Monday, 6 September 2021

Normandy Lagoon and Oxey Marsh - 4th September

After a few days of twitching I returned to my familiar birding habits this weekend and headed to Pennington and Keyhaven Nature Reserve on 4th, as a change to birding the Pennington area I opted for the Normandy and Oxey area. After dropping my son at Saturday school club I parked on Normandy Lane and spent the first couple of hours at Normandy Lagoon mainly scanning the gathered waders. The highlight here was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper which showed well as it fed along the southern shore of the lagoon. Also here were good numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover and eight Greenshank.

Curlew Sandpiper, the second image with annelid worm prey - Normandy Lagoon, Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes.

I then headed west along the seawall scanning the bushes in the hope for a Wryneck or Whinchat but with no luck. There has been a substantial influx of Wryneck into the UK during the recent easterly air flow and with the abundance of suitable habitat I was reasonably hopeful of finding one - obviously overly optimistic on this occasion. I stood at the point scanning the sea and bushes seeing little but there was a steady passage of Sand Martin and Swallow moving east along the coast and a Kingfisher showed well. My eBird checklist for the morning can be seen here.

Common Redshank - Normandy Lagoon, Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes.

Common Kingfisher - Normandy Lagoon, Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes.

On Sunday 5th I decided to head to Salterns Shore, near to Hillhead, Fareham where a White-winged Black Tern has been present for a couple of days feeding offshore with the large mixed tern flock. I have been fairly sceptical about a number of claims of this bird, although in no doubt the bird is present, I do think that there are a number of overly optimistic claims of this bird at distance. When news came through this AM of it still being present I headed off from home but on arriving at site there was some degree of scepticism about the validity of todays claim. Still, I spent around 1.5 hours scanning and year ticked Black Tern. The beach front was crowded in the 26c heat and I beat a hasty retreat as the standard of intellect in the questions from the public aimed at the gathered birders reached rock bottom; the inane yelling by dogwalkers haunted me as I drove back to the relative tranquility of Romsey. My eBird checklist for the morning can be seen here.