Friday 7 April 2023

Hamble River, Warsash

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Friday 7 April

A beautiful start to the day with a full sun in clear blue skies and hardly a breath of wind as friend Richard Osman and I set off to walk a couple of miles up the Hamble River and back.  There may not have been many birds, just the 26 species, but lovely to be out and about along with every other Tom, Dick and Harry, with and without their four-legged friends.

With the tide at a perfect setting and having seen both Woodpigeon and Chiffchaff as we approached the water, we were soon encountering the first pf over 60 Black-tailed Godwits that were to be seen on our outward journey.  A lone Herring Gull and a half-dozen Brent Geese also before reaching the river ferry terminal.  A trio of Carrion Crow passed overhead and then it was upwards and onwards. A single Redshank before starting to encounter the local Black-headed Gulls and then the delightful sight of a handful of Turnstones doing what their name implies.

Redshank Tringa totanus

As we now came across more and more Black-tailed Godwits we also noted the accompanying Redshank and Curlew but just the two Oystercatchers this morning. On the inland side of the river path we found our solitary Greenshank and beyond them in the large gardens reaching down to the meadow a total of five Canada Geese.

Curlew Numenius arquata

Approaching the conservation area we were able to identify distant Robins and Blackbirds and then the trio of resting Cormorants on the far side of the river.  This area also produced most of the resting Brent Geese suggesting at least 50 individuals still present in the area.  As we reached the marina docking harbour we found three Mute Swans and after a coffee stop started upon our return journey down river.  To our left a Blackcap and more Chiffchaffs, Robins and a Great Tit were calling out to us and then, back at the conservation area a pair of Jackdaw and five wandering Rock Doves.  Checking the now flooded inland area we also came across a pair of Shelduck and our only Little Egret of the morning.

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus with (immediately left) a Redshank and background of Black-tailed Godwits

So on down river and with the last island about to be swallowed up by the incoming tide many of the Black-tailed Godwits and gathered together along with a single Cormorant, Redshank and a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls.  Finally, almost back to the path away from the river, and a pair of Mallard were taking a short rest before continuing on upstream.  Great company and a most enjoyable morning.

The second Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

Birds seen:

Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Mallard, Cormorant, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow.

Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa (above and below)

Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrelli

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