Monday, 25 April 2016

Titchfield Haven

On Saturday we drove down to Titchfield Haven on The Solent. My eldest son purchased a super-duper long lens for his camera not too long ago and wanted to try it out at the Nature Reserve and get some close up photos of some of the birds there and it is always good to walk along the shoreline with its stunning views across The Solent to the Isle of Wight.

Surprisingly you can park right on the edge of the shoreline and there is no charge for parking - always a plus! We made our way around the little harbour where we always spot these gorgeous little birds, they are turnstones and are fascinating to watch. They don't seem very worried about people so even with my little camera I could get some close-up views.

As the name suggests these birds turn stones and seaweed looking for hidden invertebrates. These birds are strictly coastal and prefer stony beaches to sand.

We then crossed the road and made our way into the Nature Reserve which lies behind the beach and contains a range of natural habitats (river, fen, pools, reed beds and meadows).

Following this link will take you to a map of the reserve. We started off by visiting the River Meon side of the reserve and although there wasn't a great range of birds to be seen from the hides on this side I did take this photo of a magpie whose colours were stunning with the sun shining on him.

I was fascinated by the size of these fir cones, they were enormous, see the photo below where I placed a coin on top of one so you could get an idea of the size.

These little fairy doors that someone had taken time to create in the fallen tree trunk must fascinate the younger generation. There was one that had been opened and some little notes for the fairies had been left inside!

These gorgeous Marsh Marigolds were so bright and cheerful.

We then decided to split up for a bit, I wanted to fit in 10,000+ steps on my Fitbit so decided to go for a walk along the seashore while the menfolk walked around to the other part of the reserve where I would join them later.

There was a lot of sailing activity on The Solent and lots to look at as I made my way along the shore towards Stubbington.

After quite a brisk walk I went to join my DH and son at one of the hides on the reserve. This was the view from the first hide, mainly gulls but some waders and ducks to be seen as well. The noise from the gulls was quite something. 

My son got some cracking shots with his big lens from the three hides we visited on this side but I am quite pleased with the few I managed to get with my camera.

These shelduck were looking magnificent

There was a very special bird in amongst the common black-headed gulls, the gull just to the left of the twiggy bits with the jet black head and the red beak is a Mediterranean gull - a new species for us. When you see this bird you realise that the heads of the black headed gulls are not black at all but a chocolately brown.

Beautiful avocets (the symbol of the RSPB)

A lapwing feeding on the scrape

These are stunning birds with beautiful colours, they used to be so common when I was young but have become a lot less in numbers in later years.

Another view of an avocet with their unique upturned bill, it is fascinating to watch these birds feed. They skim the water moving their bill from side to side.

We spotted another couple of species that were new for us but I didn't manage to get photos of them, a black tern and some bar-tailed godwits - thanks to the informative man who I sat next to in the hide for help with the identification!

It did get quite chilly towards the end of the afternoon so we decided to call it a day but not before I had taken a few more pictures down on the coast, the sun was sparkling on the water and the light was stunning.

We rounded the day off by stopping for a meal on the way home - a perfect end to the day.


  1. What a lovely walk! Your photos are wonderful. Great photos of the Turnstones, Magpie, Lapwing and Avocets and the fairy doors are so sweet, I bet the little ones love them:)

  2. You certainly took us on a beautiful walk, you captured some stunning photos. I thought the little fairy doors were enchanting, what a great idea.

  3. What a wonderful walk with some amazing images of the wildlife too! It is good to know I wasn't the only one visiting a nature reserve over the weekend. I am not familiar with this part of the Solent,it looks lovely. Sarah x

  4. I've never seen an avocet but I'd love to. I think one briefly visited Carsington Water recently (where I do Forest School each month) but I didn't get to see it. you took some lovely photos of the birds!

  5. What fabulous photos Jan. The avocets are beautiful. The Solent looked gorgeous with all those boats. Sounds like you had a lovely day. B x

  6. Looks like a great day and what fantastic photos you managed to get. I enjoyed seeing all the birds and having their names printed underneath! x

  7. Whamt a delightful post. I really enjoyed reading it in Australia.

  8. Great photos - a lovely day out. Those cones are impressive aren't they! How are you getting along with your Fitbit? I'm thinking of getting one to give me an incentive to exercise! Xx

  9. A lovely walk! The bird photos are amazing!!!! The pinecones are incredible aren't they, as you say, so big! Love the fairy doors, I am sure they must enchant the children too.

  10. Hello Jan ! I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Awards - take a look at my recent blog post to see what you need to do :) Fiona xx

  11. Gorgeous shots, Jan! The idea of the little fairy doors is just delightful--how very charming :)

  12. What an absolutely lovely post. Just discovered your blog as I was spending a quiet half hour catching up with a few favourites. You would love our fields full of plover and golden plover in Spring on the farm. They are a joy!

    1. Welcome to my blog, please do come back and visit again. You are correct, I would love to see fields full of plover and golden plover, you are so lucky to have them in numbers. xx

  13. I loved reading this post, Jan, as I grew up in these parts and although I haven't been to the Haven, I've been past it a few times when visiting Titchfield and Lee-on-Solent. It's lovely to see your photos of the Solent and all those wonderful birds. The avocet really is something, isn't it? The fairy doors are brilliant too. Thanks for taking me along with you.
    Cathy x