Saturday, 21 March 2009
A Day In Norfolk
What a day, after an overnight frost the clear sky remained with full on sunshine all day and a very light breeze giving a real spring feel to the day.
Dropped in at Olley's Farm near Thetford, a fabulous area of coniferous woodland. Highlights here were Woodlark a pair singing, Crossbill a male showed very well with a dozen more distantly, Goshawk a female being mobbed by a crow flew over and was on show for around 7 minutes, wonderful views. The resident escaped Red-tailed Hawk showed very well perched and in flight, Siskin three small flocks were encountered, Bullfinch pair near the entrance, Yellowhammer singing and showing well.
Fulmar at least four were patrolling the cliff top, sea watching was limited to watching just off shore due to a dense sea mist. Amongst a dozen Great Crested Grebes was a male Red-breasted Merganser.
Titchwell Marsh, on the north Norfolk coast, is one of the country’s best loved and most visited nature reserves. It is also at risk from the sea – unless we do something now!
A visit to Titchwell is always special. Grey Plovers and Sanderlings fly over your head, having travelled non-stop from the Arctic Circle. Marsh Harriers display in front of you - an unforgettable sight, especially when you realise they almost disappeared entirely from the UK in the 70s. And don't forget the thriving colony of the RSPB’s emblem - the dainty and elegant Avocet.
If the sea breaches the defences and floods the freshwater marsh with salty sea water, then much of the wildlife living on this reserve is at risk. Already the sea wall has had to be patched in a number of places after the highest tides.
If we act now, we still have time to stop the reserve as we know it from being lost forever.
What do we hope to achieve?
You can't defeat the sea. But you can work with it.
We will reshape the seaward side of the reserve, creating new salt marshes and mudflats to absorb the power of the sea and protect the precious freshwater marsh and reedbed.
So as not to disturb the reserve wildlife, this massive and innovative project can only be carried out between August and October. We expect the work to take two years, but once finished, we'll have created freshwater reedbeds that will become a wonderful new refuge for the wildlife that rely on this special habitat. Click the title for more information.
Images above common snipe showed very well from one of the hides, many of the robins at Titchwell are so confiding, allowing excellent views