Leader: Chris Stone
Reporter: Keith Walker
Weather fine but cloudy. Temperature 18/19 C. Very gentle southerly breeze.
An ideal day for wandering around the reserve, but little likelihood of new migrants dropping in.
A dozen members turned up to our traditional Titchwell meeting, which was led with knowledgeable authority by Chris who is a volunteer at Titchwell, and we were fortunate that a further member and long standing Titchwell volunteer, Colin Fenn, joined us, so we had two experts who knew all the nooks and crannies to explore and where the usual bird suspects could be found.
Most members were welcomed with a flyover of Pink-footed Geese in the car park where we assembled.
From there we ambled round to look at Patsys' Reedbed where we got off to a flying start. An assortment of ducks and waders were assembled including PINTAIL, GADWELL, POCHARD in eclipse, BLACK-TAILED GODWIT & RUFF with an erect GREAT WHITE EGRET standing at the water’s edge.
From there we meandered down the Autumm Trail which was virgin territory for most of us. The clue is in the title, in that it is only open from August to October, and it led us to the South-East edge of the Fresh Marsh. Here we saw BRENT GEESE, AVOCET, MEDITERRANEAN GULL and 3 HOUSE MARTINS and a hundred plus GOLDEN PLOVER. A shout went up from eagle-eyed Emily - “BITTERN flying” and sure enough we all got very good views and a murmur of delight from Chris who was not expecting such a find in this part of the Reserve.
We then travelled to the Main Path with two goals in mind; excellent views of Bearded Tits and a view of the Pectoral Sandpiper which has been in residence in recent days. Right on cue the BEARDED TITS appeared on greenery right by the edge of the path and we all agreed that the views where as good as we had ever seen.
Finding the PECTORAL SANDPIPER was more difficult and we all scanned the Marsh without success initially. Then, as if by magic, it appeared feet away from us having no doubt been feeding at the Bank edge underneath us.
We were rewarded with a wide range of Waders including LITTLE STINTS, GREENSHANK, BAR-TAILED GODWITS, CURLEW, GREY PLOVER and our list of ducks increased with a TUFTED DUCK. In the distant edge of the water, a WATER RAIL drifted in and out of the reeds. No sight of the Rosy Starling which had dropped in the previous evening.
Whilst lunch beckoned, we decided to look at the sea first, and were rewarded with OYSTERCATCHER, KNOT, GANNET and some close passing/swimming GULLIEMOT & RED-THROATED DIVER. Overhead we were surprised by a large flock of SWALLOWS.
A very late lunch followed with most members then heading home.
For those who stayed behind, further excellent birds were found with 17 WHOOPER SWANS, YELLOW LEGGED GULL, CASPIAN GULL, ROSY STARLING, and HEN HARRIER being seen. These have been omitted from the main bird list.
Huge thanks to Chris for delivering such a brilliant day’s birding and providing the photographs – we look forward to the next time.
Please feel free to read through our reports from our monthly outdoor meetings.