Our breakfast stop produced an anxious moment for JD, as his wallet was missing (not THAT old story!). A quick phone call back to Our Lass at Tense Towers, confirmed that it was comparatively safe, as long as she didn't embark on some opportunistic retail therapy.
After watching a gorgeous sun rise during the journey, we arrived at RSPB Snettisham just as it started to rain. I kept my camera in its bag to keep it dry, which was rather unfortunate, as the first water body we encountered contained a pristine, breeding-plumaged male Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator.
By the time we climbed up onto the sea wall, to look out across The Wash and into the teeth of a gusting wind, we were cold and damp. High tide had peaked about an hour before our arrival, so our eyes beheld an ever-increasing landscape of mud. This was filled with an abundance of waders (USA - shorebirds) and ducks, though none were particularly close. The buffeting wind made binocular use a very haphazard pastime, so I sheepishly relied on the running commentary from JD and The Admiral as to the identity of the assembled birdage.
For a bit of respite from the weather, we decamped to a hide behind the sea wall, which looked across a series of freshwater ponds. Here we watched several male Goldeneye, Bucephala clangula, displaying to impress the girls and ward off the competition.
|This head flinging action is accompanied by an excellent comedy duck noise!
|Golden Plover, Lapwing and Grey Plover, to name but a few
Returning to the car, we then proceeded to take the scenic route to RSPB Titchwell Marsh. By the time we parked there, we were very hungry, but JD had matters under control. The Admiral and I were handed container after container of fillings for our wraps: grated cheese, home made salsa, rocket salad, chopped green peppers, chopped onions, home made houmous. And very tasty it was, too.
As we walked across the marshes (fresh, brackish, salt water), the light was pretty good, though the strong wind was chillier than ever. A Little Egret, Egretta garzetta was fishing close by the pathway, which allowed us an opportunity for a photo or two.
Down on the beach, at the water's edge, a veritable throng of waders and gulls were making the most of the last hour of daylight. Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Dunlin and Sanderling were all feeding together, in a thin band of feathered foraging that stretched as far as the eye could see.
|Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica