Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Titchwell FFY

Tuesday April 12

Being late for mothing at Natural Surroundings, owing to having over 80 moths in our own trap, didn't matter. Amongst ours were Frosted Green, Pale Pinion and 4 Micros.

Pale Pinion
Frosted Green

Very few moths trapped at NS, despite having three traps out for the first time this year. One was a Lead-coloured Drab though, hailed by everyone. Difficult to tell from Clouded Drab without the experience of Greg, who caught plenty in Essex.
After the usual coffee and cake (for some) and very pleasant chat, we drove to Titchwell, another FFY (First for the Year) for us. Pam's operation during the early months and then, the lack of birds reported by J and D, had not motivated a visit. We drove in light rain which had eased by arrival, we walked the Fen Trail with its new boardwalk first. New boards, seats removed! Not great. Being serenaded by Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers was.
Nothing at all on Fen Hide pool, Swallows and Sand Martins hawking the freshwater pool in the distance, a pair of Marsh Harriers rising from their nesting site to the right of the central row of bushes.
Maybe the Red-crested were on Patsy's Pool. No they  were not, just Pochard, Gadwall, coot, Moorhen and Mute Swans. The seat was dry when I left, I wasn't.
Approaching  Fen Hide on the return trip, I heard a Bittern booming - and several times again during the next few minutes.
I don't know what the small central pool at the Fen T junction is called. Several Blackcaps, a pair of Bullfinches and two Willow Warblers flitted in the fresh, pale green-leafed willow at the corner of the pool. Lovely. Siskin were heard but not seen.
The walk to Island Hide was cold, damp and birdless. It wasn't worth it either. So much water on the freshmarsh, some mud and islands at the back of the pool, which is a long way away for viewing. The largest 'dry' area has been fenced off with sturdy posts and netting at least a metre high. Pam heard a guide say that the water level was being kept high to encourage birds to nest within the fenced area. What about the passage waders? And the birders!! Yes, nature reserves should be run with the welfare of the birds uppermost but, birders needs should be considered too. Especially when they help fund the society and its reserves. I'm not in a hurry to return, although the wooded area was pleasant. It's the marsh that attracts, plenty of woods elsewhere.
 Sitting in Island Hide, one other birder present only, listening to Pam doing a grumpy old woman act, the male Red-crested Pochard we'd seen on a pool nearby, flew in, did a circuit and flew off again. Such handsome birds.
Bone-chilled, we lunched - at 3 p.m. my first meal of the day - on Sausage and onion baguette and a Brownie. Very welcome and delicious, enjoying the Birdwatching in Norfolk video showing on the screen in the indoor seating area.
Another Brown Hare show south of Choseley, a scattering of chase me's in all the fields.Three Ring Ouzels made their mad, wild flight ahead of us, dropping out  of sight beyond a hedge..Time to get home, late afternoon on a dull day, we took the shorter inland route.

Wednesday April 13

Both of us were awake early, time for a cuppa before walking at Barton Broad. Only a single pair of Great Crested Grebe, three distant and very mist enshrouded Common Terns. a Cormorant, Greylags and Black-headed Gulls, the reward for our efforts. The delightful yellow flushed Willow Warbler along the boardwalk kept flying off from its singing post whenever I raised my lens.
Back to the moth trap. Only 30 moths to-day but of 11 species again. One was another much paler and better coloured Frosted Green , and a FFY Muslin.

Frosted Green


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