Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Titchwell Marsh and the Great Knot

Due to family commitments last week, I was unable to make the pilgrimage to my all time favourite super duper nature reserve, nestled snuggly upon the north Norfolk coast...Titchwell.
I was hoping to see what is not only a rare bird in the U.K but increasingly within the world,
the Great Knot.

A plan was hatched with the boy Last- aka 'The Mauve Hawk' to venture off on Saturday
morning following in the footsteps of many of our local birdy chums.

See Gnome's Birding Diary read Ramblings and Scribblings and see the superb Black Audi Birding -the latter picking the cream of the pun crop for the title.
I also heard a rumour that even Elementerry found time to call in and pay his respects during the latest leg of his epic around Britain birding tour.

Saturday morning came around soon enough and we set off on the somewhat convoluted journey that makes up the route to north Norfolk, but as we neared Northampton the gut wrenching 'bird has flown off' message appeared on the RBA app, this could of course been much much worse,
we could have received the same message further on in our journey, perhaps as we pulled into the car park of the reserve at which point 'gut wrenching' elevates to 'nut kicking' in the descriptive league table of angst and disappointment.

I digress...we turned around, we went home.

Saturday evening saw the fruition of a long standing and greatly anticipated dinner invitation
from Mr and Mrs Gunslinger, during which time all thoughts of little Asiatic waders
paddling about were forgotten as I metaphorically wrestled with the concepts of physics
to help explain my perpetual self refilling wine glass.

Dark Matter.

At some point, around 3am the single malt arrived. I have no idea where it came from but I had a sneaking suspicion where it maybe going... now then, I don't divulge (or indulge) in all
of this simply down to mere conviviality with a good friend or perhaps a smidgen of alcoholism NO!
(come close...I have a cunning plan)
my devious little plan is to get Wyatt so drunk that he will eventually divulge all of those county birding secrets discovered and obtained over many years of county birding...

Unfortunately I fear my liver will give up way before we find out where those pesky Honey Buzzards are.

Who the hell knew quite how painful an alarm going off at 8am could be?

The harrowing juggernaut of cacophony that is surprisingly emitted from Mrs Badger's
Samsung phone was still ringing in my ears as a more subdued text alert came in from 'Da Mauve' one suggesting another thrash up to Norfolk as the Great Knot had returned,
at that point and in my mind, Titchwell may as well have been as far away as Mars.

All thoughts of the red planet were left behind as Andy slung the Ford into gear and floored it towards East Anglia. High revs and Iron Maiden provided much of the soundtrack there which was undoubtedly more entertaining than my somewhat limited, slightly dribbly, hangover vocabulary.

Ibuprofen should be canonized. 

SH*T! Yep, the Great Knot story, Sorry.

We arrived in good time at Titchwell and after being told several times whilst becoming increasingly exacerbated "that no, it's not possible to drive from the car park to the beach" we made our way out along the path and joined the binoculated throng stood adjacent to the Freshmarsh which happily included two other Oxon birding alumni- Paul and Vicky Wren also happily the Freshmarsh itself included the Great Knot.
We passed a most enjoyable few hours watching the Great Knot amongst about 2500 of his Knoty chums.

The reserve was surprisingly birdy for mid June with good numbers of Bar-wits
and Black-wits, Avocets with their young, a lovely black Spot Red, Some displaying
summer plumaged Ruff, multiple calling Mediterranean Gulls raucous underneath
the lazy flight of Little Gulls; we even had a flypast Spoonbill.

As hangovers go this one wasn't too bad after all.

Please view at 720p HD

Andy after seeing the Great Knot!!!!
Oh dear.