Sunday, 21 September 2014

An Autumn Visit to Titchwell

7th September 2014

The bird season is moving on so time for my last visit to Titchwell for this year. As for my last visit the beach was incredibly quiet with hardly any people or waders, just the odd Curlew feeding out on the mud beyond the pill-box out on the beach. What has happened to the large flocks of Knot, Bar-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers?

Back on the beach path by the saltwater lagoon it was quite clear that something was spooking the birds as many of the waders and these Grey lag Geese took to the air. A quick scan through the bins revealed not one but two Peregrine Falcons harassing the milling flocks of waders over the fresh-marsh. Unfortunately, although the Spoonbills were also in the air they kept to the far side of the fresh-water lagoon.

Once peace had been restored a couple of Black-tailed Godwits decided that the vast expanse of the saltwater lagoon was not big enough for both of them and decided to have a fight over this particular spot although it all looked the same to me. If nothing else it gave a good view of their wing-bars.

I have not been a fan of the new Parinder Hide up to now considering it to too large, overpowering and out of keeping with the North Norfolk coast. Also, although providing good views over the fresh-marsh, most of the birds have been distant and therefore not ideal for photography. However today there were a number of birds quite close in, including these Dunlin, Pied Wagtails and Shelduck. The Shelduck continues to be one of my favourite birds, even juveniles in moult.

On the way back to the car park, just next to the Island Hide, a Water Rail that had clearly not read the bird book saying that they were shy and reclusive and normally seen scurrying along at the edge of reeds, was strutting around boldly right out in the open. Mind you it does make photography a lot easier.

Now normally I would regard that as a rather successful day but I have kept the best to last. So if you want to see the results of the Wader Fest at that Mecca of bird photography that is Titchwell, come and see Part 2 on the 23th September 2014.

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