Monday 22 June 2015

Greater Yellowlegs at Titchfield Haven

The von Trapp’s suggest the beginning is a very good place to start. I’m going to be deliberately contrary and begin at the end of last week, with a visit to Titchfield Haven on Sunday. I may well be one of the last birders in the south east, if not the last, to head to the Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) on the south coast. It’s been there all year, found in the middle of January.

We arrived at the reserve late morning and made our way to the Suffern hide, overlooking the River Meon. The lanky, Yankee wader was some way off to the left, mixing with the Black-tailed Godwits. Not quite the boreal forest regions of Canada or Alaska, where this beauty should have been off making baby Yellowlegs! Still, here it was, and it wasn’t long before it moved right and closer, constantly sifting the water and probing for food. It rarely stood still! Ultimately, we had great scope views and when it eventually flew up, off and far right with the group of Godwits, it made for a natural end to the experience.

A few digiscoped photos (Swaro ATS80HD, DCB-A, Panasonic G3, 20mm f1.7. I forgot my remote shutter release, unfortunately. Distance to bird: approx 80-100 metres)

Catching a fish & showing its rump!

We checked out the Meadow hide but there wasn’t much of interest there. From the Meon Shore hide, there were plenty of boisterous Black-headed Gulls, a few Oystercatchers and Avocets at various stages of development. From the Spurgin hide, we had lovely close views of an Avocet family, with at least 6 very young juveniles scurrying this way and that. I managed to catch 3 in the same frame...

By about 2:30pm, I’d run out of steam so we called it a day and headed back to Herts. Really pleased to add another beautiful bird to my life list.


  1. Hi Lucy - what great shots of the yellow legs - I didn't get such a nice shot as you :) Well done! J

    1. Hi John, thanks for your kind comments. I see you got the Hudsonian Whimbrel, rump and all - well done :o)!

  2. Brilliant Lucy, great shots of the yellow-legs!


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