May 28th – June 3rd 2015 – two rare birds and a trip to the Palace   Leave a comment

IMG_8606 Margaret

Margaret is a member of the Woman’s Institute, the WI, who are celebrating their centenary this year. As a result a representative from each group across the UK were invited to attend a garden party at Buckingham Place on the 2nd and Margaret was delighted to be chosen to represent the Upton group. Coaches were laid from all over the UK to bring the 8000 delegates to the Palace. The Royal Family was represented by the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Alexandra. Margaret had a wonderful time, her friend Dottie from South Africa, who now lives in Sussex, was also chosen and said to her ‘haven’t we done well, a couple of scruffs from Africa getting an invite to the Palace’.

IMG_8527 Titchfield Haven

On the 28th of May Margaret and I visited Titchfield Haven, a reserve in Southampton on the east side of Southampton Water close to where it joins the Solen

IMG_8486 Shelduck & brood

There were plenty of birds to see such as this female Shelduck and her brood ….

IMG_8503 Avocet

…. breeding Avocets ….

IMG_8512 Avocet chicks

…. with their cute chicks ….

IMG_8523 Shoveler m

…. and plenty of ducks such as this drake Shoveler (note it has started to moult into its dull ‘eclipse’ plumage) ….

IMG_8572 Gtr Legs

…. but our┬átarget was this rare Greater Yellowlegs, a wader from North America. Up to 2012 there have been 31 Greater Yellowlegs recorded in the UK compared to 334 Lesser Yellowlegs, its smaller and more northerly cousin. The bird gave us the run around for several hours before showing well from the coast road. I have seen this species once before in the UK, almost 30 years ago in July 1985 at Minsmere.

IMG_8656 WW Black Tern

Good birds kept being found. On the 2nd of June, whilst Margaret was in London, an adult White-winged Black Tern was found at Swineham gravel pits. In spite of the strong wind it gave good views.

IMG_8664 WW Black Tern

One of the most beautiful of all the terns, I was pleased that it stayed until the 3rd at least, so I could return with Margaret.

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