Trip reports

Visit to RSPB Titchwell

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Sunday, 24 February 2008

The visitor centre feeders provided our first stop with great tit, greenfinch, collared dove, house sparrow and especially brambling, giving good views.

The walk to the beach provided curlew, distant little egret and a marsh harrier. Once there, sanderling were seen scurrying along the tide line, oystercatcher, grey plover, ringed plover, turnstone, dunlin patrolled the wet sand and a single female snow bunting searched for food amongst the shingle.

Lunch was taken in the lee of the sand dunes whilst trying to relocate the red-necked grebe seen by one of our group but to no avail. Eider, goldeneye, red-breasted merganser and black scoter bobbing in the waves provided some consolation.

Fed and watered we retraced our steps. From the hides waders included spotted redshank, redshank, avocet, bar-tailed godwit, black-tailed godwit, ruff, snipe and glinting golden plover. The waterfowl comprised of pintail, gadwall, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, wigeon, shelduck, mallard, teal and brent goose. The drake pintail is a really handsome bird particularly this time of year.

On returning to the visitor centre, a dark smudge in the adjacent ploughed field turned out to be a thousand plus golden plover, which took flight, swirled back and forth, flashed white and gold then swept onto the reserve to settle on the freshwater marsh.

An obliging woodcock sat preening in the thicket next to the footpath to the car park. Telescopes were erected and soon visitors formed queues to have what many said was their first sighting of this secretive bird. A very satisfying end to an excellent day.

Peter & Lesley Berrill