Monday 12 July 2021

Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

 11 July 2021

Back in the UK and never mind a lower temperature even that wet stuff from above to remind one that we are no longer in Spain!  However, having survived my ten days self-isolation which, believe me, is far worse that the two months of lock down back in March of last year, there was time for a quick early morning visit to the beach adjacent to the Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve on shore of Southampton Water at Hill Head and forget all about the footie.  The tide was out so a further bonus.  Very few birds to see in my brother-in-law's garden other than the resident Dunnock, Robin, Goldfinch and Wood Pigeon plus nearby sightings from the front window and overhead of Blackbird and Black-headed Gull respectively.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus

Come the big release day first a Wood Pigeon then a trio of Carrion Crows along with a single Collared Dove as I approached the beach road and already I could see the massed gatherings in the pools at the beach end of Titchfield Nature Reserve.  With the car safely parked up overlooking the beach at 7.15 I first checked what might be on the main pool.  Lots of Black-headed Gulls including very mature youngsters of the year and overhead a constant movement of Common Terns which also nest on the provided islands and rafts.  A look along the beach provided more of the dame but also a Moorhen and the many resting Mallards at the mouth of the river Meon. 

Black-head Gull nesting island

Across the road to the viewing point which confirmed the breeding birds but also provided a couple of Coot, a Great Crested Grebe and three Little Egrets.  In addition to the Mallards at the mouth of the river and in the minute harbour, more, especially well-grown juveniles, were to be found on this water. At the far side I also picked out a couple of Common Sandpipers working the edges on the far side.

Even a tray for the Common Terns Sterna hirundo

Continuing on southwards towards the yachting club moorage I could see further Black-headed and a single Herring Gull out at the water's edge.  A Moorhen was also foraging in the same area as was another Little Egret.  With more Common Terns in the air above I made my way back to the car and then on along the front.  In front of me a Pied Wagtail was foraging in the deposited seaweed and then, in the distance , the first of the morning's Oystercatchers.

As I returned towards the car parked almost opposite the viewing point mentioned above a single Turnstone flew in and proceeded to feed immediately below me. 

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Meanwhile, on the exposed mud at my end of the reserve pool, not just yet another Little Egret but also a single Redshank.

Redshank Tringa totanus

No point rushing back to the house so I took a further walk to the fat side of the Meon outlet and found a flock of a dozen Turnstone, some looking as if they were still asleep.  A second Redshank was also recorded along with a departing Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Further out at the edge of the water an Oystercatcher had come to rest on a pole.  A couple of Cormorants were also recorded before I returned to the car and prepared for the return journey to Warsash.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

The shore-side cottages as I turned inland produced a couple of Blackbirds and then a flock of Starling flew over.  Back at the house a Dunnock was on the feeder with a Robin below, surely the wrong-way round!  Twenty-two species in total and now ready for some "proper" birding once I get back to Stamford.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Birds seen:

Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Starling, Goldfinch.

A couple of skulking Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos

Time for this quartet of Turnstone to wake up and see where their pals have gone

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

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