Seventeen members joined Dave Fairlamb of Natural Links for an enjoyable morning’s birdwatching.
Meeting at the start of the Yarmouth to Freshwater cycle track in Thorley Road, we immediately had signs of autumn with small groups of winter thrushes flying over, with at least 24 Redwings, a couple of Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush. The water levels on Rofford Marsh were very high but did we did still manage to see a Common Snipe on the far bank, while dabbling ducks amongst the reeds included Shovelers, Teals and Mallards. A Cetti’s Warbler was heard singing and a couple of Chiffchaffs were calling, with one eventually seen feeding in the reeds, almost certainly birds that will overwinter.
Common Snipe Shoveler (male)
As we neared the Mill, a flock of Golden Plovers were seen flying high and as we reached the main estuary, large numbers of Wigeon were on the water, many calling as they pair bonded even at this stage of the year. Several species of waders were on the mudflats and saltmarsh including Curlews, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Lapwings and Dunlins and as we watched, a Kingfisher flashed by.
Making our way along to the Mill Copse pool provided some excellent birdwatching, with first, a Peregrine flying fast over the copse, followed by a sighting of a female Marsh Harrier quartering low over the reeds at the back of the pool. A few other new species for the day were added to the list at this point with Little Grebes, Mute Swans and Cormorants on the open water, Grey Plovers, Oystercatchers, Little Egrets and Grey Herons on the saltmarsh edge and several passerines including Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail and Stonechat. In all, 52 species were recorded during the walk.
Grey Plovers Rock Pipit