Welcome to another round up of what the reserve team have been up to across our North West Norfolk Reserves. 

Breeding Bird Surveys

Over the past couple of weeks, we have continued with our breeding bird surveys including weekly bittern monitoring. It is really encouraging to have a bittern booming regularly at Titchwell as it is a species we have struggled with in recent years. When you are next visiting listen out for the deep boom it makes, like foghorn.

I also completed the first breeding duck survey of 2021 across Titchwell and again it was encouraging to record good numbers of pochards as they are declining species.

Due to the biting northerly wind and early morning frosts including a snow flurry we paused our woodland point count at the confidential woodland we manage and delayed a bearded tit survey.

Beach Nesting Birds

We have continued to install additional signage at Snettisham beach including our Plovers in Peril project to make it clearer that we are asking dogs to be kept on leads. Dogs off leads can cause significant disturbance to the ringed plovers that are trying to establish nesting areas on the beaches. We have also been out checking the cordons at Titchwell, which can be prone to tidal damage but fortunately they are holding up.

Last week myself and a colleague gave a presentation to Vogelbeschming Nederland, our Birdlife partner in the Netherlands about the work we are doing in Norfolk on beach nesting birds as they begin a similar project but focussing on the Kentish Plover.

Freshwater Habitats

The freshwater habitats project is currently out for tender which means I have been hosting several contractors at Titchwell to show them the work area. Next week we will have received completed tender documents which I’ll be going through, and then hopefully we can appoint a contractor to complete this exciting piece of work this summer.

Turtle Doves

At Snettisham we have rotavated an area of ground within the centre of the reserve car park to promote annual plants to germinate. These annuals would produce small sees that are favoured by turtle doves to feed on.

Reserve odd jobs

Some of our volunteers have been in over the past couple of weeks to assist with various odd tasks including clearing the drains along the Parrinder path, washing and repainting the picnic tables, reattaching kickboards to boardwalks and other bits and bobs.

And finally...

It has been wonderful to welcome more visitors back to our reserves as we ease our way out of lockdown. The shop reopened on Monday 12th April and our cafe offers outdoor catering between 9.30am and 4.30pm 

Our hides remained closed until May 17th under government guideance. 

We look forward to seeing you when you next visit


NW Norfolk Reserves Warden