Trip reports

Keyhaven, Hampshire

Willow warbler
Willow Warbler (RSPB Image)

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Our first field trip of the season to Keyhaven was well worth the long journey with a total of 58 species seen and heard during the day. The weather was fine and sunny with a brisk breeze which was quite noticeable in the exposed parts of the marshes.
From the harbour we walked along the sea wall seeing Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank in good numbers, plus a single Knot and some Turnstone and Curlew on the exposed mud. There were a few Swallows and House Martins passing over quickly in the wind. In the bushes alongside the path a Whitethroat, a couple of Willow Warblers and a Stonechat made brief appearances before diving back into cover and a few Meadow Pipits were seen in the grass. Further on there were nine Ringed Plovers and some Dunlin on the shoreline and four Greenshank and six Avocets on Butts Lagoon. We saw a few Wheatear in this area, heard both Cetti's and Water Rail and, much to Tony's delight, he found two distant Eiders on a spit looking towards Hurst Castle. Singles of Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit were added to a good list of waders seen during the day but these, along with more Ringed Plovers, were then flushed by a Sparrowhawk making an unsuccessful pass along the shore. Before we turned inland we saw three more Eider and some Shoveler in the distance towards Normandy Marsh.
Making our way back on the inland paths, at the first small lake, amongst the Canada Geese, gulls and duck, there were a couple of Little Grebe and fourteen Egyptian Geese. Overhead were more hirundines including some Sand Martins and, rather surprisingly, a latish Swift. A Stock Dove and a Kestel flew over and on the second small lake there were two more Greenshank, Gadwall and Teal before the seven of us returned to the start point and the end of a good day's birding.