5th May 2014 - Holme & Titchwell Marsh

Dotterel have been on our to see list for nearly 3 years now so when they were continually appeared on the alerts as being up in Norfolk, we ummed and ahhed for only a short while before making the slightly ridiculous day trip up.  Of course, the day we decided to go was the day they decided not to be there, reappearing the next day.  Thanks guys.

Instead, we had a great day out at Holme and Titchwell Marsh.  Upon arriving at Holme we went down to the beach in the hope of seeing something fun, but there were only a couple of Sandwich Tern and a large flock of Common Scoter to see.  Back on the reserve however, there were a great number of birds including Whimbrel, Sparrowhawk and lots of Avocet.  There were plenty of goslings for me to aw over.

We then headed into the NWT reserve to see if we could find the pair of Turtle Dove that had apparently been displaying that morning.  As soon as we reached the paddocks area we could hear purring and it was not long before both of the birds were visible, a great sight.  To add to this a Cuckoo was sat in a tree not far from the Turtle Dove, and another was calling off into the trees.

Reed Bunting
It was then to Titchwell Marsh for a walk around.  As usual the place was glorious, with a great year lister to start with, Red-crested Pochard.  On a little further and we were stopped short by a Cuckoo flying in front of us, then I had the closest ever views of a Little Tern I had ever had.  So cute.  Plenty of Brent Goose were about with Canada Goose and Greylag Goose also present.  A stunning male Pintail was close to the shore although he later completely disappeared and there were tiny Mallard ducklings a few feet away from me, from which I had to be physically restrained.  Apparently I'm not allowed to take one home.

Is this a Lily Beetle?
On the field behind there were a couple of Grey Plover in lovely plumage and a flock of gorgeous orangey Turnstone flew in as we were moving on.  However, we didn't even make it to the first hide as an alert came in for a Subalpine Warbler at Holme and it was straight back to the car and back to Holme.  45 species in half an hour is pretty great though!

We joined the twitch at Holme only to find out the bird hadn't been seen for an hour.  After a bit of peering into bushes we realised we had to get back on the road and reluctantly returned to London.  A great, but tiring day out in Norfolk.

Trip list: 60
Year list: 170
Lifers of year list: 8


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