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Titchfield haven

Earlier in the spring people from across the Solent met at Titchfield Haven to learn more about the challenges of our winter coastal birds.

The morning began by looking across the intertidal area at Hill Head to watch brent geese feeding in the food rich mudflats. Glorious sunshine and a rising tide meant perfect conditions for spotting lots of species of birds and also learning the public engagement tactics of the Bird Aware Rangers.

Ranger Lizzie led the group around an area that is a great place during winter to spot many of ‘our’ bird species and experience their vulnerability. On a rising tide, birds are pushed closer to the sea wall, making them particularly exposed to disturbance. During these periods Rangers position themselves in strategic locations to catch visitors who are heading out onto the shore, which can potentially cause stress to the birds.

Walking around the harbour, Lizzie went on to highlight the importance of high tide roosts and upon spotting a flock of turnstone, she emphasized the numerous species of birds that we are fortunate to welcome to our shores every winter. Each species of bird varies in levels of confidence so they all behave in different ways around people.

Members of the group then had the chance to look through the telescope and observe Sanderling using the end of the spit as a high tide roost. Rangers have an excellent knowledge of the resting spots around the Solent and Lizzie pointed out some of the different strategies they employ to protect them.

Before heading back to Titchfield Haven visitor centre, several oystercatchers flew by displaying their beautiful wing patterns, which rounded the morning off superbly.