There has been plenty on offer at Titchwell over the past couple of weeks from firsts and seconds for the reserves and the continuing baby boom.
The star bird in the reebed has been the bitterns, with the female putting on a quite a show this week. It has been watched by many visitors, volunteers and staff fishing in the pools that adjacent to the west bank path. Now is the time to visit if you would like good views of a bitterns.
The marsh harriers have fledged two young so far and the adult birds regularly fly the gauntlet of the freshmarsh as they try to take an avocet or black-headed gull chick.
There are three great white egrets within the reedbed, with them regularly appearing in front of Fen hide or Patsy's pool.
Sedge warblers are being very showy with two individuals singing out in the open in the vegetation next to the west bank path and the reed warblers are singing across the reserve.
Bearded tits, are about, but they are not being easy to see, especially if it is windy so take a look at the bottom of the reeds when viewed from island hide.
Not a bird but another star species this week has been the sighting of two Norfolk hawker dragonflies in the reedbed pools by the West Bank Path, the sighting of them last week was only the second record for the reserve. historically this species has been confined to the Norfolk broads but in recent yeas the species has started to spread across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Kent, most likely because of wetland restoration.
Norfolk Hawker, Sue Bryan
On the freshmarsh there are over 200 avocets, many of which are still with chicks and fledging their first young, to date 18 have fledged.
As we head through June autumn wader passage begins with non breeders and failed breeders beginning the migration southwards and so we are starting to see a regular turnover of black-tailed godwits. To our surprise on the 8 June a spotted sandpiper, appeared on the fresh marsh and remained until the 11 June, a first for the reserve. What was even better, is that it was in its summer plumage clearly distinguishing it from the common sandpiper which it can resemble in the winter. Since then we have started to see a few more dunlin, knot and bar-tailed godwits appear. A snipe was present on the 20 June and a wood sanpiper & spotted redshank on the 23 June.
Black- headed gulls are numerous with the majority with chicks of various sizes; the first should fledge next week. Up to 8 little gulls remain on the freshmarsh, there number can vary throughout the day.
Five pairs of common tern are breeding including one pair with 3 week old chicks. Sandwich terns and little terns are also seen on a regular basis.
Pochards, shelduck and gadwall have all been seen with ducklings over the past couple of weeks. Teal, shoveler and gadwall numbers are increasing as the breeding season for them ends and they start to go through their moult.
Spotted sandpiper, Les Bunyan
Tidal & Volunteer Marsh
These areas have been relatively quiet recently as many of the waders are still on their breeding grounds, however tidal marsh is a good place to look for spoonbills, common terns and little egrets.
Spoonbills, Sue Bryan
Oystercatcher, bar-tailed godwits and sanderling numbers are increasing, often feeding on the tide line or mussel bed when exposed.
The breeding oystercatchers are busy laying their eggs and so are the ringed plovers - there is still one pair of ringed plovers with chicks.
To help these birds please
- Keep dogs on leads
- Keep your distance from birds within cordons but also those birds out of cordons who may have young. If they are alarming or sounding distressed you have disturbed them.
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