Thursday, 23 August 2012

A day at Titchwell.

Following the BBF Elis and I went with Peter and Jenny Sharland, our friends from South Africa, to Titchwell.
Jenny, Peter, me and Elis at Hunstanton.
We stopped off at Hunstanton on the way there to try and tick off Fulmar for Peter and Jenny. This we succeeded in doing eventually and saw some mixed wader flocks flying by, comprising, for the most part, Grey Plovers.

Fulmar on the sea, Hunstanton

Grey Plovers moving along the coast past Hunstanton cliffs
At Titchwell we were treated to a great display of Ruffs in varying plumages.
The first hide at Titchwell, a great place to get to know your waders.

Ruffs
Elis and Peter left the first hide to photograph the birds from the bank while Jenny and I discussed the plumage of the Dunlin in front of us.

Juvenile Dunlin

Suddenly Peter burst in breathlessly,
     "They've got an odd wader up there, they can't decide if its a Baird's or a White-rumped Sand!"
The mystery stint drew a big block of admirers
That sounded exciting and I rushed up to the bank, meeting Elis, also in a state of wide-eyed excitement. I looked at the bird in question and decided that, in my humble opinion, it was a Little Stint.
The mystery stint preening itself
Now stints and Calidrids in general can be tricky of course, and I am no expert, but I always start with the assumption that it is the common, default bird and then see if I can find anything that would prove otherwise. I didn't. But hey! I've been wrong in the past and dare say I'll be wrong again.
The same bird

Same bird a bit closer
We drifted off to the large new hide. here Elis found a small group of Golden Plovers and a Common Snipe.

Golden Plovers

Common Snipe (foreground)
The most popular birds on the marsh though were undoubtedly these sleeping (what else do they do?) Spoonbills.
Eurasian Spoonbills
We then on to the sea where Elis went off to chase the waders and Peter set off to chase an immature Common Eider that was drifting along the shore.
Eurasian Curlew on the beach

Bar-tailed Godwit

Sanderling

Ruddy Turnstone
When we had all reassembled a chap came running across the beach towards us gesticulating wildly so as to alert us to the prsence of an Osprey coming in off the sea. Thanks to him for the monumental effort he put in on our behalf.

Returning to the first hide we got excellent views of some of the waders again including this cracking juvenile Red Knot.
Juvenile Red Knot
There were Dunlins and Ruffs, a Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Avocets and another Little Stint.
Common Redshank

Pied Avocet

Juvenile Little Stint
We saw a number of other birds of course including; Shoveler, Sedge Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail...
Shoveler


Sedge Warbler

Meadow Pipit

Juvenile Pied Wagtail

...few butterflies were around, just this gatekeeper posed for a photo.
Gatekeeper

This mst be what it is like to be a bird when we birders are looking at them.
Lovely plumage!

We then tried to find our friends somewhere to stay, locating this Linnet at one place, and then we headed back to Bucks.
Common Linnet

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