As Ray nears his target of 800 species, he proves that no stone should be left unturned when on the hunt for wildlife at Titchwell Marsh.
To get the best out of the reserve, there are plenty of events and lots of different areas to explore which can open your eyes to all sorts of wildlife.
This became even more apparent over the last fortnight, with 18 of the 31 new species I found coming from the moth traps. Moths from the traps are displayed to the public every Wednesday at 9am at our 'Marvellous Moths' mornings, where there are always new and exciting species unveiled. 2 of the 31 new species came from Thornham Point, 4 from the Meadow Trail, 4 from the car park and 3 from the west bank - there really is wildlife hiding around every corner! The pictured four-spotted chaser dragonfly (form praenubila) was found sunning itself in the car park, only a few feet from the only common cudweed plant I know of on the reserve.
On my walk to Thornham Point I passed many tall acrid lettuce plants and found 25 common jellyfish on the tideline, before eventually finding a common cuttlebone. An ichneumon fly, (netelia testaceus), was caught in the moth trap amongst dozens of moths. Many moth names such as barred yellow, large yellow underwing and figure of eighty are fairly obvious, but I can imagine a 19th century naturalist finding a moth and saying "I'm uncertain about that one" or "It looks like an obscure wainscot" and the names stuck!
However, all the new species have been up-staged this week by the experience of getting my first personal views of bittern chicks; and totally eclipsed by the caspian tern that spent an hour feeding on Bett's Pool.
The total now stands at 780 - isn't Titchwell brilliant?