JANUARY 16 - 2016
My only news
from the meadow today is sadly about vandalism. The
rather nice woven hurdle fence that the Environment
Agency constructed around the concrete bags in the
north-east corner of the meadow has been torn down and
thrown in the river. That is really sad. Hopefully, it
will be replaced. Both Malcolm Phillips and Brian
Lawrence were also on the meadow today and were
dismayed to see the damage.
report on the millponds today apart from the fact that
the town millpond was largely frozen over for the
first time this winter. The gulls did not seem to
Phillips visited Langstone for a change today and got
some interesting sightings. First he saw a Water
Vole in the Langbrook Stream - the first he has
seen for some time. Sadly, there are none left on
Brook Meadow. Malcolm also had a wintering Chiffchaff
Then he went through
the waders in the harbour and found two
colour-ringed Greenshank and a colour-ringed
The Greenshank are G+BR tag which Peter
Milinets-Raby also regularly sees at Langstone and
G+GL which is the regular feeding companion of
the Spotted Redshank at Nore Barn - having a change of
The Redshank looks
like B+B//RO though the rings are a bit muddy.
This was probably one of those ringed by Pete Potts
and his team ringed at Thorney Island on 13/09/2014.
Milinets-Raby had a singing Firecrest high in the big
bare tree at the entrance to the Palmer's Road Car
Park at 2pm. It then flew across the car park to nip
into the scrub along the edge of the copse. It sang a
couple of more times before slipping away onto the
The last Firecrests we had on Brook Meadow was in
Jan-Mar 2013 when one and sometimes two (male and
female?) were seen feeding on the river bank. We had a
total of 38 sightings with lots of photos. Here is one
that Malcolm Phillips took at the time.
French was very pleased have what I think was the
first local Brambling of the year in her garden today.
This is only her second ever garden record, the
previous one being December 2010. Males and females
look similar in winter plumage.
Bramblings are really
rare and prized garden birds, only arriving in cold
weather. The last one I had in my Emsworth garden was
in a cold spell in Jan-Feb 2011. But clearly they are
in the area, so check your Chaffinches very carefully,
just in case there is a Brambling among them.
Milinets-Raby e-mailed me to say he had a singing
Firecrest high in the big bare tree at the entrance to
the Palmer's Road Car Park at 2pm. It then flew across
the car park to nip into the scrub along the edge of
the copse. It sang a couple of more times before
slipping away onto the meadow. Let's hope it
The last Firecrests we had on Brook Meadow was in
Jan-Mar 2013 when one and sometimes two (male and
female?) were seen feeding on the river bank. We had a
total of 38 sightings with lots of photos. Maybe with
this cold spell we shall have another couple? Here is
a photo taken by Malcolm Phillips at that time showing
the distinctive white 'eyebrow' which separates it
from the more common Goldcrest.
JANUARY 15 - 2016
glorious winter morning. This morning's constitutional
took me through Brook Meadow, past Peter Pond, round
Slipper Millpond and back into the village for a
warm-up and coffee in the Pastoral Centre before
making a circuit of the millpond. I happened to meet
Maurice Lillie on the south bridge; he was out taking
6-month fixed-point photos around the meadow.
There were no special observations on Brook Meadow
apart from the abundant blossom on the Cherry Plum
tree on the causeway. But I was pleased to see the
regular female Kingfisher perched on the table
at the north end of Peter Pond near the reedbeds. Here
is a very distant shot with my 12x Lumix zoom.
Grebes were fishing near the sluice gates at the
southern end of Slipper Millpond. Amazingly, I managed
to capture both on the surface at one time.
There were two
pairs of Red-breasted Mergansers on the town
millpond, diving frequently for fish. Here is one of
the pairs that I managed to snap before they went
I puzzled for a while
over a Black-backed Gull that was sitting on
the water in the middle of the pond. It is difficult
to judge size when there is only one of them and no
other gulls nearby, but my inclination is to go for
Great Black-backed Gull based mainly on the blackness
of its wings and the large extent of white on the wing
tips. But I would love to see the colour of its legs!
The swan situation
remains the same with the resident family of two
adults and two cygnets plus the visiting pair lurking
at the end of Nile Street. There have been no Tufted
Ducks this winter, though there is still time.
Phillips was over at Nore Barn for an hour or so this
afternoon and got a couple of cracking photos of local
wading birds. A Black-tailed Godwit that has not gone
to the Avon Valley with its mates and a Curlew in
had a male Blackcap paying several visits to his
garden this morning. First time this year. Maybe the
colder weather will be bringing them down south.
Everyone keep a look out and get some sponge cake on
the go. They love it.
Milinets-Raby put a full hour this lunchtime (12 noon
) walking along the stretch of the Billy Line to the
west of the main road virtually opposite the Langstone
village looking for the possible Pallas's Warbler that
John Chapman thought he saw in his garden
Peter reports, "Wandering for 10 minutes to the east
side of the road, but back again to the west section.
Pass on my thanks for getting me details. I was
playing mp3 files to help lure anything out. I had 3
Coal Tit (two noisily singing), 2 Goldcrest (one
singing), 6 Long-tailed Tits and a Great Spotted
Woodpecker. Nothing else I'm afraid. Hope others will
have some luck. A nice little spot with some good
habitat ideal for either species - my money is on
asks if I recognise this Robin-like bird with a
distinctive red/brown rump that he saw near the I.O.W
ferry terminal at Portsmouth this morning. That is a
nice one, indeed, Barry. It is a Black Redstart, which
is quite a rare bird in our area in winter.
Black Redstarts breed
mainly on the Continent and are mainly seen in the
South of England as passage migrants in spring and
late autumn, though just a few do spend the winter
with us. The current Hampshire Bird Atlas says that
typically only about 6 birds winter in the whole
county, mostly at urban locations along the coast,
presumably due to the mild conditions in such
I have three other local Black Redstart sightings in
my recent files (with photos): Mary Colbourne had one
in her Emsworth garden on 17-Nov-2010 and Peter
Milinets-Raby had one in his Havant garden on
01-Nov-2012 and again on 15-Mar-2013.
in Avon Valley
As I suspected
Black-tailed Godwits have abandoned the local harbours
in favour of the flooded river valleys which no doubt
provide much richer picking of worms and other
foodstuffs. Kevin Sayer provided the following link to
a short video that the Bournemouth Echo has posted on
their Facebook page showing the Godwits currently
enjoying the floods in the Avon Valley. See . . .
Gosh, I would not like to have to count those!
JANUARY 14 - 2016
I had a quick
look at Nore Barn at 12 noon - about 2 hours to high
water. The Spotted Redshank and the colour-ringed
Greenshank (G+GL) were feeding together in the stream.
Nothing else of interest.
received another two responses regarding the recent
discussion about Nuthatches appearing in gardens.
Martin Hampton says ". . . until two years ago, I had
never seen one in our current or previous garden (both
in south Havant near the Billy Path). But late in the
2013/14 winter, two came occasionally to feed on
sunflower hearts, and the same happened last year. Our
locality is hardly 'wooded' but I suspect that the
largest of the Oaks and Hornbeams in the Wade Court
area of large houses, plus the younger Sycamores etc.
along the railway path, might constitute just enough
habitat. So I have my fingers crossed for this year
Geoff Gilbert says
that about five years ago they used to have Nuthatches
on their feeders infrequently in the early morning in
their Rowlands Castle garden. However, ". . . In
recent years since hardly ever. But for the last
month, two come every morning - from early till mid
morning - feeding on the sunflower hearts, and
occasionally trying a fat ball or the peanuts. There
are big oak trees in the copse 100m-200m away on the
golf course, which I assume is their home
long last, after a nine year wait, Eric Eddles was
delighted to get some shots of a female Kingfisher at
Langstone Mill. That's perseverance!
from 10.00am until noon, Mike Wells went to see the
progress of the tidal defences between the Eastern
Road and the railway bridge at Portscreek. He says . .
. "It certainly is a major project, with a simple
walking area created on top of the raised defences.
Although this will be very effective, I feel that much
of the natural area has been lost."
While he was there Mike saw a variety of birds in the
harbour including a group of Red-breasted Mergansers
(they are everywhere at the moment). Mike also
captured this rather nice Meadow Pipit on the
beach; it is not a Rock Pipit which one might expect
on the shore, that would have been much darker with
Here is a pic
from the internet.
something that might get you twitching! John Chapman
thought he may have had a very rare bird in his Havant
garden this afternoon. "Sitting by the French windows
near the fire in the mid afternoon I was aware of a
tiny bird flashing across from the roses to the potted
geraniums by the wall. It paused long enough for me to
register a very long, narrow, yellowish stripe above
the eye, then it vanished among the plants in the
pots. I got brief glimpses as it worked its way
through them, but it suddenly appeared head-on on one
of the geraniums at a distance of less than two yards.
The striking feature was a very prominent pale yellow
stripe on the crown, as well as the eye-stripes. It
was obviously not a Firecrest, and the crown stripe
seemed far too prominent for the Yellow-browed
Warbler, far more so than I have ever seen. I was left
with Pallas's Warbler, as the only likely candidate.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see the rump,
and when I went round via the back door it had gone.
Worth looking along the Billy Line or Mill Lane (but
careful, a Firecrest is often seen there)."
If you see anything like this please get in touch!
JANUARY 13 - 2016
This was a
real winter's morning, bright sky, no wind, crisp with
a frost on the car windscreen. The first we have had
this wet and windy winter. I was feeling well enough
to venture out on the bike again for the first time
since well before Xmas with the scope in the basket.
It was so good to get out on such a lovely morning.
Just a pity there were so few birds around.
I started on the millpond seawall, but the tide was
already well advanced, so there was not much to see in
the eastern harbour. I had a quick look at the
Dunlin scuttling around by the sailing club,
about 150 of them digging their bills into the mud
under the shallow water like tiny sewing machines.
Reaching Nore Barn I
could see about 40 Shelduck in the main
channels a long way out. Here is a couple that were
close enough for a photo.
The usual Spotted
Redshank was in the stream with a Little
Egret, standing like a sentinel. There was no sign
of the Greenshank.
There were no
Black-tailed Godwits anywhere - they must be in the
flooded valleys of the Avon and elsewhere. Ralph
Hollins reports that 1,990 Black-tailed Godwits were
counted from a photo in the lower Avon Valley. There
have also been large numbers of them at Pulborough
Brooks, in the Pagham Harbour area and on the Pevensey
Phillips spent the morning in the QA eye department.
He has my sympathy, I know that place only too well!
Hence, he did not have a lot of time on the meadow,
but still managed to get two cracking shots of our
common birds both at the north east corner.
reports from Hampshire Farm where the pond has been at
the highest he's seen it for a couple of years,
although it is far from being a problem. He says,
"There are shingle overflow areas at either end and
these have been covered for some days. I checked the
outfall into the river and it was flowing quite
freely, so the pond is doing what was intended, by
holding back excess water and releasing it into the
river at an acceptable rate, minimising the effect on
the river itself. I also checked the river height
gauge at the weir above the Wren Centre and this was
at six feet, again not excessive for this time of the
year. The photo shows the gauge above the
The whole site is very
wet and heavy with mud. A new earth bank was recently
built running parallel with the meadow above the Wren
Centre, it now is holding back a lot of water. This
may prevent the field from flooding but it is causing
a problem for the site. It seems as though we are in
for a comparatively dry spell so lets hope that the
ground can dry out a little."
For Chris's blog go to . . . http://hampshire-farm-meadows.simplesite.com/418799085
went over to Titchfield Haven to try for the Penduline
Tits, but missed them. However, he got some other nice
photos including this one of a Black-tailed Godwit
trying to find some room in a roost of Oystercatchers.
- A second look at this godwit confirms it as a
Bar-tailed - having plain brown wings, long
supercilium and barring of the tail.
JANUARY 12 - 2016
Phillips only managed a short time on Brook Meadow
again today, but got a couple of nice pics of resident
birds: female Chaffinch and perky Wren.
Barn to Emsworth Millpond
walked from Nore Barn to Emsworth this morning just
before high tide. The Spotted Redshank was
showing off as usual in the Nore Barn stream - what a
cracking bird this is and still going strong after 12
When Brian got to the
town millpond he found a female Red-breasted
Merganser fishing close to the path. It is good to
see these lovely birds back on the millpond, but it
would be even better to have some other winter
visitors, such as, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe or
even Goldeneye. Peter Milinets-Raby had one at
Langstone today. Maybe if the cold weather comes we
Milinets-Raby managed a quick visit to Langstone Mill
Pond this afternoon between lessons and showers
(1:47pm to 3pm - high tide).
On the pond: Female Goosander fast asleep the
whole time on the tree at the rear of the pond. Adult
Grey Heron sitting upright on Number Six nest -
looking for a mate.
Off shore: Fishing Red-necked Grebe along
channel (nearer to Hayling side, adjacent to the
hotel), but still good views in the scope, "only a
mile away, not miles!!", like previously.
5 Red Breasted Merganser, 5 Common Gull, Female
Goldeneye, Great Black-backed Gull, 7 Shelduck, 25
Brent Geese, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Kingfisher
dashing and chasing each other over the high tide
water by the wreck, 2 adult Mute Swan with 4 juveniles
keeping their distance - fifth one gone?
Flooded horse paddock: Impressive count of 34 Moorhen
(my highest total on this pasture), 11 Little Egrets,
3 Grey Heron, Amazingly 15 Wigeon, 73 Teal, 1
sent me a photo of the Red-necked Grebe that has been
attracting a lot of attention recently taken at
Northney Marina on 9th Jan. John also got a couple of
short video clips which show its surface and diving
behaviour well. It definitely dives with more of a
Cormorant leap and less like the Great-crested Grebe's
lower profile dive. It consistently dived for between
25 and 30 seconds (usually 26 or 27 seconds) with 13
to 14 second recovery periods on the surface (about
double this if it engaged in an occasional bout of
and her husband took a walk from Prinsted to Thornham
Boat Yard and got a nice shot of Oystercatchers in
Janet also sent me a
photo she was not sure about of a duck busily
preening. As Janet suspected, the bird is clearly a
female Red-breasted Merganser, identifiable
from its very shaggy orange crest, red legs and pale
yesterday's report by Robin Pottinger of two
Nuthatches in his Southbourne garden, Paul Cooper
writes to say they get an occasional Nuthatch
in their Funtington garden, the last one about a week
ago. Paul used to live in Hollybank Lane (the house
right at the top with the Holm Oak in the front
garden) and says Nuthatches visited just about every
day to feed on peanuts.
Paul reports that it has been an amazing year for
Goldfinches in his garden. He counted a charm of
22 a couple of days ago, with all the feeding stations
on two niger seed feeders taken, the rest on the
ground. He's had to order a sack of niger seeds
on-line for them! For the first time today one of them
was feeding voraciously on a peanut feeder which he
has never seen that before.
Brian's note: It was interesting to hear that
Paul's Goldfinches are still keen on niger seeds. Mine
gave up on them several years ago as soon as I
introduced sunflower hearts for the Greenfinches. I
don't buy them anymore.
JANUARY 11 - 2016
millpond was flat calm this morning for my regular
constitutional, just like a millpond in fact, though I
have not seen it like this for several weeks. This
meant I had a really good view of three Red-breasted
Mergansers fishing at the southern end of the pond
near the Emsworth Sailing Club; one male and two
This was the first
time I have seen three on the pond this winter, though
Susan Kelly whom I met on the seawall said she had
seen two pairs on the pond during stormy weather last
is a photo of one that Graham Petrie had in his garden
in Havant on 28-Oct-2012.
Pottinger had a big surprise when he got back from a
walk this morning. He walked into his Southbourne
house, looked out of the kitchen window, and there was
a pair of Nuthatches on the feeders. Astonishing.
Robin has never seen any in his garden before. A very
lucky piece of timing. I have never seen Nuthatches in
my garden and would be interested to hear from anyone
else who has seen Nuthatches in their garden in the
local area. I would suspect people living near
woodlands, like Hollybank Woods would get them.
In fact, Nuthatch is
not a particularly rare garden bird and comes in at
number 21 in the BTO Garden BirdWatch list for this
time of the year with a reporting rate of 25% - ie 25%
of participants report seeing one. It is most likely
to be seen in the period from Aug to Feb then drops
away to a low in May before rising again.
also had an exciting bird in her garden on Sunday 10th
January - a male Blackcap shown here feeding on the
fatballs. This is the first garden Blackcap I have
heard of this very mild winter. They are ranked 23rd
in the BTO Garden BirdWatch list being reported by 16%
The Blackcaps we see
in our gardens in the winter are migrants from the
Continent and are not the same population that migrate
here from the south in summer to breed. In addition,
new research using data from the BTO Garden BirdWatch
has revealed that bird food provided in British
gardens has prompted Blackcaps evolve this new
migration strategy, ie they come here from the
Continent for the food! This is the first time that
garden bird feeding has been shown to affect
large-scale bird distributions. See . . .
Malcolm Phillips did not have much time to spare
today, so just sent a photo of the flooded south
meadow on Brook Meadow.
But it is not nearly
as bad as a couple of years ago when you would have
had to swim to get through.
a reminder what it looked like then!
JANUARY 10 - 2016
Jean and I had
a walk around the town millpond this millpond. The
weather was dull and overcast and we got caught in a
sharp hail shower. Is this the first sign of winter
coming? The two cob swans were up to their
tricks, circling round and round one another with
wings raised in threat postures. I have not seen them
come to blows as yet, but no doubt it will happen.
The pair of
Red-breasted Mergansers were both busily fishing,
but well separated; the male at the southern part of
the pond and the female close to the slipway at the
end of Nile Street.
Phillips went round the meadow this morning and found
more birds that he has seen for a while. Malcolm got
photos of two cracking birds, a male Bullfinch and a
Goldcrest with a magnificent crest.
Les Winter had
a nice surprise this morning to see this splendid
male Great Spotted Woodpecker (red on the back
of head) on the seed holder in his Cumberland Avenue
Patrick Murphy always
gets a good selection of birds coming to the feeders
in his North Emsworth garden. Today he had a Coal
Tit which he says is a regular visitor (I rarely
see one in my garden) and a quizzical Robin.
photo shows the general layout of my back garden with
feeders on the tree on the right
In my garden in Central Emsworth today, there has been
a constant flow of birds with up to 12 Goldfinches and
8 Greenfinches on the four sunflower heart feeders,
along with the occasional Blue Tit, Great Tit and
House Sparrow. One or two Grey Squirrels are also
regular visitors and insist on clinging to the
feeders, despite my putting peanuts out for them on
the bird table! Meanwhile, I had 9 Woodpigeons feeding
on the grass at one time with 7 Collared Doves.
and Woodpigeons and Collared Doves feeding on the
grass and the bird table.
This photo shows the 4
sunflower heart feeders fully occupied by 8
there's no more for any more at any one time.
JANUARY 9 - 2016
on Slipper Millpond
During a walk
around Slipper Millpond this morning I was interested
to see two Cormorants on the south raft, one of which
had a grey head and a white patch on its thigh (called
a roundel). The grey head probably indicates this is
an aging bird of the nominate race P.
carbo though the tree-nesting Continental race
P. sinensis also gets a grey head in the
spring. The white thigh patch indicates breeding
potential and appears in late winter and early spring,
but is usually gone by summer.
Redshanks at Nore Barn
I had a quick
look at Nore Barn this afternoon at about 2pm with the
tide still fairly high. There was a strong wind
blowing off the sea and rain in the air, so I did not
stay. However, I was delighted to see two Spotted
Redshanks feeding in the stream along with the regular
colour-ringed Greenshank (G+GL). This is the first
time I have seen this excellent group of waders this
year. Photos were difficult in the wind and dull
light. I could not get them all in one shot, so here
are the two Spotted Redshanks in one and a Spotted
Redshank and Greenshank in the other.
sent me another photo that he got yesterday while at
Southsea Castle of an adult herring gull with starfish
pursued by a juvenile.
reminds us that the Brook Meadow Conservation Group is
one of the charities being supported by Waitrose in
Havant. So don't forget to put your green token in the
collection slot next time you are there!
JANUARY 8 - 2016
Phillips went round the town millpond early this
morning and got a dramatic photo of the sunrise with
dark clouds over Thorney Island.
He said there was not
much of interest on Brook Meadow, but he did but get a
nice shot of a rather shy looking Great Tit
got this fine shot of a Green Woodpecker that paid a
visit to his North Emsworth garden a couple of days
on Canoe Lake
was attracted to Southsea by recent reports of a Shag
at Canoe Lake, resting on a pedalo. Well, he found the
bird today along with one of the Black-headed Gulls
that are common on the lake. As Tony says, the bird
has the steep forehead and yellow lower bill of a
juvenile Shag, quite unlike a Cormorant. I used to
count the birds on Canoe Lake, Southsea on a weekly
basis in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but never
once saw a Shag there, though one, or sometimes two,
could often be seen fishing in the sea off the Castle.
Tony went along to
Southsea Castle while he was there and managed to spot
5 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks at high tide
in front of the Castle. Most of the time they were
nestled down in crevices, so not so easy to find, but
Tony did manage this nice shot of two of them being
splashed by the surf. This is certainly the best spot
locally to see these delightful birds.
JANUARY 7 - 2016
Phillips went round Brook Meadow this morning and
found a couple of trees down both by the south bridge.
Maurice Lillie says Andrew Skeet will go there
tomorrow morning to assess the situation with a view
Malcolm got a nice
shot of a female Kingfisher (red lower
mandible) on the table in near the reedbeds on Peter
got a good view of some Avocets while he was parked on
Salterns Quay overlooking Langstone Harbour on Jan 5.
This one flew in nice and close.
JANUARY 6 - 2016
I have not
been able to get over to Nore Barn recently, so I was
pleased to hear from Malcolm Phillips who had a walk
there this afternoon. Malcolm saw several birds and
got a couple of nice shots of two of them, including a
rather fine Brent Goose and a Common Redshank. I
gather the Brent Geese are already on the move back
north towards their breeding grounds due to this
remarkably warm winter we are having. Common Redshank
is good, but I hope the Spotted Redshank is still
around. Anyone seen it recently?
heard two Song Thrushes singing lustily at
opposite ends of Brook Meadow this afternoon. What a
great song they have. They have been singing now on
Brook Meadow for a couple of weeks or more and are
likely to be singing right through until the summer.
Far more interesting, David also heard what I think is
the first Blackbird song of the year.
Dunnock is another bird that thinks it is
spring; on Jan 5, Ralph Hollins heard at least 8
individuals singing in Havant and Emsworth. Drat, I am
missing out on all these birds as I am still largely
housebound by this nasty chest infection.
can still sit and watch the birds enjoying the food I
put out for them in the garden. I addition to the
constant flow of Goldfinches and Greenfinches along
with the odd Blue Tit and Great Tit on the sunflower
heart feeders, Chaffinches, Woodpigeons and Collared
Doves feed on the ground for much of the day.
However, I do envy Patrick Murphy the Song
Thrush he photographed in his North Emsworth
garden today. I have not seen one of these all
Patrick has also been
getting two Coal Tits in his garden, though
they are not as easy to get decent photos of. He sends
his best effort so far whilst feeding on a bird cake
taken through the dining room window.
JANUARY 4 - 2016
It was such a
nice morning, the wind having dropped and a watery sun
shining, that I decided to get out for my first
venture into the outside world for a couple of weeks.
I took it very gently around the town millpond with
lots of stops on the way, but even then it was quite a
Regarding wildlife, there is no change in the swan
situation on the millpond The two remaining cygnets
with brown in their plumage are still with their
parents on the northern part of the pond. The white
'Polish' cygnet has long since gone. The parents are
clearly now far more interested in each other than in
their offspring. Soon they will be gone too.
Meanwhile the visiting
pair of swans are lurking on the southern part of the
pond as usual - in the distance in the photo. There
may well be trouble ahead!
Phillips was out on Brook Meadow this morning said he
got quite wet in showers. However, he did manage to
get a couple of snaps to share with us of a Robin and
a rather sad looking Dunnock.
had some spare time this afternoon, so he popped down
to the Langstone Mill Pond (1:34pm to 3pm - tide
largely out, but coming in). The highlights were as
Thrushes are now quite scarce birds in our area. Peter
last had just one at Langstone on Nov 12.
Off shore: 1 Greenshank (G//R + BRtag//-), 2 Great
Black-backed Gull, 23 Red Breasted Merganser, 7 Grey
Plover, 123 Dunlin, 25 Shelduck, 30+ Brent Geese, 87
Golden Plover, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Wigeon, Red
Necked Grebe - on its own off Conigar Point out in
the channel (distant scoped views, though drifted away
east after 10 minutes, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Great
Crested Grebes, 2 female & a male Goldeneye, 1
Avocet - hidden in the muddy gullies off Pook Lane and
not seen until it flew from one gully to another and
promptly out of sight!
Horse Paddock: Loads of birds present. 83 Teal, 14
Mallard, 5 Oystercatcher, 3 Little Egrets, 1 Grey
Heron, 1 male and now two female Wigeon, 1 Green
Sandpiper, Great Spotted Woodpecker perched on post, 2
Mistle Thrush, 2 male Pheasant, 21 Moorhen.
Here is a photo of two that Tony Wootton took in
Bridge Road car park on 09-Feb-2012.
Langstone Mill Pond: 2
roosting Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron visible on nest,
rest keeping very low, 45+ Goldfinch with 3 males and
1 female Siskin amongst them. A Water Rail at the edge
of the reeds by the bridge behind the mill - good
JANUARY 3 - 2016
torrential rain, Peter Milinets-Raby popped down to
Langstone Mill Pond at 2:43pm until 3:55pm - tide
slowly pushing in and water flat and calm! The
3 Great Crested Grebes (different from the ones
associating with the reported Red-necked Grebe that
was miles away from my view point, even with a
telescope!!), 8 Golden Plover, 239 Dunlin. After
searching through the Dunlin, by chance a small white
rumped wader caught my eye as it flew in - A winter
plumaged Curlew Sandpiper - not as pale, frosty
grey as last winters bird). Not bad views for once,
with no wind and sunlight behind. I took 300+ photos
and only had this one that was any good!
The Curlew Sandpiper is 4th from the left with the
distinct white supercilium. Fortune favours the brave!
15 Wigeon, 2
Greenshank, 200+ Brent Geese, 12 Shelduck, 5 Red
breasted Merganser, 1 Sandwich Tern feeding distantly
off Conigar Point, then 3 resting on the mud by the
pub, 7 Grey Plover, 10 Teal.
Pond: Grey Herons - all four nests occupied,
suggesting that they are sitting already!?
Flooded horse paddock: 58 Teal, 12 Moorhen.
Then, just as I was leaving the female
Goosander was preening off shore by the wreck,
before flying off towards Hayling bridge.
JANUARY 2 - 2016
reported on this morning's walk by the Havant Wildlife
"Today an optimistic group of 8 gathered at Langstone
at low tide on a showery, overcast and very windy day.
The forecast was unpromising but we decided to go.
Thanks to Heather for the pic.
Along the stream by
the mill was a greenshank, redshank and Wigeon. On the
mill pond a pair of swans with five big cygnets,
mallards, coots and moorhens were around and a heron
flew into trees behind. There were many birds in the
field to the east including several little egrets and
herons by the back fence and teal, Wigeon,
oystercatchers, a pied wagtail, woodpigeons and a
flock of starlings in the grass.
Walking inland along Wade Court we came across an
early flowering cow parsley. Further along were red
berries of butchers broom and flowers of winter
heliotrope. A muddy field was providing food for
several little egrets. Both song and mistle thrushes
seen, blackbirds great tit, blue tit and long tailed
tits were along Wade Court. A few celandines were in
flower along the road to the Arts Centre where we
stopped for a coffee break.
Walking through the car park we came to a new small
area planted for wildlife, Grove Copse. We followed
the Billy Line back to main road and saw many birds
including a grey wagtail, an egret, Goldcrest,
blackbirds, a singing robin and a flock of at least 10
long tailed tits. A flowering shrub was thought to be
possibly cherry plum.
We ended the walk earlier than planned due to heavy
rain and it was considered too windy to go to South
Moors and Budds Mound. However we saw a large number
of birds in a smaller area without encountering muddy
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year."
New Year's Day Birds
reports seeing saw 54 bird species between Langstone
and Farlington Marshes on Jan 1. Avocet Blackbird
Brent Goose Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Cormorant
Collared Dove Canada Goose Chaffinch Common Gull Coot
Dunnock Dunlin Little Egret Feral Pigeon Gadwall Great
Blackback Gull Goldcrest Green Sandpiper Great Crested
Grebe Grey Wagtail Great Tit Grey Plover Grey Heron
Herring Gull House Sparrow Kestrel Lapwing Little
Grebe Long-tailed Tit Mallard Magpie Moorhen Mute Swan
Oystercatcher Pheasant Pochard Pintail Pied Wagtail
Robin Redshank Red-breasted Merganser Starling
Shelduck Shoveler Teal Tufted Duck Wigeon Wood Pigeon
Wren Carrion Crow Song Thrush .
Additional birds seen in the Langstone-Emsworth area
on Jan 1 by Peter Milinets-Raby (reported in this blog
yesterday included Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank,
Black-tailed Godwit, Knot, Goldeneye, Lesser Blackback
Gull, Sandwich Tern, Chiff-chaff and Great Northern
Diver. The 14 other species, in addition to Ralph's
54, making up Peter's total of 77 may have been
outside our local area.
For more details about Ralph's sightings see his blog
at . . . http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm
PS On this page Ralph provides a useful map of
Farlington Marshes with labels of the main sites from
As I have not
been able to get out, the only bird sightings I have
to contribute to the New Year's Day list are from my
own garden in the centre of Emsworth. These were Blue
Tit, Robin, House Sparrow, Starling, Chaffinch,
Greenfinch, Collared Dove, Goldfinch, Magpie,
Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker and most
surprisingly a Rook.
JANUARY 1 - 2016
A brief note
to say my health at present is rather poor, so I don't
think I shall be able to get out for a while. However,
I am always pleased to get reports and photos to keep
the community web site running. So, thanks to Malcolm
Phillips and Peter Milinets-Raby for today's
contributions despite the nasty conditions. When will
this awful weather improve?
Phillips did his regular walk around Brook Meadow this
morning with his camera at the ready before the rain
came. Not much to see on the bird front, but for the
ever present Robin singing its heart out and Song
Thrush looking for a bathe.
However, Malcolm did
spot a very early flowering of Summer Snowflake
(Leucojum aestivum) in Palmer's Road
Copse. My previous earliest flowering date on Brook
Meadow for this badly misnamed plant was on 01-Mar-15.
Quite remarkable! The white flowers with green at the
tip and yellow anthers are unmistakable.
New Year's Day List
Milinets-Raby says his New Year's Day Bird List was
going so well until the wind and the rain came.
However, he was pleased to clock up 77 species before
being forced to give up at 1pm after being constantly
battered by the wickedly strong wind and not seeing a
great deal in the last hour. The highlights were as
Grey Wagtail in Bedhampton.
Ringed Plover, Wigeon, Teal and Pintail at Beacon
Spotted Redshank, Pintail and Black-tailed Godwit at
Sandwich Tern, Golden Plover, Greenshank, Knot and
Goldeneye off shore at Langstone Mill Pond.
Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal,
Chiffchaff at Budds Farm pools.
Green Sandpiper at Southmoor.
Lesser Black Backed Gull on the grass near the Leigh
Great Northern Diver ridiculously close on the
stream under the Hart Farm Road bridge (See photo in
the gloom) - It was eating crabs and very happy,
totally ignoring me.)
earlier observations go to . December