Trip reports

Coach trip to Titchwell Marsh, 20th September

Coach trip to Titchwell Marsh, 20th September
Black-tailed godwit by Shailesh Patel

Saturday, 20 September 2014

I'm grateful to Shailesh Patel for the following report on our trip to Titchwell and for his photograph of a black-tailed godwit.

"On 20th September, I went to Titchwell Marsh with RSPB Central London local group which was my first time to Titchwell. I really enjoyed myself, but the weather was dull on that day. A total of 85 different species seen and the highlight were little stint, curlew sandpiper, spotted redshank, wheatear, whinchat and spoonbill.
I missed seeing the spoonbill which would have been a new entry for my England and world list. The two species, spotted redshank and curlew sandpiper, were new for my England list. I have only seen those species before in Kenya."

For me, the memorable thing about this trip was that it felt like the first day of autumn. As Shailesh says, it was a bit dull, but there was also an edge to the wind, an unfamiliar chill after this summer's extended enfolding balminess. Not that the cool fingers of autumn seemed to bother the birds. More attuned to the cycle of the seasons than our coach full of cosseted humans, they were getting on with business as usual.

Even Andrew's undoubted i.d. skills were put to the test sorting out the waders, particularly where the little stint, curlew sandpiper and dunlin were mixed up together. There were good views of spotted and common redshank, greenshank, knot, grey, golden and ringed plover, lapwing, ruff, snipe, black and bar-tailed godwit, turnstone, oystercatcher, avocet, whimbrel and curlew.

After a protracted period of staring into the reedbed many of us were able to catch glimpses of bearded tit, or at least hear their pinging call. A few whinchat, wheatear and swallows were still around feeding up for their long migration flights. A vagrant barred warbler managed to elude our entire party despite being spotted by others at various points in the day in the car park next to our coach!

It has been some time since we have run a coach trip in September. This one was well attended, and there was plenty to see, so I think we will be doing it again.

Posted by Graeme Hutchinson