Monday, 25 August 2014

Pennington Marsh - 23rd August

It was a beautiful sunny and still morning at Pennington Marsh, the tide was almost high and there should have been many waders on the lagoons but it was remarkably quiet. Wildfowl numbers are still very low with perhaps 10 Shelduck, 5 Shoveler and around 12 Teal the only species recorded. The resident flock of Eider showed well off shore with 26 birds counted.


A juvenile Water Rail showed well along the muddy sedge bed edges where downy juvenile birds were also present indicating that the breeders successfully raised a series of broods this year.

Juvenile Water Rail

At least 15 Little Egret were present, many still carrying their summer plumes.  I watched one bird hunting for a while on Keyhaven Lagoon, the majority of prey that it caught appeared to be small prawns although it also took a fish which appeared to be a Pipefish.

Little Egret 

Wader numbers were low with around 200 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew and little else. Juvenile wader seem not to have arrived in any numbers yet and the Black-tailed Godwit flock only contained a small number of juveniles, the majority of birds being adults reaching the final stages of their moult to winter plumage.

 Black-tailed Godwit - The majority of birds are adults birds almost in winter plumage

Black-tailed Godwit - This bird is typical of those present at the site with just a scatter of rufous summer plumage feathers 

A few tern are still present in the Solent with 20 Common and 10 Sandwich Tern recorded. There were good numbers of passerine migrants present today with at least 30 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat,15  Sedge Warbler, 10 Reed Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 3 Tree Pipit and 2 Wheatear seen.

Cetti's Warbler - This juvenile showed fairly well, something pretty unusual for this species

Reed Warbler - Juvenile in Blackthorn near to Keyhaven Lagoon. This bird still showing the yellow gape.

Reed Warbler - Many of the adults looked pretty scruffy and are clearly in body moult

Sedge Warbler - A fresh juvenile bird with a Aquatic Warbler like pale centre to the crown

There were small numbers of Dragonfly on the wing with Common Darter, Ruddy Darter and Migrant Hawker seen.

Migrant Hawker - This male was patrolling the ditch along the south side of Fishtail Lagoon

A short stop at Denny Wood produced little with small numbers of Willow Warbler, a couple of Marsh Tit and 6 Stonechat the only birds of note.