Posts Tagged ‘RSPB Titchwell’

First stop this morning is Flitney Abbey Farm. This is a wonderful little nature reserve which forms part of a working farm. This is a great spot for Kingfisher and the only place I know in north Norfolk to see Little Owl. Unfortunately, neither makes an appearance today.

Our next destination is the area around Dersingham Bog and Wolverton village. This is probably the only area now for the increasingly rare Golden Pheasant. Originally introduced as an ornamental bird to stately homes, they have escaped and set up wild breeding populations in East Anglia. It seems as though all the others have died out and now only the Wolverton population is left. Despite its rich colours this is a secretive bird and it may take many visits before you see one. On this occasion we are unlucky.

Our next stop is at Norfolk Lavender at Heachem. This is a commercial lavender distillery and gift shop – it seems like almost anything can have lavender oil included in it!

This is also the home of the national lavender collection, which is seeking to collect, grow and preserve all the different varieties of lavender found in the UK.

Our final destination today was Titchwell Marsh. A couple of hours birding here never disappoints. We saw some Bearded Reedlings in the reed-bed and on the freshwater marsh were a selection of waterfowl and wading birds including Pinkfoot Geese (newly arrived from their breeding grounds further north), Curlew Sandpipers, Dunlin and a single Little Stint.

 

Pink-footed Goose (top left), Dunlin (centre left), Wigeon (bottom left), Ruffe (top right) and Grey Heron (bottom right)

Sue also found this Common Frog on one of the pathways.

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We had arranged to go to friends for dinner and as we drove the country lanes at dusk, we saw a lot of Pheasants feeding by the roadside together with a couple of Red Legged Partridge and a single Grey Partridge plus a perched Buzzard and Kestrel, but didn’t have the camera with me!

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Grey Partridge [sp] (Perdix perdix)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Our first stop this morning was the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve at Holme Dunes. Leaving the centre I visited the Bird Observatory and spent some time looking for migrants in the beachside shrubs and trees, but apart from some common woodland birds, the only migrant seen was a Common Whitethroat.

Common Whitethroat in the beachside vegetation at Holme

My next area to visit was the Broadwater, but when I arrived at the hide, one of the wardens explained that the local cattle had broken down a fence during the night and that they had to repair it which was disturbing the birds and so the Broadwater was devoid of birds except for a single Mallard and a party of Pied Wagtails. After meeting up with Sue, our next stop was on the Saltmarsh, where there was a single Eurasian Curlew and a party of 40 Common Redshank plus a few Little Egrets.

Travelling on we had lunch at the RSPB reserve at Titchwell and then walked out to Fen hide where we found two Turtle Doves sitting in a tree. This is the rarest of UK’s breeding doves, which is a summer migrant from Africa and have suffered a very significant decline in numbers of recent years due to climate change in their wintering grounds and shooting around the Mediterranean area.

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Turtle Dove (taken in Norfolk Sept 2017)

Robin (top left), Migrant Hawker (top right), Small White Butterfly (centre right) and   Reed-bed at Titchwell (bottom)

One other treat of our visit was as we sat drinking a cup of tea and watching the bird-feeders we saw some Wood Mice scurrying around under the feeders, no doubt picking up the seed that had fallen down.

From here we walked onto Pat’s Pool, where there was a large flock of Gadwall and a single Red-Crested Pochard. A Great White Egret flew into the pool and a Marsh Harrier quartered the reed-bed at the rear of the pool.

Our last stop of the day was at Cholsey Barns, which is a farming area where I have seen Grey Partridge on previous visits. Today we were unlucky and didn’t find any, but did have wonderful views of a Male Marsh Harrier and the starlings on the telephone mast were an impressive sight.

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Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)                                                                                        Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Chloris chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

A morning trip to the RSPB reserve on the coast at Titchwell, prompted by the reports of a couple of good birds the night before. As we walked down the track to the freshwater marsh a Great White Egret flew across the reeds giving excellent views. Scanning the marsh from Island hide Sue picked out some small waders, Dunlin, but on checking one had a down-curved bill and a reddish tinge to its body, a Curlew Sandpiper. Back on the path, and with the help of others we had soon located the first of our targets, a Red-necked Phalarope. It was distant and only its behaviour of feeding at a frantic pace made it stand out at that distance. There was no sign of our second target, a Glossy Ibis, which had arrived the evening before and had last been seen flying into the reed-bed. Also present was a flock of 18 Eurasian Spoonbills, over 200 Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Ruffe.

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Red-necked Phalarope. Photo by Tom Wilberding (https://www.flickr.com/photos/twilberding/)

As we walked back to the centre scanning the salt marsh, a bird flew across my view and immediately disappeared into the marsh vegetation. It was slender winged, grey with black wing tips and it had a white rump. Although it did not reappear to confirm its identity I am pretty sure that it was a male Hen Harrier, the rarer of our two Harrier species.

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Male Hen Harrier. Photo by Radovan Vaclav (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rado_vaclav/)

An excellent mornings birdwatching

Taking a break from nature watching Sue and I went shopping at the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival held in the walled garden at Holkham Hall.

There were around 60 stands from local producers and on display were everything from meat to cheese; from vegetables to fruit; from cordial to gin and whisky. The great delight about these festivals is going from stall to stall testing and tasting the goods on offer. We brought some provisions for the holiday before stopping at a farm shop in Walsingham to complete our shopping. It is always good to savour the local produce.

 

Red Admiral and Comma

Back at our cottage in the afternoon, the garden contained a host of butterflies – Red Admiral, Large and Small White; Comma and Small Tortoishell along with a Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Later in the evening, we saw a Barn Owl flying across the field and around 10.30pm we heard a Tawny Owl calling and then at least two Barn Owls calling, well more like screaming, as they objected to its presence in their territory. Amazing sound – I have never heard then call before.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Tawny Owl [sp] (Strix aluco)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Keith and I are in North Norfolk for a few days birdwatching. We are based in the seaside town of Cromer which gives us good access to the coast by bus. We awoke this morning to find it raining hard. In fact, it hadn’t stopped since we arrived here last night.

Titchwell Marsh

Thankfully we weren’t on public transport today as Dave and Viv, two friends of Keith’s who live locally, have agreed to take us to Titchwell RSPB reserve and the surrounding area. The wind is blowing in from the sea as we start along the track that leads to the beach. On the freshwater marsh, there is a group of about 50 Sandwich Terns along with a couple of Common Terns. A single Ruffe was present with 12 Avocets, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, a couple of Redshanks and a single Grey Plover. Viv spotted a sleeping male Red Crested Pochard. Brent, Egyptian and Greylag Geese were also present.

Black-tailed Godwit

Shelduck

Avocet on nest

Avocet

Sandwich Terns

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rain was still falling and so we decided to forgo a walk down to the beach and instead returned to the car and made our way to Chelsey Barns looking for Grey Partridge, an increasingly a rare bird in our countryside. Good numbers of the commoner Red-legged Partridge were seen, along with Pheasant. Eventually, we saw 2 Partridges ahead of us on the road and on closer examination we found they were Grey Partridges. We also saw 2 Roe Deer and a good number of Brown Hares.

Grey Partridge. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Pheasant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was Brancaster staithe where we added Greenshank to the list. We then visited the Holkham Estate, first stopping overlooking the coastal marsh where we saw Little Egret and Great White Egret in flight and further along the road we saw another Great White Egret roosting in the reeds. We then turned inland to the farmlands of the estate stopping to scan over the fields. Highlights here were Yellowhammer, Eurasian Curlew and another pair of Grey Partridge.

Little Egret

 

Then it was time to head back to Cromer. Despite the rain, we have seen over 60 species of bird – a good total for a day. Our thanks to Dave and Viv for driving us around and for coming out on such a horrible day weather-wise.

Brent Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Grey Partridge [sp] (Perdix perdix)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

 

A wet morning and so we set off for Flitcham Abbey farm. This working farm has a wildlife haven with a hide overlooking a meadow which includes an oak tree which is home to a pair of Little Owl, but despite scanning the tree we are unable to see one roosting on the tree.

Wildlife Meadow at Flitcham Abbey Farm

Common Pheasant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a break for lunch, we make our way to Titchwell Marsh RSPB reserve. Our first stop is at Island hide where we are fortunate to get some excellent views of Bearded Reedlings.

Titchwell Marsh

Bearded Reedlings

Bearded Reedling

 

From the Parrinder hide, the freshwater marsh contains a wide variety of wading birds including Golden Plover, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwings. A single Yellow Wagtail was briefly located on a grassy island along with the Pied Wagtails.

Ruff

Northern Lapwing

Yellow Wagtail. Photo by Don Sutherland (https://www.flickr.com/photos/snapperg/)

 

 

The adjacent salt marsh always seems to be abandoned by comparison with the freshwater marsh on the other side of the bank, but today it holds a few Redshank along with a single Grey Plover still showing much of its summer plumage.

Grey Plover

Common Redshank

 

Our final stop is the reserve at Holme Dunes in search of a Short-eared Owl which has been present. We didn’t see it but did add a couple of new species to our trip – Skylark and Greenshank.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Western Yellow Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla flava)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

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A bright morning and I am on the coach with the local RSPB group on my way to Titchwell, a RSPB reserve on the North Norfolk Coast. It promises to be a good day as there have been some excellent records during the week.

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On arrival, I make my way to the beach. There has been a large flock of sea-duck off-shore including over 100 Velvet Scoter. In the good sunlight, it proves easy to identify them and a flock of 30 or so is soon seen in flight as they move along the coast giving views of the white wing bars which are the key identifying feature. In amongst this flock and some which don’t have wing-bars – Common Scoter. There are also a large group of Long-tailed Ducks. Sadly, the Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes of the previous day were not present (I learnt later that they had moved a few miles down the coast to Holme).

Velvet Scoter. Photo by Tony Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/)

Velvet Scoter. Photo by Tony Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/)

Long-Tailed Duck. Photo by  Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Long-Tailed Duck. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Having exhausted the sea, I begin to make my way back through the reserve looking at the various lagoons and saltmarsh which stretch out either side of the path. There is a good selection of waders and ducks present.

Golden Plover

Golden Plover

Shelduck

Shelduck

Grey Plover and Redshank

Grey Plover and Redshank

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

Brent Geese

Brent Geese

Teal

Teal

My final stop is the reed-bed and the woodland where a few more species were added. On the way back some of the group found a Water rail in a ditch and we were able to get quick glimpses as it slipped away through the undergrowth and a party of Pink-Footed Geese flew which over on their way to roost.

Robin

Robin

Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Geese

An excellent day with over 60 species seen.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca)
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

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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Another trip into East Anglia with the RSPB group. The weather was not promising as we left London as it was raining heavily. However by the time we arrived at Titchwell on the north Norflok coast the rain had stopped although it would remain cloudy and murky all day.

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The Freshwater marsh provided sightings of a range of waders including Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit with the latter two species giving excellent close views.

Waders and wildfowl on the Freshwater Marsh

Waders and wildfowl on the Freshwater Marsh

Ruff

Ruff

Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

A distant Water Rail was seen on the far side of the marsh as unusually it fed in the open for a long period of time and a Northern Wheatear was present on one of the islands. Over the saltmarsh a Marsh Harrier floated by and close attention was paid to the ‘Little Egrets’ in the vegetation as up to 18 Spoonbills have been seen here recently. Unfortunately today all those I saw were Little Egrets.

The brackish marsh was quite although there was a single avocet on the mud flats.

Realising that time was pressing on it became a choice between the beach or the east trail. Hearing from a fellow birder that there was not much on the beach I decided to look for migrant birds on the East trial.

On the way back a brief stop at the feeders was rewarded with a brief view of a Brambling skulking in the trees. The East trial leads through woodland to a pool in the reed-bed. Suprisingly given the notable small bird migration the woodland area was quite and I only added a few common species. Patsy’s pool however added a number of new species including Red-Crested Pochard, Greenshank, Snipe, Little Grebe and Northern Shoveller.

Red-Crested Pochard (f)

Red-Crested Pochard (f)

With the light drawing in and time running out a return to the area just north of the visitor centre was rewarded with the sighting of 2 Whinchat on a wire fence

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) adult
Whinchat
Photo by Allan Hopkins (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hoppy1951/)

Despite the weather, a good days birdwatching. The species seen on the reserve and a few seen on the journey brought my total to 59 for the day.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

A break in the bad weather and a bright morning greets us for the first trip outside London this year. Our destination is the North Norfolk Coast and in particular the RSPB’s reserve at Titchwell. This coast suffered particularly badly from the pre-Christmas storms and so it is uncertain what we will find.

The RSPB reserve at Titchwell is unique in that it lies either side of a raised path leading from the car park to the beach. Along either side of this path are arranged areas of reed bed, freshwater marsh, salt water marsh and of course the beach at the far end. So within a distance of 1.5 km you are able to experience a number of different wildlife habitats.

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The good birds start at the visitors centre where a Brambling is seen on the feeders. This winter visitor is becoming increasingly uncommon and so this is a good bird to catch up with early on. A Marsh harrier is seen over the reedbed. This was to be the only one seen during the day – their numbers on the coastal reserves fell dramatically during the storms and have not yet recovered. I hope it is only that the birds have moved to less storm affected inland roosts.

Brambling
Brambling
Photo by Segey Yeliseev (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

The freshwater marsh has plenty of wading birds including Ruffe and Golden Plover along with a large number of Teal and a few Northern Shoveler.

Ruffe

Ruffe

Golden Plover

Golden Plover

Teal

Teal

The Saltwater marsh affords close views of Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits.

Redshank

Redshank

Black-Tailed Godwit

Black-Tailed Godwit

Watching from the beach I saw Red-throated Diver and Common Scoter on the sea. All too soon its time to return to London, but its been a good days birdwatching with excellent numbers of many species and some great close views. Leaving Titchwell at dusk we travel back along the coast and are treated to the sight of skeins of Pink-footed Geese flying into roost in the fields around Hunstanton.

DSCN0872

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)