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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Little Bittern again!!!

Arrived at Titchwell RSPB at 7.30am.

The Little Bittern had been seen by a couple of people briefly whilst I was there, but not by me or several others. It was sunny but a lot colder this morning and I didn't waste much time in putting on my waterproof mac to keep warm! Eddie told me it was raining heavily in Cley! By 9am I was getting bored so went off round the Fen Trail. I found loads of birds in the large sycamore tree just before the hide: a skulky Garden Warbler, at least 3 Chiffchaffs, male and female Blackcap, a party of long tailed tits, blue tit, great tit, chaffinch and a robin! Oh and I heard a bullfinch too. Sat in the Fen hide eating my marmalade sandwich and coffee fix. I then went back to the Little Bittern spot where I did see it again, but can't remember what time it was to be honest - around 10.15ish I think. The Little Bittern was much more skulky today - yep, even more so than yesterday and much less mobile - it stayed in the far right pool most of the day on and off and you really needed to be 6ft plus for any possible chance of photos. There were as many people there today as yesterday - can't really say how many though, approx 100. There were several people going down the bank a bit too far, including an elderly lady who at her age should know better!!!! 'Big Jake' as he is affectionately known (long time hard-core twitcher from the good old days) was there today - note, he was standing on the path! - nice to see you.

At 12pm I went to the car for lunch - sandwiches today! I had parked in the little lane which adjoins the end of the main footpath so it was nice and quiet and the car was wonderfully warm when I got inside and shut the door, so warm that I felt a snooze coming on - probably due to the fact that I had not fully recovered from my late night out on Friday - too much at my grand old age! Put the seat back, head on my feather pillow and that was it - when I stirred and opened my eyes I guessed it to be around 1pm and was shocked to read my watch saying 1.37pm!!!! Sat munching my sandwiches and drinking coffee to wake up and then went back to see the Little Bittern. I hadn't missed anything at all as it had not been seen for quite a while, but was now on show, well I say on show - on the water's edge with reeds in front - fine if you are taller than me!

Ian Clarke (not a relation!) took a stunning picture of the Little Bittern yesterday (when I was lunching!) here:

Got a text from my younger sister Vivien to say she had just arrived at our parents at Holme, so I nipped over to visit her, being as I had not seen her for ages - I can't remember the last time I saw her which is dreadful really, I used to see her so much more - my fault really.

Went back to Titchwell - stubbonly hoping to get my hoped for picture, but the Little Bittern was still hiding in the same pool and no hope of a picture whatsoever! So I will have to live with my record shots from last night which a couple of people said they would have been happy with them if they had taken them - but me.... no I wasn't! I take my hat off to Phil Vines who was standing patiently on the bottom path and by chance got a fab picture taken on manual setting, when the reeds were blown for a second, just long enough to enable him to take a picture! I also met Stuart and Sue King who read my blog and sent me a lovely email the other day - they are staying in Norfolk for a week's birding this week and GRAHAM if you are reading this - they know you too!!!!! (You all bird at Eyebrook Reservoir and you are known as the 'Masterchef'). I hope you both have a top week's birding and also because I am on holiday this week too (smiley face)!!!!!!!!!!!! Easterlies on Thursday!!!!!! I left Titchwell at about 7.15pm and parked the car on the concrete pad, just east along the road after the Titchwell entrance to sit and have a coffee and a sandwich and I am glad I did! There were 16 Egyptian Geese in the ploughed field opposite and a fantastic sighting of hundreds of Swallows and Sand Martins spiralling high overhead, going west - as they flew over my car they continued towards the setting sun, through pink and orange skies. A beautiful end to the day!

In the Titchwell RSPB Sightings book - 'Cory's Shearwater between 1.55pm and 2.05pm' - it didn't say if it was going east or west - there was a signature (couldn't read it), but didn't know who it was. I phoned this through to RBA which I don't normally do, but thought it was a relevant sighting to let people know about.
No sign of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Titchwell today.
Also no sign of the Pallid Harrier that was seen yesterday.
• Cattle Egret was only seen once in the morning at 8.36am - Titchwell RSPB.
Red-footed Falcon (ad female) near East Dereham at Toftwood at midday then flew south.
Black Tern flew east past Sheringham early morning.

Roll on tomorrow!!!


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