Without a doubt, the nicest spot of the month was the Barn Owl seen in a large tree alongside Titchfield Canal Locals say they often nest there but after a couple of weeks it had moved on.
The Canal path is quite a gem for spots, from north to south it’s around two and a half miles consisting of Water, Fields, Reed, Woodland and the Posbrook Flood. The main visitors are Dog Walkers and Birders, but with the path is well fenced so a good deterrent for wandering unruly pets and the odd Birder who doesn’t necessarily always keep to the proper places !
Titchfield Haven was still showing how well it is populated by birds through the Winter. The Avocets started to arrive, the Marsh Harriers did their usual daily hunt around the Reserve and on the shore a number of Gannets were seen flying up and down Southampton Water. I also made a first visit to the Forest of Bere and was amazed at the number of Goldcrests I saw, it seemed that almost every tree had them. Another nice thing about it the Food Van they have there, one of the best Burgers I’ve had for a long time and garnished with various vegeatbles all locally produced.
Forest of Bere – Curlew – Goldcrest
Good weather also allowed quite a few walks around my two Patches, basically north of my Flats and south of my flats ! Great Spotted Woodpeckers were out in numbers as were Green Woodpeckers, but heard but not seen.
Bishops Waltham is never short of Common Buzzards and almost every walk produces a good view.
Overall, February gave a hint of things to come, relatively dry weather gave the odd hint of Spring, but all in all, birds were busy and awaiting the longer days for nest building and mating.