Sunday, 14 April 2019

Cheesefoot Head and Fishlake Meadows - 8th-9th April

Time has been very tight of late and it appears that the spring is slipping by without me being able to get into the field to enjoy the migrants arriving.

On 8th April I popped to Cheesefoot Head to the east of Winchester where two Dotterel had been present since 6th April. At times the birds had been showing well but I arrived just as the birds had flown and it took some time to relocate the birds, when they were relocated they were just about central within a large wheat field and views were distant through the heat haze. The female bird was just gaining some black on the belly and rufous on the underparts, the male was rather drab. Also here was a single singing Corn Bunting, several Yellowhammer and good numbers of Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

Distant Dotterel in the heat haze at Cheesefoot Head, the female is the left hand bird.

The Dotterel were in the middle of this large field

Cheesefoot Head

On 8th and 9th April I popped into Fishlake Meadows Hampshire Wildlife Trust reserve on the northern outskirts of Romsey. This reserve is only a few minutes from my house but I rarely visit, as previously access has been difficult away from the canal path along the eastern edge of the reserve and a path along the northern edge or one had to lurk, dubiously, behind a bus shelter to view the areas of open water. Now that the reserve has been taken over by the Trust there are hard surfaced paths and viewing screens - its really quite a pleasant reserve.

Over the couple of days that I visited I had great views of a pair of Garganey (unfortunately my camera had run out of juice), three Great White Egret, a Glossy Ibis in a pony paddock to the east of the reserve and my first Sedge Warbler (3), Reed Warbler (1), Swallow (6), House Martin (4) and Sand Martin (25) of the year. Also here were good numbers of Pochard, Shoveler, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting and Cetti's Warbler.

Great White Egret - Fishlake Meadows, Romsey

Chiffchaff - Fishlake Meadows, Romsey

Grey Wagtail - Fishlake Meadows, Romsey

Cetti's Warbler - Fishlake Meadows, Romsey

Great White Egret - Fishlake Meadows, Romsey

Glossy Ibis - Fishlake Meadows, Romsey