Saturday, 18 August 2012

Steaming at Titchwell

Friday August 17
As temperatures of 30C were forecast, we asked Sue to arrive earlier than usual. How surprised were we when rain fell as soon as we started our walk out to the hides. Not heavy, but enough for us to take shelter in Island Hide. What a good thing we did. Many lovely waders on display. One mixed flock of Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff and a single Sanderling was very flighty which meant that they sometimes landed reasonably close to the hide, in fair light. As I think I've mentioned before (!!), all the hides at Titchwell show birds the wrong way of the light for most of the day.
Both Golden and Grey Plover, Snipe, one Greenshank. a good number of distant Black-tailed Godwits, both Ringed and Little Ringed Plover and two Common Sandpipers. 

Two Ruff


Most enjoyable, especially showing them to a very keen small boy, looking through his vintage telescope beside us. 13 Spoonbills loafed one-legged, spoons well hidden, on a far island.
All digiscoped through my Swarovski 82. I would love to have had the Leica 82 used in Panama, side by side, in order to compare results.
A Common Tern perched on the water level marker.

Time to move on to the sea - not for long though. As soon as we sat down, we were attacked by marauding big, grey horsefly type things. Despite the brisk wind which made the temperature more bearable, it was sheltered on the platform hence the biters. The volunteer on duty told us that the occasional Arctic Skua was passing through, what I'd been hoping for, the flies put paid to that.
After a hot trudge back to the car, we drove to Brancaster Staithe for lunch. Many Ringed Plovers and a horde of holidaymakers enjoying themselves in the low tide channel. Sue watched the golfers across the water.......
Maybe Cley would have good waders too. Opening the shutters in Daukes, the hide only occupied by one young woman, we viewed acres of mud. Pat's Pool was the same. Why so very little water on managed scrapes? The many birds present did seem to be enjoying the mud but were distant. We added two Green Sandpipers to the day list and saw more Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper.
The icecream van wasn't at Salthouse. On a hot Friday in August ? Where is it......
I suggested a stop at Gunton Park which turned out to be a success. Little Grebe, Tufted Duck and Great Crested Grebe on the lake and, best of all, two Spotted Flycatchers greeted us as we pulled in to the Water Mill. We've never seen the bird here before. 
Time for a cuppa and a cricket Test Match catch-up at home.

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