Monday, 19 October 2015

A Morning on Titchwell Beach

8th October 2015

My last visit of the autumn to Titchwell Marsh, that mecca of bird photography. Today it was decided to go straight to the beach to catch the birds on the incoming tide, and leave the reserve until the afternoon. In any case the reserve is best for photography in the afternoon as most photos are taken looking east from the footpath or Island Hide, and in the afternoon the sun has gone round to a more favourable position west of the footpath.

By the time we got to the beach most of the mud was already covered and many of the waders were sitting around in small flocks, preening and sleeping. Most of the waders were Oystercatchers, Knot and Sanderling with just a few of the normally numerous Bar-tailed Godwits. There was also a couple of Curlew albeit fairly unapproachable and soon flew off to their high tide roost.

The Oystercatchers and Knot were hugging the water's edge, only hopping a few feet inland as the water encroached. Oystercatchers of course are fairly striking in their appearance, although the winter plumaged Knot, although a rather drab grey, are beautifully marked.

Then on to the army of little silver soldiers, the Sanderlings, that scurry around at the water's edge, chasing the waves in and out. Today, however, many of the birds were behaving quite differently. Instead of keeping close to the water and feeding on items washed up in the waves, many were feeding several yards up on the beach on rather firm sand. They are so confiding, and one which I was photographing at a range of about 10 yards kept running towards me and came with 5 yards allowing some great shots to be taken.

But the surprise and star of the show this morning was the rather smart male Common Scoter which was bobbing up and down and sleeping just off-shore. Superb. Now on to Part 2 of the day........The Reserve.

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