Monday, 9 January 2023

Titchfield Canal Path

 Monday 9 January

Surprise, surprise I was sheltered from the wind and the sun was shining brightly in an almost clear blue shy, and remained that way all day.  And I now know why the area to the left of the Titchfield canal footpath is called "Posbrook Floods!"  The meadows were flooded and even the canal was overflowing its banks in places so jolly good job I was wearing Wellington Boots rather than walking boots let alone trainers!

Posbrook Floods with even more flooded meadow behind me 

Greeted by a Blue Tit and then the first of a few Carrion Crows I also added Woodpigeons to the book as I set of down the footpath to stop and check the old ruined tree to my right where the resident Barn Owls had their nest come roosting quarters.  And not to be disappointed, the male was at out guarding the entrance and even had a meal delivery just outside with the arrival of a couple of Woodpigeons!

Barn Owl  Tyto alba

Then it was down a little further so that I could have the sun behind the birds as I checked out the main water.  Scores and scores of Canada Geese along with a few Cormorant but also scores of both Wigeon and Lapwing.  Other ducks included Gadwall, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler and Teal along with a small number of Coot.  Also present were many of the two hundred plus Black-headed along with a handful of Herring Gulls.  Later on I was also to find a small number of Common Gulls.  On the path in front of me, there having been no dog walkers for a while, a Song Thrush was taking on liquid form the large puddle.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

Once at the start of the tarmac path near the bridge I fund a pair of Mute Swans on the meadow to my left then, in addition to all the ducks and Canada Geese, a pair of Glossy Ibis made a lovely sight.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis leucorodia

This are then proceeded to produce both Robin and Blackbird before more Blue and a few Great Tits.  At the far end of the hard track  over a dozen Jackdaw were calling and from the trees in front of me.  As I mad my way back I stopped at the gate to the north of the bridge and watched a foraging Jay at the side of the farm track and then a pair of Greenfinch alighted on the bush immediately in front of me.  Finally, I found a Heron hiding ion the long grass which duly took flight giving me a better view.

Departing Heron Ardea cinerea

Time to move on and having found a pair of Wellington Boots I decided to stop of at Chilling Barn just beyond Hook village to see if the visiting Tree Sparrow was still about - and you certainly needed this form of footwear when I arrived!  A visiting birder offered up the well-known phrase, "If you'd been here ten minutes ago..." which, of course, is no consolation.  The following forty-five minutes do not produced the is single individual but did reveal a number of House Sparrows and in the filed behind me scores of Pied Wagtails and even a handful of Linnets.  Naturally, both Robin and Wren appeared to see what all the fuss was about and just beyond the field a party of feeding Carrion Crows totalling at least fifty with even more Starlings.  Finally, just before heading back home, not only a number of the local Chaffinches but a male Reed Bunting put in an appearance.

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Heron, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Barn Owl, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting.

Barn Owl  Tyto alba with a Woodpigeon Columba palumbus making a visit. Meals on wings?

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