Ray spots 800 species in a year at Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve in Norfolk

A life-long volunteer at the RSPB's Titchwell Marsh reserve has managed to accumulate an astonishing list of wildlife sightings over the course of a year.

A life-long volunteer at RSPB Titchwell Marsh has managed to accumulate an astonishing list of wildlife sightings over the course of a year.

Nature enthusiast Ray Kimber has ticked off a staggering 800 different species of wildlife on the north Norfolk reserve since last August.

A fan and visitor of Titchwell Marsh since it opened in 1973, over the years Ray has helped to inspire countless people of all ages to appreciate wildlife by volunteering at the reserve and sharing his knowledge of the natural world.

He began his mission to see as many species as possible on the reserve on 1 August 2010 and since then has found species of all varieties, from birds and insects to molluscs, flowers and fungi. Exceeding his expectations, the target was reached last week with the sighting of a young puffin on the reserve's beach. 'I have lived in the area since 1966 so have always visited the site,' he said. 'I have found out that I know a lot less than I thought.

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'I have seen things that I never knew existed and have learnt a lot from people who are experts in their own field, from regular reserve volunteers and staff through to a man on the beach who happened to be an expert on mermaid's purses - the egg cases of sharks and skates.

'The variety of people I have met is extraordinary. I have kept a list spanning 40 years of all the wildlife I have seen here, but this year I have recorded more new findings than in any other previous year. It just goes to show that there is always more to be discovered out there.

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'All 800 species I have found this year were seen in areas on the reserve accessible to the public, so they are free for everyone to discover.'

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