Trip reports

Titchfield Haven 17 September 2017

Monday, 2 October 2017

Titchfield Haven
17 September 2017
From the first viewpoint the passage of hirundines overhead were seen , mainly sand martin here. Throughout the day sand and house martins plus swallows trickled overhead on migration. A little egret, gadwall and coot were on the water. On the shingle beach excellent views were had of a couple of flocks of turnstone with their tortoise colouring plus small groups of ringed plover. These kept our attention for quite a while. As we went through the gate and onto the reserve proper the powerful song of a Cetti's warbler was heard and a pied wagtail flew overhead calling.
The Meon Shore Hide, overlooking the south scrape was very productive, especially for waders. An island full of oystercatcher with a few lapwing on the edges were at centre stage. Nearer waders, feeding in the shallow muddy areas included a few redshank, black tailed godwit and dunlin with some of the latter still in their black bellied summer attire. Quite a few snipe were tucked up along the edges of the reeds. Their brown streaky coats and long bills probing in the mud were very pleasing to see. A water rail showed well along the edge of the reeds. Its long red bill, white rear and brown/black streaky plumage easily seen and a few teal and mallard were seen as well.
Moving on a yellow wagtail passed overhead calling. A kestrel hovered overhead. The walk to the West Hide produced a small group of calling long tailed tit and a gold crest. The West Hide only gave us a magpie. The furthest hide was the Spurgin Hide. This was more productive. A grey heron stood sentry against the reeds. A great crested grebe, moulting shelduck plus tufted duck and wigeon were in the water. Two calling waders flew in and landed on the small pool in front. They were two green sandpipers. A good surprise! Lunch was taken here.
We retraced our steps to the seafront where a few common tern were feeding over the Solent. A few distant birds on the sea turned out to be eider- the black and white markings could be seen through the scope.
The walk along the raised boardwalk through wooded marshland took us to the Meadow Hide where a couple of views of buzzard were seen overhead. Very distant views of stonechats sitting on fence posts were gained and a very distant perching kingfisher was seen. Moving back to the Suffern Hide, which overlooks the River Meon, a few bearded tits "pinging'' calls were heard. A marsh harrier patrolled over the reeds and a little grebe dived in the water. It was here excellent views of a kingfisher, with its resplendent fluorescent blue and red feathers, hovered spectacularly in mid- air and dived vertically into the water. The kingfisher did this on several occasions and was one of the highlights of the day.
The day finished in the tea room with tea and cake and a final quick scan of the sea for more views of the distant eider. The day ended with a reasonable 72 species which included eleven wader species, eight duck species and four birds of prey. The water rail and the kingfisher were todays' star birds.

George Kalli