Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Keyhaven/Pennington Marshes

Our Tuesday fortnightly group met at Keyhaven this morning.  Black-tailed Godwits flew in, landing on a small island created by the lowered tide, also a couple of Turnstones.  As we walked along the Ancient Highway towards Pennington we heard Cetti's Warbler with it's loud song, Robins and Dunnocks seemed to be calling constantly as we walked.  A Song Thrush perched on a bush and a male Bullfinch was moving around near the bottom of the bush, while a Jay called raucously nearby. 

A sign of some migration was noticeable with a couple Song Thrush flying over, Skylarks and at least 5 Reed Buntings, a constant trickle of Meadow Pipits and Swallows, also a few Chaffinches.  Two Buzzards in the fields showed well, though the two Goldcrests in a bush were not so easy.  Liz called my attention to a high flying bird, a Peregrine that I got everyone on to as flew over and towards Hurst Castle.  A pair of Stonechats and Linnets also seen.  On the old tip pond gulls loafed on the bank, mostly Black-headed but Jess found a Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull with them.  Also Lapwings and a single Oystercatcher.  On the water Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Mallards.

Looking over the Shoveler pools I saw a bird out of the corner of my eye, my first instinct was Sparrowhawk but in a split second it had disappeared.  On the pools were Wigeon and Teal with a female Pintail, then suddenly their heads were up and very alert, soon after they took to the air in panic.  At first I couldn't see the culprit but Helen found her, a Sparrowhawk which was now perched on a branch by the pool.

Walking across to the Fishtail Lagoon we had a charm of Goldfinch, also another pair of Stonechats and Greenfinch.  On the lagoon were Little Egret, Brent Geese, Wigeon, Teal, a couple of Shelduck and a Moorhen.  Looking over the salt marsh there were a few waders with three Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Curlew and by the far most numerous of the waders was Redshank.  Lots of Wigeon were flying in and landing on the sea creating a large raft.  Over Keyhaven Lagoon were Swallows and House Martins swooping low over the water.   As we neared the car park a Wheatear flew by showing it's lovely white rump, a good bird to finish our morning.

Little Egret