Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday 24th November 2013

Spent the morning leading a group at Normandy Marsh, Lymington, a rather pleasant walk though nothing too much out of the ordinary, but then thats not what it's all about.  Though as we were waiting for our last member to arrive I noticed seven white swans flying pretty high going over south towards the Isle of Wight.  I can only put them down as being probably Whooper Swan as their structure wasn't right for Mute or Bewick's unfortunately they didn't stop and were soon out of view.  Well we couldn't stand and worry about what we may have missed.  So we headed off, first we stopped to look over the main channel towards Inchmary.   Here we found many of the common waterfowl one would expect in this saltmarsh habitat, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Teal, Wigeon, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Curlew and Redshank.  We hadn't gone far when Fran said "I've a Kingfisher" then "oh its gone" but it soon reappeared see distant photograph below.

Looking over Normandy lagoon there were much the same species either feeding or roosting.  We still managed to add a few more to the day list with Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Little Grebe and Tufted Duck.  We had twelve Skylark then a handful of Meadow Pipits lifted of the marsh and headed over us climbing alway towards the south.  We assumed these birds were migrants that had dropped in earlier in the morning and had just set off again after a feed and rest. Bob found a Sparrowhawk that posed long enough for us all to have excellent scope views, and our second raptor was found shortly after this time a female Kestrel came in and rested on a post. 

There was little out on the Solent other than a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe, though there were lots of small sailing dingys which probably moved the seaduck further down the Solent. There was nothing new on Oxey Lake so we headed inland along the footpath to Normandy Lane where we usually find some winter thrushes but not today.  We had a large flock of Curlew with a few Black-tailed Godwit and a large Starling flock feeding in the back fields.  I managed to put my Audubon birdcall to good use bringing out a beautiful Goldcrest, to see who was making this high pitched squeak, giving excellent close views.  With a group of Dunnock a couple of Jays and we had now completed out circuit  

We might not have had anything scarce or rare but what we had was nice assortment of all the common wintering species and very good views of all and a super walk with good company. Thanks to all and hope to see you all soon. 

One of possibly 3 Kingfisher seen this morning

A few of the many grazing Wigeon on the marsh this morning

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