Today was the first day of our Titchwell weekend for Helen and me. We arrived at around 1.30pm on what was a rather gloomy afternoon, wondering just how successful the visit would prove to be. A few Robins greeted us with their beautiful singing as soon as we got out of the car, and a Wren flitted about in the scrub just a few feet from where we stood. So, not a bad start then!
In the Visitors Centre we looked at the recent sightings board and learned that a good many bird types were currently around on the reserve. As we were about to leave the VC to go out on the reserve, a volunteer in the shop advised us to look carefully in the ditch at the start of the beach trail as a Water Rail was being spotted there very regularly at the moment.
Sure enough, the Rail was just where we had been told, and it was showing very well just fifteen feet or so from where we stood. Helen and I were able to take a good number of photos of it before we decided to move on up the trail towards the beach.
In the Island Hide we saw our first Avocets of 2017 along with an assortment of other birds including a large group of Brent Geese. There were other birds present, but most were too distant to be easily identified.
Moving on up the trail, we next visited Parinder Hide. One side of this large double hide overlooks the fresh marsh, whilst the other side looks out onto the saltwater Volunteer Marsh. On previous trips we’ve not had a lot of success looking out onto the saltwater marsh, but today was very different.
As we surveyed the marsh we could see large numbers of Dunlin, a few Grey Plover, Curlew, Redshank, Avocet, Shelduck and Oystercatcher.
The next marsh on the way towards the beach is the Tidal Marsh. The highlight here today was a lone Bar-Tailed Godwit which was preening itself on one of the islands.
On reaching the beach we managed to get very close to some Turnstones and Sanderlings. What a day this had turned out to be!
It was getting a bit chilly by this time and rain was threatening so we decided to return down the path to have some hot chocolate at the cafe.
By the time we had counted up the number of different bird species we’d seen today we reached a total of 52. A very good haul for a single day. Titchwell really is a fabulous reserve!
Now, if that’s what we achieved in just an afternoon, what will a full day on the reserve produce tomorrow?