Titchwell March 2016


Our visit to Titchwell this Spring was probably one of the most fruitful visits we have made to this lovely Reserve. The day was a good one, dry and sunny with a temperature of around 12C by midday.

We recorded 54 species, an excellent total but was memorable for more unusual sightings today. Close to the Visitor Centre in a drainage ditch, a magnificent, confiding water rail ambled below our binoculars without a care for our presence. It was still there a couple of hours later on our return.

Water Rail - Photo Angela lee

We had superb views of a perched kingfisher from the beach path, a very close snipe from a hide, ringed plovers, curlew, with their evocative bubbling call, many avocets, and hundreds of dark-bellied brent geese.

A pair of marsh harriers displayed, a peregrine flew directly overhead; we even spotted a very close red breasted merganser in a small pool to the left of the coast path.

Red Breasted Merganser – Google Images

The beach was busy at the waterline with birds of quite a few species. Sanderlings ran purposefully as only they can, turnstones turned stones, grey plover did nothing much at all, oystercatchers probed for lugworms, gulls of several hues set up hues and cries; out to sea a small raft of scoter (?common) bobbed on a gentle swell, and a few more mergansers showed well, one male bird being persistently dive bombed by gulls, presumably to give up its catch.

The day kept giving: some of us saw a knot being tied up, (not really), whilst others feasted on a drifting red kite, and colourful siskins on the feeders. And a kestrel hovered in the distance to bring our raptor count to four.

Sated by a glut of stunning birds we retired to the Brancaster Hotel for a jolly good lunch and liquid refreshments.

On the way home, one car full of reflective birders were delighted to spot a roadside barn owl at Fakenham, chasing an unwitting skylark.....did it get away?

Peter Heath