Tuesday 22 February
Lunch out f the way and time for the afternoon dance session in Titchfield village. Come departure at 4pm the sun was shining brightly and the wind had dropped to no more than a gentle breeze so off down to the neighbouring canal walk to check out the local Barn Owl and see what else might be about. As soon as stepped out of the car we were rewarded with a resting Mistle Thrush at the top of a neighbouring tree whilst, on the other side of the car park, a couple of Wood Pigeon were doing likewise.
|Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
Then it was off to the barn owl viewing point less than an hundred metres from the entrance gate. But before taking a closer look at the Barn Owl we had a Little Egret fly over us followed by a Blue Tit alighting in the tree in front. And almost at once we saw the resting female Kestrel on the wires and looking quite relaxed as she appeared to be viewing the grass below with a prospective meal in her mind.
|Female Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Time to check that all was well with the Barn Owl but, as the two waiting photographers had already discovered, the bird was till fast asleep and showing no signs of a hunting foray.
|Sleepy old Barn Owl Tyto alba
Time to check the water and immediately Jenny noticed the Buzzard lazily move across the top of the neighbouring trees and out of sight. Three Canada Geese at the far end and a couple of both Shelduck and Coot in the main water behind us. As we watched a couple of Teal and a Gadwall were exposed along with a Great Tit a little in front of us. However, best site of the twenty-five minute visit was discovering the distant, single Cattle Egret on the far side of the water feeding amongst a handful of young beasts.
Back to the car park where we found more Blue Tits and a Blackbird. On the other side of the road three Mallard were seen in the canal and in a large tree further up the road a handful of Jackdaw. Barn Owl, Kestrel and Cattle Egret seems a very good return for 25 minutes of observation which eventually produced 17 species.
|I think the Kestrel may have spotted her next meal!
Canada Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Buzzard, Kestrel, Coot, Wood Pigeon, Barn Owl, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jackdaw.