Leading his first Thursday group walk for nearly 2 years, Brian was joined by over 20 LymNats. Although "Birds" was the advertised subject, the walk began in the "wilds" of Woodside Gardens where wild flowers and insects dominated. The group spent over an hour independently exploring the delights of one of Lymington's hidden jewels.
|Common Fleabane DP|
|Large Tiger Hoverfly on Knapweed MF|
|Water Mint GP|
|Small Skipper CR|
From Woodside we proceeded to do a circuit of Normandy Marsh to deliver the advertised walk.
We saw immature Shelduck which would have followed their parents to the lagoon immediately after hatching. The nest would have been a down-lined cup in a burrow or hollow tree (as seen on "Springwatch"). There was also a juvenile Avocet, still with some dark brown where the adult is black.
|Common Terns, with juvenile CR|
The number of white foreheads of the juveniles amongst the black caps of the adults was evidence that the Common Terns had a successful breeding season. A group of 30+ birds periodically took to the air from a spit, with their harsh key-arr and kirri-kirri calls, and then landed back in an orderly fashion, all facing front.
When an imperious Great Black-backed Gull took flight, it was instantly mobbed by Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls - they clearly recognised a predator that would probably have accounted for some of their young.
|Little Egret "JN" CR|
Little Egret "JN" was showing well out on the marsh. Ringed as a chick by Graham Giddens in the summer of 2006, "JN" is recognised by the BTO as holding the longevity record of this species (I reported today's sighting to GG).
A very keen young ornithologist pointed out a young bird that was eventually identified as a Redshank, possibly the sole survivor of a late (July) brood, whose siblings may have been predated by the GB-bG.
|Golden Samphire CR|
From the seawall it was possible to see a variety of coastal and saltmarsh plants: Glasswort, Common Sea-lavender, Sea Purslane, Rock Samphire, Golden Samphire and Common Cord-grass (Spartina anglica).
|Wasp Spider SS|
Also present: A handsome Wasp Spider, Black-tailed Godwits (still with some summer colour) Dunlin, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Greenfinch, White Campion, Bristly Oxtongue, Teasel and Polypody. Other LymNats may have seen more and all just beat the rain back to Maiden Lane.
Photographs © S Skarstein, C Robinson, M Fidkin, G Payne D Potter
©Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey. Media 008/21