Fifteen of us took advantage of today's glorious weather to visit Hayling Island. The tide was at its lowest when we arrived at The Ship, but we still enjoyed good views of the waders (mainly Godwits and Redshanks) and of the Brent Geese feeding on the mud. We walked all the way along the edge of the harbour to check out the fields near Warblington Church, and our effort was rewarded with excellent views of several Cattle Egrets! Back at the mill-pond, we spotted plenty of Little Egrets and Grey Herons preparing to nest in the trees. Only a few people caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher, but everyone saw the Green Sandpiper which preened itself in a puddle, while, nearby, a Green Woodpecker was probing the grass (for ants?). A solitary Chiffchaff searched the trees for invertebrates.
Over at the oyster-beds, we first enjoyed our picnic in the sunshine, then were treated to super views of posturing Mediterranean Gulls (60 plus) and punk-hairstyled Mergansers (ca. 20). Waders, apart from Redshanks and Oystercatchers, were not numerous on this occasion, but all the 'usual' species (Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Turnstone) did put in an appearance, plus a single Greenshank. Star sightings (telescope-assisted!) out in the harbour, were (a) Black-necked Grebes showing the beginnings of summer plumage, and (b) three Razorbills constantly diving for fish.
This was a wonderful day out, warm enough even to awaken a few butterflies (Red Admiral, Peacock) from their winter slumbers!