Walk report: 30 January 2023 Keyhaven bird walk with Chris Robinson

It was deceptively cold when we started the walk, it only warmed up as we got back towards the Car Park when the wind dropped and the sun came out! The tide was out, making a marked difference from the last walk we did here. There was plenty of mud exposed and many more birds were taking advantage of it. 

Brent Geese © Chris Robinson

Walking eastwards on the sea wall we could see good numbers of Brent Geese, large flocks of Dunlin and a sizeable cohort of Turnstones in the Harbour. Curlews and Grey Plover were there as well, in ones and twos. Further out from the shore were two Red-breasted Mergansers.

Adily and imamature male Red-breasted Mergansers © Chris Robinson

There were good numbers Shelduck, Shovelers, Wigeon and Teal. Several Gadwall and a number of Tufted Duck were on Keyhaven Lagoon.

Gadwall pair (male left, female right) © Chris Robinson

On Fishtail these were joined by Pintails, whilst on the seaward side Redshanks were seen in abundance.

Common Snipe © Chris Robinson

We continued on past Butts Lagoon to Pennington Lagoon, the other side of the jetty, to find the reported Spoonbills, Avocets and Snipe. One of the Spoonbills wore a Dutch ring (see photo), but we are still waiting for further details from the Dutch authorities.


Spoonbills © Chris Robinson

As we turned to retrace our steps westward a distant Eider was spotted. We also saw what I thought were several Meadow Pipits foraging amongst the debris by the steps. It wasn’t till later that Marion suggested they might be Skylarks, which they were! They didn’t move like MPs so I really should have known just from the way they were feeding and walking around. Thanks to Marion for pointing this out. Other than the larks the only small birds we really saw were Reed Buntings.

Skylark © Chris Robinson

Some of us also saw Little Egrets and a couple of Grey Herons.

The sun began to shine as we got back to the cars (or in John’s case his bike). A really good number of birds seen. CR

This week's walk: 9 February 2023 Acres Down with Fiona & Graeme Sampson

This week’s General Interest walk is on Thursday at Acres Down setting off from the car park at the normal time of 10.00

Grid Ref:                    SU267097

What3Words:      expiring.plantings.coughed

Walk report: 19 January 2023 Bolderwood with Claire Kidger

A group of hardy walkers, ventured out into the freezing icy morning. We walked from the car park at Bolderwood and through an area of Douglas fir trees which was the old site of a series of hunting lodges dating from 1325. A lichen, Flavoparmeli sp, was seen on the trunk of a Douglas fir.

Flavoparmeli sp © Claire Kidger

There was also a plaque marking Bolderwood as part of the Platinum Jubilee 2022 green canopy a network of 70 ancient woodlands. We walked towards the deer sanctuary and saw two Roe deer grazing under the trees. Adjacent to the path were a few Hazel trees with long yellow male catkins and the red female flower.

Hazel with female flowers and male catkins © Richard Coomber

We saw very few birds but heard and briefly spotted a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch. We looked at a large fallen rotten beech tree and spotted some frozen Smoky Bracket and Beech Woodwart, whilst on a fallen branch we found the lichen Ramalina farinacea.

As we turned off the main path into Mark Ash, an  ancient woodland, a Coal Tit was seen moving quickly through the branches above. We stopped at a very old Holly and saw a young sapling growing in the hollow of the trunk. Usnea sp, another lichen, grew on a Holly branch.

In the woodland we observed several fallen trees with new upright young trees growing from the sweet chestnut trunk.

The 'nursery' tree © Claire Kidger

Walking up through the woodland a Firecrest was spotted fliting through the branches of a Holly and we heard a Stock Dove calling. In the deciduous woodland were several species of moss including Bank Haircap Polytrichastrum formosum and Common Tamarisk-moss Thuidium tamariscinum. Fungi found there included Candlesnuff, Holly Speckle and Pink Disco on a fallen beech branch.

Bank Haircap © Claire Kidger

Common Tamarisk-moss © Claire Kidger

Pink Disco © Claire Kidger

Before we walked uphill to an area of mixed woodland we safely traversed a muddy area - safely. Amongst the trees in the woodland Cypress conifers, Cedar and a very large girthed Yew tree were noted. We all returned feeling warmer than when we started out. CK

Our route
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This week's walk: 30 January 2023 Keyhaven Marshes with Chris Robinson

This week's walk will concentrate on the wintering birds frequenting Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes and the surrounding area starting at 1000 from Keyhaven.

Grid Ref            SZ308916

What3words    dolphins.trendy.shrubbery

Note: Parking    charges apply if long stay park clock not used

This week's walk: 19 January 2023 Bolderwood with Claire Kidger

This week’s General Interest walk is on Thursday at Bolderwood setting off from the car park at the normal time of 10.00

Grid Ref:                    SU242086

What3Words:      damage.establish.limbs