Ashlett Creek.

View towards Southampton Water.

Ashlett Creek is a tidal inlet on the New Forest side of Southampton Water near Fawley. The creek is only accessible at high tide. There has been a mill on the site dating back to medieval times. The mill is a Grade II listed building that was built in 1816 and milled corn until it closed around 1910. Ashlett mill was a tidal mill – a mill driven by tidal rise and fall. The tide comes in, it enters the mill pond through a one-way gate, and this gate closes automatically when the tide begins to fall. When the tide is low enough, the stored water can be released to turn the mill wheel. Flat bottomed sailing barges were used to load and unload grain, salt and other supplies. A Victorian Quay was built in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

The Mill.
Mill pond.

The Jolly Sailor, a 160-year-old pub is an old smuggler’s inn near the mill.

Birds in the Mill pond.

Up the Hamble.

(Part 2 Birdwatching). More from a walk today from Warsash up the river Hamble to Bursledon. Today’s birdwatching observations on a rather dark and gloomy day

Brent Goose. These small geese are a similar size to a mallard. They have a black head and neck and greyish back, with either a pale or dark belly, depending on the race, most of the birds I see. local to me have a dark belly. I always find them difficult to get a decent photograph of them due to their dark colour on the mud, their eyes seem to disappear! I was quite pleased with these 2 shots despite the dull conditions.

A Meadow Pipit.

Little Egret. This bird was fishing alongside the footpath.

A Curlew;

Redshank.

Many of the birds were a long way off on the mud, a large flock of Dunlin a couple of Shelduck and some gulls.

A male Wigeon.

Jumping the spray.

Some more photographs of the Sanderling on Meon Shore. These were taken on the 3rd December. My aim was to catch the sea spray crashing onto the beach and showering them. These little birds rush down to the water’s edge between waves to catch their lunch often little sand hoppers.

Waiting for the wave!

I always feel these little birds are tough little fellows. If I was the same height as a Sanderling the waves would be over twice my height I do not think I would have the nerve to stand at the water’s edge as they do! I also know how long it takes me to drive to Scotland from here on the south coast but how do these little birds fly past Scotland up to the Arctic tundra to breed each year?