Hurstake to Werrar Farm Bird Meeting 5th February 2017

On a cool cloudy morning 17 members met at the Medina Park Picnic Site car-park for a walk along the cyclepath towards Werrar Farm; one keen member walked in from Cowes for the meeting.

The riverside path was considered too muddy for easy walking but there is a good view of the Medina estuary from the cyclepath.

In the estuary and along the tideline were seven Wigeon, seven Little Grebes, a male and female Gadwall, Brent Geese, Oystercatchers, Mute Swans, Coots, Moorhens, Curlews, Redshanks and a Little Egret. As well as many Black-headed Gulls and Herring Gulls we saw one Lesser Black-backed Gull and one Great Black-backed Gull. At rest on the pontoon at Medina Valley centre were four Cormorants.

We took a short detour from the cyclepath to Riverside Park, where resident House Sparrows were vociferous, then headed for Dodnor mill pond. With the use of Jackie’s telescope everyone admired two Peregrine Falcons, one on the Dodnor pylon and one at the top of Fairlee pylon. Both birds flew to Vestas’ building where one perched on the nesting box and the other rested nearby on the roof, so hopefully they will nest there again this year.

On Dodnor mill pond were several hybrid ducks as well as three male and three female Tufted Ducks; the squeal of a Water Rail was heard from somewhere in the rushes there.

Hedgerow birds along the cyclepath were numerous and varied most notably one female and two male Bullfinches, three Song Thrushes in song and three Goldcrests. Other species seen were two Greenfinches, one Chiffchaff, Blue Tits, Great Tits, ten Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, Carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Magpies, Feral Pigeons and Wood Pigeons. At Stag Lane crossing a Kestrel was hovering and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew south. Heard but not seen were Wren and Jay.

Feeding in stubble and weedy vegetation on Werrar Farm was a mix of Linnets, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Redwings.

On our way back to the car-park we stopped on Dodnor Bridge where in the creek a male Mandarin Duck was consorting with Mallards, The Mandarin is sometimes seen on the pond in St Mary’s hospital grounds.

46 species of birds were seen or heard during the morning, a number which surprised and pleased everyone wh took part.  Sue Blackwell

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