Monday, 11 March 2013
NORFOLK Part 1 - Titchwell Marsh NR
We've just spent a few days away in Norfolk. Originally we planned to go in December around my birthday time but it was difficult to find a time when everyone could have holiday and we were concerned about the weather being too cold. This turned out to be a trifle ironic as I don't think weather in December could have been as cold and wintry as the weather over the weekend!
Although (as usual!!) we ended up leaving home several hours later than planned last Thursday, we were still able, after a 3 hour journey, to spend the afternoon at the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve. I've always wanted to visit Norfolk and this reserve was probably top of my list of places to visit and it didn't disappoint.
Wood Pigeon in the car park who tried to share our lunch
First view of the Reserve
Looking over Freshwater marsh towards the fairly recently build Parrinder (sea) Wall and Parrinder Hides.
Titchwell has been under threat in recent years from the effects of coastal change, possible impacts of sea level rise and increasing storm events. A recent Coastal Change Project was carried out to save the reserve from the effect of these changes and to protect the wildlife for at least fifty years. A new northern sea defence in the form of the Parrinder wall was built to protect freshwater habitats to the south. Breaches have been made north of the new Parrinder wall to allow saltwater onto the brackish marsh area which will eventually change into tidal saltmarsh which will protect the new Parrinder sea wall. Improvements have been made to freshwater marsh islands and reedbeds to improve habitat for nesting birds such as avocet and bittern. A new reedbed has been created and two new trails for visitors to explore.
Black-tailed Godwits were one of the highlights
but best of all was the species I had really wanted to see - Avocets!
David walked onto the beach whilst Brian, Emily and I spent about an hour in the two Parrinder Hides
Freshwater marsh from Parrinder Hide (South)
I spent ages trying to photograph Teal - this was the usual view!
Finally, I achieved my objective
Pheasant by one of the feeding stations
Highlights of the visit included the Avocets (believe it or not I have never seen this species before!!), Black-tailed Godwits, Sanderling, Pintail, Curlew, Water Rail and skeins of Brent Geese flying over and alighting in nearby fields.
It was a surreal experience as we drove from Titchwell along the coast road to Blakeney where we were staying. I've read so much over the years in birdwatching books and publications about this part of the country and it was all exactly as I had imagined it would be.
The day ended on a high note with the sounds of a Tawny Owl drifting across the garden of the house where we were staying.