Six members met at the bottom of Latimer Road for a walk led by Jackie Hart on an overcast morning accompanied by a blustery wind. The meeting got off to a great start with a Kingfisher seen in flight at St Helens Mill Pond. Among the other species seen included five Mediterranean Gulls, excellent close views of three, out of an overall total of five, Great Crested Grebe in the harbour where there was also approximately 200 Dunlin busily feeding on the exposed mud along with other waders. The walk along the footpath to Bembridge Lagoons resulted in views of two Marsh Harrier on Brading Marshes RSPB Reserve, along with the grazing flock of Dark-bellied Brent Geese while approximately 110 Lapwing were seen flying over the marsh. Passerines were in short supply, the windy conditions resulting in most of them hunkered down. A small mixed tit flock containing Blue Tit, Great Tit and 4 Long-tailed Tit was seen. 11 Tufted Duck were in the large pond by Harbour Farm, 9 male and 2 female. In total, 39 species were recorded despite the blustery conditions: Coot, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Curlew, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Marsh Harrier, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Little Egret, Little Grene, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall and Tufted Duck.
Great Crested Grebe photo: Jim Baldwin