Bird watching.

A short silent film at filmed at Titchfield Haven this morning showing a group of Blcktailed Godwits with a lone Redshank. Avocet with Chick. Common Sandpiper and a shoal of fish in a freshwater small but clean ditch. I do not know what these fish are but the largest is about 6 inches long.

An Emperor Dragonfly and despite having tatty wings this dragonfly is able to fly without any issues.

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A Male Common Darter Dragonfly.

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Avocets.

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Avocet chick.

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Common Terns.

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Industry returned to Nature.

Swanwick Lakes is an 89-acre nature reserve in Swanwick Hampshire. It is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Most of this site is woodland, and there are also meadows and lakes formed by former clay extraction for Bursledon Brickworks. Clay has been extracted in the area since the late 19th century, with the first pit dug on the reserve site in 1948. Extraction finished in 1974.

As soon as I got out of our van and walked towards the 1st lake Mrs Mallard and her ducklings came out of the water to see me.

blogblog2blog1Once mum duck felt the ducklings had seen enough of me she called them back to the safety of the lake.

The reason for my visit to the lakes today was to get some insect pictures. There were plenty of Dragonflies and Damselflies about near the water. They were very fast in flight.

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There were a lot of Red-eyed damselflies I had not seen this species before and on searching on-line was not surprised that it was called a Red-eye damselfly!

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There were also Moorhens and Coots on the water.

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Common Darter dragonflies were also abundant.

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I also was able to capture some pictures of them in flight.

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Above the Lake area at the reserve is a Woodland and above that is a meadow. Like many local nature reserves, Swanick Lanes uses cattle to help maintain the area and reduce shrub.

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At this point, it was time to move away from the cows.

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The reserve is bordered on one side by a private area of the Air Traffic Control centre which is fenced off.

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More Avocets.

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Further Avocet observations at Titchfield haven Nature Reserve.  There are a few (very few) second brood Avocet chicks about although there are a lot of juvenile birds from earlier broods. Two of these ringed juvenile birds spotted have been ringed and on finding the project details I contacted and both these birds were ringed earlier in the spring on the other side of the Solent near the Beaulieu river at Needs Ore Point.

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Avocent’s will see off any bird large or small who they feel are getting too close to their chicks.

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The film below shows an Avocent feeding with a typical skimming of the water with its bill. It then shows a chick feeding in the same way.

 

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Ducks in the rain.

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This family of Mallard Ducks are as happy in the rain as they are on a sunny day. The Mallard Duck is a common duck in the UK according to the RSPB there are between  61000 to 146000 breeding pairs and around 710,000 birds winter here.

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Need for speed!

Collected some snails while gardening this morning they were all  White-lipped snails. They come in different colours -yellow, brown and yellow with brown stripes, but they always have a white band around the opening of its shell. They prefer damp spots in a wide range of habitats, from gardens to grasslands, woods to hedges. All placed in a flower pot for observation but they quickly made there escape back to the garden.

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Hythe Pier.

Last time I visited the little railway on Hythe Pier I took the Ferry from Town Quay at Southampton and crossed Southampton Water it was back before Covid19.  Today I decided to not use the ferry but drive around as I would not like to cross the water in a small ferry where I could not distance myself from strangers, how thing have changed in this new world.

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S is for Sparrow Hawk.

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This was an unlikely and unexpected bird spot this morning. While in the social distancing queue at the entrance to the centre at Titchfield Haven Nature reserve this  Sparrow Hawk landed on the footpath between a hedge and a wall. Once down he was obviously looking how to exit upwards. Although not the best pictures possible of this bird these are the first that I have been able to take.

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The sparrow hawk is one of the UK’s smallest birds of prey, the male being somewhere between a blackbird and a dove in size. The female is larger, up to the size of a feral pigeon. In the UK there is breeding about 35,000 pairs

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