Tuesday 19 May 2015

Titchfield Haven NNR .....Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs near the road.

Plans were put in place Sunday to go to Titchfield Haven in Hampshire on Monday 18th May to try and see the Greater Yellowlegs .

This bird has been very sporadic in it's movements and often goes missing for days , however it had been seen for at least 3 days running now and the time seemed right to make my move for it , i left at approx 6.30am and despite the M25 usual delays i made decent time and got down to Titchfield by 9.30 in time for the reserve to open.

Having a feed.

A quick dash into the visitor centre to get my permit for the reserve passing a couple of birders on route , when i came out i saw the same two birders intently looking at something near the road , as i approached them they informed me they had got the Greater Yellowlegs which was quite near the road amongst Black Tailed Godwits (see top picture).

Wow how lucky was that , the weather was awful , strong wind and raining made viewing quite tricky , but hey who cares i got the bird !! this was a very welcome year tick for me .

The flock of waders took to the air including the Greater Yellowlegs , some of the flock appeared to land further down on the scrapes and the rest of the flock flew further away out of sight , we all headed off to check out the scrapes ,  i eventually reached the Pumfrett hide where the other two birders had already reached but had not re located the target bird , 

Cracking looking bird.

After a short while and a welcome mug of coffee , Kevin Clements one of the two birders picked out the Great Yellowlegs ,awesome and what a cracking bird , we watched it for awhile when the decision was made to walk back to the Meon shore hide as the bird seemed to be quite close to it plus the wind and rain which was blowing into our hide would be behind us in that one , so we all set off reaching the Meon shore hide in less than 10 mins , and the Greater Yellowlegs had gone , there was another birder in the hide who hadn't seen it go .

We decided to wait it out and hope it comes back ,there was plenty of other birds to look at including several close Avocets ,Black Tailed Godwits plus a single Bar Tailed Godwit which was a welcome year tick for me.

Avocet with lots of bling.

Kevin Clements and BirderGaz decided to check out the other hides again whilst  i decided to stay put just in case , i stayed here for about an hour checking out everything that moved , Redshank , Little Ringed Plover, Common & Sandwich Tern were all seen as was plenty of Common Swifts & Swallows ,a 1st summer Med Gull was added to the days list , then BirdingGaz reappeared in the hide to tells me they had refound the Greater Yellowlegs at the Spurgin hide , wow of i went asap , and soon was at the hide having great views of this stunning wader , i have been lucky enough to have now seen 3 Greater Yellowlegs including my first one in 1985 at Minsmere , but this was the best views i have had of one.

Having a scratch.

                                                                Greater Yellowlegs.

I watched this bird for at least another 30 mins , showing fantastically well although reeds and other foliage got in the way for most of the photos , many thanks to Kevin & BirdingGaz for letting ME know it was showing from this hide , a real pleasure to meet you guys today .

Two Med Gulls.