Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Yesterday we decided to head over to North Norfolk. 'We' means me, Nichola and all three offspring on a family outing, not me and some birding mates off to bash bushes looking for rare warblers and scarce autumn migrants. However it's hard to contemplate going to Norfolk and not lifting the bins at something avian, and so a good compromise site to visit for a couple of hours during the day at least was Titchwell - plenty of birds plus a beach and a nice walk. We'd then move on to a seaside town for some (not necessarily best of) British culture.

Titchwell has a reputation as being very 'dudey'. It is, but I don't care too much about that as I think it's a great reserve with some great birding potential, but I will come back to that bit shortly. I haven't been for c3 yrs so it was good to see the new Parinder Hide, and also new pathways opened up which I'd like to have explored a bit more. The freshwater marsh was alive with waders. Loads of them. One or two were even close enough to point the camera at. Others weren't but I did anyway. Hence here are a load of cropped dodgy shots of waders which there is no point in clicking as they won't go bigger.

Spotted Redshank - even moulting birds are spanking


Black-tailed Godwit


Although not apparent from these few shots, most of these species were present as both moulting adults and as juves. Also seen were Ringed P., Curlew, Snipe, Greenshank, Avocet, Lapwing, Green Sand, Common Sand and Turnstone. Best though were a number of Curlew Sands and a Little Stint. And that's when it really hit me about the birding clientele at Titchwell, and some of the visitors there yesterday.

Nobody can be immediate experts on bird ID, and let's face it waders can be difficult sometimes, especially at distance in a big group. However what I can't understand is why people can't look at birds (that are close enough to identify through naked eyes) through their optics and correlate features they are seeing to a field guide and work it out themselves. That's the only way to learn how to recognise key features and subtle differences between species. But no, much easier to sit in the hide and constantly ask 'oh what's this little one down here' 'oh really, how marvellous, I've not seen that one before' etc. I've always been prepared to offer an ID, get someone onto a nice bird etc in hides, but you just feel sometimes that it's worthless with some people who patently have no idea what they are looking at. Even worse, whilst I was trying to grab a few poxy shots with my bridge camera, there were several people with big huge DSLR/lens rigs that were no doubt getting some great shots. Just that they had no idea what they were photographing. One particular couple were happily photographing the above Dunlin, which were part of a larger group with a couple of juv Ringed Plovers, whilst wittering about trying get the Curlew Sandpiper in the same shot (ie hadn't realised there were both moulting adult and juv Dunlin knocking about). Meanwhile in the hide another couple were photographing a Little Stint and Curlew Sand together before asking what they were.

Mind you if this was the only view you got it wouldn't be easy.

Aside from the waders, not too much else of note apart from a group of ten Spoonbills, nine of which are just about recogniseable in this distant grainy effort (which you can click for a bigger grainier effort).

1 comment:

jonesboy said...

Yes Nice looking Spotted redshank. Looked a lovely day.