Sunday 26 December 2021

Brownwich and Titchfiel Canal

 Sunday 26 December

The rain seemed to be holding off, it was a pleasant 12C and calm, if somewhat overcast, so Jenny and I drove over to Titchfield to take the unpaved private road, Brownwich Lane, down towards the beach, taking the final mile on foot.  Very wet and muddy in places so some careful foot placement required but, nevertheless, we recorded Blue and Great Tit along with many Blackbirds, Wood Pigeons and Carrion Crows during the walk down to the shore. Approaching the shore we had a tightly gathered flock of over 300 Brent Geese in the field to our left and on the right a roosting Buzzard.  Once on the shore we were amazed to see the number of visitors, both with and without accompanying dogs, on the beach itself but they seemed to make no difference to a total of 28 foraging Carrion Crows.  A couple of Black-headed Gulls on the water but then, about 150 metres off shore, we found a group of scoters; nine Common and a single Velvet Scoter.

Buzzard Buteo buteo

Taking a circular return walk to the car we found a number of small see-eaters foraging in the stubbled field to our left including Chaffinch, Greenfinch and a Reed Bunting.  Just before meeting up with our outward track we came across a small fishing lake and apart from the pair of Mute Swans and six Coot were pleasantly surprised to see a couple of drake Tufted Duck.  The tall, bare trees to the back held a half-dozen Redwing as well as a single Stonechat.  Not only was the Buzzard still happily sleeping atop an electricity pole, but a little further away around 80 resting Starlings and immediately next to the raptor a Collared Dove.

One of a handful of Redwing Turdus iliacus

Once back to the car to drove the short distance to the car park in Titchfield giving access to the former narrow canal and then a very short walk of less then 200 meters took me to a viewing point overlooking the top end of Titchfield haven nature reserve where I saw numerous Black-headed Gulls and Canada Geese along with a Little Egret, couple of Teal, Jackdaws, Carrion Crows and Wood Pigeons. But to my right I found the dead tree I had been previously informed about and, sure enough, there was the roosting Barn Owl. Difficult to get a decent photograph due to both the light and distance along with the numerous small twigs blocking my line of sight.  But seen it was.

Distant record shot of the roosting Barn Owl Tyto alba

And then it was back home for lunch and entering the northern end of Warsash not only a handful of House Sparrows but a Kestrel flew over the car road in front of us.

Birds seen:

Brent Goose. Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Teal, Tufted Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Cormorant, Little Egret, Buzzard, Kestrel, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Barn Owl, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Redwing, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting.

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