Aug 232016
 


A free Saturday morning on 6th August and I couldn’t resist the pull of Pennington Marsh but a few beers the night before meant a slightly later start so I wasn’t in the car park at Lower Pennington Lane until 08:00 by which time the dog walking hordes had descended. I wandered a short way along the Ancient Highway to view Efford Lagoon where three Common Sandpiper, six Swallow, 10 Sand Martin and a single Swift were the highlights.

Gulls are loafing here in good numbers now with at least 12 Lesser Black-backed Gull, five Great Black-backed Gull, 60 Herring Gull, 250 Black-headed Gull, four Mediterranean Gull and a couple of Common Gull.

I then walked out past Shoveler Pools where a Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper were present with three juvenile Little Ringed Plover and a single Yellow Wagtail, my first of the autumn.

Cutting back along the north edge of the old dump there were good numbers of juvenile Willow Warbler (c.10) and Whitethroat (c.15) in the scrub.

Juvenile Reed Bunting – Ancient Highway, Pennington Marsh

Juvenile Willow Warbler – Pennington Marsh

I spent the best part of an hour scanning over Fishtail Lagoon, there are a lot of birds here and it is worth spending the time watching the comings and goings.

The Wood Sandpiper from Shoveler Pools dropped in, around six Snipe, 125 Black-tailed Godwit, 30 Redshank, 25 Dunlin, two Little Ringed Plover were the best on show.

Roe Deer – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Black-tailed Godwit dropping into Fishtail Lagoon – Pennington Marsh

Black-tailed Godwit dropping into Fishtail Lagoon – Pennington Marsh

I then went out to the point of Butts Lagoon and spent another hour or so here. The conditions were fantastic, absolutely still and brilliant sunshine. Little Egret chased fish fry in the shallows and on the mudflats were c.200 Dunlin, 45 Turnstone, 15 Grey Plover, one Sanderling, six Whimbrel, eight Curlew, 30 Ringed Plover, 25Sandwich Tern and 30 Common Tern.

After such a still morning it was amazing how the wind suddenly picked up from the west. I decided it was time to make a slow move towards home – another quick scan of Fishtail Lagoon failed to produce the hoped for mega, maybe next time.

Little Egret chasing fish fry off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Little Egret chasing fish fry off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Little Egret chasing fish fry off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Little Egret chasing fish fry off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Dunlin and Ringed Plover off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Turnstone and Dunlin off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

13th August and another free morning so back to Pennington Marsh. Today I completed the full loop, out past Shoveler Pools, back along the north edge of the Old Dump to Fishtail Lagoon then out to the point at Butts Lagoon, then out past Keyhaven Lagoon and around the Quay and back along the Ancient Highway.

It was pretty slim going. The highlights of the morning were the first Ruff (2) of the autumn on Fishtail Lagoon, Wood Sandpiper on Fishtail, Tree Pipit (1), Yellow Wagtail (1)and my first Wheatear of the autumn at Keyhaven Lagoon

Reed Warbler – Efford Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Reed Warbler – Efford Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Reed Warbler – Efford Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Reed Warbler – Efford Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

A distant Ruff, the first of the Autumn- Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Juvenile Sandwich Tern – Pennington Marsh

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Sandwich Tern – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Wheatear – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

 

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Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

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