Springtime at the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Reserve on the North Norfolk coast is a very special, much-awaited season.
Lengthening hours of daylight and milder conditions trigger change. The season, March through till May, is marked by the emergence of insects, a profusion of Spring flora, territory proclaiming songsters, pair-bonding display behaviour, the dispersal of over-wintering waterfowl, the passage of birds through the Reserve en route to more northerly summering grounds and the arrival of the summer-breeding migrants.
Titchwell visitors savour the transition week by week during the Spring months. March, the first butterflies, primroses adorn the picnic area, catkins and blackthorn blossom in the hedgerows. By May, the diverse habitats abound with the sights and sounds of new growth, birth and beauty.
In summer the RSPB Reserve at Titchwell Marsh, on the beautiful north Norfolk coast, teems with life and interest throughout its diverse habitats.
The brackish lagoon is colonised by elegant breeding avocets, later welcoming returning post-breeding waders, on passage to their over-wintering grounds.
Marsh harriers hunt over the saltmarsh, now a vibrant purple tapestry of sea lavender and thrift. Family parties of bearded tits and breeding reed and sedge warblers grace the reed beds.
Dragonflies skim over the flora-rich 'Meadow Trail' and a score of colourful butterfly species are recorded around the nature reserve.
These topics, plus many more, are captured in this delightful 50 minute DVD, highlighting RSPB Titchwell Marsh at this glorious season of the year.
Autumn on the RSPB Reserve at Titchwell Marsh on the north Norfolk coast is very much a season of transition - an exciting time of the year charged with the anticipation of the unexpected.
The reserve can be likened to a busy international airport. The departure lounge sees of warblers, marsh harriers, avocets and other summer-breeding visitors - arrivals welcoming northern waders, waterfowl, visiting thrushes and dozens of other species relocating to our shores or passing through to more distant over-wintering grounds.
Birdwatchers scrutinise the various reserve habitats - the willow carr, the lagoons, mud flats, the sea - keeping a lookout for unusual travellers which may have become lost, disorientated during this season of passage migration.
The residents prepare for the winter and the long-staying black-winged stilt, a bird which should be in Africa, continues to delight Titchwell's visitors.
'The north wind doth blow and we will have snow, and what will the robin do then, poor thing,' laments the old nursery rhyme. It is in these harsh conditions that we reflect on the survival strategies of many resident and over-wintering species which frequent the Reserve's diverse habitats.
Winter is far from dull and bleak. It is the season to enjoy the spectacle of thousands of wildfowl which visit our shores from northern breeding grounds. Skeins of Pink Footed Geese commute to inland feeding grounds from their over-night coastal roosts. Flocks of Brents forage on the saltmarsh. Huge slick-like rafts of Scoters and Eiders congregate on the sea over off-shore mussel beds.
As the winter tightens its grip, diminishing food supplies in mainland Europe may force some species to move westwards to our shores. Invasions of Redpolls, Brambling and Waxwings are possible.
These topics, and many more, are featured in this captivating account of winter on Titchwell Marsh Reserve.
Filmed and edited by Malcolm Rymer. This film is part of a quartet which includes RSPB Titchwell Marsh: A Reserve for all Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.