|Roe Deer - female|
The last Sunday bird walk of 2017 coincided with the first full moon of winter (at 15.47) which would produce a tidal range of nearly 3m during the day (09.53/3.39m; 15.49/0.52m). This December's full moon, besides always being known as the "Cold Moon", qualified as a "supermoon" because of the satellite's proximity to Earth (perigee). With a light NW wind it was appreciably milder than of late when Brian + 7 set off in a SW direction to the Old Salt Buildings before joining the footpath that would take the party N along the sea wall to Normandy Marsh/Lagoon. The route encompassed Moses Dock, Salterns Marsh/Lagoon, 8 Acre Pond, Maiden Dock and Oxey Lake, returning to Maiden Lane via Pinckney Path and Normandy Lane. During this time there was little apparent movement in the tide level so no mud flats had been exposed.
Footpath to the Old Salt Buildings: female Roe Deer; Jay; Goldfinch; Redwing (individuals and small flocks).
Footpath to Moses Dock sluice gate: Dark-bellied Brent Geese; Canada Geese; Common Polypody (Polypodium vulgare); Kestrel over Pennington Marsh; met noted local ornithologist Marcus Ward who had no unusual sightings to report (he had seen a flock of Fieldfare earlier in the day though).
Salterns Marsh/Lagoon: Wigeon ♀; Common Redshank; Black-tailed Godwit; Shoveler ♂♀; Shelduck; Kingfisher.
8 Acre Pond: Mallard ♂♀; Little Grebe; Little Egret; Grey Heron; Great Black-backed Gull; Herring Gull; Coot.
Oxey Lake: Goldeneye 2♀; a Common Seal surfaced frequently before a paddle-boarder got too close.
|Avocets at Normandy Lagoon|
Normandy Marsh/Lagoon: Avocet (10+ in 2 groups); Red-breasted Merganser (4); Spotted Redshank (4); Greenshank (2): several Kingfishers; Stonechat ♂♀; Lapwing; Dunlin; Tufted Duck: Teal; Pintail; Oystercatcher; Turnstone; Cormorant (10+).
Normandy Lane: The fragrant, pink-lilac flower heads of Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans); Hartstongue fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium).
The highlight of the morning was probably the sheer variety of activity to be seen on Normandy Lagoon. (BM) All photos © Richard Smith