Sunday, 4 September 2016


Hello all,
I have recently returned from a two week holiday on the south coast! There, I reached 150 bird species for 2016, and saw some great wildlife as well.

Bird Summary
The first weekend held a new bird for 2016. On 31st July, a flock of 8 Eider flew past the cliff; their dark colour makes me say that they are eclipse males. This was a good sighting, but the following morning was even better. A morning seawatch produced a new bird for me: a Storm Petrel! It was a little distance out to sea, and at first I thought it to be a swallow, then a bat (?!) before it clicked! Not the best of views, I will admit, but it is nice to have seen a relatively scarce bird. Other species at the seawatch were Black-Headed, Herring, Lesser Black Backed, Great Black Backed and Common gulls as well as a flock of Goldfinch and a couple of cormorant!
The following day included a visit to a small section of Keyhaven marshes. Oystercatcher were abundant, as were linnet, cormorants, mallards, mute swans and starlings. There was also an excellent view of a group of turnstone available, just metres away at some points! Redshank came and went as did Black-tailed Godwit and both common sandpipers and green, which hung around for a little longer. To round off the day, a small group of Avocet flew by!

Thursday saw a visit to a different habitat: the New Forest. Undoubtedly, the star of the show was a Turtle Dove, the first I have seen in some time. Wood warbler was also great along with a Reeve's Muntjac deer, Treecreeper, Sedge warbler, Cetti's Warbler and a Buzzard secondary feather, as well as the chaps in person!

A visit to Keyhaven marshes again proved fruitful. Wheatear and Whinchat both showed well, along with 10 Oystercatcher, c.20 Lapwing, c.20 Redshank, 6 Little Egret, 1 GREAT WHITE EGRET, and a Mediterranean Gull. Near a small flock of Sarnies, as one calls them, there was an adult summer Common Gull, looking very smart if a little chilly, sat on the scrape in front of a group of juvenile Shelduck. A huge count of 51 Turnstone on a groyne out to sea was pleasing, and five Knot on a scrape inland was my 150 species of the year! A Ruff later on added to my totals, as well as a small group of Black-Tailed Godwit nearby. Finally, a Raven flew over, and the total for the day was 58 species!!

That was it in terms of birds, but mammals were also there: rabbits were constant at the place at which we were staying, and a Muntjac in the New Forest was nice to see. There was certainly fox evidence, as well as marine life, namely whelk egg cases and crabs!

Anyway, a picture tells a thousand words, depending on the complexity of the passage, so here we go...

Black Headed Gulls

BHG in amazement!

Common Gull ad.summer
Feral Pigeon

Common Scoter

Common Tern

Buzzard, Tawny, Pheasant, Rabbit, Corvid, Gull

Black-Tailed Godwit
Flock of male eclipse Eider

Little Egret

Sarnies-Sandwich tern

Spot the Treecreeper



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