Time has been very tight for me of late with end of year staff reviews and various socials on the lead up to Christmas and I have not managed to get out at all, but with the run of grey days I have not felt that I have been missing a great deal. However, Saturday's forecast was for a crisp sunny day and I had a two hour slot in the morning so decided to head for a short walk around Pennington Marshes. The floods on the corner at Lower Pennington Lane were again productive with a good gathering of wildfowl and waders. Many of the Wigeon were out of the water and grazing on the surrounding grassland and there were large numbers of Black-tailed Godwit present at least one of which had a leg flag and colour rings. I will endeavour to find out where this bird is from but is no doubt one of Pete Potts birds and my guess would be that it is an Icelandic bird with a scatter of sightings from around the Solent area.
Black-tailed Godwit with leg-flag
Many of the wildfowl on the marshes were displaying and the males were looking very dapper in their fresh plumage in the winter sunshine. Again, there were good numbers of typical winter dabbling species and it appears that the majority of the Pennington birds are feeding on the marsh off the corner of Lower Pennington Lane.
Wigeon - Male on Pennington Marsh
Wigeon - Female on Pennington Marsh
I walked a loop taking me around Fishtail and Budds Lagoon and spent some time scanning across the Solent looking for Seaduck, Grebe and Divers. There were approximately six Great-crested Grebe, two Slavonian Grebe and 15 Red-breasted Merganser but none close enough to get any photographs. The juvenile Spoonbill seen on 28th November flew east overhead and landed on the mudflats to the east of the jetty and showed fairly well sweeping in the pools left on the mudflats. I headed back to the car and decided to have a brief stop at Denny Wood.
Teal - Budds Lagoon
The weather was superb by the time I got to Denny Woods, a beautiful mild winters day. There were good numbers of Redwing in the woods and the sound of thrushes rustling in the leaves on the woodland floor was clearly audible throughout. A group of 18 Redpoll passed north and briefly alighted to drink from a pool on the woodland floor but eluded any pictures. In fact, the only bird I did manage to photograph was the Nuthatch below. My birding time had come to an end and it was back home for more family Christmas duties.
Nuthatch - Denny Wood