Sunday 3rd October 2021

A single Green Sandpiper was feeding on De L’Orne Flood and a group of 2 Wheatear, 5 Meadow Pipits and 10 Pied Wagtails were busy catching insects on the edge of the flood where it meanders towards the boardwalk bridge. 

Little Egret

After Adam’s work on De L’Orne it was nice to see a Spotted Redshank and 7 Greenshank feeding in the bay that has been enlarged on the right had side of the lagoon. A pair of Wigeon rested close to the Greenshank, you can tell the male by the white wing flash and also by the newly appearing grey scapulars. October is the month when wildfowl start heading back out of eclipse.

Wigeon and Greenshank

In the distance the White-tailed Eagle flew up the river from the Sailing Club and landed on the Saltmarsh 800 yards to the east. A Merlin first seen on a distant fence post came much closer and settled on one of the posts directly out from the hide, perhaps my best ever views.

Merlin

A Kestrel also landed close by with a kill. Voles are by far the most important food although they regularly take other small mammals and also small birds as shown here.

Kestrel

A male Marsh Harrier showing his black wing tips drifted over the reeds along the edge of the river.

male Marsh Harrier

10 Yellow Wagtails were with the cattle and horses on Venner Wigeon Fields. Often out of view but occasionally flicking up into the air in ones and twos.

Great White Egret photo by Ian Williamson

The Great White Egret flew up from the saltmarsh in front of Shore Hide and allowed a few photos as it headed over Three Fields towards De L’Orne.

Great White Egret

Ian rang to say that he had a Glossy Ibis in flight from the Sailing Club heading towards Lepe. I managed to scope it from Shore Hide although my view wasn’t as good as Ian’s photo.

Glossy Ibis photo by Ian Williamson

Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters were the only dragonflies on the wing with Small Copper, Red Admiral and Small White the only butterflies.

There were lots of Stonechats today. Graham recently trapped 14 in one session, his highest ever total. He commented that they showed a huge range of wing lengths suggesting that some may have been from Scotland or beyond and likely to be 1st year migrants on their way further south for the winter.

Stonechat

The White-tailed Eagle appeared again and flew up from Gull Island in front of us at the Sailing Club passing pretty closely before joining the second eagle over Exbury.

White-tailed Eagle

2 fairly late Hobbies were also feeding in that direction, their white cheeks visible even at this range.

A great day for raptors with White-tailed Eagle, Osprey, Peregrine, Kestrel, Hobby, Merlin, Marsh Harrier & Sparrowhawk.

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