Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Oxey Lake & Pennington Marsh

Sunday saw the group meet at Maiden Lane near Lymington for a walk around Oxey and Pennington. As we waited for everyone to arrive the early few managed to see Swallows and a Bullfinch put in a very brief appearance.  As soon as we were all gathered we all headed off along the footpath towards the sea.  As we passed Oxey Lake we checked it out and found that there were around eight Little Grebe, a pair of Oystercatcher, a small gathering of Canada Geese and Mallard, also a couple of Redshank.  As we walked across the rough grass field towards the coastal footpath we recorded Meadow Pipit, Dunnock and Reed Bunting.  An immature Dartford Warbler performed pretty well for us before moving off across the field into a large scrub area.  

The warmth of the day was just rising as did six Buzzard that had found the first thermal of the day and soared moving towards their favoured feeding area. As we almost reached the coastal path a Greenshank lifted off and gave its characteristic "Choo Choo Choo" call as it flew over us.  Liz then picked up a Wheatear on top of a gorse bush unfortunately only a few at the front saw it before it flew off west and out of sight. 

As we walked towards Pennington we could see Sandwich and Common Terns fishing out in the Solent and a raft of Common Eider were loafing off shore.  On the shingle islets off shore were a group of mainly summer plumaged Grey Plover which were looking really smart with their black fronts and bellies. On a closer island a nice size flock of Ringed Plover and a few Dunlin were roosting but they soon took off calling towards Keyhaven.  We also found Small and Common Blue and Wall butterflies as we walked the seawall towards Pennington.  On the old rusty piling by the jetty there were a number of smart Turnstones roosting along with three Common Terns. 

Curlew Sandpiper - Jetty Lagoon © Nick Hull
As we came to the Jetty lagoon at Pennington there were a number of waders feeding.  Black-tailed Godwits with most showing signs of moult, along with several black-bellied Dunlin feeding in the shallower water on the muddy edge.  A little further out on it's own was a nice Curlew Sandpiper, an adult moulting out of summer plumage and we had very good scope views of the individual and good comparison with the Dunlin nearby.  

Our return to the cars was fairly uneventful adding little to our day list that we hadn't already seen.  But we had an enjoyable morning with some very nice birds.

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