Walk report: 01 November 2021 Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes with Chris Robinson

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

Common Darter - male © Chris Robinson