Recent Sightings – 7/10/21

Over the past couple of weeks, we have welcomed back a number of our wintering favourites including pink-footed geese and dark-bellied brent geese whilst some of our summer friends continue to linger including spoonbills and sandwich terns. With so much variety around it was great to hear that one visitor managed to record 92 species in an afternoon on the reserve!

Visitor centre / car park / east trail

This week an autumnal feel has been felt amongst the birdlife with an arrival of bramblings, siskins and a couple of redwings. Although, like the rest of the UK, there has been a noticeable absence of yellow-browed warblers with only one seen at the reserve a couple of weeks ago.

Jays have been on the move with small flocks passing overhead between the treetops.

Freshmarsh

A juvenile rose coloured starling has been coming onto the Freshmarsh in the evenings to roost amongst the thousands of common starlings. The large number of golden plovers roosting and bathing on the Freshmarsh brought in a dotterel on Monday 4 October, which is our 32nd wader species to be recorded at Titchwell this year. A black tern was also reported on the 6 October.

Rose coloured starling with starlings and golden plover, Les Bunyan

Other highlights on the Freshmarsh this week have included 2+ little stints, curlew sandpiper, spotted redshank and a build up of wintering waterfowl including teal, wigeon and shoveler. A juvenile peregrine has been practising its hunting skills over the Freshmarsh providing incredibly close views.

In the evenings large numbers of gulls have been dropping in including a Caspian gull and yellow-legged gulls.

Reedbed

As we head into Autumn the marsh harriers have returned from the summer holidays in the surrounding fields and are once again starting to build up in numbers. A ringtail hen harrier is roosting within the reedbed arriving late and departing early in the morning.

There was a trio of egrets on Patsy’s on Wednesday 6 October with great, little and cattle egret appearing together. Also, on patsy’s this week are 8 pintails, pochards, tufted ducks, little egrets and a couple of ruff.

Little egret roost, Les Bunyan

Some of our visitors at the weekend were treated to two bitterns flying over the reedbed and on the days the winds have dropped the bearded tits have been showing amongst the reeds.

Beach / Sea

Following the rising and falling tide are a lovely collection of waders feeding on the crustaceans found amongst the sand and mussel beds. The waders have included oystercatchers, dunlin, sanderling, bar-tailed godwits, curlews and turnstones. As the mussel beds reveal themselves you may spot a spoonbill or two and the recently returned brent geese.

Bar-tailed godwit, Les Bunyan

On the sea flocks of wigeon, teal, and common scoter have been passing offshore. On Wednesday 6 October with strong north westerly winds there were a few arctic skua, great skua and gannets seen plus a manx shearwater and a sandwich tern.  

The surprise sighting of this week has been a small flock of house sparrows at Thornham Point.

Report your sightings

If you are visiting why not enter your sightings on to BirdTrack. Your records support species conservation at local, regional, national, and international scales. For more information follow the link https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/birdtrack

And finally...

Our guided walks have returned.

The ‘Discover Titchwell’ walks provide you with a brief overview of the history and wildlife of the reserve and our guides will explain how the RSPB is working to protect our wetland wildlife at Titchwell.

For more details please follow this link https://bit.ly/2W2ml7l

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