Monday, 27 March 2017

March 27th Titchwell

This morning, Mum and I travelled to Cley for our monthly visit. However, we weren't there for very long. It was a bit foggy and from what we could see from the visitor centre, not a lot out on the pools. So after a bacon butty, we decided to drive all the way along the north Norfolk coastline to Titchwell. A red-flanked bluetail had been reported there over the weekend and I was considering going in the first place. The only reason I decided to go to Cley was because my history with so called 'mega birds' like red-flanked bluetails is full of frustration and disappointment. I didn't want history to repeat itself. But as Cley seemed like a waste of time, our decision to find this mega was final.

Red-flanked Bluetail watching!
Once we arrived at Titchwell, we found out that the bird was still around somewhere along the meadow trail (which is more of a woodland if you asked me). Of course, we weren't the only ones looking for it (another reason why I wanted to avoid this reserve originally). A large crowd lined up the whole length of the trail and around the pond at the other end. Plenty of eyes to help me find it, though the bird had other ideas and was nowhere to be seen. No bluetail, but at least there were chiffchaffs, Cetti's warblers, long-tailed tits and robins to keep us occupied while waiting for it to hopefully turn up.

The crowd continues further beyond this path too!
Chiffchaff
Goat Willow Catkin
Robin
Wren

Bearded Tit
After a lunch break, I had another quick scan, but still no sign. A walk along the Sea Wall trail was a lot more productive and satisfying. A flock of bearded tits kept us entertained as I tried my best to keep up with them as I attempted to get some shots of them. This was not an easy task to do as they were moving to quick for me. My struggle just amused everyone around me, including my mum. I had so many directions given to me of each individual bird's whereabouts at once whenever one pops out from within the reeds. Gradually, I managed to get the hang of things and I eventually got some good photos of them.

Wren
Greylag

From the hides overlooking the pools, we saw avocets, knots, ruffs, brent geese, oystercatchers, redshanks, shelducks, a curlew, teal, shovelers, gadwalls, Canada geese, greylag geese, mallards, herring gulls and black-headed gulls.
Avocet
Brent Goose
Ruff
Oystercatcher with a muddy bill
Knot and Teal
Knot
Curlew
Red-flanked Bluetail
We were making our way back from the hides, when a volunteer told us that he had been informed via his radio that the bluetail was now showing well at the pond at the other end of the meadow trail. I made my way over there as fast as I could walk and when I got there... it was gone again! The crowd around the pond was massive than it was earlier. Some of them told me they saw it just five minutes ago and that it was still around, though deep within some willow trees. We waited with the crowd for about 5-10 more minutes before it finally showed up and I had a few good views of it between its movements from branch to branch.






What a bird! You can clearly see that blue tail and the orange-red patches on it's flanks that give the bird its name. It looks very robin-like but more exotic. This is a species that breeds in Siberia and winters in South-east Asia, though occasionally the odd one flies in the wrong direction and ends up here in the UK now and then. Just a couple of years ago, I tried to locate the one that appeared at Wells Woods, but it was not a successful search and it actually made me feel like I should never twitch for mega birds ever again. So to see this one here has put a smile on my face and I can finally put those memories of two years ago behind me.

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