Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bridled Tern, Ascension Frigatebird or just a day out at Titchwell, Norfolk

Bridled Tern at Saltholme in Cleveland and an Ascension Frigatebird at Bowmore, Islay.
Islay is out of the question, and as it turns out there are no sightings of the bird throughout the day. So just Bridled Tern left to ponder. Do we really want to spend ten plus hours in a car to tick one bird, albeit a mega? No we don't.

So it's a day birding down in Norfolk, and a visit to Titchwell. Arriving at the car park around 8am we make our way past the shop and cafe and head out along the footpath.
The first bird heard was a Grasshopper Warbler reeling away from within the first belt of trees on the left of the footpath. Although the bird was reeling constantly we failed to locate the bird.

A short stop off at Island hide gives us great close up views of a pair of Avocet's and three chicks, and views of Bearded Tits among the reeds. Scanning the Freshwater marsh Brian spots a single Spoonbill asleep at the edge of one of the islands in front of Parrinder hide (South). A year tick for me.
On the walk to the hide, there's a single Spotted Redshank feeding in the corner of the marsh. Turning the corner and heading down the path allows us to get the sun behind us and thus get great views of the Spotted Redshank. A cracking bird in breeding plumage.
Scanning the marsh from Parrinder hide, the Spoonbill was still asleep. The bird taking on a strange shape as it rests on it's knee joints with it's feet in the air. It wakes briefly and a colour ring is visible (FJ9).
A bit of research shows the bird was ringed as a nestling in April 2007 at Sevilla, Casa Neves in Spain.

A further scan of the marsh, reveals another 7 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Little Ringed plovers with chicks, a small group of Knot with 2 of these in fine breeding plummage, a single Greenshank 3 Ruff and good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits along with smaller number of Bar-tailed Godwits. There's also 4 Little Gulls present.
The Volunteer Marsh and Tidal marsh produces very little, with large areas of Volunteer Marsh completely dried out.
At the beach there are 400-500 Common Scoter resting on the sea, with small numbers of Little Terns seen diving for food just off the shoreline. Along with a few Sandwich Terns.

The walk back down towards the car, produced the sighting of the Grasshopper Warbler we were after this morning. Seen sitting on top of a small bush in full view still reeling away.

Leaving Titchwell, we made a quick stop at Choseley drying barns. There was no sign of any Turtle Doves, but Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Bullfinch were all seen, along with  a couple of Red-legged Partridge running along the road in front of us.

Given the weather, we decided to drop in at Swanton Novers on the way home. 
It turned out to be really quiet, with only the odd Common Buzzard seen while we were there.

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