Saturday 24 December
It's getting to be a bit like Christmas - dry, but dull and cloudy with only a hint that the sun might eventually put on its hat! So, up and away and down to the Solent shore at Titchfield Haven by 8.15, passing the resident Jackdaws as I drove through Posbrook, in time to find a flock of 26 Eiders just off shore in the gloom along with a Great Crested Grebe, But then, to their left, a pair of Common Scoters. As might be expected plenty of Black-headed Gulls about so time to check both the shore line and Meon lagoon just inside the Haven.
|Male Eider Ducks Somateria molissima
Lots of Woodpigeons and a regular supply of Carrion Crow but my first visit to the viewpoint overlooking the lagoon produced an island full of Lapwing along with a couple of Oystercatchers and a singe male Gadwall. A couple of Shoveler off to the left and behind the island the first of three Little Grebe. Two Cormorant made their departure and scoping the far reed bed I found the hiding Grey Heron. Using the scope to check further into the reserve and the South Scrape produced more Lapwing along with a good number of both Teal and Canada Geese.
|Lapwings Vanellus vanellus with an Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus and Gadwall Anas strepera
Reaching the road bridge I was surprised, but delighted, to find a Kingfisher resting in the same tree below as seen last Saturday. Then over the road to note the many Mallard and Turnstone plus a single Redshank and a quartet of Coot. The solitary Little Egret exited the harbour and was next seen feeding in the main water. Meanwhile, overhead, at least an hundred Starlings moving above the trees which, in turn, revealed the House Sparrows, Blue and Great Tits near the feeder at the Titchfield Haven Visitors Centre. From inside the reserve I could hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming away looking for its morning sustenance.
|Resting Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Making my way back along the shore towards the chalets, first a handful of feeding Sanderling and more Turnstones plus another Great Crested Grebe on the open water. Taking the meadow foot path for the last hundred yards I also recorded a Blackbird and a Moorhen. Other than the large flock of Feral Pigeons nothing to be seen in the chalet area so back the same way and picking up both Magpie and a Dunnock.
|Sanderling Calidris alba
However, once back at the car and the tide just about full in, I noticed the large roosting flock of waders on the far shore and managed to count 35 Sanderling along with 16 Ringed Plovers. What should have been a great observation for the day but as I completed my field records I heard a familiar "honking" and opened the car's window to count over eighty Brent Geese coming into the reserve from off-shore for their high tide roost.
|Roosting Ringed Plovers Charadrius hiaticula and Sanderling Calidris alba
Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Eider Duck, Common Scoter, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Redshank, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow.
|Turnstones Arenaria interpres
|Little Egret Egretta garzetta
|Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
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