Monday, 6 October 2014

Keyhaven and Pennington Marsh 5th October

Its been two weeks since I was at the patch and with a free morning I was up at 06:00 and heading for a stroll on the marshes. The first noticeable frost of the winter had settled and it was a beautiful sunny dawn, the mist lingered over the grazing marsh and I stopped for a coffee on the Lower Pennington Lane corner to enjoy the view and take some snaps:

Dawn over Pennington Marshes

I then strolled along the lane and down the Ancient Highway spending some time looking over Efford Lagoon which while I have been away has been landscaped and partly planted. Its looking good. There was a small gathering of gulls including 35 Black-headed Gull, an adult Common Gull, a single 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull and six Herring Gull. There was an abundance of 'Alba' Wagtails with around 40 birds on the bare soils beside the lagoon. Around 50 Wigeon and 10 Gadwall had gathered on the lagoon.

Common and Black-headed Gulls

First winter Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull and Pied Wagtail

I continued walking the Ancient Highway, there were good numbers of Chiffchaff in the hedgerows, probably around 15 in total, as well as a small increase in Goldcrest numbers with perhaps 10 birds. Across the marshes an occasional scan produced a scatter of Stonechat (5) and Dartford Warbler (3). Small numbers of Jay looked to be migrating with a movement of nine birds east.

Chiffchaff - Birds were in song today in the sunny conditions

Jay looked to be migrating in small numbers

I walked back west along the seawall constantly scanning the scrub and lagoons but it was remarkable quiet, its gone from feeling like summer to distinctly like October with the shifting of a long settled high pressure system to give way to Atlantic depressions. I recorded another three Dartford warbler, a couple of which were in song, a total of six Dartford's for the boring was a good count for the site. The tide was high and there were good numbers of waders on the lagoons and amongst them a single juvenile Little Stint on Fishtail Lagoon and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper on Butts Lagoon. Numbers of wildfowl had increased with around 250 Wigeon, 300 Teal, 25 Pintail and at least 50 Brent Goose.

Reed Warbler - Fishtail Lagoon

Dunlin - Fishtail Lagoon

Little Stint - Fishtail Lagoon

Black-tailed Godwit - Fishtail Lagoon

All too soon had had to leave and do the sunday shopping, what a contrast being in a supermarket was to being on the marshes. Still, I needed some brownie points for my forthcoming week on Shetland and Fair Isle...