Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh

Titchwell Marsh
Big skies, a fabulous sandy beach and bird-filled lagoons are just a few of the gems tucked away inside Titchwell's treasure trove of natural delights.

Titchwell Marsh

  • October 29th 2014 - Today's highlights

    After several days without any sight or sound, a yellow browed warbler was heard calling on the Meadow Trail again today.

    Black throated diver - 1 offshore this morning

    Great skua - 1 chasing gulls offshore this morning

    Snow bunting - 1 on beach 200yds west of the end of the main path

    Spotted redshank - 2 on fresh marsh

    Red crested pochard - female in the reedbed this morning was the first record for several weeks

    Tufted duck - a big increase in numbers today with 70 recorded in the reedbed. Maybe a sign of some cold weather coming...?

  • October 28th 2014 - Today's highlights

    Offshore winds here usually means that the sea is pretty calm and an ideal opportunity to look for scoter flocks, divers and grebes. The scoter flock mainly seems to be far offshore at the moment and only giving distant views in flight but the divers and grebes are thankfully much closer.

    Great northern diver - 1 offshore

    Black throated diver - 1 offshore

    Slavonian grebe - 2 offshore

    Long tailed duck - 2 offshore

    Spotted redshank - 2 on fresh marsh

  • Not long now!

    Winter is my favourite time on a wetland reserve. Wild weather, crisp cold, flocks of finches and whopping numbers of wildfowl on the water. Venturing onto the reserve at first light, the air is full of the party blower whistle of wigeon and the spluttery dabbling of teal. And, if I’m honest, another good thing about winter is that first light doesn’t come three hours before I like to get up.

    But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Winter isn’t here yet. We’re still in the autumnal throes of late October, but in many ways winter has already begun. Temperatures have dropped, leaves have fallen from the trees, but more excitingly for me my morning walk to work has been enlivened by the regular sight, and sound, of one of my favourite birds. As I head along the road out of Titchwell village, skeins of hundreds of pink-footed geese pass by overhead, leaving their roost sites out on the mudflats and heading inland to feed. 

    Pink footed geese by Andy Thompson

    I was lucky enough to be on the north-western tip of Scotland a month ago, at the tail-end of summer, and even luckier to witness part of these birds’ incredible migration. Walking along a cliff top near Dungeness in some pretty stormy weather, with dark, heavy clouds overhead and distant rain hiding the horizon, a friend called my attention to a v-shaped formation of birds in the sky, struggling in from the sea. At first their calls were muffled by the buffeting wind, but soon enough we heard an unmistakable ‘wink-wink’ – these were pink-footed geese reaching shore for the first time since leaving Iceland, a journey of some 600 unbroken miles over the Atlantic. Even more impressively, some of these birds might have been part of the Greenland pink-foot population, for whom that 600 mile flight is only the second leg of a truly formidable journey. It was a special moment.

    Of course, theirs is not the only impressive migration to take place this autumn. Redwing, brambling, golden plover, pintail, teal, wigeon and others are all arriving from Scandinavia and beyond, and let’s not forget the swallows, martins, cuckoos, turtle doves and warblers which have left us behind and headed south to their own wintering grounds in Africa. These are all epic and dangerous journeys which many birds won’t survive, and those that do need to find safety and food when they finally reach journey’s end. By continuing to create, manage and protect habitats such as the freshwater scrape at Titchwell Marsh or the saltmarsh and mudflats in the Wash at Snettisham, we can make sure that’s what wintering or breeding birds find when journey’s end is an RSPB reserve.

    Wintering golden plover by Andy Thompson

    Dan Snowdon, Reserve Assistant, NW Norfolk reserves