Tuesday 31 July 2012

Escape to Norfolk - Day Two - The Revenge of the Horse Fly

I woke early on the second day of my Norfolk adventure, as I was looking forward to another good days birding. After a quick all day breakfast, out of a tin, I set off towards the RSPB reserve at Titchwell. Arriving early I missed the initial appearance of the 'dudes', but I new they'd be there at some point.

Bag's New Tent
The cloud had rolled in off the North Sea again, but there was little in the way of wind, so a few Bearded Tits had their heads up above the reeds. The 'Fresh Marsh' was alive with passage waders. The highlights being a single adult  Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Spotted Redshanks and half a dozen summer plumage Knot. As well as the waders there was five Spoonbills and four Little Gulls.

Moving on from there I decided to head up to the beach and on the way I came across three more Spoonbills on the Saline Lagoon by the beach. Whilst I was photographing the Spoonbills, I was practically eaten alive by Horse Flies (Cleggs). As I was wearing shorts they homed in on the back of my knees where they wreaked havoc. As always the insect repellent was back in my car!

The only thing apart from Herring Gulls on the sea was a solitary Common Eider, but Sandwich Terns were fishing offshore as were a few Little Terns. On the beach there were quite a few moulting adult Sanderlings along with good numbers of Bar-tailed Godwit.

Titchwell Beach Looking Towards Brancaster
I adopted the policy of waiting by the shoreline for the Sanderling to come to me, which was reasonably successful. However, they broke into a sprint when they got to the closest point.

On the way back from the beach 'a bit of nature in action' was going on. A tiny Avocet chick had gone on its own adventure over one of the overgrown banks separating two of the lagoons. It parents called constantly for it to return, but to the chick that would have seemed like crossing from one side to the other of a great forest. People wanted to rescue it, but I assured them that they would be reunited eventually. And so it was a that the tiny chick managed to cross the impenetrable forest and find its sibling on the other side.

Avocet Chicks

By the time I returned to the hides overlooking the 'Fresh Marsh' the sun was high in the sky and the clouds had disappeared. The hides were now full of birders and the noise level was some what higher than it should have been. I think people forget that birds have ears. The skill level was quite low amongst the gathering as a number of times I was alerted to the presence of a mis-identified bird. It is always difficult to decide whether to tactfully explain their error or just agree for a quite life? 

Later in the afternoon people began to leave and as if by magic the birds started to come in closer. Several Ruff and three Spotted Redshanks performed in front of the hide along with a Little Egret.

Little Egret

Spotted Redshank

No comments:

Post a Comment