Yesterday the mainland South Hants reserves teams went over to the Isle of Wight to help Jamie, IOW reserves officer, with a large tree felling job. Apart from the horrendous traffic getting to the ferry, the day started well & we were treated to blue skies which allowed for a little seabird watching on the Solent crossing.
Chawton field is one of the newest pieces of land to come under management from the island HWT team. It sits next to the Medina River, just south of Cowes. The estuarine environment is rich in wildlife but under an ever increasing amount of urban squeeze. The task for the day was to remove a line of planted Willow, Oak and Ash to make the pasture behind more attractive to roosting waterfowl at high tide – a much needed sanctuary from the human impacts in the surrounding area.
In between the heavy showers (not that you would know it from the blue sky photos) and chainsaw time we sat down for some lunch looking over the estuary. In that short amount of time amongst the usual Brent geese, Shell duck and Oystercatcher we saw 2 kingfisher, a Little grebe and a Red-breasted merganser.
In other bird news, at Farlington, there have been 58 Avocet reported (11th Jan) to the west around the main channel by the bridge of Eastern Road. Two Spoonbill (reported present from 9th – 13th Jan). They have been fairly mobile around Farlington & Langstone harbour but mainly reported as on the scrape behind the reedbed. And also a Dartford warbler has turned up, reported in the same area as before Christmas (on the seawall near the entrance to the bushes footpath, half way between the lake viewpoint and the car park).
Heres hoping the Greater Yellowlegs which have now disappeared from Titchfield turn up at Farlington….