I had two targets today, the first Hawfinch which was successful, the second Penduline Tits which was a bit of a disaster. For the Hawfinches I went to Lakeside Country Park in Eastleigh. I had seen them here in previous years and sure enough they were frequenting the same area again this year. That is, the trees just behind the cafe and next to the miniature railway line.
You can get good views through the binoculars but it is difficult to get close. They tend to stay in the tops of the trees and will fly off if you get too near. I was also having the added problem of them always appearing to land so that I was photographing into the sun. Still, I shouldn't complain, they are always a great bird to see. Two record shots are shown below.
For the Pendulines I visited Titchfield Haven and had decided to sit in West Hide and wait for them to come to me. That is exactly what I did for four hours. The birds of course went to Meadow Hide on the other side of the river. It was a long cold wait for birds that decided not to show.
There were lots of other birds around Lakeside. Repolls, Siskin, and an assortment of finches but again they were all in the tops of the trees. This Wren made a couple of appearances. It seemed lively enough but seemed a bit on the thin side for this time of year.
There were a few Fieldfare in the trees but no Redwing that I could see.
The only other bird of interest was this Black Swan in the Harbour. It seemed to spend the whole day chasing a Mute Swan around the boats. I am not sure if it was feeling amorous or whether it was just trying to drive a rival off its territory.
The Black Swan is breeding in the wild and seems to have a self sustaining population. I wonder how long it will be before it is accepted as a British bird. Alternatively, I suppose, it could go the way of the Ruddy Duck and be wiped out in this country to stop it interbreeding with the Mute Swans.