Sunday, 7 June 2015

30 Days Wild | Day 7 - Titchwell with the West Midland Bird Club

It's the 7th day of 30 Days Wild, and today I took a welcome (and deserved I think) day off from revision for the monthly trip with the West Midland Bird Club, this time to RSPB Titchwell. Although I did do another past exam paper on the coach....fortunately the journey is long enough to also include some snooze time!

Upon arriving at the reserve, our plan was to head straight down to the sea as high tide was at 11:15, then check out the pools, reedbed and marshes on the way back. However there was so much good stuff around our walk to the beach ended up taking rather longer than planned! Before we'd even got off the coach I saw my first Painted Lady butterfly of the year; at the start of the main path through the reserve some young children were feeding a very tame and friendly Song Thrush. Making our way along the path we saw Wall, Common Blue and Red Admiral butterflies on the warm grassy bank. In some bushes among the reedbed we heard, then saw, Reed and Cetti's Warblers and all the way along the path we saw Linnets, Avocets, Redshanks, Meadow Pipits, Little Egrets and Reed Buntings aplenty. 

Great spot for smashing Cetti's Warbler views.
The lagoon, with sleepy Avocets.
Little Egret.

On the first large lagoon was a smashing male Garganey, a lovely group of immature Little Gulls (cute!), some roosting Grey Plovers and a bunch of Black-tailed Godwits; over the reeds at the back a female Marsh Harrier was patrolling. I was on the lookout for new plants to try and learn as usual and there was plenty of this about:

I think it may be Shrubby Sea-blite (Suaeda vera).
We eventually reached the beach, more than ready for our lunches, but then some other members of our group told us they'd seen a Spoonbill on the marsh just where we'd come we went back down the path and peered over to the spot where it had been seen, after a while it emerged and while it was distant and shimmering in the heat haze, there was no mistaking its cutlery-esque bill! Back on the beach we finally had our lunches, sharing them with this wily Black-headed Gull. 

Give me your lunch!
From the beach we had nice views of passing Sandwich and Little Terns, Fulmars and Oystercatchers, as well as a pair of House Martins which kept landing on the beach. As we got up to leave the beach a Curlew and a Kestrel flew over. 

The beach.
We stopped off at the Parrinder hide on our way back towards the visitor centre where we caught up with the Garganey and Little Gulls again, and found a couple of Little Ringed Plovers. Then it was onto the fen trail where there was plenty of Ragged Robin and an orchid of some kind in flower.

Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi).
Southern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa)?
At Patsy's pool we added both Red-Crested and standard Pochards to our lists, plus a pair of Little Grebes in fine breeding plumage. Upon reaching the end of the trail we decided to loiter awhile; this paid off as an awesome Hobby appeared, flying towards and over us before diving into the reeds and reemerging! It perched in clear view on a bare tree for a short while before disappearing off into the distance. We had great views of a fine Sedge Warbler too, singing out in the open atop the reeds, and also heard a Cuckoo but it was much too far away to track down. Finally on our walk back to the visitor centre we found a Red-Legged Partridge sitting on a fence in an adjacent field. Another super day out with the bird club and good break from exam revision!

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