RSPB Titchwell Marsh

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Titchwell Marsh is a nature reserve located on the north coast of the English county of Norfolk.[1] Owned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, it lies between the villages of Titchwell and Thornham,[2] about five miles east of the seaside resort of Hunstanton.

The reserve consists mainly of reedbeds, marshland, lagoons (fresh and brackish) and sandy beach. There are several bird observation hides and nature trails. The reserve has breeding birds typical of its habitats, such as Pied Avocet, gulls, and terns on the more open areas, and Bearded Tits, Marsh Harriers and Great Bitterns in the reedbeds."Titchwell Marsh: Star species". RSPB. http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/t/titchwellmarsh/star_species.aspx. Retrieved 26 May 2010. </ref> Recent work has been undertaken to make the reedbeds wetter to encourage bitterns. More common reedbed birds such as Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler also occur. Little Egret has become a frequent sighting in recent years.

It is at migration periods in spring and autumn that Titchwell comes into its own. Its location means that it receives many migrating birds at those times. Wintering birds include many ducks, both on the freshwater and brackish lagoons (typical species: Wigeon, Shoveler, Teal, Pintail and Mallard) and on the sea (typical species: Eider, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter and more rarely Long-tailed Duck). The numbers of birds seen offshore varies significantly (tens to thousands) as large flocks move along the Norfolk coast or go further offshore. Snow Bunting and Twite are regular on the beach and in the dunes. There is also a Hen Harrier roost in the reedbed.

The reserve therefore has an impressive list of rarities, and it is sometimes nicknamed Twitchwell (see twitching). It is one of the most popular RSPB reserves, receiving over 100,000 (human) visitors each year and it has a shop and hot food outlet.

Between 1942 and 1945, the area was a gunnery–range for training tank–crews.[3] The partially-buried, wrecked hulls of two, World War 2, Covenanter tanks may be seen[4] The tanks were likely used as targets during gunnery–training.

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