Sunday, 24 December 2017

Geese Galore at Titchwell Marsh

14th December 2017

Winter at Titchwell so not surprisingly the water levels on the freshmarsh were very high with no exposed islands, no mud and no waders. In fact the only land showing was only a few inches above water within the predator fence, which only held a few distant Teal and Wigeon. So today all the action was on Volunteer Marsh.

For some reason the waders are quite happy to come close to the footpath by this marsh which allows some good close-up shots, especially in the afternoon when the sun has moved round. Here are Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and Ringed Plover.

The Parinder Hide was exceptionally good today with Grey Plover and Curlew both feeding fairly close, but the star of the show here was this magnificent Shelduck that was sifting the mud right outside.

Walking back along the track by the fresh-marsh there was a great deal of flight activity as the ducks and geese starting flying in to roost as the tide was pushing them off their feeding grounds. This drake Wigeon was particularly obliging.

But now on to the main course, the geese.You can never go to Titchwell without enjoying the spectacle of large flocks of Greylag Geese flying in and out and today was no exception.

When I arrived there were no Brent Geese on site, but they too were now pouring in to rest up in the roost.

But today the most amazing spectacle was the vast flock of Pink-footed Geese that were grazing on the field to the west of the entrance track. I have been coming to Titchwell for 30 years and this is the first time that I have seen a flock of Pinks on the reserve itself. I have seen large flocks on the inland hills and individual strays on the fresh-marsh but never a large flock on the ground.

I would estimate the flock to be ~5000, but this includes about 500 Greylags, and although they were an amazing sight on the ground, just imagine the cacophony when they all took off for a few laps before coming in to land again.

A most memorable day.

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