A lovely calm sunny day after several days of wind and rain. The Dartford Warbler was still in the south west corner of the reserve in gorse bushes near MM’s house. A pair of Lesser Redpoll flew over calling but there was only a single Great Crested Grebe on the sea.
I headed over to B Water for high tide where 363 Lapwing and 48 Shoveler were on the Estuary Scrape. While I was sat in B Water hide a Marsh Harrier quartered close by before settling on a dead tree across the water. A pair of Pochard on B Water were a patch tick and a male Tufted Duck was only the second I’ve seen so far. A Merlin dashed over the fields as I was heading back from the hides.
Seven Greenshank and two Spotted Redshank were roosting in their normal spot hidden from DL’O hide but viewable from the gate to the south. A single Black-tailed Godwit, the first I’ve seen since September, was with the Lapwing. Two calling Chiffchaff were either late migrants or possibly wintering birds.
A single Rock Pipit was hunting for insects from underneath and around the sailing clubhouse and one of the Peregrines was surveying the marshes from its position on G Island.
As I was leaving, at just after 3pm, Nigel Jones texted to say that he had found two Penduline Tits! They were in the reed bed around the NP Hide not far from MM’s House. I was just passing the start of G Drive which leads down to MM’s house and so I quickly abandoned the car, messaged Nigel to see if he still had them and then jogged off hoping to join him.
He replied to say he was still there and I soon noticed him on the other side of the reed bed. Two minutes later I was with him, slightly out of breath. He suggested that we head around to the other side as the birds had flown in that direction. We headed back towards the NP Hide and then played their call back, we also tried some pishing and amazingly they called back and then danced across the top of the reeds heading in our direction. They sat up posing nicely on the edge of the reed bed, right in front of us, amazing! Ten seconds later they were off, flying west towards the marsh around MM’s house and they weren’t seen again.
Penduline Tits photos by Nigel Jones
There had been five Penduline Tits at Titchfield Haven at the end of October, it’s possible that our two birds may have been part of that party. Penduline Tit is a county tick for me and this is only the third time I have seen them in the UK.