It has been a while since we have updated you on what has been seen at Titchwell, so here is a roundup of July.

Car park / visitor centre / east trail

At the start of July a crossbill flew west over the reserve and 3 coal tits were on the feeders. A couple of green woodpeckers have been heard around the willow wood area on a regular basis and a great spotted woodpecker is around the visitor centre.

Whitethroats and lesser whitethroat were along the east trail, along with blackcaps, chiff chaffs, bullfinch and greenfinch. Turtle doves have been recorded occasionally flying through the reserve.


During the early part of the month bittern sightings were regular with lots of feeding flights by the female to the nest. However, since the heatwave, bittern sightings have been rare.

Two great white egrets remain within the reedbed, often being seen on Patsy’s or flying over the reserve. A spoonbill dropped into Patsy’s for the first time to this area at the end of the month.

The marsh harriers finished breeding for the season with at least 6 young fledging. With breeding finished marsh harriers sightings can become less frequent, on the reserve in August. Though there are the odd birds still trying their luck over the Freshmarsh.

Bearded tits are around, but they are elusive. Listen for the ‘ping ping’ call – the best places are along the west bank path early in the morning when there is no wind. Alternatively, as of 1 August the Autumn trail is open, and they can be seen at the end of the trail.

Reed warblers and sedge warblers remained in song throughout July.

On Patsy’s the number of ducks has increased including gadwall, teal, shoveler and mallard. Along the reedbed channels there have been a couple of tufted duck broods sighted. Little grebe and coot have also been present.  



July and into August are often the best months for waders at Titchwell and this year July was no exception.

A Temminck’s stint was present on the 30 June, providing hazy views in the heat. On the 21 July there was a white-rumped sandpiper, little stint, a wood sandpiper and 2 curlew sandpipers. A lesser yellowlegs was identified on the 23 July, which transpired had been present since the 20 July. This individual remained at Titchwell until Monday 1 August. Throughout July there was also a constant turnover over of other waders, in varying numbers including: 30+ ruff, 4 spotted redshanks, greenshank, common sandpipers, green sandpipers, whimbrel, curlew, knots, little ringed plovers, ringed plovers, dunlin, turnstones, bar-tailed godwits and snipe.  Several hundred avocet are still on the reserve and there has been about 150 black-tailed godwits

A pair of wigeon appeared on the 11 July, teal numbers are increasing and there are lots of shelduck with various sized broods of ducklings.

Spoonbills have been seen on the Freshmarsh, tidal marsh, the beach and on the saltmarsh.

Lesser yellowlegs, Phill Gwilliam

Beach and sea

On the beach, July saw the first arctic waders returning with small numbers of bar-tailed godwits, sanderlings and knot. They have joined the non-breeding oystercatchers feeding along the tide line.

At Thornham point, as the tide drops a small gathering of common terns, little terns and sandwich terns is occurring.

On the sea there has been 2 dark phase Arctic skua and 4 Manx shearwater on the 9 July and 3 pale phase Arctic skua later in the month.

Arctic skua, Cliff Gilbert


July has been a great month for dragonflies with records including Norfolk hawker, Southern migrant hawker and Lesser emperor.


The same can be said for butterflies with plenty of common species including wall and gatekeeper but there has also been a clouded yellow, painted lady, white admiral and silver washed fritillary.

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