Sunday, 7 September 2014

Pennington and Keyhaven Marshes - 5th and 7th September

Two dreary mornings on the marshes started with a morning of heavy overcast and light mist on Friday and thick fog in still conditions on Sunday.

On Friday I walked along the Ancient Highway and back past the lagoons but there was remarkably little to be seen. There had been a fair arrival of wildfowl since last weekend with now at least 220 Teal, 40 Wigeon and five Pintail but waders were in short supply, presumably out on the salt marsh roosting and not on the lagoons due to the high water levels. Additional records included 1 Great Crested Grebe, 25 Eider, 15 Sandwich Tern, 3 Common Tern, 60 House Martin east, 70 Swallow east and 25 Sand Martin east, 2 Wheatear, 8 Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 6 Reed Warbler and 10 Chiffchaff. Here are some rubbish photos from the mornings murk:

 Eider flock off Butts Lagoon. Mostly females with at least three eclipse male and one juvenile.

Some of the 40 Wigeon present on Butts Lagoon today. 

Juvenile Common Tern off Pennington Lagoon

Adult winter Sandwich Tern off Pennington Lagoon

Reed Warbler on the Ancient Highway

On Sunday I was up at 05:30 and despite the murk in Romsey I was optimistic that the coast would be bathed in brilliant sunshine but it was not to be, visibility was barely 50m in thick fog until at least 10:30 when it improved to 100m of foggy, murky light. As I was time limited my main aim was to head for Normandy Lagoon where a juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs had been found on Friday PM. On my arrival I parked at the corner on Lower Pennington Lane  and headed east to the lagoon. The Lesser Yellowlegs was showing well in the north-west corner of the lagoon on my arrival and I spent a couple of hours watching it and scanning through the gloom across the lagoon. As well as the 'Legs' there were at least 2 Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 200 Dunlin, 150 Redshank, 50 Black-tailed Godwit and 15 Yellow Wagtail not the lagoon. The bushes and marshes on the walk back produced 2 Wheatear, 30 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 5 Whitethroat and 10 Willow/Chiffs. More murky shots from todays birding:

Dew covered spider webs

Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs on Normandy lagoon

Colour ringed juvenile Little Stint on Normandy lagoon

This birds yellow ring appears to bare the inscription of 'SEX', or is that my eyes?