Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

Thursday saw us heading for the coast again, this time to the RSPB reserve at Titchwell marsh. But the journey along the coast road had its excitement too. As we passed the village of Morston, a small falcon flew across the road right in front of the car. It was so close that I could clearly see the facial markings, belly streaking and red thigh feathers that marked it out as a Hobby. Then a few miles further on I saw a hawk flying over the road. Thinking it was a Buzzard, I was most surprised to see the clearly white body and under-wing – an Osprey! Most unexpected for Norfolk at this time of year. I later learnt that there had been a bird seen near the Yorkshire coast the day before and so maybe this was the same bird already making it’s way back south. Maybe it was a young bird that had failed to find a partner or breed and had decided to begin it’s migration early.

Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

After all this excitement we eventually arrived at Titchwell and proceeded to the first hide on the Freshwater Marsh. As there had been on other sites this week there were a number of Ruff still showing the remnants of their summer plumage. As we approached the hide our path was blocked by a family of Greylag geese who clearly felt they had the right of way.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

After they had passed we also found a clutch of Mallard chicks sheltering in the reeds

Mallard

Mallard

From the hide we could see a good selection of wading birds including Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Spotted Redshank. A sleeping Garganey dozed on the mud bank. But the best sighting was of two young Beeded Reedlings feeding out on the open mud. This secrative reed dwelling species is rarely seen so this was a unique and exciting sight as they fed out in the open for 10 or 15 minutes picking insects from the surface of the mud.

Bearded Reedlings

Bearded Reedlings

Pied Avocet

Pied Avocet

An unexpected sighting was a single Brent goose. This is normally a winter visitor to the UK and so a species you normally would not expect to see in July. Also a small flock of Red Crested Pochard, a duck not native to the UK but which have escaped from bird collections. It’s status is difficult to evaluate as the problem of captive escapes means that all records of potential wild visitors from eastern and southern Europe to these shores is put in doubt.

Other sightings including a Red Admiral butterfly and banded Demoiselles again in the cottage garden again (this time 3 females)

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Banded Demoiselle (f)

Banded Demoiselle (f)

I think I should start a list of bird that have harassed me at cafe tables. It would include the usual suspects House Sparrow; Chaffinch etc as well as Robin and Moorhen. But at Titchwell we added a new species in the shape of a very attentive Song Thrush which happily hopped around our feet taking our crumbs between posing for photos

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

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