Matt, our winter conservation intern, provides an insight into what the reserve team have been up to. 

It has been a while but here comes the second reserve roundup!

Its been a busy couple of weeks here at Titchwell and Snettisham, with some mild weather but plenty of rain. We’ve been making steady progress with winter work on the reserves and after receiving our delivery of fully RSPB branded woolly hats, we have no excuses anymore!

 Cutting around Patsy’s 

We have cut the reeds around the edge of Patsy’s Pool, creating a nice cleared area stretching out from the viewing screen. This was done to provide habitat for wintering snipe and jacksnipe, as well as other waders and wildfowl. Its already worked a treat and snipe can be seen zig zagging low over the water, a great sight from the viewing screen. Other waders can also be seen resting and bathing at the freshly cut edge of the pool, increasing the diversity of birds visitors can see there.

 

The team at work cutting reeds

Cutting reeds along Patsy’s pool creates good Snipe habitat

Harrier Season

We have been leading many walks over the last couple of weeks. These include twice weekly harrier roost walks, where those on the walk can experience good numbers of marsh harriers coming in to roost on the reedbed. During these walks we also see roosting little egrets, gathering in large numbers on the skeleton trees before settling down for the night in Willow Wood. The interns, the two Matts, have also been leading Easy Birding, Discover Titchwell and Another Side of Titchwell walks. The two of us have received positive feedback which suggests we have been successful in inspiring people to engage with nature! Upcoming walks include more harrier roost walks, pink-footed geese walks starting in November and a beach clean on Tuesday, 12 November. Ask the team for info on dates and prices for all the walks.

Opening and closing

We have re-opened the Meadow Trail boardwalk, after rebuilding it, and put new signs up to warn visitors of potentially slippery conditions in bad weather. We have also now closed the Autumn Trail until next year so visitors cannot access this part of the reserve. This is done each year to reduce disturbance to roosting harriers and little egrets.

Volunteers in action

Volunteers are essential to keep the reserves running smoothly. During the last the last couple of weeks Jacob has been helping us rake cut reeds as well as working on the information point, our band of hide helpers have been out helping visitors identify birds from the hides each day. Dave and Les have been doing general DIY around the reserve such as fixing hide windows, repairing leaks and creating new tables with a view in the café. Our other duties have included cleaning the hides, collecting beach clean litter, tidying our workshop area, tidying the visitor car park and painting.

  

Keeping the car park and entrance tidy is a routine job

Recent sightings

We have had a few unexpected guests since last time. This includes a long-eared owl which was photographed sitting in a tree at the beginning of the west bank path. That’s all five owl species seen at Titchwell at one time or another for many of us! Also making an appearance, albeit briefly, was a little bittern seen around a week ago three times in flight around Patsy’s Pool. It has not been seen since. An otter was also showing well along the west bank path and we have had hen harrier, ring ouzel and little auk sightings! With such a friendly team, just ask to find out the latest sightings.

 

Long-eared owl by Les Bunyan

You can keep up to date with sightings by following our twitter account. No need to have an account yourself, we make it so everyone can see it. If you do tweet, please remember to use #RSPBTitchwell.

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