Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year's Day Birding!

On the 1st Jan we headed south towards Hayling Island to make a surprise visit to A's parents but decided to stop for a walk at Broadmarsh Park that overlooks Langstone Harbour. Unfortunately the view is somewhat industrial but regardless we followed the Hermitage Stream and found Mallard, Moorhen and a few Little Grebes. A Kestrel made a brief appearance but with freezing cold fingers I couldn't hold the camera still enough for a postable picture.   
Pied Wagtails in the car park were my next quarry but they were constantly disturbed by many other 'New Year's Day' walkers. The only option was to capture a Mute Swan having a clean up.
Mute Swan preening.
Once over Langstone Bridge we found a parking spot and prepared for our planned walk around Hayling Island Oyster Beds. As you can see it was high tide and nothing on the harbour water but eventually we found a few Brent Geese, Shelduck, Curlew, Wigeon and Cormorant.


Brent Geese heading away...as usual!
Remains of the old Oyster Beds at high tide where we located a lonesome male Goldeneye, a single flying Redshank, Black-headed and Herring Gulls. All the other waders, Dunlin, Grey Plover and Knot were hiding on the furthest rubble ridge and only showed their outlines as the flocks moved in formation to a new location further away. Our return walk overlooked the damp pastures where we spied Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, several Song Thrushes, Sparrowhawk resting in a distant tree plus one of the resident Little Egrets.
Little Egret on a hunting mission.
I just like looking in the mirror!

Other sightings, including garden visitors, meant our new year list was a dismal 31 species so I can only hope we do better when we spend a day out with friends in Kent on 2nd January!!    FAB

8 comments:

  1. I expected to see piles of snow everywhere? :) What a great way to start the new year Frank.

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  2. Hi Frank,
    Beautiful post and beautiful pictures! I too expected a lot of snow everywhere.. Where is it??? The lake are not even frozen.... Here the only place you will see ducks are the warm water ponds and streams due to the volcanic activities... All the other ponds, river and streams are totally frozen... Even the sea fjord in front of our house is almost frozen!!! Well, it is rather cold around -7°C today!
    I'm surprised you still have egrets... This one forgot to migrate south ;-)

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  3. Terrific blog! I can't get enough of that banner shot (deer), WOW and double WOW! I'm jealous!

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  4. My fingers, like yours Frank, were so cold today, photography was almost impossible!

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  5. It looks like a spring day. Some good birds spotted to start the new year. I'm sure you'll bump that 31 up in no time.

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  6. Joan. In this area of south-east we appear to have been very lucky so far...very little snow but the temperatures are dropping and the ground it totally frozen.

    Chris. The shallower ponds are frozen but no snow here to speak of yet!! Little Egrets are RESIDENT species over quite a large range of southern UK so no need for them to go on winter holidays.

    robins-chaos. Glad you liked it particularly as photography is not my main hobby. Thanks for joining "The Early Birders".

    Warren. But you still managed something...I just looked out the window!

    Keith. Yeah blue sky but bitterly cold and the ticks increased on the 2nd.

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  7. ...by looking at the photos, it looks like an early spring day...the water is so blue and lovely! ...but....I know those crisp, clear days are often the coldest. It is very cold here now, but I'm going to try to get out a little tomorrow morning.

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  8. Kelly. Yeah, it looked good through any glass but outside it was raw but great to be out birding.

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