A further visit to Titchwell RSPB Reserve provided much the same species but with markedly better views of 3 Temmincks Stints, the male Red-crested Pochard, several summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits and an absolutely resplendent Grey Plover in full summer plumage. The occasion also provided an opportunity to obtain photographs of the new, almost futuristic, Parrinder hide which has taken place alongside major habitat and flood protection work which was completed recently.
Very modern and poised , I suspect , to receive some recognition award from the architectural community. My only major gripe is that there is no longer a sill on which one might rest a telescope given the "big sky" viewing windows. It's now necessary to use a tripod ( not always easy in a packed hide ) or to have the piece of kit that clamps onto the shelf below the windows
( another bit of equipment to carry!).
Whilst there I received a call from my son, Matthew, advising a Gull-billed Tern had been picked up at Kelling flying in a westerly direction and that there was a good chance of it reaching Titchwell. Alerting other people I waited for well over an hour, but with no luck, only to find out later it had flown past ten minutes after my departure.
I'd moved elsewhere and had the benefit, somewhat deflated after receiving the news about the tern (!),of seeing several SPOONBILLS at a site where they were present last year too. A measure of compensation in some respects and an opportunity to have a chat with the warden as well. Other birds present were Little Egrets and Egyptian Goose, besides a variety of wetland and woodland species. On returning to the car I got a further call from my son, ably acting as Controller in far off Sheffield, that the tern had reappeared at Titchwell.
A somewhat focussed journey followed, together with a splendid response from the short, fat hairies as I negotiated the main footpath of the reserve at "retirement speed" and there it was, GULL-BILLED TERN, resting up on a small island and providing excellent views. The wholly black, stubby bill, shallow fork to the tail and stocky or robust appearance all came through well from a bird that was doubtless from one of the north European breeding colonies. And then , after only a few minutes, it flew off, disappeared , but then re-appeared and flew off to fields south of the reserve where it proceeded to systematically quarter the area. A narrow escape for me, as views were then somewhat distant and nothing approaching the magnificent lens filling images of the foregoing few minutes. Phew!
And so the return journey to "base" in the early evening was much more jubilant than had been that taken in the afternoon.