Ivy Wood, New Forest - Saturday 10th March 2017
Leader Rob Clements
Report from Doug Yelland
"I have enjoyed the occasional HOS walk for more than 30 years. Yesterday's was the best attended of any I have ever been on.
"Rob Clements was faced with the task of finding Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Hawfinch and sharing the experience with 50 people. Impossible! No. His skill as a birder and particularly his knowledge of this area is second to none. Plenty of encounters with both these special birds were unfolded and I believe 47 of the 50 had views of both.
"Rob's level of the pickingup calls and drumming was an eye opener to me and to other average birder's on the trip. He was picking up calls at enormous range and predicting subsequent behaviours with great precision. I could not have been more impressed. At the risk of mixing metaphores, Rob's conversational delivery is not at the megaphone end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, he held our attention and imparted numerous bits of new information over the four hours.
"Many woodland birds were encountered. A real bonus for many was a clear experience of Goshawk vocalisation. The bird was not seen."
Twyford, Hazely Down, Itchen Navigation Canal – Tuesday 10th February 2015
Leader - Ted Barnes.
A dozen souls commenced this new walk from the Twyford Recreation Ground car park at 10.00am. Whilst still in the car park we had picked up Redwings and a Buzzard perched on a goal post.
We walked up Park Lane, along Love Lane eventually diagonally crossing a field of stubble past the old Twyford Pumping Station, and along Monarch’s Way turning left to pass Twyford Farm. A few Corvid’s, the odd redwing, a Kestrel, Wrens, a pair of Stonechats, a Mistle Thrush and a small flock of Common/Black-headed Gulls only being seen up to this point.
At this juncture we were met by the land owner who was suspicious of an apparent party taking photographs but when he realised that we had only telescopes and were birding he was quite happy and we parted amiably.
We crossed Hazely Road and on up past the WW1 Memorial dedicated to various London based regiments who were billeted in the area at that time and the birds began to appear. Here we had good views of Redwing, Fieldfare, Pied Wagtail and singing Skylarks.
Continuing northwards alongside some disused racing gallops many pairs of Stonechats became evident. Obviously the area suited them. Unfortunately, the land owner had trimmed all the hedgerows which reduced the bird activity somewhat. This he had done over the whole area covered but to his eternal credit he had left wide undisturbed margins around the periphery of all the fields.
We eventually turned left to skirt the Twyford down Golf Course where good views of both Goldfinch and Bullfinch were seen.
We traversed through a wooded area and were rewarded with good views of a pair of Sparrowhawks showing disdain towards a Buzzard.
Twyford road was crossed to meet the Itchen Navigation Canal turning left to eventually return to the starting point via Twyford Church yard. This section yielded an exceptional view of a Cetti’s Warbler to some of the party. I addition Grey Wagtail, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Nuthatch, Jay and Long-tailed Tit were recorded.
In all approximately 40 species were recorded on what was initially a slow start but developed into quite a good event.
Warsash, February 3rd, 2015
A photo of a pair of Bearded Reedling (male/female) at Hook Lake, Newtown a short walk from Warsash on Tuesday, February 3rd 2015.
These birds were spied on the HOS Warsash Marathon which started off in snow flurries then turned brighter as we progressed, thank goodness. We had seven determined members take part with fifty six species recorded, others were heard but not included. They even thanked me afterwards for a good days birding even though it was perishing cold in the wind.
A few of what we saw:- Rock Pipet, Stonechat, Pintail Duck, Grey and Golden Plover, Black Tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Great Crested and Little Grebe, Common Gull, Wigeon, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker.