Trip reports

Titchfield and Farlington - Saturday 18th August 2018

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Scanning the beach at Hill Head gave good numbers of common terns with the black-headed and herring gulls. Waders included oystercatcher, turnstone, redshank and a few ringed plover plus a single dunlin. A couple of Sandwich terns flew in and a buzzard drifted over being mobbed by a couple of crows. Dozens of Canada geese kept flying in to join the mallard and gadwall.
Over at the Titchfield reserve we headed over to the west side first. From the West Meon Hide there were a few black-tailed godwits and then on the far bank I found the wood sandpiper and someone else found a common sandpiper. The two occasionally crossed paths showing the differences in their size and plumage. 5+ swifts occasionally hawked over the water. Later on we added a few house martins, swallows and sand martins. A bird could be seen perched on a distant communication mast and turned out to be a raven when 'scoped. At one point it appeared to be fed by another bird.
After lunch we headed off to Farlington. Soon after arrival I found a couple of greenshank on the mud. Later one flew over the lake and down the channel to where we later saw a flock of 15 or so, On the mud and later on the lake we saw a mixture of redshank, dunlin, black-tailed godwits and grey plovers. One target species here was whinchat, which had been seen near the lake over the past few days. As we hadn't yet located them I checked the Hants sightings on a website to see if there were any reported today. To my surprise I saw that a cattle egret had been seen at Farlington this morning. I passed the info on to the others. Then, incredibly, a few minutes later an egret flew over the cattle to land in full view. It was distant but in the scope its yellow bill could be seen before it flew off and circled near some of the cattle and the info hut. We had found the cattle egret and several of us admitted that we probably wouldn't have given it a further look if we hadn't had the info. Shortly afterwards I found one of the whinchats perched on a fence post where it had been reported previously. Then a second was found.
By the time we got back to the cars my own tally for the day turned out to be 60 species.