Thursday, 14 April 2022

Titchfield Canal

 Thursday 14 April

I may have started my walk along the canal side at Titchfield just after eight in still, overcast weather but the thick mist meant that I could not see the water less than a hundred metres away to my left nevermind the ducks upon same.  Similarly, the Barn Owl's nesting tree was but a misty shadow at the back of the field on the opposite side of the path. A long walk down and back before any sign of the mist lifting so two repeated walks back to the main flood and eventually some success.  And, of course, when I left just after eleven the sun had broken through and it looks as if will be a bright, warm and sunny day!

As I left the car park Blue and Great Tits were calling in competition with the many Chiffchaff and every other tree seemed to have a roosting Wood Pigeon.  A noisy Wren put in an appearance in front of me followed by a Blackbird.  At the canal side frequent calls form the resident Cetti's Warblers followed by the first Greenfinch of the morning.  At the first junction next to the bridge a Jay flew through the trees on the opposite bank and towards the end of this stretch I found a handful of Jackdaws.  A little further on and I stopped to find the singing Song Thrush and then watched a Dunnock alight on the path behind me.  Away to my right a Green Woodpecker was yaffling away and above me I had both a female Blackcap and a pair of Long-tailed Tits.

Back to the main water and through the mist I could make out both a Heron and Black-headed Gulls. A couple of Carrion Crows were moving about the field in front and then both Gadwall and Mallard before returning to the first water. Then it was once again to the first water with much better life and this time able to find a quartet of both Shelduck and Avocet.  Working the mud I found at least a dozen Black-tailed Godwits plus both Lesser black-backed and Herring Gulls.  In addition, Lapwings to the front of the water and Teal on the far side.  A Lapwing flew cross the edge revealing a few more and off to the right a lone Little Egret.

Back to the larger water for a third time and on this occasion chance to stop and see the male Sparrowhawk resting in a small dead tree half-way to the water.  All very atmospheric as the raptor remained long enough for me to get a distant record shot.

Distant record shot of the male Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus

On the water itself not that a I had a clearer view, a pair of Canada Geese and a single Great Black-backed Gull as well as many Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall and Mallards. Surprisingly, very few Coots on this occasion but four Herons present.  making my way back to the car park I added Starling and a pair of Stock Doves resting above the Barn Owl's nest and the short walk round the little spinney behind the car park produced many more Blue and Great Tits along with a male Blackcap and Robin to the accompaniment of the calling Chiffchaffs.

Almost atmospheric conditions for the distant Sparrowhawk

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Little Egret, Heron, Sparrowhawk, Coot, Lapwing, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, Greenfinch.

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