This post tells you what birds have been showing on the trips that I run, either day trips or short Wednesday morning excursions. They are either a good memory or you’ll find out what you missed!
Tuesday 23rd January – Hayling Island, Hampshire
On a cold, windy day we began by scanning the water right by the Ship Inn, the latter drawing us, siren-like towards its log fires. There were a couple of Pintail here and, splendidly, some Goldeneye in the channels along with the usual Red-breasted Mergansers. Waders were well represented with all the expected species showing well. We moved east past the pond and on towards Conigar Point, following the Solent Way. We had great views of Greenshanks here, often comparing well with Redshanks, and eventually a Kingfisher showed itself. There were no Mediterranean Gulls or Sandwich Terns here, which there usually are. In then afternoon we transferred by car to the Oyster Beds area off the north-west of the island (West Hayling Nature Reserve). Although it was high tide a biting wind made viewing extremely difficult. We saw a few more waders, and more Goldeneyes and Mergansers, but failed entirely to find a single Black-necked Grebe. About 50 species were seen during the day.
Wednesday 17th January – Poole Park
On a chilly morning with keen winds and sunshine, we mingled with Poole residents enjoying Poole Park Lake. There were loads of waterbirds about. On which other urban lake can you enjoy the communal displays of ducks such as Goldeneye (“head-throwing”) and Red-breasted Merganser (“sky-pointing”), as well as getting good views of a wintering Great Northern Diver? Next door on Baiter Park there were 250 Oystercatchers, 20 Black-tailed Godwits and a flock of Brent Geese. The coffee in the Ark café wasn’t bad, either. 36 species in all.