The weather was bright, but the wind was blustery and strong. The tide was high, and the recent rains meant that many of the lagoons were very full. This combi- nation meant that small birds were scarce and most waders had moved to more suitable parts (Normandy?).
From the meeting point we could see a pair of Marsh Harriers over the Avon Water reed beds. There were few birds on the harbour, a couple of Cormorants on the boats and the odd gull.
|Marsh Harriers at Keyhaven © Chris Robinson|
Along the sea wall we saw, (and heard), a Curlew but as there was no mud there were very few waders on the Solent side. On Keyhaven lagoon there were Shelducks, a pair of Wigeon, some Lapwings standing in the shallows and a Grey Heron! As we walked along a Kestrel showed nicely and some people saw a Merlin flying over the saltmarsh.
|Canada Geese with hybrid on Fishtail Lagoon © Richard Smith|
Fishtail Lagoon was covered with Canada Geese, one Greylag, several Brents and a good selection of winter ducks (Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and Pintail). Small groups of Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits were standing around.
Butts Lagoon was almost empty of birds, as were the next couple of lagoons and the Shoveler Pools, save for Canada geese, a few ducks and some Little Egrets. A Buzzard flew over.
|Golden Plover in flight © Chris Robinson|
|Ruff © Richard Smith|
As we walked down to the Ancient Highway a flock of Golden Plover flew over, probably disturbed by the Chinook helicopter flying down the coast. As we turned the corner the usual gulls were on Efford Lake with a group of Oystercatchers on the bank. On the other side of the road there was a solitary female Ruff giving us good views. A Red Admiral and both male and female Common Darter dragonflies were seen. As we got back to the cars the Merlin reappeared, being seen off by two Carrion Crows. CR