Spring is slowly creeping in at Titchwell as we have experienced northerly winds most days, which is making it feel quite chilly once you have left the shelter of the visitor centre. 

Car park / visitor centre / woodland

The car park and surrounding area is alive with the sound of singing blackcaps, chiff chaffs and a couple of willow warbler passing through. The odd brambling can still be found on the feeders and on Sunday we welcomed back the first cuckoo of 2021.

Reedbed

Good news, the bittern is continuing to boom, so listen out to the sound of someone blowing the top of the bottle. He can be heard from the west bank path and from Patsy’s screen. Seeing the bittern though is much harder! There are also two great white egrets loitering around the reedbed but are concealed for much of the day. The marsh harriers are incredibly busy breeding on the reserve, so you have a great chance of seeing one as you walk about the reserve. The same cannot be said for the bearded tits who are quite secretive; most likely because it has been so cold.

Marsh harrier (Les Bunyan)

The soundscape of the reedbed is alive with the Cetti’s warbler blasting its song and there has been a slow arrival of sedge warblers and reed warblers. On the 19th April two grasshopper warblers could be heard reeling.

Excitingly on Saturday 17th April a bluethroat was spotted between the third and fourth bench but it has been very elusive with only a handful of people actually seeing the bird. It remained here the following day where it could be heard singing. This appears to be only the third record for the reserve.

Freshmarsh

A couple of hundred brent geese can still be watched on the Freshmarsh as they drop in for a bath and a drink. The black-headed gulls and Mediterranean gulls have made a start nest building and will soon be sitting on eggs. Meanwhile sandwich terns have arrived back with 4-8 birds being seen regularly. In terms of waders there has been a ruff, three little ringed plovers, 10+ black-tailed godwits, several redshank, a greenshank and 30 avocets.

Little ringed plover (Les Bunyan)

Tidal and Volunteer Marsh

Small flocks of turnstones, oystercatchers and dunlin can be found roosting on the tidal marsh on the high tides along with feeding black-tailed godwits and avocets. There are also several pairs of shoveler on here and small flocks of linnet flicking amongst the bushes.

Black-tailed godwit (Les Bunyan)

The beach / sea

Down on the beach early signs suggest that there are 5 - 6 pairs of ringed plover looking to breed on there which is promising. Along the tide line there are small flocks of bar-tailed godwits, sanderlings and non breeding oystercatchers. Meadow pipits and skylarks are breeding within the dunes and can sometimes be seen feeding on the tide line. As we would expect at this time of the year the sea is very quiet with small numbers of sandwich terns feeding offshore and small flocks of waders and common scoters flying through.

And finally, a few other highlights have included a couple of spoonbills flying over, a trickle of swallows and sand martins and the a couple of yellow wagtails

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