Titchfield Haven is an RSPB reserve situated on the coastal flood plains
of the River Meon halfway between Southampton and Portsmouth. There is
an entry charge for non-members but at least you should manage to park
your car without charge along the sea wall.
The reserve has a dedicated dragonfly pond on site which involves a bit of a walk being close to the middle hide., but the walk in should keep you occupied with several damsels occupying the grass and reed borders lining the path. Sheltered sections also provide prime hunting sites for larger dragonflies.
The highlight and a good reason to visit is one of the only reliable sites
in Hampshire for the Hairy Dragonfly, with several males patrolling the
pond and nearby ditches, occasionally joining resting females in the surrounding
reeds. The lush vegetation is also home to large populations of Blue-tailed
Damselflies and you should be able to see every colour form within a few
Choose a sunny, wind-free day
for the best experience, but be aware they occasionally
close for maintainance work.
It pains me to say the once bountiful
experience of Darter's Pond hs suffered recently with
the removal of surrounding trees and scrub. What was
once a well-sheltered pond is now open to the full force
of the wind with no local foliage for dragonflies, so
although they may well remain on site the local Odo
population has probably dispersed to more comfortable
surroundings. For this reason I can no longer recommend
this as a worthwhile day out, especially where there is
a £4.00 a charge for entrance.
If you are in the
area I'd suggest taking a walk along the old canal path
to the east where you should be able to see the majority
of the resident species taking refuge in the scrub
bordering the footpath.