Friday 21 August 2020

Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

 Friday 21 August

Now in Warsash for a few days until we start the drive back to Spain next Tuesday.  Awake early so drove over to nearby Titchfield Haven or, to be more correct, the Meon shore as the reserve itself is not open at 7am and entrance is now by pre-booking online.  What a morning; broken cloud and reasonable temperature with the wind blowing an absolute gale as the current storm arrives in the UK.  At least it is dry.  On the other hand, very difficult to hold the bins still never mind use a scope to check out the deserted beach with the tide well out.  Best sightings were achieved by sitting in car with the opposite side taking the force of the wind.

Redshank Tringa totanus

No sooner out of the village and I had recorded both Magpie and Wood Pigeons and driving along the shore road to find the best parking spot, lots of choice, a couple of Cormorant flew over.  A good number of gulls and Cormorants out on the shore and edges and soon identified Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus with Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

Next a walk along the edge to the reserve entrance and a few Coot plus a single Great Crested Grebe noted on the exterior pool on my left.  The outlet to the Meon river held a couple of Mute Swans and very many Mallard.  Back to the car and check the shore below more carefully.  An Oystercatcher was very obvious but then, resting within yards, a Common Tern and a couple more in flight just above.  A distant couple of Great Black-backed Gulls before noticing the movement between the rocks which duly revealed a quintet of Redshank and a dozen or more Turnstone.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Further away, many more Mallard and a pair of Canada Geese before a single Starling flew past looking for shelter in the dense bushes, which then led me to note the Little Grebe on the above reserve water.  Finally, deciding I was on a loser with the present windy conditions, I decided upon an early return for breakfast and noted a single Collared Dove as I made my departure.  In the end, surprised that I actually saw as many as 19 species in the short time.

Juvenile Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Coot, Oystercatcher, Redshank, TurnstoneBlack-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Starling.

Black-headed Gull with immature Herring Gull and Oystercatcher

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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