Saturday, 12 September 2015

29th August - Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

Through the week Titchfield had been reporting some good birds both on the reserve and out in the Solent.  The weather was to be better today than the rest of the week, and as I arrived the skies were blue and there was plenty of sunshine about, which was in away not what I had hoped for, with a rising tide, some murkiness may have been good for the Solent area, as it was you could see the Island and plenty of yachts.

On the groynes there were foraging Turnstones, some in their splendid summer plumage.



looking into the reserve gulls and a few Common Terns were on the islands, and a Kingfisher could be seen perched on the wooden supports.  On the exposed mud were several Redshank a Common Sandpiper and this Greenshank.



As we waited for the reserve to open the green wing tagged Marsh harrier appeared, perched in one of the distant trees then headed off back up river.

Just outside the visitor centre was a flowering buddleia that had a total of six Red Admirals nectaring on it.



There was also several Small Whites, a Green-veined White and this Holly Blue.



Ian and I decided to walk down the east side to the Meadow Hide, the Osprey that had been about all week seemed to work to a timetable, coming from up river around 10.00 to 10.30, the Meadow Hide would provide a good place to look for it.

On the path we came across several Common Darters.



And on the entrance to the hide a very confiding Southern Hawker.



From the Meadow Hide there was a herd of cattle in the distance that were an attraction to a flock of about 30 Yellow Wagtail, but they were extremely distant, only being identifiable by the yellow flashes as they flew up disturbed by the cattle or a passing Magpie.

A young Kestrel appeared on the fence post to the left of the hide.



It was then that we found out that the Osprey had flown over the reserve at about 9.45, exactly when we were walking through the wooded area.  There was some debate to whether it had gone up river or out to see, but it would seem that it had gone.  We gave it a little longer, watching the sky but also the reeds where Reed and Sedge Warblers were quite active, then decided to head back to the shore.  Stopping at the Suffern Hide we walked into views of several Buzzards high in the sky drifting east.



In total I counted 20 birds, and some were showing signs of something else, with wings held very flat and what appeared to be long tails.  One bird was very pale on the head, but on close examination of the photo is a Buzzard and not the hoped for Honey.



Once the buzzards had passed, and the excitement died down the area in front of the hide became very quiet.  We watched a Heron stalking and catching fish.



Then there was this Woodpigeon trying out a Kingfisher pose.



We made our way back to the visitor centre and out on to the bridge where a Kingfisher was perched on the reserve sign.



No hiding where it was seen then!

It then dived behind itself, and caught quite a large fish 



Which it proceeded to smash against the board.



Then turned it around to head first and swallowed it, then continued to sit watching the water in between bobs



The Kingfisher then flew off around the reeds, and we walked to the cars for some lunch, and then on to the reserve on the west side.  As we walked along the road I heard familiar ping calls, and there in the top of the reeds was a family of Bearded Tits.



We counted 10 before they split up and flew across the river to the reeds on the other side.



Once again there was a lot of water in front of the hide and not much going on.  We could see a few Black-tailed Godwits, quite a few eclipse Teal, Gadwall and Mallard, and several Lapwing, one of which was close to the hide.



It was much the same at the Pumfrett Hide so we carried on to the Spurgin Hide where there was a little more mud, and as a result some waders.  In front of us a Common Sandpiper.



There were also two Green Sandpipers away to our right feeding on the flies that were on the surface of the water.



In the still areas of the pool the reflections were mirror like.



It was then the rain started, almost as forecast at just before 15.00, we made our way back to the car, pausing briefly to watch a few Common Terns both adult and juveniles fishing over the sand banks off shore.  Not the best of days, but any day you get good views of a Kingfisher is still a good day.

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