Our second Lymington Discovery walk of the weekend saw me meeting Karen and David at the Bath Road carpark before heading out through the marina and onto the seawall.
Stopping frequently along the seawall at Normandy Marsh, we managed to get good views of most of the expected wader species. Whilst watching a group of loafing Grey Plover offshore we picked out a single Knot and Dunlin amongst the flock giving a nice comparison between species - it was nice also to observe the mix of plumages on show including a rather splendid summer-plumage Grey Plover which really stood out from the crowd!
Grey Plover, probably the same individual photographed yesterday at Normandy
At one point, while scanning through birds on Normandy Lagoon, a rather large egret passed overhead heading west - it turned out to be a Great White Egret, a good record for the site, but unfortunately it was soon lost to view as it continued on its journey westwards.
While scanning through the birds from the seawall one of many Little Egrets in the area alighted directly in front of us, we were delighted to see it was our local celebrity egret ‘JN’, who is the oldest recorded Little Egret at a grand old age of 14 having been colour-ringed nearby in June 2006. It was also nice to see a group of eight Wigeon cruising around the lagoon, the past week has seen the first birds return to the Solent after spending the summer months breeding in northern climes.
Library image of record breaking Little Egret 'JN'
Migrant birds were generally less conspicuous than in recent days, but we did pick up some Siskins that were moving east and heard the occasional Yellow Wagtail and Chiffchaff. A couple of Wheatears were observed, along with frequent sightings of Stonechat. A little further around the seawall, at Oxey Marsh, a small group of Linnet flew past shortly followed by a Goldfinch, allowing us to look at the flight features of both species. A Bar-tailed Godwit posed nicely, waking up from his slumber to show us some good identification features.
Common Centaury at Oxey Marsh
Floral interest included some nice Common Centaury, Golden Samphire, Sea Aster and Cyclamen, while several butterflies were observed. By chance, after commenting how Clouded Yellow were proving hard to come by this year, we found one moving along the seawall giving lovely views as it alighted on Yarrow and Fleabane.
Clouded Yellow on the seawall at Lymington
We were quickly back at our starting point at Bath Road - it's amazing how quickly three hours can pass when you are having fun! Another lovely walk, and many thanks to Karen and David for being great company.