Thursday, 7 September 2017

11. RSPB Titchwell Marsh

As our walk at RSPB Snettisham was so early, we decided to continue round the coast to RSPB Titchwell Marsh. Two RSPB reserves in one day – perfect!

A weasel greeted us at this reserve; as soon as we began along the West bank path, it darted across. After that, it really was waders galore at Titchwell: ruff, lapwing, black tailed godwit, redshank, avocets… the list could go on, were all abundant in the freshwater marsh, visible from the path and the Island hide. All foraging in the various ways that their unique bills allow or dozing in the afternoon sunshine. A friendly fellow-birder pointed out a pair of marsh harriers quartering over the surrounding land. However, the beach is where I spotted some of my favourite waders.

I’ve always had a soft spot for oystercatchers and a small group of these black, white and orange jokers made sure we were fully entertained – chasing each other and calling, beaks vertically down and backs reared. Among this chaos, other oystercatchers foraged sensibly and a trio of cute little sanderling dozed (or tried to). Turnstones did what their name suggests, picking their way around the other birds. Godwits with their oversized bills probed the sand, as did the even larger and more curious curlew, who’s haunting call was the leading voice to the backing vocals of the sea. Further out, a lesser black-backed gull bobbed on the small waves.


Returning along the same path, then taking the Fen trail led us to some signs of autumn. Looking out from Fen hide, a raft of wigeon floated along, with the occasional whistle. September feels too early for these winter migrants to appear, but I guess they have to start some time.

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