Sunday, 7 June 2015

Titchfield Haven - some lesser noted species, and a GYL

An afternoon's trip to Titchfield Haven NNR was rewarded with the deafening cacophony of breeding black-headed gulls, their young an assortment of ageing unfledged forms varying from brown balls of black spotted down, to the large grey youngsters that resemble waders out of the corners of your eyes. A single pair of med gulls, amongst them, the female still sitting on unhatched eggs. Avocet youngsters mimicked their parents scooping at the surface of the water, one pair with four(!) young at the water's edge.

Drifting between the hides on the northern side of the reserve, hoping for a glimpse of the GYL - we stopped at the Darters Dip bridge, watching a four spotted chaser patrol its territory - battling off usurpers - from its favourite perch on a dead stick wet ditch side.

Below in the ditch, a small shoal of chubb swam, easily disturbed by a shadow cast from, or heavy footfall on the wooden planks of the bridge. A brilliant green female damselfly - hastily identified as a banded demoiselle - as much on habitat expectations as features noted - shone amongst its duller cousins.

A solitary painted lady flighty in the wake of passing disinterested birders, failed to settle, flushing frequently before heading west along the path.

A quick drag up to the Posbrook Floods, and we were able to connect with the GYL, staring intently at a clump of rush some 40-50m away for about twenty minutes, before the bird finally appeared mid-clump like a shy actor emerging from between the stage curtains. Too far away to bother with a record shot, we watched the bird a while, as it preened, roosted did little else of note.

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