After a couple of weeks of fairly bright weather, the rains returned, seemingly at weekends and lunch hours when I had time to get out. I did having watched it piss down for most of Saturday decided to brave it on the Sunday and take a drive down to the coast.
First stop Hatchet Pond in the New Forest a nice waterside car park allowing a good view of the pond without having to get wet, Mallard, Black-headed Gull and a couple of Herring Gull all present. From there I headed towards Sowley Pond, picking up a lone Red Kite, presumedly at the Southern most point of the UK range.
Plenty of Chaffinches flew up from the roadside ditches but no sign of any Brambling. I passed several ploughed fields one covered in around 2000 Rooks, the other a mix of Lapwing and Pied Wagtail.
Arriving at Sowley Pond, I found my self a viewing gap from the road having a quick scan for some Mallard, Great-crested Grebe and around 30 Pochard. Quite a high count for an otherwise quiet lake.
Next stop on my wet whistle stop tour of the south coast, Lepe, not timing my visit very well as the tide was mere metres from the car park reducing the beach to a small sand pit. Plenty of Turnstones and Black-headed Gulls touring the car park, with the occasional flyby of a larger Herring Gull. I did have a rather amusing encounter watching the Turnstones flipping over pebbles before being scattered by an incoming Carrion Crow, who then proceeded to steal said stone.
With the tide reaching further in I headed the short distance around the coast to Calshot, by this time the weather having taken an even further turn for the worse. Having to park the car passenger side on to the wind and rain, I managed to make out around 25 Brent Geese and 2 Black-tailed Godwit feeding on a grassy area in front of the power station.
Giving up for the day I headed home the scenic route up the Test Valley, stopping at Mottisfont for a ganders on the bridges, the only bird of note, a male Kestrel perched atop a bank side tree.
|Carrion Crow - Pebble and all!|
Using the truck as my daily commute, I did manage to get out on the Wednesday lunchtime around the lakes, but the wildlife seemed as scarce as the sunshine, so I made do with photographing the resident Mute Swans. Who still seem to be pretty happy with the presence of last years cygnet, although I am guessing in coming weeks he/she might find him/herself out on his/her ear.
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