Walk Report: 06 December Testwood Lakes

Great White Egret

         © Chris Robinson
A fine Winter's day saw 17 members gather for a walk at Testwood Lakes. The route to the lower lake yielded a sighting of a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Great Crested Grebes and Herring, Black Headed and Common Gulls. A Common Carp had just been landed – a fine specimen weighing over 20lb (yes, really). A Cetti's Warbler was heard but not seen. Continuing round Testwood Lake there was a distant sighting of Goldcrests. As we reached the screens there was a clear view of a Great White Egret on the scrapes. The craftsmanship of the log sculpture was admired.

Two Roe Deer were spotted on the walk to the Sand Martin Hide. From there we had a good view of a number of waterfowl including Tufted Duck, Pochard, Teal, a juvenile Heron , Wigeon, Shoveler, Mallard and Coot. A flock of Lapwing rose repeatedly without any apparent reason.

Jewel Ear

         © Chris Robinson
Moving on to the Heron Hide overlooking Meadow Lake there were Cormorants and an Aylesbury Duck. Sadly there was no sign of the recently reported Bittern. The woodland feeder mostly yielded Blue Tits and a Chaffinch.

Altogether there were at least 28 bird species recorded throughout the morning. Duncan and Richard surveyed the ferns and fungi. One of the more spectacular fungi was the Jelly Ear Auricularia auricla-judae which usually grows on Elder. There was also Candlesnuff Fungus, Variable Oysterling, Common Inkcap, Hairy Curtain Crust and Sulphur Tuft. The ferns identified were Male Fern, Lady Fern, Broad Buckler-fern and Harts Tongue. G&SN

Walk report: 02 December 2018 Keyhaven Bird Walk

Low water 12.00 – Neap tide
Given the state of the ebbing tide and the presence of a cold westerly wind, the leader decided that the very select group of keen birding members and one visitor would set off along the sea wall to Pennington outfall, then down to Lower Pennington Lane carpark (to look over the flooded fields) before returning to Keyhaven along the ancient highway.

© Richard Coomber
We listed 33 species during the walk including good numbers of Shoveler, Dunlin, Shelduck, Lapwing, Wigeon, Brent Geese and Pintail. A particular highlight was seeing two Peregrines at rest followed by one of them dive bombing a duck into the water!  Other birds of note included Greenshank, Mediterranean Gull (3), Rock Pipit, Greenshank and two Marsh Harriers.


We had our mandatory biscuit stop just after leaving the sea wall and it must be reported that, following additional training (see Exbury Gardens report), there was a choice of dark and milk chocolate digestives!

Although there were very few people on the walk, it was most enjoyable and it enabled easy communication within the group. (DW)

Walk report: 15 November 2018 Sturt Pond area

Little Egret at Sturt Pond
© Mary Mawdsley
Thirteen enthusiastic Lymnats set off from Sea Road car park on a misty morning. We followed Danestream to Sturt Pond. Here there was a wealth of wading and seabirds - notably juveniles Brent Geese, which was delightful as there had been a decline Brent Geese breeding success in previous years. Other birds in the pond included Common Teal, Little Grebe, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits and a Mediterranean Gull. The fields on the other side of the path were as productive - birds noted here included a Merlin being mobbed by a Carrion Crow, Reed Bunting, Linnets, Stonechat and Meadow Pipits.
Rock Pipit on Bladder Wrack
© Chris Robinson

Bladder Wrack was on the edge of the pond, alongside cotton grass, Greater Periwinkle, Honeysuckle, Sea Mayweed and some escaped brassica species. We journeyed along to Cut Bridge, and here we found Turnstones, Mute Swans, Dunlin and Oystercatchers.
Reed Bunting
© Chris Robinson

On the return journey we walked along the top of the spit and then into the MCV bird hide over looking Sturt Pond. When Collared Dove and Magpie were added as we returned to the car park our total of birds reached 40 species! M&MM