News archive

January 2017

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Dark-bellied brent goose on water at Hayling Island

Winter wonderland .....

The Groups trip to Hoylake beach over the high tide was a brilliant way to start the year ! The blast of cold air coming from the north was bracing enough to blow away any new year cobwebs. Those down early were treated to a real sight - a female Peregrine making an unsuccessful swoop upon a flock of Dunlin before retiring to the sand bank, only to be joined minutes later by a smaller male Peregrine. There they sat, unconcerned about the consternation they had caused amongst the wader flocks. After a short while they flew off never to be seen again. Large flocks of waders (including Oystercatchers; Redshank; Dunlin and Knot) flew around the beach looking for a safe place to rest but they were constantly disturbed (despite the best efforts of the watching birders) by inconsiderate dog walkers and beach strollers. A small flock of Grey Plover made a passing appearance but unfortunately never settled ! Up to 9 Brent Geese came and settled on the beach over the tide providing everyone with great views of this lovely goose. Gulls galore at this location - with Herring; Lesser and Greater Black Backed; Common and Black headed all being present providing an excellent chance of comparing their plumages to improve our identification skills. What a way to start the year ....