Thursday, 4 April 2013

A Stroll to the Beach

Titchwell in Spring should be quite lively but with the current mini Ice Age no migrants had arrived. Still Titchwell never disappoints, so we left the feeders and started the walk down to the beach.

There were still good numbers of wildfowl around and while we were sitting in the Titchwell Hilton, a female Teal strayed quite close. OK they may be predominantly brown, but here you can just see the green speculum showing through.

On the salt marsh side of the hide Shelduck were pairing up and were looking resplendent, apart from the male which had obviously been skidding in mud. These were one of the first "rare" ducks that I managed to identify from my Observers Book of Birds and are still one of my favourites.

Further along the path were enormous numbers of Brent Geese, which make that superb guttural gurgling sound when they fly. These ones were going nowhere in a hurry and were quite content to just stand in the shallows and watch the people go by.

Along the channel next to the path were a number of waders including godwits, shanks and Avocets. For more on the wits and shanks there will be another blog along in three days. Avocet numbers are now building up for the breeding season, but this particular individual was more intent on feeding than rushing around after a mate. It is hard to remember that in the 1960s Avocets were very rare birds, only breeding on Havergate Island.

And finally on to the beach itself. Not much around as the tide was right in so very few waders, but even the sea was quiet with just a handful of Common Scoter and half a dozen Eider. But it wasn't necessary to rush of in search of a subject, as the Titchwell Black-headed Gull always homes in on visitors and comes even closer if you pretend to have food. I had to shoo this one back a couple of feet to get it all in.

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