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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Titchwell RSPB and A Surprise At Choseley!

 SPOTTED CRAKE
Island Hide, Titchwell RSPB

Drove to Titchwell via Choseley – saw a dark 4x4 Range Rover, but not the same one as the other day! I managed to get a space in the first section of the carpark at Titchwell RSPB, which surprised me. There seems to be a significant increase in holidaymakers (non-birders) with dogs walking along the path at Titchwell, who seem to stare at 'us' like we are aliens. We birders are 'normal' – it's people who don't go birding that are not normal!!! Only joking, well....... Anyway, bumped into Eddie who was drinking coffee and tucking into cake by the cafe. By the cafe a Poplar Hawk Moth was resting on the wall by the door and also a Red Underwing Moth was on the wall near the door of the shop! Good start to the day!
Red Underwing Moth.

Walked along the main path and up to the beach with Eddie. Bumped into Steve W. and friend and some new blog followers (nice to meet you). 9 Little Egrets together on the pool west of the main path. A Cetti's Warbler burst into song. I didn't have to wait 2.5 hours to see the Spotted Crake today – it appeared within a couple of minutes of me waiting by Island Hide! Fabulous views through the scope, but it didn't come as close as when I last saw it – too many people, too much noise. There was a Water Rail as well. Eddie spotted 2 Arctic Skuas by the derelict building at Thornham Point. Tons of birds on the pools including Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshanks, 4 Greenshanks, several Ruff, tons of Avocets, 12 Spoonbills, Water Rail, Juv. Little Ringed Plover, Gulls Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Teal, Shoveler. Dark clouds were looming and you could see it was going to rain at some point.
SPOTTED CRAKE
Island Hide, Titchwell RSPB

At the beach we counted 16 Eiders on the sea, a couple of Cormorants flew west and that was about it really. I was just thinking about walking to Thornham Point for Dune Tiger Beetles when it started to spit with rain – I had only moments to put my camera gear away, before it fell down heavily. Tried to hurry to Parrinder Hide for shelter, but by the time we got there, we were dripping wet, hair was dripping, clothes dripping, shoes and socks dripping and trousers dripping! I didn't think the rain could get any heavier, but as we stood in the hide with people who looked lovely and dry, the rain became torrential and the birds looked really battered out there! Eddie found a Med. Gull. There were also Pied Wagtails, 1 Snipe, Lapwings, Shelducks and loads of Gulls, Greylag Geese, Meadow Pipits and one Yellow Wagtail.
Eiders at Titchwell RSPB.

Over an hour later, the rain ceased and the sun shone. Got out of the hide quickly to dry out! Several tiny baby toads were crossing the path. Back by Island Hide we bumped into more familiar faces: John F., Mark G. (with exciting tales from Brazil about Rihanna and Pelé) and Steve B. – it was good to catch up with everyone. Mark had found a Clouded Yellow Butterfly at Choseley! Eddie and John went to the cafe and I went to eat my diet lunch (boring) in my car. Eddie and John went off up to Choseley in search of butterflies. I bumped into a lovely lady who kindly told me the exact location for 3 Clouded Yellow Butterflies she had seen today. Off I went, letting Eddie and John know too.
Choseley, Titchwell.

 CLOUDED YELLOW BUTTERFLY

At Choseley in the midst of a large area of camomile and ox-eye daisies we counted 7+ Clouded Yellow Butterflies – they were so beautiful, the highlight of my day. Mark and Steve joined us later too. I spent ages photographing these and attempted to do a proper job with Macro lens, tripod and cable release etc. We had to bolt for the cars when the rain came down heavily again. The others decided it had set in for the day and all left. I remained in my car drinking tea and waited for it to clear – which it did and the same came blazing out again! I continued to photograph these beautiful butterflies for another hour. I found an unusual cricket, Common Blues and a few Small Magpie Moths.

I returned to Titchwell RSPB for the evening light to photograph the Spotted Crake again. It was more obliging than earlier and there were far less people here, but it still didn't come as close as I saw it on Tuesday night. It's toughened up since its arrival and I was surprised to watch it attempt to have a go at a Black-headed Gull who had ventured into its personal space! Also chased a Water Rail through the reeds and turned a blind eye to some of the  bullying antics of the resident Moorhens!

The Poplar Hawkmoth was still on the wall by the cafe door as I left. Visited my parents for a short while before returning home.

MORE PICTURES TO BE ADDED THIS WEEK!

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