Yesterdays guided walk at Titchwell was one of the most memorable I have led.....
We're just half an hour into the walk, looking at the throng of
waders on Thornham Pool when I turn around and see a heron flying towards us
from the east.
Raising my bins to check the bird I say to the group "You
should always look closely at herons, one day you might get lucky and find a
Purple....." stopping mid-sentence, I check the features again, "....PURPLE
HERON!!" The bank echoes with my scream!
Fortunately, the bird is fairly
close and I manage to get all the folk on the walk (and several passers-by) on
to it. A young lad is jumping up and down like he's just scored the winner at
Wembley! What a start....
It's not long before we've added a nice barn
owl, marsh harrier and had crippling looks at ruff, common snipe, dunlin and
Moving on to Island hide, water rail and
yellow-legged gull soon fall along with scope-filling views of more waders and
wildfowl. The flock of 2500 golden plovers live up to the translation of their
Latin name as they repeatedly take to the air before landing again just like a
shower of golden raindops in the weak afternoon sun.
Further along the
path, we jam in on a ringtail hen harrier and I get a chance to finish the
'Godwit ID' class with both bar and black-tailed side by side for
I'd promised Thomas, the young lad on the walk, some divers
and sea-duck action on the beach but unusually the sea is quiet and he has to be
content with brief and distant views of a single red-throat and a couple of
Soon we are back down the path and score again with a
handful of late marsh harriers, barn owl and finally two thousand pink-footed
geese coming in to roost at Thornham Point.
Not a bad tally for just
short of three hours birding!