a single male Blackbird along with not only more Carrion Crows but also a flock of seven Jackdaw. Then, taking the path at the end of the walk alongside the car park a pair of Chiffchaff in the first tree and both Robin and Blue Tits foraging in the hedgerows and adjacent trees.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola - note also the Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow.

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