Sea Ducks on Saturday

by A warbler a day

After several weeks of local walks I finally managed to get down to the coast on Saturday for a day’s birdwatching. My destination was Titchfield Haven where I was promised sea ducks, geese, waders and raptors. I was not disappointed. Before going in the reserve I walked along the seafront towards Hillhead. I soon spotted a flock of Turnstone on the spit at the river mouth, quickly joined by small flocks of Ringed Plover and Sanderling. Later on there were Dunlins and Redshanks alongside the ubiquitous Oystercatchers. As I turned to head back to the reserve I saw 2 black shapes on the sea level with where I’d parked the car. Could these be the Velvet Scoters that the websites had been saying all week were in the area. Velvet Scoters are sea ducks that are occasionally found in the Solent. I had only them once before, again off Titchfield Haven but very distant. I hurried back to my car and was able to confirm that the birds were indeed Velvet Scoters. They bobbed relatively close to shore for several minutes.

After lunch I went into the reserve where I spent some time in the new Meadow Hide. Whilst trying to determine whether the large bird of prey on a fencepost was a Buzzard, a handsome male Marsh Harrier appeared flying low over the distant marsh before soaring high up into the sky and then disappearing behind some trees. I also found not only the reserves resident Barnacle Geese but the recently arrived Bar-headed Goose.

Another successful day at Titchfield Haven.