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Recent sightings

  • 31 October 2014

    October 31st 2014 - Today's spooktacular highlights

    Sadly there were no witches, wizards or zombies on the reserve but it was a pretty good day for birds :-)

    Shorelark - 1 on beach this afternoon

    Yellow browed warbler - 1 calling on Meadow Trail this morning

    Hen harrier - 1 female chasing the starling flock over the reedbed at dusk

    Slavonian grebe - 1 offshore this morning

    Long tailed duck - female offshore

    Curlew sandpiper - a late adult bird on fresh marsh at lunch time

    Spotted redshank - 3 on fresh marsh

    Lapland bunting - 2 in/off sea this morning

    Grey wagtail - 1 west over the Meadow Trail this morning

    Chiffchaff - 1 singing in the carpark!!

    Clouded yellow butterfly - 1 on the East Bank this afternoon

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 29 October 2014

    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...?

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 28 October 2014

    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

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 28 October 2014

    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

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 23 October 2014

    October 23rd 2014 - Today's highlights

    Sorry for the last of updates recently but we have been without internet access for the last 7 days!

    Whooper swan - 1 flew in off the sea early morning and headed inland

    Richards pipit - 1 west along beach at 8am and dropped into the dunes but no further sign

    Little stint - 3 still on fresh marsh

    Yellow legged gull - adult on fresh marsh this morning

    Yellow browed warbler - still 2 birds in the Meadow Trail area

    Purple sandpiper - 1 reported feeding on the peat beds at low tide

    Velvet scoter - 1 offshore

    Woodcock - 1 flying south over the fresh marsh was the first record of the winter

    Golden plover - 400 roosting on the fresh marsh

    Ruff - 100 feeding on the fresh marsh

    Merlin - 1 hunting along the beach

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 15 October 2014

    October 15th 2014 - Today's highlights

    Another fantastic day of autumn migration on the North Norfolk coast with an excellent selection of scarce species seen

    Rough legged buzzard - 1 in/off sea @ 11:30 and landed on saltmarsh

    Great grey shrike - 1, possibly 2, on Thornham Marsh for most of the day

    Yellow browed warbler - at least 3 around the reserve

    Shorelark - 2 on beach mid afternoon

    Grey phalarope - 1 on tideline at Thornham Point

    Velvet scoter - 2 offshore

    Short eared owl - 1 in/off the sea

    Lapland bunting - 1 west over beach

    Stonechat - 5 in the dunes

    Kingfisher - 1 over the reedbed

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 14 October 2014

    October 14th 2014 - Today's highlights

    After the monsoon rain and strong winds of yesterday, calmer conditions and a bit of sun made it easier to see the birds. The big highlight of the day was a big arrival of redwings and blackbirds overnight. The bushes around the Meadow Trail were alive with goldcrests and the yellow browed warbler showed very well while we were building the new boardwalk. A second individual was also photographed in the dunes this afternoon. Several bramblings were seen and a late wheatear was on the beach.

    Grey phalarope - 1 on fresh marsh briefly late morning was possibly the same bird that was seen off Thornham Point at the weekend

    Slavonian grebe - 1 offshore

    Pomerine skua - 1 offshore

    Little stint - 1 on fresh marsh

    Long tailed duck - 5 offshore

    Little gull - 20 adults feeding offshore

    Green sandpiper - 1 over the Fen Hide calling

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 10 October 2014

    October 10th 2014 - Today's highlights

    Calm offshore conditions enabled a good count this morning. There were good numbers of common scoter (250) although they were distant out towards the windfarm. Some early winter grebe species were present with at least 3 great crested, 3 slavonian and 2 red necked grebes.

    Golden plover - 100 roosting on the fresh marsh

    Spotted redshank - 1 on saltmarsh

    Little stint - 2 on fresh marsh

    Common tern - 7 on beach

    Bittern - 1 in flight over reedbed this morning

    Late summer migrants still moving through in small numbers with 5 house martins west and a couple of swallows in/off the sea this afternoon

    Stonechat - 3 wintering birds in the dunes

    Posted by Paul Eele

  • 8 October 2014

    October 8th 2014 - Today's highlights

    Good numbers of goldcrests around the Meadow Trail and carpark today so it wasn't a surprise that a firecrest  was reported too. Unfortunately it is a big area to search and it wasn't seen again. 

    Little stint - 2 birds still present on fresh marsh

    Wheatear - a late individual on beach ruin this morning

    Spotted redshank - 1 feeding on Lavender Pool

    Kingfisher - 1 over the saltmarsh, a sure sign that winter is coming

    Golden plover - 250 roosting on the fresh marsh this afternoon

    Stonechat - 1 feeding in dunes

    Posted by Paul Eele

How you can help

Coast on a stormy day with heavy rain falling on coastal headland

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Your sightings

Grid reference: TF7543 (+2km)

Rough-legged Buzzard (1)
25 Oct 2014
Richard's Pipit (1)
23 Oct 2014
Penduline Tit (1)
18 Oct 2014
Pallas's Warbler (1)
17 Oct 2014
Radde's Warbler ()
14 Oct 2014
Pink-footed Goose ()
31 Oct 2014
Marsh Harrier ()
31 Oct 2014
Avocet ()
31 Oct 2014
Black-tailed Godwit ()
31 Oct 2014
Bar-tailed Godwit ()
31 Oct 2014

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 52.96298,0.60418
  • Postcode: PE31 8BB
  • Grid reference: TF750438
  • Nearest town: Hunstanton, Norfolk
  • County: Norfolk
  • Country: England

Get directions

Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.