Monday, 18 May 2015

Greater Yellowlegs at Titchfield Haven

The Greater Yellowlegs at Titchfield Haven had first been found on 11th January. Present for just a day it was not re-found the next day. Then on the 11th April presumably the same bird re-appeared on the reserve! It's been seen sporadically since, sometimes seen 3-4 days in a row, then disappearing for a week only to re-appear again.
So with good news of the birds presence coming from Titchfield Haven yesterday, we decided to make the 114 mile trip. Arriving at the reserve at 7.30am only to find the reserve closed and wasn't opening until 9.30am! 
Instead of waiting we decided to head around to Posbrook Flood, so we drove around to the other side of the reserve and walked the footpath to the flood. Only to find the flood almost devoid of birds. Grey Herons, swans and the usual warblers were present along with a few hirundines.
We re-traced our steps back towards the car park and on the way found a very confiding Water Vole busily feeding on a reed stem. 

We headed back to the reserve for the 9.30am opening, and after paying the £4 entrance fee walked back along the main road and made for Pumfrett Hide which overlooked the North scrape. 
Upon entering the hide there was no sign of the target bird. But a couple of Med Gulls were resting up on one of the islands. We had been told by the reserve staff that it is often seen with the flock of Black-tailed Godwits. On North scrape, we managed to find just one roosting Godwit, not exactly a flock!
High tide was forecast for around 11am, so we waited, hoping that the birds would be pushed in at this time.
At 10.53 the pager reported the bird present on North scrape, Pumfrett Hide overlooks North Scrape!! and nobody in the hide had seen the bird or put any news out saying they had.
A short time later the pager bleeped again, stating that the bird was present and viewable from Knight's Bank Hide. 
This meant a walk of 20-25 minutes back to the main road along the seafront to the reserve entrance and then a walk as far along the track in the opposite direction as you could go. 
Upon entering Knight's Bank Hide we were told it wasn't showing at present! Luckily we didn't have long to wait and as I set my scope up the Yellowlegs appeared.

After 25-30 minutes the heat haze kicked in and this made viewing the bird much more difficult.
We took this as a cue to head for home.

Dropping into Acre's Down on the way home for a brief walk, produced good views of another year tick in the form of a singing Wood warbler and a stunning male Redstart.

Another great day's birding!

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