Tuesday, 29 December 2015

29th December - Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

After a check at Redbridge to see if the Short-eared Owls were still about, and finding that they haven't been a round for a few days, we decided to drop into Titchfield Haven, where I found out that the Pendulines had returned in the morning.

As we walked to the visitor centre we passed a very full harbour, and the Turnstones were all sat on the harbour wall.

However we decided to start on the east side, thinking that the West hide once again would be crammed.  So first stop was the Suffren, where the water was high, but close to the reeds in front of the hide were two male Pochards, and out on the water a Black-headed Gull the winter light casting a lovely hue on the bird.

I could hear the pings of Bearded Tits and managed to see just one.  More visible though were three Reed Buntings feeding on the reed seeds.

We were here for one bird, and finally it put in an appearance. First Helen picked it up hovering over the water in the bay opposite, then it re-appeared in the tree to the right, above some Mallard and Gadwall.

Then it dived.

After this it went into an extensive preen, meaning the dive was probably for a wash and it wasn't fishing.

The Lapwings were once again very jumpy, and they would all take to the air and fly around above the Meon scrape.  On one such flight everything else went up to including a large flock of Black-tailed Godwits which appeared from the direction of the meadow.

There were also a flock of about 80 Golden Plover that circled much higher than the other birds.

It would seem the air was the best place to see anything, and away to the west a large flock of Brent Geese appeared over the tops of the trees.

We decided to leave the hide and walk to the Meadow Hide, this happened to be just as it decided to rain, a short shower.  Once over though the sun returned and away to the north a rainbow, contrasting against the orange branches of the trees and the dark grey skies.

A little further on it was the Silver birch lit up.

And then as we walked along the board walk as it opened up the sky was filled with a huge rainbow arch.

We walked back to the car for lunch, the tide was high, and there was a brisk wind, looking out across the reed bed a Marsh Harrier drifted over the top of the marsh land.

The birds continued to fly up from the scrape, and this time the Golden Plover came closer, almost overhead.

In the winter sunshine the Haven looked wonderful.

I only had some brief time, so I headed back into the reserve.  I checked the West Hider in the hope that (a) there would be some space, and (b) that maybe the Penduline Tits may show.  However the answer to (a) was no, there was no space, a hide that is usually empty was packed, and the naswer to (b) was no, only a brief glimpse around 13.30 but not seen since.

I walked back to the Meon Shore where there was a large gathering of Oystercatcher, a few Golden Plover, and several Lapwing including this one close to the hide.

And that was it a brief visit with nothing really special.

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