November and Early December

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Well, November seems to have passed me by without seeing a single bird of any note while much of the UK seemed to be awash with rare Swift’s. I have barely managed to get out due to work commitments and a general low ebb in my birding enthusiasm, this comes to me once in a while and I am sure it will soon pass, I see it as a natural cycle after which my interest will be rekindled.

A short visit to Pennington Marsh on 7th November produced good numbers of the usual wintering species. It was good to see that the Brent Goose flocks seem to have a large number of juveniles in them following a poor breeding season in 2017.

There were around 250 Golden Plover on the grazing marsh at Lower Pennington Lane, my first of the winter.

Brent Goose – Pennington Marsh

Brent Goose – Pennington Marsh

Wigeon – Pennington Marsh

Wigeon – Pennington Marsh


Shoveler – Pennington Marsh

Pied Wagtail – Pennington Marsh

I did a couple of short stops at Beaulieu Road Station early and mid-month looking for the Great Grey Shrike but had no luck and saw little but for three Crossbill and small numbers of Redpoll. On 11th November Sarah, Tobias and I went for a short walk, dodging rain showers, in Denny Wood. There were few birds to be seen but for half a dozen Marsh Tit and small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare. The forest was spectacular and at the peak of its autumnal colouration.

Denny Wood, New Forest

Denny Wood, New Forest

Denny Wood, New Forest

Fly Agaric – Denny Wood, New Forest

Fungus Sp. – Denny Wood, New Forest

On 17th November the night was very mild with southerly winds and so I ran my trap in our Romsey garden, a rare occurrence these days. I caught very little but did get this slightly worn Oak Rustic, a new species for me.

Oak Rustic – Romsey, Hampshire

On 4th December on a beautiful warm and sunny day I dropped Tobias at school and had a short walk around Fishtail, Butts and Jetty Lagoons at Pennington Marsh. There were good numbers of wildfowl on the lagoons and I spent much time enjoying the displaying Pintail with their strange squeaky calls, they really are a fantastic looking duck. The Shoveler were actively feeding deploying both their body flat to the water technique and up-ending. A single Chiffchaff was present and calling frequently. There were small numbers of Black-tailed Godwit and Golden Plover present while Lapwing numbers were probably in their high hundreds. Although the sea was millpond calm there was little to be seen, six Red-breasted Merganser, a dozen or so Great-crested Grebe and a single Eider but no sign of the regular Slavonian Grebe. It was a lovely couple of hours but I needed to tear myself away and head to work.

Shoveler – Pennington Marsh

Pintail – Pennington Marsh

Pintail – Pennington Marsh

Shoveler – Pennington Marsh

Shoveler – Pennington Marsh

Pied Wagtail – 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.

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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