Monday, 20 February 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away!!!

With a theatre trip in Southampton booked for saturday night, a trip down to the New Forest seemed like the perfect tonic to while the hours away! Being probably the only birder in hampshire not to see the Dark-eyed Junco we headed first to the Hawkhill Inclosure, after taking the wrong turning first up, lots of swearing and lack of phone signal ensued before I decided to try further down the road. A little Tip don't trust google maps postcodes!

Its fair to say my mood didn't really improve much all day after this! Not helped by the sudden downpour as well pulled into Hawkhill car park. 20 minutes later before it eased up, allowing me down the short path to where other birders waited patiently. 45 minutes later and nothing more than a few Chaffinch, wet and cold I gave up, hopes dashed by one guy saying he'd been there since dawn and the target bird hadn't been seen at all today! Sods law, was joking with Nat on the drive down that it had probably flown home!

A brief stop at Hatchet Pond showed good views of Black-headed Gulls, Common Gull, Mute Swan, Rook, Jackdaw, Moorhen, Teal, Mallard, Cormorant & Little Egret.
Black-headed Gull
With no let up in the dismal weather we drove on down to Lepe beach over looking the Solent and the Isle Of Wight. To say it was raining was an understatement, all hopes of looking out the car windows with the Binoculars were dashed, with gale force winds and the IOW disappearing behind the torrential rain for most of the afternoon, reduced us to a quick kip and about 20 minutes of birding in between monsoons. Shame really as the seashore was teeming with wading birds. Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Ringed Plover and around 200 Brent Geese on the shoreline.
Brent Geese
Now I apologise for the quality of the photographs, but I think as it was tipping it down I don't think they are to bad. Im undicided as to which spiecies I've captured however, my initial thoughts while watching them scurry up and down the beach was Sanderling, and on checking the bird book in the car that was still my thinking. But having checked the pictures once home and doing a little bit of googling on the area I'm was then drawn towards Grey Plover. Any help in identifying said birds would be a great help and allow me to log a new species on my list for the year because to be perfectly honest I was flummoxed!

Many Thanks to Ploddingbirder & Bryan Rains for clarifying that it is Grey Plover and the Birds in flight Dunlin.
Grey Plover
Grey Plover


  1. Hi Martin, The single bird standing on the shoreline is a Grey Plover. The flying waders look like Dunlin.