It has been a steady week for bird sightings with many of our breeders busy on nests or feeding youngsters. 

Car park / Visitor Centre / Woodland

Blackcaps continue to dominate the woodland soundscape along with the odd chiffchaff and willow warbler.

A newly fledged flock of long-tailed tits was spotted this week and many of the nest boxes are home to breeding blue tits.

Long-tailed tit, Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

Reedbed

There has been an increase in reed warbler song over the past week with sedge warbler song decreasing slightly as many are now on eggs.

Up to 5 great white egrets remain in the reedbed and at least one bittern has started to be seen on a more regular basis.

The bearded tits are fairly active feeding young within their nests, Cetti’s warblers can be heard and in the evenings, we are seeing a small increase in swallows and sand martins. Though numbers are still significantly lower than they should be.

On 4 May a drake garganey was present on Patsy’s reedbed before flying on to the Freshmarsh. At least one of the grasshopper warblers continues to reel along the east trail. Other highlights on the east trail include whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, cuckoo and red kite, though we have no sightings of turtle dove just yet.

Reed warbler, Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

Freshmarsh

We completed the first avocet count of the breeding season this week, recording 36 birds on nests with a total avocet count of around 100. This is one of the highest counts we have had for some years so are cautiously optimistic that the Freshwater habitats is delivering early results.

Other wader highlights include common sandpiper, ringed plovers, 4 little ringed plovers, oystercatchers, black-tailed godwits and ruff.

Several common terns and sandwich terns are dropping onto the Freshmarsh throughout the day.

Around 100 brent geese are still in the area regularly coming on to the Freshmarsh from the surrounding saltmarsh. A male wigeon made an appearance on 3 & 4 May.

Avocet, Les Bunyan

Beach and Sea

There has been a noticeable increase in sanderlings along the tide line with many moulting into their breeding plumage.

This week we completed our first ringed plover survey of the season and found two pairs nesting with several other pairs getting ready to lay their eggs.

With ringed plovers on eggs it is even more important that when you visit RSPB Titchwell dogs are kept on leads on the beach and you keep away from the rope cordons to prevent the birds from being disturbed off their nest.

This time of the year the sea is quiet with a great northern diver on 4 May and small numbers of sandwich terns feeding offshore plus the off eider and common scoter. A black tern was reported offshore on 2 May.

Ringed Plover, Les Bunyan

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 scale.

For more information follow the link https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/birdtrack

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