Tuesday 14 July 2020

Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

Tuesday 14 July

A little overnight rain but dry, calm and cloudy as we set off mid-morning for a visit to nearby Titchfield Haven to arrive before low tide around midday,  The reserve itself is closed to the public so observations were from the beach-side road and included the shore line.  In addition, upon leaving the site to make our way back to Warsash we stopped in Titchfiel itself to walk the oath southwards alongside the old canal to give sight to the the floodplain of the Meon river.  

Upon arriving there were immediately Black-headed Gulls to be seen and as we walked from the roadside car park towards the roadside viewing area we noticed the large number of Mallards resting in the small Meon harbour along with a couple of Mute Swans and a single Turnstone.  A Little Egret was seen just a few metres further away.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

Once at the viewing area overlooking the large pool more Mallards and a good number of Coots.  A single Cormorant to the right and a Moorhen was seen on the far left of the island amongst the resting Black-headed Gulls and to the left on the "breeding box" a trio of Common Tern and an Oystercatcher.  Just behind a juvenile Great Crested Grebe that was then joined by its parents.  From the viewpoint we could see into the reserve proper beyond the reeds and make out a few Canada Geese but the water and edges were hidden form view.

Common Terns Sterna hirundo with Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus on far right
Behind us a Lesser Black-backed Gull was resting atop a yacht's mast and to our immediate right right a Magpie was resting on top of the adjacent bush.  A constant sight of the wandering Wood Pigeons and then we made our way to the bridge over the River Meon as it flowed into the small harbour.  A Little Grebe was fishing and away in front of us a lone Heron.

Magpie Pica pica

Next it was over to the beach side and a walk along the path beyond the sailing club to check the shore.  A few Black-headed but also a trio of Herring and a couple of Greater Black-backed Gulls.  In addition more Oystercatchers and another Turnstone plus a distant Little Egret.  Waking back to the car we heard at least a trio of Reed Warblers calling from the reed bed.

So onto the village of Titchfield itself and park in Titchfield Lane car park, taking the last available space, and then a walk southwards alongside the remains of the old Meon Canal with the river and its flood plain to our left.  This is the very northern end of the Titchfield Haven Reserve and immediately more Wood Pigeons whilst away to our extreme left a quartet of Starlings and a single House Martin.

Working our way southwards a Greenfinch in the top of an adjacent tree and then a Buzzard flew out and away across the flood plain to the far trees on our left.  After passing a half-dozen Canada Geese we came across a single Cormorant sunning itself atop a dead tree away to our left.  Chris picked up the nearby Heron and the first of a trio of morning Blackbirds flew away form the path's edge.  In an exposed dried up part of the river another Heron and then a single Lapwing before we made our way back to the car for the relatively short journey home.  Not in the house for thirty minutes when the heavens absolutely opened (and cleaned the car!).  But a lovely morning's birding with Jenny and Chris.

Birds seen:
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, House Martin, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Magpie, Starling, Greenfinch.

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