Finding new species is getting a lot harder, so I've really got to keep concentrating and take any opportunities that happen along. As the leaves have started to fall from the trees along the entrance road there is now a much better view of the adjacent farmland and because of this I was able to see dozens of field pansies.
I have spent many hours sea-watching during the last couple of weeks in the hope of adding one or two of the rarer seabirds such as sabine's gull or leach's petrel to my list, but all I managed was a dab that really didn't want to be swallowed by a cormorant! Frustratingly there have been lots of unidentifiable small silver fish jumping from the sea - I must find a local fisherman.
My third species came thanks to Autumnwatch - last week they showed a shell covered with small holes. I have seen dozens along the beach like this and was very pleased to find out that the holes were caused by boring sponges - thanks Chris and Michaela, you've crept my total up to 912!
You never know what you'll see at Titchwell Marsh! Susan Brewer kindly sent us this story of her visit, proving that you don't have to tune into Autumnwatch to witness nature in the raw...
It all happened so quickly.
I visited Titchwell for the first time on Monday Oct 3rd and wanted to tell you about a sighting my (adult) daughter and I had on the main path.
We were walking along, watching the wildfowl coming in, when suddenly a field mouse came dashing towards us. Then another. Then ... a weasel!
The weasel chased the mice, and after a skirmish finally caught one and tried to drag it to his hole. Then he noticed us watching, so hurried off leaving the poor mouse on the path. However, he was soon back to retrieve his prey.
It's the first time I've seen a weasel, and to be able to watch it hunt and catch its prey was amazing.
Luckily, I managed to grab a few photos too. We really enjoyed our visit!
Joining a local RSPB group is a fantastic way of sharing your passion for birds with like-minded people, making friends and learning about the wildlife in your area.
Here are the dates for the West Norfolk RSPB Local Group’s next indoor and outdoor meetings. If you would like to attend or require further information, call Neil Stephenson on 01553 828752 Non-members are always welcome!
Wednesday 26th October 7.15pm
“Images of Norfolk” – David Boulton.
Something nearer home this month. David is a local nature photographer who will remind use why we chose to live in or visit this beautiful county.
Meetings Held at South Wootton Village Hall, King’s Lynn, PE30 3LJ commencing at 7.15pm – entry FREE to members, £2.00 to non-members
Saturday 12th November 9.00am
Heacham South Beach. A morning walk along Heacham Harbour and beach for wildfowl and winter waders. Meet at car park (limited facilities). Afternoon at Abbey Farm, Flitcham, for geese, tree sparrow and little owl. Bring lunch if staying all day.
FREE to members, donation request of £2.00 to non-members.
It's not very often we use words like 'astonishing' and actually mean them. Well, here is what happened on the beach last Thursday.
I sat down on the beach platform at 130pm, settling down for an hours sea watching. Within three minutes I had seen three short-eared owls coming in off the sea on the final stage of their long migration flight from the continent. Half an hour later the owl count was ten! Something special was taking place!
More owls followed until at the hour mark the tally was nineteen! I was beginning to get very excited, something amazing was happening before my very eyes. Word spread around the reserve and birders began arriving on the boardwalk to witness the spectacle. The owls kept on coming....it was just like a postal delivery at Hogwarts!
At the hour and a half mark the tally was almost thirty and still they kept on coming.....
Some of the owls were very tired. We thought one was going to ditch in the sea and contemplated wading out to rescue it. Fortunately, it found energyy from somwewhere and made land fall towards Thornham Point.
When I packed up the tally was an incredible forty-six, including groups of six and five in the scope at the same time. I have since spoken to many birders including some old-timers: no one can ever recall a passage of owls like it!
It was surely the specatcle of a lifetime and one I will never forget.
It was truly... astonishing!!
On Sunday a celebration of the Coastal Change Project to thank our funders turned out to be amazing day for all. The two characters that sum it up are not characters of the alphabet like O and K (OK) or B and I (the shorthand code for bittern) but the unique characters of Titchwell Marsh and Chris Packham.
The day started well as the unseasonal weather continued with bright sunshine and this bought out the best of Titchwell Marsh. Crossbills were seen flying over on migration, troupes of golden plover were swirling over the mud, bitterns flapped over the reedbed and brent geese freshened up on the marsh. The birds piled in and so did the visitors.
Chris, who is currently vice president of the RSPB had kindly taken time out of his busy autumn watch schedule to help us thank all of the funders who had made the coastal project possible. But he also managed to pack in a lot more in his time on the reserve. About thirty lucky visitors had pre-booked on what had proved to be very popular walks led by Chris.
As well as the usual questions of ‘Why does this bird do this?’ and ‘What is that caterpillar’, Chris enthused us all about the special place Titchwell Marsh holds as part of a network of sites spread across Europe, providing homes for wildlife.
The final part of the day included the unveiling of a scaled model of the reserve complete with extremely fine detail – but this model was edible, it was a cake made by one of our regular visitors! The tables were turned for a brief moment as Chris took to the opposite end of a camera taking his own shots of a memorable moment - the cake made quiet an impression.
The final thanks of the day went to the most important people on the reserve, the volunteers who make up such a key part of the character of the reserve and make my job so much fun.
Thanks to everyone who came along. Hope you had a great day and a special thank you to Chris Packham for adding that extra special wow!