Wednesday 27 December 2023

Warsash and Solent Shores

Tuesday 26 December

After all the excess food and excitement of Christmas Day, Boxing Day arrived with a change in the weather.  Still cloudy but dry and not a breath of wind, perhaps the lull before the storm with bad weather and all sorts of warnings re the expected change to be found on the morrow.  So, after lunch, and the need for some healthy exercise, Jenny and I took a mid-afternoon walk down to the nearby harbour and then along to the Spit to continue on to the Meandering Pool and back which, pleasingly, coincided with the low tide and we all know how quickly the water disappears following the double full-tide.  A Black-headed Gull on the lamppost as we left the drive and passing the slipway a Pied Wagtail

A few of the very many Wigeon Anas penelope

Once on the coastal path up to Strawberry Fields not a lot of birdlife, other than a handful of Brent Geese, a few Black-headed Gulls and the odd Redshank on the shore but a Robin crossed the path in front of us and away in the distance the first Carrion Crow.  Approaching the School of Navigation pier both Woodpigeon and Carrion Crow in the neighbouring trees followed by a pair of overflying Magpies. Moving on a Heron flew over us and out to the water line and very little else to see until we reached the lee side of the now almost empty basement of the Spit.  Here, almost a hundred resting Wigeon and  and the occasional Oystercatcher.  However, a pair of Cormorant were seen flying up the Solent and into the mouth of the Hamble River.

Distant Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus

Reaching the Scrape more Wigeon at the back along with a small number of Pintail and a quartet of Teal. Along with the few Mallard a single Moorhen was foraging on the island. Looking up we found the "Baker's Dozen" Canada Geese as they flew over honking away to each other. Nothing else to see on the walk and just a single Black-headed Gull on the Meandering Pool.  However, making the return walk a look out to the Solent found no end of resting Black-headed a few Herring and a single Great Black-backed Gull. Very many feeding Oystercatchers plus a few Redshank, Dunlin and even a handful of Sanderling.  A couple of Curlew were a pleasant addition and ere long we were back on the final path in front of Strawberry Fields where a Blue Tit put in an appearance to take the final tally for the afternoon up to 23 species.

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Pintail, Cormorant, Heron, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blue Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow.

Pintails Anas acuta

Teal Anas crecca and Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

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