I’ve recently been on a lovely family holiday to the north Norfolk coast for a much needed break from work, and for once it really was a break from work as there was no internet and virtually no phone signal!
We did a fair bit of birdwatching, we visited Pensthorpe (I couldn’t go here on the last family holiday, so was really excited to go this time) and later in the week had a fantastic, drizzly day at Titchwell. We also saw some fantastic marsh harriers and lots of waders whilst wandering the marshes and beach.
At Pensthorpe I saw my first bearded tits! This was the one bird I was really wanting to see on holiday and hadn’t realised that Pensthorpe had an aviary with them in, along with turtle doves, avocets, ruff and stilts! We also saw some lovely ducks and geese, the white cheeked pintail and puna teal’s were my favourites! Oh and red squirrels and corncrakes too! (my camera ran out of battery after I’d taken one pretty poor photo of a red squirrel, so unfortunately no pics of the lovely ducks!)
On our visit to Titchwell I was determined to spot some bearded tits so I could tick them off my list (seeing them in an aviary doesn’t really count!). When we arrived the helpful woman in the visitor centre told us what had been seen that day and where so we first wandered up to see the spoonbill, which were fantastic to watch feeding, when not feeding they just stood in a group huddled up looking grumpy (I love grumpy looking birds).
We started walking up towards the beach and spent a lot of time watching the reedbeds (where the bearded tits had been seen earlier that day) but no luck. We did see reed warblers (including some young ones hiding in the reeds whilst their mum brought food, and also sedge warblers, and more marsh harriers. I got bitten and chased by a horsefly so I did a lot of jumping around like a fool and embarassing myself.
We then spent a lot of time trying to identify waders, we saw spotted redshank, loads of avocet, knot, dunlin, ringed plover, bar tailed and black tailed godwits, oystercatchers, curlew and more that I know I’m forgetting. Then we headed up to the beach seeing some reed buntings on the way. The beach at titchwell is lovely and we saw terns diving to feed.
Then it was pretty much home time, but we still hadn’t seen the bearded tits and I had stated earlier that I wouldn’t leave until I saw them! On our walk back to the car we stopped at the reedbeds again and I saw two people watching one particular spot, I looked and saw two flashes of orange but they had disappeared before I got my binoculars out. Then someone came out of a hide that we’d completely missed out, and said if we went in there we’d see them just a bit further up the reedbed. We went in and there they were, we saw three for quite a while darting in and out of the reeds, females/juveniles, no males unfortunately, but still, I’ve finally seen bearded tits!
(For some reason this was the only photo I took at Titchwell, I think I was too excited to remember to take more!)
I had a little time whilst away to carry on working on my new bird range, which will be coming out in January. Here’s a little sneaky peek at some of my drawings: