Pennington Marsh – 5th October

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It was a beautiful October day and after dropping Tobias at school I was going to spent the day at Pennington Marsh until it was time to pick him up at 15:30. After a coffee at the corner of Lower Pennington Lane I walked along the fun length of the Ancient Highway. It took me almost two hours to walk the 500m or so!

I was absorbed in the bushed trying to find a decent bird but in a north-westerly I was not too hopeful. Other than fair numbers of Chiffchaff and there was little to be found. The highlight was an obliging Lesser Whitethroat which despite my best efforts I couldn’t turn into one of the eastern races.

Three passed high overhead to the east, I guess these were local birds simply moving around the site. There was some visible migration evident and I recorded a total of 26 Swallow, 11 House Martin, six , eight and 24 Sky Lark moving west.

I spent a fair bit of time around the plantation at the west end of the Ancient Highway but there was little to be seen.

Lesser Whitethroat – Ancient Highway, Pennington Marsh

Lesser Whitethroat – Ancient Highway, Pennington Marsh

Lesser Whitethroat – Ancient Highway, Pennington Marsh

Lesser Whitethroat – Ancient Highway, Pennington Marsh

As I wandered around the seawall it was evident that the tide was very high and the waders on the salt marsh were tiptoeing in knee-deeps water when normally they would be high and dry. Scanning through their ranks there were many Dunlin and Grey Plover and I counted a total of 185 Curlew. Scanning over the scrub looking for the that has been present recently I picked up an immature that was harassing the pipits, a Marsh Harrier and a flew north over. is still a scarce bird here.

Sparrowhawk – Iley Point, Pennington Marsh

Walking around the seawall an obliging Wheatear was on the track while at Fishtail there were good numbers of wader with 180 , six Snipe and 90 Lapwing along with small numbers of and Dunlin. I watched a pair of Mallard foraging in the shallows accompanied by three , the were diving in the ‘slip stream’ of the Mallard and were clearly foraging for prey items (small invertebrates) disturbed by the Mallard – I do not recall seeing this feeding association before. Scanning over the saltmarsh I picked up an immature female chasing a Meadow Pipit which it eventually downed over the scrub at Iley Point.

Wheatear – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Wheatear – Keyhaven Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

Foraging Mallard accompanied by Little Grebe – Fishtail Lagoon, Pennington Marsh

At the Jetty there were around 30 Turnstone and 15 Dunlin feeding on the seaweed that has accumulated on the beach – quite unusual that the beach is not disturbed by dogs so I spent a little time he photographing them. I then headed along the seawall past Pennington Lagoon before cutting inland and back to the car.

Dunlin – Jetty Beach, Pennington Marsh

Dunlin – Jetty Beach, Pennington Marsh

Turnstone – Jetty Beach, Pennington Marsh

Dunlin – Jetty Beach, Pennington Marsh

Dunlin – Jetty Beach, Pennington Marsh

Dunlin – Jetty Beach, Pennington Marsh

Chiffchaff – Pennington 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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