Saturday 20th September 2014.
A foggy start to the day.
I took a stroll around Farlington Marshes with John Goodall this morning. It was a foggy, yet balmy start to the morning when I arrived at the reserve car park at 7.30am. This time, there were hardly any cars within the car park and very few people were encountered as we walked around the harbour wall. High tide was due at around 9am, as the waders began to get restless within Langstone Harbour. Unfortunately, the water level on the Lake was too high, therefore very few waders were present here, however, it was good for the wildfowl.
One of the Kingfishers posing nicely just off the harbour wall.
My first Common Gull of the season along with a Black-headed Gull.
The fog was slowly lifting but the light remained poor all morning, hence a lot of my photos being rather grainy and not very sharp. The Lake held good numbers of Wigeon and Teal, plus there was at least 8 Pintail present. A Common Snipe was trying to hide in the red weed by the edge of the Lake, while both Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank were pouring over the sea wall and onto the reserve from the harbour. Several Greenshank were seen over the harbour but best of all, was a pair of Kingfishers sitting on a pile of seaweed on the mud, overlooking the water as it slowly began to rise.
Black-tailed Godwit feeding on the rising tide looking west from the harbour wall.
Meadow Pipits were abundant throughout the reserve.
A large flock of Linnet (60+) were checking out the weeds along the sea wall as did several Meadow Pipits and below us, within the reedbeds, we picked out a Reed Warbler scuttling through the reeds, then showed well in a nearby bramble. Walking up to the south of the reserve, a Whinchat was seen well on the fence within the fields. As we neared the Point field, more chats were seen with a pair of Wheatears and a female Stonechat close together near the sea wall.
Pintail and Wigeon on the Lake.
Wigeon seen south of the reserve within the harbour.
Out in the harbour, WIgeon were in large groups, intermingled with Mallard and Canada Geese. From the Point, our first Brent Geese of the Autumn were picked up resting on the water in small flocks. At least 20 were seen, in three separate flocks along with at least three Great Crested Grebes. No sign of any Ospreys yet again within the harbour, but a male Kestrel was seen several times on out trip around the reserve. The Deeps remained empty again (no idea why?), save for a female Reed Bunting showing well in the reeds in front of us.
Wheatears near the Point field.
Female Stonechat in the Point Field.
A Chiffchaff showed well by the sea wall and another bird was just to the east of the Information Centre. Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit were on the Stream but apart from Lapwing, no other waders were present. I did hear some Bearded Tits in the reedbed but it wasn’t till we reached the Lake again, that we spotted a flock of around 20 birds flying from one reedbed to another. John was in for a bonus as his first Spotshank of the year flew over and landed at the far end of the Lake. Earlier in the morning, we spotted our first Common Gull of the Autumn within the harbour and along the stream, there was at least two more among the Gulls.
Some of our first Brent Geese of the Autumn within the harbour.
A pair of Great Crested Grebes in the harbour.
The Bushes area was very quiet, bar the many Robins singing and ‘ticking’ throughout the area. A Grey Wagtail was seen flying over the Stream heading east and within the fields with the cattle, at least 50+ Yellow Wagtail were seen flying around in two separate large flocks, with the Meadow Pipits.
Female Reed Bunting by the Deeps.
A Chiffchaff by the Sloe berries near the Info Centre.
A check on Birdguides this morning revealed that a Semipalmated Sandpiper was present for its second day at Keyhaven Marshes, with a couple of Little Stints. It has been a few years since my last one, so I might be tempted should it stay for a while. A Wryneck is at Hooks Links this morning (yet to see one this Autumn) and nationally, a juvenile Masked Shrike is on the Spurn peninsula! Wow! The moth box this morning, held 3 Lunar Underwing among the 26 moths present of 12 species. Also, a couple of Hawthorn Shield bugs were in the box too.
Small Dusty Wave.