Action stations.

More from Titchfield HavenNature Reserve and today I had another 1st for me with a distant view of a pair of Glossy Ibis. In the UK they are considered rare migrants and winter visitors from SW Europe with typically less than 100 recorded per year although they are increasing – there have been recent reports of this bird on social media on nature reserves near Portsmouth and on the coast of the New Forest. Southampton Water is between these two reserves so I guess a sighting at the Haven was likely.

Both birds were a fair way off but I got a few pictures and a short video.

A Glossy Ibis picture that was taken in Florida USA by my brother.

Lots of Black-headed gull chicks are hatching on the islands in the reserve. Many are at their spotty cute stage but as they grow they become rather ugly. A bit like the opposite of the “there once was an ugly duckling” poem by Hans Christian Andersen!

The chicks are in constant danger of predation. Herring Gulls and Black-backed gulls. They fly over the nests putting the Black-headed gulls into a frenzy below a Lesser Black-backed gull lands in the colony but is chased off before it can catch a chick for a meal.

(Spot the Lesser-Black-backed gull -yellow legs feet and beak).

There are a lot of Avocets in the reserve at the moment a few have chicks but are hard to spot at the moment.

A spider catches a damselfly. The damselfly is truly stuck in the spider’s web the spider drops down and closes in for a meal.

Common Blue Damselfly is the UK’s most common damselfly and can be found around almost any water body, 


I spotted this male Blackbird sunbathing today. I had my camera in the van so was able to get a photograph. As a part of routine feather maintenance, the bird adopts a posture in which the body feathers are fluffed up the wings are held out from the body, with feathers spread.

It is thought that for the bird using the sun does two things – It helps preen oil to spread across the feathers and drives parasites out from their plumage.

Northington Grange.

Saved by public outcry in 1975 from demolition Northington Grange, near Winchester in Hampshire, is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. The mansion owes its present appearance to the architect William Wilkins, who, between 1809 and 1816, transformed a modest 17th-century building into something that looked like an Ancient Greek temple. Wilkins wrapped the brick house in cement, he also added classical façades, including the striking temple front supported on eight gigantic columns.

Today the Grange is used as a wedding venue and a venue for operas. The outside and some of the grounds of the mansion are open to visit and in the care of English Heritage.

On this visit the 1st since last year there were silhouettes in the fields around the edge of the acsess area (these fields were parts of the original estate). The site is not staffed and their were no information boards to explain why they had been placed on site. They seem to reflect victorian rural life.


Black-headed gull chicks have started to appear at the nesting colony at Titchfield Haven.

Quite a long film of the nesting colony (note no sound) The chicks are only a few days old but will grow rapidly. There is one slightly older and larger chick in the film.

A New Forest stream.

A closer look at and into a New Forest stream.

A nature walk along a small stream in the New Forest with a closer look and some of the water life in and around the waterway.

Speedwell (Veronica persica)

Lots of Tadpoles in the stream today.

Film of Dragonfly larva (+ some small fish). The larvae will climb out of the water for the last part of its life cycle and then it will split down its back and a Dragonfly will emerge.

Water crowfoot, (Ranunculus aquatilis).


Water skimmers or striders are small insects that are adapted for life on top of still water, using surface tension to their advantage so they can “walk on water.”