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Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Gull Festival, Glaucous Gull & Stunning Light At Titchwell RSPB!

Titchwell Beach

 

I didn't feel too good again today and also had a mini accident! I fell down the last few steps of the stairs this morning and in order to save myself, further injured my painful left shoulder, for which I'm on a waiting list for an ultrasound scan!!! Great!

It was wickedly cold today with strong NW winds, but very sunny here in King's Lynn. Mid afternoon was weird to say the least – snow begin to fall, whilst the sun was still shining in blue skies with white fluffy clouds! Never seen that before! It didn't last long and the sunny weather continued. I needed to go for a long walk, plus I need to keep up my exercise routine, to speed up my weight loss. I felt so tired, but late this afternoon, I forced myself out of the house and didn't regret it!



As I left King's Lynn, the skies changed to a blanket of grey with a heavy snow storm! I nearly turned back. I arrived at Titchwell RSPB at just before 5.30pm – still snowing lightly. I had to put far more layers on than I expected, down hat, hood up, serious gloves etc, what a contrast to my last trip out on Sunday! The snow storm didn't last long and the rest of the evening, although bitterly cold and windy, was stunning. The sun and light was incredible and so were the birds!

GLAUCOUS GULL
Found by Ashley Saunders at Titchwell RSPB

 

I made my way around the Fen Trail to see if I could see the Black Redstarts in the horse paddocks, but no luck with that. The snow stopped and the sun came out for the rest of the evening with dramatic skies. A female Blackcap emerged from the willows. On Patsy's pool, there were a few Shoveler, Mute Swans, Teal and Mallard and a couple of Marsh Harriers were over the reedbeds. I retraced my steps and walked along the main path towards the beach. There was no one else here..... but I was wrong, a solitary figure was crouched down looking through their scope intently at the mass of gulls – it was Ashley Saunders! Plus he had just found a Glaucous Gull – lucky me!!! I'm no gull expert I confess, but this chunky gull certainly stood out from the rest! The Glaucous Gull had a ring and Ashley told me it was from a Norwegian scheme. The light was crystal – pure white gulls against dark blue water made for excellent viewing and photos. A Spoonbill flew over north. I sat here for a while watching the gulls and trying to get a half decent picture of the Glaucous Gull, which was too far away for my lens really.

Further along the path I was amazed to see at least 20+ Kittiwakes flying across the path and then out towards the sea! The strong winds had obviously knocked them off course a bit! I saw 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a few Black-tailed Godwits hunkered down, Avocets, Redshanks, lots of Teal, Shovelers, Shelducks and a Little Egret. I also watched a Cormorant struggling to swallow a huge eel! There were several gulls hovering above the cormorant, presumably in case the eel escaped! Unluckily for the gulls, the Cormorant managed to gulp it down!

Thousand of gulls on Titchwell Beach

 

At the beach it was a entirely different level of coldness! The sun was still shining and the light still stunning. The scene before me of thousands, yes thousands of gulls, feeding frantically on the shoreline was something I have not seen for a long time and I was the only person to witness it! Tons of Herring Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls in a feeding frenzie and squabbling over their finds. Also Curlews, Oystercatchers, Turnstones, Sanderling and Ringed Plovers x 2. Over the troughs I saw a Little Gull and lots of Kittiwakes. After taking lots of pictures, I made my way back along the main path to my car. I was frozen, but really happy I had made the effort to get out! It was 7.55pm when I left!

Sunset looking west towards Holme

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