Friday 24 June 2022

Titchfield Canal, Hampshire

 Friday 24 June

At last time to make my first, short, outing as I get back in the birding saddle.  Only time for an hour's visit to nearby Titchfield canal and then back in the car before the promised rain arrived.  I seem to have arrived the wrong week as not only a change in the weather but the tide times all wrong for morning shore visits.  Not to worry, next week is a new challenge. Arriving on site at 8.40 I was immediately greeted by many Wood Pigeons and a noisy Magpie.  Siting on a support wire to the first pylon a resting Kestrel then on down the canal side path noting both Wren and Blackbirds.

Resting Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

No sign of the resident Barn Owls as the whole bare tree was now enclosed in dense foliage whilst even the river away to my left was partly obscured by the tall grasses.  However, I was able to pick out a lone Avocet and the the Jackdaws started to drift across the field.  By the time I reached the end of the first path and the paved road next to the bridge, I had also added Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler.

From this corner my first decent view of the flooded area and I quickly noticed how the water had drained and or evaporated away so leaving a much reduced surface area.  An adult Mute Swan with cygnet hiding in the reeds behind and to the tight a small number of Mallards.  Mainly Black-headed but also a few Herring Gulls and at the muddy fringes about a dozen Lapwing.  To their right a pair of Little Ringed Plovers and a lone Pied Wagtail.  Feeding over the remaining water were both Barn Swallows and House Martins.  Meanwhile a pair of Goldfinches were moving around in the trees next to me.

Time to walk down the shaded lane alongside the canal with so much foliage difficult to see anything but ere long I had recorded both Song ThrushRobin and more Blackbirds.  A couple Great Tit and then an overflying Carrion Crow before I took a long rest to watch the feeding Long-tailed Tits in the tree immediately opposite me and, at the same time, the appearance of a newly fledged Blue Tit.  A pair of Blackcaps joined in the feeding fun and as I made my way back to the car park first a Pheasant and then a distant Moorhen a the back of the original water, now on my right.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

Birds seen:

Mute Swan, Mallard, Pheasant, Kestrel, Moorhen, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch.

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