Titchfield Haven 26 September 2021

Ten members met in the Sailing Club car park on an initially murky morning. The low tide gave an excellent opportunity to watch birds feeding on the shore. There were good numbers of ringed plovers, oystercatchers and the turnstones that are such a notable feature of this location. Among the flock were little egrets and a couple of sanderlings while half a dozen Brent geese provided an early portent of autumn. The star sighting though was a fresh-plumaged drake eider swam swimming on the Solent. The viewpoint over the Meon river was similarly productive. The low water prompted a water rail to emerge from the reedbed and forage in the mud allowing a close and extended view. Gadwall, a grey heron, a couple of redshanks and a great crested grebe were also on display. The sun then came out to enhance the viewing experience. The west side scrapes were much reduced in size because of recent lack of rain and the dried mud was extensive. Nevertheless there was a decent array of waders on show. Lapwings and black-tailed godwits were numerous. Common snipe were in the open, their plumage a treat for the eyes in the sunlight. The highlights were a handsome ruff close to the hide and for a fortunate few a jack snipe making a brief foray into the open while a rock pipit perched obligingly. The ducks present (many still in eclipse ) comprised numerous teal, gadwall, shovelers and mallards. Many swallows and a few sand martins flew through, heading south on migration. Later from the east side some distant house martins were seen. Overall it was a most enjoyable experience with some excellent sightings; species identified totalled 49.