Monday, 13 January 2014

Hampshire Birding

Yesterday saw Jackie and I at Keyhaven with the Sunday monthly group with the weather producing a very grey damp day and the tide was higher than anticipated.  But that didn't deter us from our quest and we headed off along the drive that takes you straight to Pennington as the Marsh there was reported to be packed with wildfowl.  On our way we picked up many of the common hedgerow species i.e. Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird etc.  There were an assortment of duck on the balancing pond Mallard, Gadwall, Teal Tufted Duck, Coot and Moorhen.  Overhead I picked up a Mediterranean Gull and we watched flights of Brent moving back and forth as though they weren't so sure where the best feeding areas were with so much water around.  Once we arrived at the corner gate by the Pennington parking area it was obvious there were several hundred duck and waders out on the marsh and it was just to scan through them to record the species.  The first obvious species were Lapwing with small groups taking flight and giving there plaintive pee-wit calls.  The other species that was quickly noted were Wigeon, Pintail and Teal which were spread in numbers all across the marsh along with Brent Geese Shoveler, Mallard, Oystercatchers, Turnstone, Curlew and Redshank.  We moved further up the road to another vantage point to give ourselves a different view and this paid off when Jackie found two Ruff and Liz a small group of Golden Plover.  It was really nice to watch and listen to all the various sound being made from so many birds, I wish I had my recording kit it would have made a nice track.

Moving on to the sea wall and to make our return to Keyhaven we didn't add to many species but had the opportunity to watch various duck flying in to the marsh and compare on their flight Jizz.  Though we added Buzzard, Raven, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Scoter and a very nice Great Northern Diver to the day list.

After saying our good byes Jackie and I thought as we were half way to Lepe that we would continue on up the road a little further and see if we could add the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs to out 2014 year list.  This american wader has been frequenting a small marsh north of Lepe Park only around two hundred metres from the car park.  So it didn't take us long to be in position scanning the marsh, though at first we couldn't find the bird, but as it turned out we were looking to far away, it was much closer and directly in front of us. Though with the dull conditions it was to far for good photography, but I managed to get a memory shot and you can just see it's yellow legs.

Lesser Yellowlegs - Lepe- 12th January

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