Monday, 31 August 2015

An Early Autumn Visit to Titchwell


16th August 2015

I could contain myself no longer. Although it was clear that Titchwell was not yet bursting with waders, Sunday was forecast to be a glorious sunny day so time for the first visit of the Autumn. In fact all bode well as we had only just got out of the car when a male Blackcap peered out of an Elder bush apparently keen to be the first of the day to have his photograph taken.

We then walked past the toilet block where the little man screams at you "Welcome to Titchwell, the crime capital of Norfolk. Don't leave valuables in your car or they will be nicked." Straight on then to the Island Hide, where as is tradition a number of Avocets were patrolling up and down to give photographers a false sense of security. I must have thousands of Avocet photos by now, but who can resist a few more.

Then onwards along the path to the beach where an assortment of waders also feed much closer to the path than any other place I can think of. Black-tailed Godwits are always fairly reliable here, but this one had obviously found a particularly black piece of mud to feed in.

I don't know whether it was the time of year, perhaps slightly earlier than usual, but there were a lot more Dunlin close in than I can recall seeing before, although mustn't grumble. There was also a supporting cast of Ruff which is par for the course.

I don't think I could explain why but I always find juvenile Shelduck being one of the most photogenic subjects. The adults of course are absolutely stunning, but there is something about the more subtle pastel colouration of the young birds that lends itself to the camera.

But the biggest surprise today was to find a Chinese Water Deer feeding just 20 yards from the path outside the Island Hide. I have often seen them way out on the salt-marsh, but never this close. Unfortunately it was feeding half way down one of the creeks, which meant that all you saw occasionally was its head. Absolutely magical!!

Well, what a good start to the day, and now on to the beach to see what that holds.

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