Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keyhaven and Pennington

Meeting the group at half past nine we headed out to look for waders on the lagoons, with reports that there was a Pectoral Sandpiper and Garganey been seen for the last few days hopes were high for seeing some fantastic birds and fingers were crossed that rain held off, neither disappointed us. 

The first waders seen were Turnstones, with some still in their lovely summer plumage, followed by Redshank, Dunlin and Curlew. Checking the Curlew’s on the salt marshes closely Chris found a Whimbrel, not a bad start to the day. Moving on to Keyhaven lagoon a quick scan produced several more species of wader to add to the days list with Lapwing, Greenshank, Ringed Plover and I found a Sanderling, which is a good bird for here. A beautiful female Kestrel sitting in the bushes was the first of only two raptors seen for the day.

Moving on we were alerted to the presence of terns out on the salt marsh a nice mixed flock of Sandwich and Common but the heat haze made it impossible to tell if anything more interesting was mixed in. Then on to Fishtail Lagoon where all eyes were on the look out for the Pectoral Sandpiper, while looking Jackie and I were treated to great but brief views of two Sedge Warblers. Then the call went out, Nick had found the pec sand along with the added bonus of a Wood Sandpiper feeding along side it.
Pectoral Sandpiper (top)a vagrant from North America & Wood Sandpiper (bottom) © Jess Evans
Jersey Tiger moth a migrant from Europe © Nick Hull
We finished at lunch time having seen 49 species of birds.

Also on the lagoon were plenty of Black-tailed Godwits most of which were still in summer plumage, more Dunlin, another Wood Sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank and Ruff. Along with the usual ducks and gulls but sadly no Garganey was seen. When moving on all eyes were drawn not to a bird but an unusual looking orange butterfly as it slowly flew by options of what species were called out but promptly dismissed, until it dawned on us that it wasn’t a butterfly but a day-flying moth, a Jersey Tiger moth to be exact which was a brand new moth to many in the group. Meaning already happy faces turned into huge grinning ear to ear faces.The Rest of the walk was pretty quiet after that, with the only other wader added being Grey plover out on the salt marsh. Other birds of interest were a few Reed Warblers in the reeds in front of Butts lagoon, Eider out by the jetty and the only other raptor of the day, a Buzzard over the caravan park at Pennington.

Thank you Jess for the write up on todays walk.