1st Paddle of 2018 !! If you are fed up with wader pictures go to bottom of post
Wednesday’s weather forecast was good so we decided to take advantage of the low tide forecast for late afternoon today to look at the seashore wildlife. Arriving in the morning things changed with hard rain coming in off the sea, so spent the morning sea watching from the comfort of the Campervan. After lunch the weather cleared and with the tide in a lot of the waders were resting before feeding when the tide dropped.
After the tide dropped I was down on the shore paddling in rather cold water. to see what was about.
Sea anemones are actually animals, from a group called Cnidarians related to jellyfish and corals. Cnidaria comes from the Latin word cnidae which means a ‘nettle’. Animals within this group have stinging cells which they use for the capture of food and to protect themselves against predators. Sea anemones are simple animals, often attached to rocks and boulders. As below there are also burrowing anemones that bury themselves in the sea floor.
An Orange sea sponge encrusting cracks and crevices on the shore I believe this is called is Hymeniacidon perleve.
Old drift wood with worm damage.
After several posts of Sanderling close up I thought I would post the more usual view you get of this little wader. The Blackheaded Gull will give you a scale to work with when spotting Sanderlings. These little birds love to run along and can reach quite a speed in their energetic sprinting along the waters edge.
They will fly in small flocks low over the water and are often spotted with other small shore birds such as Turnstones and Dunlin.
The Brent goose is a small, dark goose. In the UK some 102,000 birds winter in the UK There are 2 distinct races of Brent Geese with either pale or dark belly.
They feed on sea weeds and grasses
Happy watching until spooked by a dog running loose on the shore drive 50 birds into the sky.
Bristow’s operates 10 coastguard helicopter bases around the UK on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard. Solent’s Search and Rescue Helicopter was flying this morning heading over the Solent towards the Isle of Wight.
These helicopter’s are assembled in Yeovil
- Air Speed: 145 knots
- Flight crew: 4
- Capacity: 16 persons or as required
- Endurance: over 4 hours
- Twin hoist
- Comprehensive medical suite
- Icing protection
The weather has improved so sea watching possible without getting blown off your feet.
A flock of Godwits arriving as the tide changes at Titchfield Haven. A flock of about 20 birds touched down off the beach in shallow water near the harbour mouth.
Black tailed Godwit is a large wading bird they are a Red Schedule 1 species. In winter they’re a greyish-brown.
Their noticable features are their long beaks and legs, and the black and white stripes on their wings.
A walk on Browndown military training area, look but do not touch is the order of the day.
The is mainly shingle and scrub land which I am sure will yield some good wildlife in the spring when the Butterflies are out and the birds are nesting. The area has been owned by the MOD for many years and there are the remains of a Victorian Artillery battery on the site.
Most of the military use today appears to be use of the beach for practicing amphibious troop landings. The sign at the gate said no live firing munitions have been used at the site since 1977.
An interesting fact. Allegedly at Browndown Camp the last recorded duel between two Englishmen when Lt Hawkey a marine fired and mortally wounded Captain Seton of the 11th Dragoons to settle a matter of honour,
This swan was happy to swim into the little harbour a Titchfield Haven to be chased out by this male a few moments later.
She was not having any of it and took off.