Sunday, 6 April 2014

Twite Delight

Today we had a very enjoyable walk around Blacktoft Sands. For pretty much the whole of the day the weather was cloudy with a bit of rain.

When we arrived we had a scan through the trees in the car park because there has been around about 25 Twite in the trees around the car park but all we could see was Tree Sparrows. We went to the visitor centre to see if much had been spotted and the man said " lots of Marsh harriers but no reports yet of the Twite". We decided to have a walk around a few of the hides and then come back later to see if we could see the Twite.

Once we were in the first hide we couldn't see much other than Moorhens, Coots and Mallards but then a pair of Marsh Harriers came really close to the hide which was an amazing sight! Also we had around 10 Sand Martins fly over which was the first of the year for me and my dad.

Marsh Harrier
Afterwards we moved on to the second hide where we had a fantastic views of a pair of Little Grebes which were collecting nesting material. Their nest was just inside the reeds, it was great watching them come back and forth to their nest. Next we went to the Singleton hide where we had 3 Common Snipe feeding right at the front of the hide! Also out on the water there was Greylag Geese, Mute Swans, Gadwall, Mallards, Pochards and a few Shoveler.
Common Snipe
On the way to some other hides at the other end of the reserve we walked past the car park so we decided to have a check just in case the Twite were there. We walked up and down the car park but still no Twite until my dad (yes, my dad) spotted some birds fly over the car park and then they came back over and landed in a stubble field. We walked over to the field to see that they had taken of again and now they were flying around the field but thankfully they eventually landed and then realised it was the stunning Twite! I was over the moon to have finally seen them as we have been to the coast tons of times looking for them but never seen them. They showed well for about 10mins in the field until they flew of and landed in some trees in the car park! Sadly when they were up in the trees the lighting was terrible so it was hard to get shots but the main thing is that we saw them! They stayed in the trees for about half an hour before flying back into the field. What great little birds, I think there call is awesome especially when they are in big groups. Next we went to some other hides around the reserve.

In one of the other hides we visited there was tons of Black Headed Gulls, the sound was amazing! Also hunting across the reeds there was more Marsh Harriers. When we got in the last hide this one to was like the other one, filled with Gulls but mixed in was a few stunning Avocets! Occasionally they came fairly close to the hide which allowed great views.
We left a little bit early so we could hopefully have another look at the Twite. On the way back we heard our first Reed Warbler of the year but sadly despite waiting for a while we didn't see it. Thankfully it became a little brighter when we reached the car park so now we could get some better photos of the Twite. We managed to find them again in a tree just out side the car park where we managed brilliant views and then afterwards they landed back in the field.

Sadly afterwards we had to go to be back in time for dinner but I could have stayed all day.


  1. Wow what a great days birding and fantastic to see the Twite ( Good spot Mark ) excellent pics Ellis

  2. Could've stayed all day too mate.
    Nice account.
    Chuffed we finally seen the Twite - little beauties.