Another American Wader
by A warbler a day
Yesterday I took advantage of the good weather and headed to Pennington Marshes on the coast near Lymington. My day did not start well. There were no spaces in the car park nearest the lagoons forcing me to park in the Pay and Display in Keyhaven. Then I had only been walking about 10 minutes when I turned my ankle. fortunately things considerably improved after that. First I saw several Red-breasted Mergansers in the sea, admittedly they were silhouetted. Then I found a Greenshank and was pointed out the location of 2 Spotted Redshanks, both year ticks. The person who told about the Spotted Redshanks also pointed towards a group of borders in the distance and said that was where the Long-billed Dowitcher was to be found. This is another american wader that had been blown off course last autumn. I duly walked over there and sure enough in amongst a group of Common Redshanks was a rather different wader which I was told was the Dowitcher. I think I may have seen it an hour earlier as I walked past that spot but not known what it was. The most numerous bird on the site was Brent Goose, at least 100 just getting ready to head back north.
On my way back north I stopped off at Blackwater Arboretum in the New Forest. This is known to be a winter roost site for Hawfinches. I was able to get my best ever sighting of 2 of them at tops of trees. Also in the area were several Crossbills, singing Firecrests (heard but not seen) and a Marsh Tit.