Walk Report: Keyhaven Marshes - 10 June

On an overcast morning 16 Lymnats’ members assembled at the Keyhaven end of the Keyhaven/Lymington nature reserve. The partial solar eclipse was intermittently visible, but you could feel the sea mist in the air.

There were a few small birds flitting about, mostly Linnets but also Meadow pipits and Skylarks. There was no sign of the usual Peregrines, which was not a good omen! There were very few birds on Keyhaven Lagoon, but things looked up when we got to Fishtail.


A pair of Avocets were displaying (and mating) at one end on the lagoon, with more on the island where they have been nesting. Three chicks were being watched by their parents and another adult was sitting on eggs.

Other waders present were Dunlin, Black-tailed godwits, Oystercatchers, Lapwings and a Little ringed plover. There were also more Linnets (still collecting nesting materials) and a pair of Stonechats.

Reed Warbler

We could hear Reed warblers all along the path but saw only one.


Between Butts and the Jetty (sewage outlet!) there were several Gadwall, a Raven being pursued by a Carrion crow and Eider duck on the sea (one male in moult quite close in).  Three species of Tern did a fly past (Common, Little and Sandwich).

Bee Orchid

We turned down the path towards Lower Pennington Lane and saw Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and heard a Cetti’s warbler. Of botanical interest were Bee orchids, Cut-leaved cranesbill and Sand spurrey (none of which I had ever noticed before!).

Greylag Goose

On Efford lake there were many Great Black-backed and Herring gulls, two Egyptian geese, one Swallow and one Swift. A Marsh harrier flew over.

We eventually saw about 50 species, and finally heard a Cuckoo when we got back to the car park.   CR

Species List: Raven, Carrion crow, Magpie, Marsh harrier, Kestrel, Eider, Shellduck, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Dunlin, Black-tailed godwit, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Little ringed plover, Avocet, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, Grey-lag goose, Reed warbler, Cetti’s warbler, Reed bunting, Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Great crested grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Swallow, Swift, Wood pigeon, Great black-backed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Common tern, Sandwich tern, Little tern, Little egret, Mute swan, Robin, Blackbird, Song thrush, Starling, Skylark, Meadow pipit, Stonechat, Cuckoo.

Any I have missed is down to my failing faculties!

All photos: © C Robinson