Friday, 17 August 2012

Even Titchwell Can Be Quiet

My second visit in two weeks and the water levels are still too high. However, Titchwell never ceases to perform and I had only gone a few yards along the path to the beach when there was a familiar pinging from the reeds. A quick scan revealed a couple of young Bearded Tits feeding amongst the Reedmace. Not quite as close as I would like but a record of the day nevertheless.

Next to the Island Hide there was a large patch of mud which had attracted a lone adult Lapwing. Lapwings are one of those birds that are easy to photograph, but it is impossible to walk past without taking a couple more. This bird was no exception. Further along the path I came across another easy opportunity, a young Shelduck. Adults can sometimes be wary but this youngster was totally oblivious to my presence and just wandered around having its photo taken. Young Avocets were also much in evidence and equally keen to cooperate.

And now onto the beach. As for the last visit the tide was in and there were no waders at all on the beach. However, what caught my eye was five dots bobbing up and down on the sea. A closer inspection revealed that they were Eiders, but quite what they were doing here at this time of year is anybody's guess. They were a little too far out for a shot at first and when they eventually did drift in a little closer they promptly tucked their heads in and went to sleep. However, after about an hour and drifting several yards to the east, they did wake up and I was able to get a few shots. These are two young males.

As I alluded to at the beginning, it is not possible to go to Titchwell without leaving with a lasting memory. In the past I have had Great Reed Warblers, Surf Scoters, Franklin Gulls and Penduline Tits and many, many more. But for this trip the medal must go to a relatively common bird these days, but not just one but 17 of them.....Spoonbills. On one of the islands on the fresh-marsh there were 20 white blobs. A scan through the telescope revealed that most of these were Spoonbills with just three Little Egrets amongst them, a most amazing sight. Spoonbills are now breeding in the UK and so we can expect a similar expansion in numbers that we have witnessed with Little Egrets.

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