2nd January 2012
Titchwell is always a popular destination early in the year, and so it proved on Monday when we went along for the afternoon. In fact there is probably an arguement for concreting over half of the marsh to provide extra carparking*. The Coue's Arctic Redpoll (which is apparently pronounced "Cows" - how many other bird names am I pronouncing wrong I wonder?) was showing near the picnic area as we walked past. As with the shrike last week we were treated to good views as it flew into the tree above us. A quick look through the rest of the Redpolls and a couple of Goldcrests later we moved on as a scrum was building. After a quick look at the sightings log we went on to Island Hide.
The bird I most wanted to see was probably a female Mandarin that had been seen earlier in the day, but I couldn't find it. There were two Scaup, and several other new birds (Ruff, lone Avocet, Shelduck etc). Cathy didn't fancy going to the beach so she stayed in the Parrinder Hide, whilst I carried on to the sea, noting three Spotted Redshanks on the way. On the beach I picked up Sanderling and Bar-tailed Godwit, whilst a number of Goldeneye were close in. A Goosander looked a bit out of place on the sea, but not as out of place as two Whooper Swans bobbing along a way out. A Red-throated Diver and several Common Scoter flew past, but as I was in a hurry I didn't hang around to wait for other flybys. On the way back to the car I found my second Water Rail in two days in the ditch by the main path.
We had a quick drive up to Choseley in the fading light, seeing a few Yellowhammers. There was no sign of any Little Owls, but several people were parked up partway down the road, presumably waiting for one (or something rarer that I don't know about!). Last bird of the day was a Barn Owl hunting over the fields just before Wells.
* This is said in jest, don't send me hate mail.