Welcome to the weekly (or near weekly) round up blog of the wildlife at Titchwell and Snettisham

Last weekend we experienced big high tides at Snettisham covering the saltmarsh pushing thousands of waders to roost on the pits. This Snettisham spectacular is incredible to watch and must be on everyone’s bucket list. Numbers included 22,110 knot, 9473 dunlin, 6130 oystercatchers, 1270 curlew and 1470 redshank. Also lurking in amongst the flocks were 15 spotted redshanks and two white rumped sandpipers, a rare vagrant wader from America.

Waders by Phil Gwilliams

If you want to experience this breath-taking spectacle, we have several guided walks running throughout September which you can book here We have also put together a handy guide to help you arrive in the car park in time to walk to the wader watch point.

Over at Titchwell we have been regularly recording 90 – 100 species each day. On Patsy’s reedbed there is a wide selection of ducks including a lone pintail, wigeon and garganey plus a great white egret has decided this is a great place to hang out.

Freshmarsh has been muddy marvellous including 750 avocet, 300+ dunlin and 200+ black tailed godwits. Like a lot of other reserves on the east coast we have also has good numbers of wood sandpipers, green sandpipers and common sandpipers. Tucked in among this lot has been curlew sandpipers, spotted redshanks and greenshanks.


Curlew sandpiper and wood sandpiper by Les Bunyan

The evening gull roost on Freshmarsh is starting to build with 20 yellow legged gulls and a couple of Caspian gulls recorded on Wednesday 7th August.

Up on Tidal Marsh a further range of waders can be found including moulting grey plover, golden plover, 100+ oystercatcher and a handful of dunlins.

A turtle dove has shown sporadically near the tank road; this area at the moment is great for finches and warblers including the first returning willow warblers who are heading south to their wintering grounds.

If you made it to the beach you may have been lucky to see our first wheatear of the ‘autumn’ whilst on the sea Arctic skua and Great skuas have been recorded daily.

It isn’t just about the birds, across the pools and ditches we have recorded a great selection of dragonflies such as brown hawkers and banded demoiselles. Our site manager also found willlow emerald damselfly this week;  this damselfly only recently colonised the UK and is spreading quickly across East Anglia.

Brown Hawker, RSPB Images