Sunday 27 July – Titchfield Haven and Farlington

Titchfield Haven is a wetland reserve on the Solent not far from Fareham. The reserve has several good hides and a range of habitats; salt/brackish water, fresh water, reed beds, wet pasture and woodland. The weather was warm and sunny with some cloud cover and light winds.. Tern breeding platforms held a few Common terns, a Little Egret, Black -headed Gull, Oystercatcher and a group of Turnstones pushed up by the rising tide. Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler were visible in the reeds around the edge of the pool. Just inside the reserve itself is a raised platform looking over the reed beds where we saw more Reed/Sedge Warblers and two Bearded Tits in quick succession flying across the bed, the second making the characteristic pinging call. Linnet were on the blackthorn bushes. From the first hide there were Common Sandpiper, Godwit, Gadwall, a Fulvous Whistling- Duck (a tropical duck most likely an escapee, so we are not counting that), Avocet, Shoveler and Dunlin. Walking further round the reserve we could hear Water Rail in the reeds and finally spotted one skulking at the edge of the reed bed, a first for Jane’s year list. A walk through the woodland part of the reserve produced Blue Tit, Tree Creeper, a family of juvenile Goldcrest, a Great Spotted Woodpecker (and a Green Woodpecker calling from behind us), a family of Coal Tits, Chiffchaff, Robins, Wren and Blackbird. A hide overlooking a wet pasture produced Canada Geese, the only Swallow of the day and a soaring Buzzard.  On to Farlington, another coastal wetland just across the water from the NE corner of Portsea Island (Portsmouth). One entrance to the reserve is closed until September because of repair works so we had to use our imagination to get in. An open pool a short way into the reserve held a good number of Godwit, large flocks of Oystercatcher and Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Egret, Avocet, Shelduck with Reed and Sedge Warbler round the edge. At some unseen signal a large, mixed group of waders took off, passed over our heads and flew to the emerging mud flats off shore. We (i.e. Jane) were convinced the godwits were both Black and Bar- tailed. A glimpse of them in flight confirmed both kinds. A group of six juvenile Bearded Tits appeared in the reeds on the far side of the pool and a Kingfisher flashed by (twice).We saw two Red Kites around Newbury on the way down and three more Buzzards on the way back, but no other raptors. Around 60 species in total.