Friday 25th February 2022

I met up with Ian first thing. We spent some time watching the sea but it continued to be quiet. There were two Slavonian Grebes opposite the cottages but not much else.

Slavonian Grebes

Mediterranean Gulls are now acquiring their summer hoods.

Mediterranean Gull photo by Ian Williamson

Seeing the shoreline looking spring-like in warm sunshine made me think about the first Wheatears returning although this probably won’t be for another three weeks or so.

Oystercatcher

After a 10am meeting with Adam I managed a few hours around the hides. The number of Avocets had increased again, now up to 21 including three of Graham’s yellow flagged birds. Although not full on courtship display they were pretty frisky in the warm sunshine.

Avocet

AX was ringed as a chick at Great Marsh in the summer of 2018 and is old enough to breed. I saw it on Great Marsh three times in April and May last year but it was perhaps pushed away as it subsequently moved to Titchfield Haven in June 2021 and perhaps it bred there. It will be interesting to see if it stays longer this year.

VI was ringed as a chick at Great Marsh in June 2019 and I was the last person to report it, on Great Marsh, in June and July 2021. It wasn’t old enough to have bred last year but it may be this year. The Avocets don’t tend to appear on Great Marsh until early April.  

Black-tailed Godwit photo by Brian Fairbrother

There were sizeable flocks of Black-tailed Godwits in the air and on a couple of occasions the Golden Plover also wheeled overhead, there were around 80 and they appeared to drop back down on to the Gins.

Spoonbill photo by Brian Fairbrother

14 Spoonbills showed very well looking nice in the warm afternoon light and lots of Reed Buntings were singing from various wet areas around the reserve.

Spoonbill photo by Terry Jenvey
Reed Bunting photo by Dimitri Moore

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