Diane and I set off from the (newly charging) car park at the Keyhaven end of the sea wall. We were greeted by the Marsh Harrier landing on its preferred bush on Avon Water. On the harbour side of the sea wall the tide was very low, exposing large amounts of mud and seaweed. This was reflected in the numbers of Dunlin and Turnstones feeding just below us.
On the harbour water the Brent geese (40–50) couldn’t seem to make up their minds whether to walk or swim in the shallow water.
As we walked round towards Keyhaven Lagoon there were Curlews both sides of the wall, more Dunlin, Oystercatchers and Redshanks, Little Egrets and Shellducks. On the lagoon itself there were more of the same with added Wigeon, Shovellers, Black-headed gulls, Canada geese, Coots, Teal and Pintails. On the footpath there was an obliging pair of Stonechats.
On Fishtail there were all the forementioned species plus one Snipe!
On Butts there were two ‘rafts’ of Black-headed gulls for no very obvious reason. Each group consisted of 20-30 birds, in close order. The rest of the water was empty! Three Reed Buntings were feeding on seed heads amongst the reeds.
On the mud there were two Ringed plovers and several Grey plovers amongst the other waders.
The flooded fields were frozen as we walked down towards the car park at Lower Pennington, the only birds on them was a pair of ice-skating Pied wagtails.
Down the ancient highway we saw mainly Robins (there seem to be more than usual around at the moment), Blackbirds and Canada geese.
Back at the Keyhaven car park we took one last look over Avon water. The Marsh harrier was just where we had left it, but a Kingfisher was present along with a couple of Little grebes.
Home for lunch!