Pennington Marsh – 23rd March

Pennington Marsh – 23rd March



With a couple of hours to spare after dropping Tobias at school I had a wander around Pennington Marsh taking in Jetty, Butts, Fishtail and Keyhaven Lagoons. It was a bright spring like day but with a strong NW wind it was deceptively cold. Numbers of wader and wildfowl had shown a noticeable and decrease since my last visit with numbers of species such as Wigeon, Pintail and Black-tailed Godwit now into the low hundreds while I only saw 12 Pintail and no more than 50 Golden Plover.

The Red-necked Grebe off the seawall is now entering summer plumage but there was no sign of the Slavonian Grebe that have wintered here. There were six Great-crested Grebe and ten Eider off shore but little else. On Jetty Lagoon there was a single Spotted Redshank still in winter plumage and two adult and a juvenile Spoonbill. As I walked along the seawall I flushed my first Wheatear of the season but only managed to obtain an arse-end view as it flew east and out of sight.

At the point beside Butts Lagoon the semi-resident pair of Peregrine which seem to spend much time sitting on the shingle bar were harassing the waders. On the mudflats were around 150 Knot, 500 Dunlin and 75 Bar-tailed Godwit while a flock of around 200 Brent Goose fed in the saltmarsh on the rising tide. Keyhaven Lagoon was fairly devoid of birds but for around 40 Shelduck and two Avocet.

Turning inland two Bearded Reedling were showing well in the reedbed in Butts Lagoon where they bred last year and two Chiffchaff sung from the old dump. Two Adder showed well on the south facing embankment adjacent to Butts Lagoon and there was a single crisp male along the Ancient Highway.

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Bearded Reedling – Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Peregrine – Off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Dunlin – Off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Brent Goose – Off Butts Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Mistle Thrush – The Old Dump, Pennington Marsh

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Adder – Ancient Highway, Pennington Marsh

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Spoonbill (adult left and juvenile) – Jetty Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Spoonbill (juvenile) – Jetty Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Peregrine – Over Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Brent Goose – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Brent Goose – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Brent Goose, this is one of the few juveniles that I have seen this winter, they seemed to have had a poor breeding season in 2017 – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Coot – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Redshank – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

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Redshank – Fishtail 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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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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