Saturday, 23 May 2015

A trip to Hampshire

We decided to have a break on the coast and chose Hampshire, not least because there was a long staying Greater Yellowlegs a rare American wader that I had never seen in the UK. We got down early but unfortunately it was raining hard on arrival and as it turned out departure too!

We had a look from the road to try and locate the species but drawing a blank we went on to the Reserve of Titchfield Haven, at £4 a go it was a bit expensive but it was a pleasant visitor centre with friendly staff which is run by the Hampshire CC. We were given the low down on the bird and its habits but I was sceptical as the bird had flown at 1.30pm the previous day and if it wasn’t for the fact we were spending time down here I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

We were directed to the best hide overlooking the river where the mud was just starting to be exposed. We sat quietly in the packed hide for a couple of hours seeing little apart from a Med Gull, Avocet and a Greenshank. The only excitement came when I received a phone call and the Ramones – Surfin Bird came blasting out as I had forgotten to turn down the volume, fortunately apart from the odd chuckle no one bothered. Eventually people started to drift off and Joy and I decided to use the facilities as I felt the need for a coffee. The cafe was good value and the coffee was one of the best I have had. We were deciding what coarse of action to take and decided to check out the hides on the other side of the reserve just in case. We had just reached the gate when a birder coming out of the visitor centre shouted us to say the Greater Yellowlegs had been relocated, Result, we headed back to the hide and saw the bird it was feeding just upriver of the hide but was showing well albeit from a bit of an angle.

The spent the rest of the time in the New Forest where during the course of our stay we had some brilliant birding with a displaying Honey Buzzard, numerous Woodlark, Dartford Warbler and possibly most impressively a displaying Hawfinch. All in all a great trip.

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