Saturday, 7 July 2012

Hengistbury Head (4th July)

I took a lift down to the south coast with my dad, who had a meeting at Christchurch, who agreed to drop me of on the coast, where I hoped to do a little sea watching.  This was my first time at Hengistbury Head, the landscape is amazing and well worth the effort when eventually reached the headland from Christchurch Town centre.  On the way, I encountered 2 singing Cetti's Warblers, 2 Stonechat (including 1 juvenile) and a single Rock Pipit on the groyne, furthest south along the spit.  I spent most of my time sitting in the pouring rain doing some sea watching.  Unfortunately, fog did set in and birding was made even more grueling.  However, over 68+ Gannets did fly past (all east, except for 2 which were flying west), the highlight were 2 rafts totaling 12+ COMMON SCOTERS (a year tick), and 3 SANDWICH TERNS (also surprisingly still a year tick) hovering and plunging into the sea around the end of the groyne.  Also of note were the plants, including several species of which I had no idea (no surprise as I am a total novice on botany) but I did manage to later ID English Stonecrop along with a few Meadow Browns.

 one of the two hybrid Hooded×Carrion Crows on the beach

 Hengistbury Head

 The Needles off the far west coast of the Isle of Wight just visible through the mist

 English Stonecrop


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