Pennington Marsh – 29th October

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I had a few hours to spare after dropping Tobias at school and so had a quick wander around the marshes. Wandering along the Ancient Highway past Efford Lagoon there were now 42 Tufted Duck, my highest count yet, while 25 Swallow and three Sand Martin foraged overhead. I spent some time grilling a Common Sandpiper to check it was not a Spotted but try as I might I couldn’t string this one. Walking out past the flooded grassland at the back of Fishtail Lagoon a Tree Pipit called overhead as it flew south and three Yellow Wagtail headed east.

The water levels at Fishtail Lagoon are high after the heavy rains of late and there were very few waders present just four Snipe, two Spotted Redshank and 22 Lapwing. A juvenile Little Stint on the island in Fishtail Lagoon was my first at the site this autumn. While small numbers of Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and a single Wheatear fed in the grassland. Wandering out to Keyhaven Lagoon a female Marsh Harrier quartered the marsh.

I was hoping for larger numbers of wader on Keyhaven Lagoon but the high water levels meant that all that was present were two Black-tailed Godwit and two Spotted Redshank. However, duck numbers have climbed steeply since my last visit on 17th September and I counted 125 Teal, 225 Wigeon and 32 Pintail – all in eclipse plumage. I then wandered out past Butts Lagoon where there were six Mediterranean Gull on the mud off the point while on Jetty Lagoon there were a further 85 Teal and single Spotted Redshank and Greenshank.

Little Stint – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Wigeon – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Little Egret – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Wigeon – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Wigeon – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Wigeon – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Pintail – 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.

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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