Sunday, 14 September 2014

Pennington Marsh - 12th September

I had a couple of spare hours on Friday morning so had a quick walk around Pennington Marshes covering the old landfill and Fishtail, Keyhaven and Butts Lagoons. The wind was more or less easterly  and light and while there was a thin mist first thing the sun soon broke out. There had been a further increase in Teal and Wigeon numbers since my last visit with now at least 120 Wigeon and around 270 Teal, these were mainly congregated on Keyhaven and Butts Lagoon. A large number of the Wigeon were males in their eclipse plumage, even in this more sombre plumage the males are fantastic looking birds with their rich chestnut tones.

 Wigeon - Eclipse males


Pintail numbers are still low with only five birds seen. I am not entirely sure how simple it is to distinguish females from juveniles but the latter are said to be more diffusely spotted and barred, while I am not entirely sure I believe that most of the birds are currently juveniles.

Pintail - Probably a juvenile

The tide was rising but still fairly low and so there were few waders on the lagoons. On Fishtail Lagoon there were two Little Stint and on Keyhaven Lagoon there were five Little Stint and 15 Ringed Plover. Otherwise there were no waders of any real note. Off Butts Lagoon there was a flock of 38 Mediterranean Gulls, these were mainly adult winter with approximately ten 2nd winters. A single Sandwich Tern was roosting amongst them.


 Part of flock of 38 Mediterranean Gull of Butts Lagoon a single Black-headed Gull is the left hand bird

There were relatively few birds in the bushes but I didn't spent long looking, two Whinchat were on the old dump, there were a handful of Whitethroats and Reed Warbler and a single Lesser Whitethroat in the bushes beside Shoveler pools. There were around 20 Yellow Wagtail in the area and a single Tree Piptit flew east. A very lost looking Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the bushes between the old dump and Fishtail Lagoon. It was looking decidedly lost with no trees present and would fly high and circle round before dropping back into the bushes. At one point a passing Peregrine chased it for a short distance but it seemed to readily out manoeuvre the Peregrine.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker looking a little lost in the Elders on the west side of the old dump