Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve

Last weekend I walked a small section of the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve. Managed by Hampshire County Council it has raised walkways with salt marsh lagoons on one side and the Solent on the other. Together with the nearby Wildlife Trusts Keyhaven and Pennington Reserve it’s an extensive coastal habitat.

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It’s clear Spring is well on the way now as there was considerably more bird activity in the salt marshes than there was in my last visit in early January. There was a wide variety of waders including sandpipersdunlins, oystercatchers and groups of sanderlings. Of course there were also various waterfowl like mallards and pochards as well as a Little Egret, which has become a common bird to see at any local river in recent years. There were also a fair few brent geese around and the occasional lapwing. Sadly without a long lens it’s quite tricky to photograph birds down in the salt marsh so the only thing I got was this distant lapwing:

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My best wildlife photo of the day was actually of a black-headed gull. I like the way it’s eyes seem to be popping out of it’s head if you look closely:

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My non-avian spot of the day was three roe deer, two female and one young male with rather underwhelming antlers. These were seen in the fields on my way to the reserve and I would have got a decent photo were it not for a frustratingly loud family disturbing them.

Here’s a lovely view of the Solent:

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And this isn’t very nature-y but here’s the very expensive yachts at the yacht marina:

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It’s a really nice reserve which is a short walk from the town centre and free to visit. I hope to go back again soon and perhaps explore the Southern parts of the reserve.

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