07 December 2017 Calshot

A discussion!
© Richard Smith

Despite the unwelcome presence of Storm Caroline, Geoff and Sue with 11 others set off from Calshot waterfront in steady rain which fortunately dried up after about 40 minutes.

This was a walk where the industry of the decommissioned Fawley power station meets the salt marsh of Calshot Marshes Nature Reserve. The small area of reedbed yielded little but a small group of waxcap toadstools was spotted on the field alongside the power station amid the young Holm Oaks where a charm of Goldfinch were also found.

Great Crested Grebe
© Richard Smith
By the time we reached the saltmarsh the rain was easing and there were plenty of birds in evidence including Great Crested Grebe, Pintail, Shoveler, Brent Geese and Ovstercatchers. The footbridge, which was subject to temporary closure causing the relocation of the walk, was in fact open and we crossed a short way towards Ashlett Creek for our refreshment stop. Sightings on this side of the bridge were Cormorant,  Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and a solitary Dunlin.

Returning towards Calshot Spit we left the footpath to walk along the shingle bank where Geoff collected a good selection of mollusc shells both bivalve (Oyster, Mussell, Cockle and the alien Manila Clam) and gastropods (Periwinkle, Dog Whelk, Limpet and Slipper Limpet – another alien species). In the water, Shelduck, Wigeon and Teal were seen with a large roost of Oystercatcher in the distance and a few were treated to a brief sighting of a Kingfisher.

On the landward side were Linnet, Fieldfare, Redwing and Reed Bunting. On reaching the sea, we diverted along the Spit and were rewarded with a view of a large group of Ringed Plover (c40) and Dunlin (100+) hunkered down out of the wind. A few Turnstone were also spotted on the return stretch with more Redwing and Fieldfare in the adjoining field.

In the end we had a very satisfying walk, certainly far better than anticipated at 10 o’clock! G&S