Sunday, 13 October 2013

12th October - Titchfield Haven

I met up with Ian in the afternoon, after checking the patch in Four Marks this morning.  The weather was lovely now, sunshine and a light breeze, and the tide turning.  We were at Titchfield Haven, and it was a chance for me to get familiar once again with some water birds, birds that are hard to come by in Four Marks.

This is going to be more of a photographic post, as there really was no narrative to go with them, the birds came to us, and we sat gratefully in the hides and enjoyed them.

First up was a Little Egret that presented itself in front of us, on the dead branches positioned in the river to do exactly that.  They are an easy to photograph bird, but never fail to be impressive.

I always knew the feet were yellow, but never realised that the yellow merged up the leg as well.

A Grey Heron was also about, and it spent its time wading through the shallow water, drinking and rubbing its bill on the wood.  It did stop for a bit of preening, and this with the reflection reminded me of the pose of a Black Heron.

Little Grebes had been calling all the time, and they were also fighting each other, this one swam past the hide quite quickly as it escaped the attentions of a quite aggressive one.

Moving to the West Hide it immediately became apparent something was missing.  The last time I was here all I could hear was the constant calls of the breeding Black-headed Gulls, today it was quiet, but there were birds on the scrape.

A Snipe was feeding on the edge of one of the islands.

We also found a Curlew Sandpiper but it was too far away for any decent photographs.  The Black-tailed Godwits though did oblige and came close to the hide.

Beautifully marked birds which was enhanced by the October sun.  There was a small gathering of Starlings on the islands, and as always they provide some good entertainment.  This little group flying down to the shallow water on the edge of the island to bathe

A shrill whistle and we both called Kingfisher, and we watched as one flew past the hide, then back, and perfectly onto the depth marker right in front of us.  Cue camera shutter to record this absolutely gorgeous bird.

After the Kingfisher left we remarked on how a relatively common bird always manages to capture the imagination, and agreed that they were up there with a Barn Owl sighting which has the same effect.

We left the hide and walked around to the north side.  This gave us some different views of the Black-tailed Godwits.

We also managed to re-find the Curlew Sandpiper, and this time it was just within range.

There were plenty of teal and shoveler, in various stages of eclipse and full plumage.  This did not endear them to photography, and for once I turned my attention to this Moorhen as it swam across the scrape, I loved the reflections of its bright red bill in the water.  You should never overlook anything.

Wigeon were calling, and you could find the odd pair around the scrape.  I finally managed to find a male Teal that was almost in full breeding plumage, and with the sun, and the reflection it composed a lovely scene.

The afternoon had flown by, and now it was time to leave.  The need had been satisfied, and maybe I should do this more often, but even as I watched the birds here, I couldn't help thinking what maybe about back home, was that Yellow-browed about?  Still it was a really nice afternoon both from the bird perspective, and the company

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