What a week it has been.
Following the latest government advice, the RSPB made the difficult decision to close all our visitor centres, cafes and shops to visitors. This is to prioritise the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers, supporters and members of the public. For the time being the Titchwell toilets will remain open though this may change.
Therefore, much of the later part of the week has been spent closing down our visitor centre and reworking our work programme. This has also enabled the team to give the interior of the visitor centre a deep clean.
However wherever we can, we will still be working on the reserve to ensure we keep it maintained and complete the neccesary surveys.
At the beginning of the week we completed our monthly WeBS count in the morning whilst in the afternoon we erected a rope cordon at Thornham Point to reduce disturbance to the nesting ringed plovers.
On Tuesday Simon and I went for a walk along the eastern part of Titchwell beach to decide where the main Titchwell cordon should go, again to reduce disturbance to nesting ringed plovers and oystercatchers. Encouragingly there were four pairs of ringed plovers along the beach so hopefully they will stay on site throughout the breeding season.
Unfortunately, we then had to say good-bye to Simon and Matt as the RSPB has made the decision to cease residential volunteering whilst we are in the midst of COVID19.
Much of Thursday was spent having to rework our reserve work programme, working through emergency procedures and the closing down of our visitor operations. This has give the team the opportunity to give the building a deep clean.
On Friday I spent a lovely few hours on the reserve completing a range of odd jobs. The first was to place some chick shelters on the main Fresh marsh island. This should provide some protection for avocet chicks from aerial predation. A walk around the island revealed how good the island looks following the maintaining of high-water levels this winter. With the bird breeding season around the corner it was time to adjust some signage in the car park modular board promoting the Share Our Shores message. And finally I was able to go out with the strimmer to make a start on strimming areas of the reserve.
This week has seen a small arrival of summer migrants to the reserve including sand martins and a swallow flying over, a wheatear in the neighbouring horse paddock and a little ringed plover on the Fresh marsh. As for the overwintering birds, there has been a small increase in Brent Geese as they start to make their journey northwards. Whilst on the sea there has been common scoter and velvet scoter. The Bittern continues to be heard booming. The woodlands have seen an increase in Chiffchaffs, robins and goldcrests. The ducks are all pairing up with one another, and there appears to be a good number of pochard on site and a goldeneye made a brief appearance on Patsy’s reedbed.
Sounds of Titchwell
Did you know we have a live streaming mircrophone located within the reedbed? This microphone is streaming the sounds of Titchwell 24 hours a day and you can listen wherever you are either via your computer or phone or tablet. You will need download the VLC media app if you want to listen on your phone or tablet and then follow this link https://t.co/MfYmffuAYF?amp=1
So far, we have recorded an incredible 34 species since Wednesday. The highlight must be the bittern booming! We would love to know what you hear.
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