04 December Keyhaven

On a bright, clear Sunday morning Brian + 8 (including 2 visitors) set off from Keyhaven taking the path atop the sea wall towards Iley Point and into a keen easterly wind.

November/December sees the peak numbers of winter visitors and these included Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Wigeon, Pintail, Curlew, Dunlin and Shoveler, both on the lagoons and offshore. Residents were well represented by Shelduck, Mallard, Coot and various gulls.

Male Wigeon (c) Simon Vale

On the outward leg there was a Raven flying west towards Keyhaven,  3 squabbling Little Egrets, 4 Avocets seen feeding and in flight on Keyhaven Lagoon and excellent close-up views of a Grey Plover, Rock Pipits and Turnstones.

The return via Pennington Old Tip and along the "Ancient Highway" produced a female Bullfinch, a Shoveler on its spin cycle on the Western Balancing Pond and a perching Kestrel. Black-tailed Godwit were notably absent, presumably being either inland or on a more sheltered site.

The high wind also accounted for the lack of small bird activity. It would have been a tall order to match the number of sightings on Duncan's walk 10 days earlier but hopefully the provision of "Club" biscuits was some consolation.