Thursday 17 March 2022

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

 17 March 2022

With the sun shining down in an almost clear sky and little, if any, wind by 11.30 I was at Bridge Street car park in Titchfield ready for a walk alongside the old, narrow canal as far as the floods and beyond with the canal to my right and Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve on my left.  Lovely sunshine but almost straight into my face so very likely that the best birding would be on the return walk.

As I left the car park a couple f squawking Magpies flew over and a very noisy Green Woodpecker was going at it "hammer and Tongs" with its yaffling from the adjacent small spinney.  Once through the entrance gate and on the path itself. a number of Wood Pigeons noted along with the very many Black-headed Gulls in, around and over the floods to my left.  very quickly both Coots and Lapwing were noted followed by a range of ducks including Teal, Mallard and Wigeon.  Great delight to watch the circling Buzzard above my head which put just about everything up into the sky and then the resulting sighting of Herring Gull, Carrion Crow and Shoveler.

Moving on I soon added Carrion Crow along with many Great Tits.  However, as on my previous visits this month, no sign of the Barn Owl at its traditional roosting/nest site.  On the far end of the first lake I found both Shelduck and Cormorant along with a number of Canada Geese.  meanwhile, in the field beyond the canal, not only Black-headed Gulls foraging in the grass but also a good number of Jackdaws.  Back across into the reserve and the next lake which held at least an hundred Black-headed along with at least one Mediterranean Gull.

Mute Swan Cygnus olor

Moving to the right exit over the bridge I cam across a pair of Mute Swans in the field to the left along with a single Cattle Egret. This individual seems to have spent the whole winter here so possibly, just possibly, the chance that we might soon have a breeding pair nearer than the present colony at relatively nearby Langstone Harbour.  This nearby water also produced a pair of Gadwall.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Time to check out the trees either side of the path and ere long I had recorded Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit, Robin and Greenfinch.  A Blackbird was foraging in the undergrowth on the far side of the canal as a lone Moorhen worked its way downstream in front of me.  In the fields behind the mournful call of a Pheasant.

Hastily departing Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

Making my way back checking the various waters I also managed to add a female Pintail, pair of skulking Black-tailed Godwits and the Chiffchaffs were in full voice to welcome the warmer weather.  And still back home by just after 1pm.

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Birds seen:

Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Greenfinch.

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