Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Late summer migrants at Normandy Marshes

This morning our group were birding round Normandy Marsh, Lymington.  Walking along the path to look over 8 Acre Pond, a Grey Wagtail was seen on the edge of the pond, the usual Little Grebe and Mallard on the water.  Redshank and Little Egret in the creek and a Kestrel was very active hunting the fields near us, while a Wren cursed us from the hedge and two Swallows flew over.

Looking over Maiden Dock/Oxey Lake on the islands of seaweed were a good variety of waders including Lapwing, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and several Curlew that then took off and flew over to the fields.  Teal also seemed to be enjoying the islands, feeding and resting among the weed.  Then Nick noticed seven waders flying away which turned out to be Bar-tailed Godwits.  On the fields behind we had our first of many Stonechats of our walk, also at least four Reed Buntings.  Nick picked up three Golden Plover flying over which continued on.

Greenshank - Normandy Lagoon
Now looking over Normandy Lagoon with a few Black-tailed Godwit, Redshanks and more Teal.  We then found our first of at least seven Greenshanks and then Nick found two Spotted Redshank.  We then added Wigeon, Oystercatchers and a couple of Shelduck.  Then Chris said he had a bird of prey coming in behind us, we all looked round and to our surprise it was an Osprey, it flew round and headed back towards Pennington.  However about 15 minutes later it was back and actively hunting and hovering over the water looking for fish giving us even better views than before.  It was unsuccessful and eventually it disappeared off towards Lymington and beyond.

Back to the lagoon and looking back through the waders we had Dunlin with a single Grey Plover, though later on a few more flew off the outer marsh and away eastward.  A Green Woodpecker was found on the edge of the lagoon and Skylark were heard overhead.  A Cormorant stood next to a Great Black-backed Gull which seemed to make it seem quite diminutive!  Then two Kingfishers flew down the channel, round the back of us and back over the lagoon.  Looking out over the Solent were a few Brent Geese, Great Crested Grebe and a few Pintail.  Now we were at the end of the saltmarsh where Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were feeding, then Joe found a single Wheatear, another late migrant.  A little further on we came across a few Snipe before Nick called "Peregrine"!  We watched the Peregrine causing a little disturbance but it seemed uninterested and just went on its way.  As I watched it I spotted another raptor high up, a Buzzard soon joined by a second bird.   Moving on we came across a flock of about 60 Linnets, a juvenile bird sat and allowed us to admire it for quite a while.   

Walking through to Normandy Lane a Cetti's Warbler burst into song as we past, soon after we added our fifth bird of prey for the day with a Sparrowhawk.  Along the lane we added Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tits, Song Thrush and heard a brief call of Bullfinch.

View across Normandy Marsh © Jackie Hull

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