After a what seemed a very long winter unable to venture too far from home it was great to be able to walk out to the beach at the RSPB Titchwell reserve and take in the early spring sun and the reserves wildlife getting ready for the breeding season. Plus the opportunity to get to grips with a x2 extender on a 200mm zoom lens combination.
Starting your tour of RSPB Titchwell Reserve
On the main path to the beach the first port of call is usually a quick look into the ditch by the path which is sometimes rewarded with views of a Water Rail skulking around in the undergrowth. After a bit of searching the water rail appeared giving us good views of this secretive bird.
Male and Female teal at the Island hide
Further along the path a group of birders were looking out for the Bearded Tits that we could hear pinging. They had been seen earlier flitting across the reed beds. The birders were also, I expect, keeping one eye peeled for the very rare chance of a Bittern showing up in one of the reed pools. On to the freshwater marsh and the Island Hide which had the water still high in the marsh and apart from a few Teal feeding close to the hide most of the birds were too far away to get a good look at.
A bit further along the path a group of very noisy Brent Geese flew in and began displaying. As there didn’t seem to much going on around the Parrinder Hide and its position isn’t the best for photography in the morning we gave that a miss today.
On to the the Volunteer Marsh which yielded a few Avocets close in and a lone Redshank feeding very close to the path. After getting some good shots of the Avocet we moved on to the beach, with the tide right out, apart from a pair of Black headed Gull resting on the ruins of the world war II pillbox, there were a small of number of waders and gulls far out on the shore.
After lunch, back at the Fen Hide, there were a few Long Tailed Tits moving through the sallows and a Chiffchaff in full song just outside the hide.
Not much was visible from the hide itself barring a solitary male Mallard, a Wren busy nest building, two Marsh Harriers soaring high overhead and the occasional glimpse of a Bearded Tit at the back of the pool. Then a pair of Red Crested Pochard floated into the back of the pool and proceeded to swim around just in front of the hide, providing great opportunities to get some images.
After they had disappeared back into the reeds we thought we’d, to warm up a bit, have a look over at Patsy’s Reedbed. Bearing in mind that it’s now mid afternoon, and apart from a couple looking out over the pool we were the only people there, we had the unexpected delight of the sudden appearance of a Barn Owl flying along the track towards us, then hunting over the reeds, hovering over the bench where we sat and dropping down into the grass, which gave us the chance to get some in flight shots.
With the bright sun disappearing as the weather begun to change, we decided to call it a day and returned to the visitor center. We plan a return visit soon while the owl is still out in the daylight hopefully to get some more shots.