Sunday, 9 March 2008

Farlington Marshes & Hayling Island, Hants. 2nd March 2008.

Mediterranean Gull.

I joined Roy Rose on the Berkshire Ornithological Club's day visit to Farlington Marshes, Hants, so after an early morning journey to Roy's we headed off to Farlington. We arrived at Farlington Marshes and waited for the rest of the group to turn up, although there were blue skies from time to time the blustery wind conditions soon saw us adding a few layers as we prepared to tour the reserve. As we left the car park a male Sparrowhawk drifted over the top of us giving everybody a good view before it headed out over the reserve. At our first stop we encountered the first Brent Geese and Black-tailed Godwits of the day as well as Wigeon & Teal feeding on the pools, further along the route a Peregrine was found perched on a fence post doing it's best to get out of the strong winds blowing across the reserve. Unfortunately the sea was so far out that many of the wading birds were almost out of sight but whilst scanning the mudflats I did find 2 Common Seals that were relaxing on the shore.

We then headed off to Hayling Island and followed the BOC group leader to a car park where we parked up and made our way along the beachfront. A good selection of Gulls were on display and the usual human offerings caused a melee between them as they fought for scraps around the car park, further along the beachfront 2 Mediterranean Gulls in adult plumage sat in all their splendor calmly watching the world go by, they gave me a good opportunity to get a few shots before somebody disturbed them and off they flew. Other than the Gulls it was quiet, not much activity at sea but 2 waders flying low across the water were later identified as Sanderling. By the time we had walked to what i believe to be "Black Point" we were all a but weary from constantly trudging along what felt like miles of pebbles and a few had to take the weight of their feet while we viewed the area. Looking out across the water we suddenly noticed a head looking back at us, a Common Seal was bobbing up and down in the sea watching us intensely before it disappeared under the water.

We were just about to head back to the car park when a Tern came in to view, I must admit I had to have a double-take as I couldn't believe what I was seeing, "seems a bit early for a Tern" I thought to myself but as it approached us it was clear to see it was a Sandwich Tern. It continued passed us and along the shore line, a big surprise for me to see one so early in the year and it certainly rounded off an enjoyable day.

Added To My Year List.

116. Sanderling
117. Sandwich Tern

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