A Dartford warbler within a minute of starting our walk on Dunwich Heath, and so close, but a slow photographer only managed to capture the get away. But at moments like that you have to take in the beautiful surroundings.
At Minsmere the highlights were an adder in a wren’s nest (the chicks, we are told, escaped) and swallows at the sluice.
Black-tailed godwits take time out from feeding
Disputes on the scrape
Swallow deciding which way to go
“Bombing magpies is very tiring”
“We are quite happy here, thank you”
Med gulls making the most of their holidays in the UK
A common tern measures up the situation
The symbol of the RSPB – an avocet
Barnacle Geese and goslings
A gadwall cooling down
“Not me guv!”
Click below for gallery of photos from today.
Another truly amazing day @RSPB Minsmere.
So many failed photos but enough successes to keep me happy. Some of the best were bearded tits, ringed plovers, redshanks, avocets, mediterranean gulls, black-headed gulls, black-tailed godwits, oystercatchers, lapwings, common terns, gadwall, marsh harriers, bitterns, cormorants, reed buntings.
We enjoyed the company of Steve and Helen from Bristol too. Seven hours birding and still in the pub for a lunch time drink.
Click below for gallery of photos from today
Having a day off from bird watching today as we were visiting Southwold and then going to the Aldeburgh festival this evening, but couldn’t resist popping in to the Hen Reedbeds on the way to Southwold for a bout of raptor watching.
The marsh harrier didn’t disappoint although it was a bit bothered by a lapwing.
We meant to pop in to Hen Reedbeds Wildlife Reserve just north of Walberswick which is where we are staying in Suffolk, for a quick visit but ended up spending most of the day there. Hen Reedbeds, a fairly new wildlife reserve, is a mix of wetland habitats, including reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools (see Wikipedia article) in the Blyth Valley.
As soon as we arrived we spotted a marsh harrier across the reed beds, then the first lapwing of our visit. Although the weather at the beginning of the day was most promising, by the time of our visit it was very grey and not ideal for photography. However, it was a pleasant walk (although quite chilly) and lots of wildlife to see as we made our way around various well-maintained and well-appointed viewing platforms and hides.
The highlights were gadwall, especially a female with its chicks, oystercatchers, shelduck, a grey heron and several little egrets, a hobby, a buzzard, several marsh harriers, a lapwing, lots of small birds (reed warblers, sedge warblers and reed buntings) and even more bees and butterflies.
With the varied wild flowers, insects and birds the Hen Reedbeds offered the best of Britain’s countryside.
There were even some flyover aircraft for entertainment.
Click on the photos below for a gallery of photographs from today
Another amazing day at RSPB Minsmere. A slow start, but boy did it soon get exciting.
On the scrape there was a festival of gulls with great black-backed, lesser black-backed, herring, black-headed, Mediterranean, Caspian, yellow-legged and kittiwakes (thanks are due to local RSPB volunteer for help with ID and this article from Bird Guides.) We also saw black-tailed godwits, redshank, Canada geese, oystercatchers, avocets, shelduck, common terns as well as ringed plovers on the beach.
Before reaching the Bittern hide we also saw grey heron, greylag geese, great crested grebe, mute swans, little egret, coots, moorhens, sand martins, swallows, a reed bunting and great spotted woodpecker with young.
However, the main spectacle of the day was a display of marsh harriers and hobbies right in front of us at the Bittern hide.
Before the day was over we even saw Cetti’s warblers (but I was not quick enough to grab a photo).
Click below for a gallery of a selection of my photos from today.
So lovely to be back at RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk on the east coast of England even though we only had time for a brief evening walk out along the North Wall to the East hide.
We were very sad to see that the sand martins had abandoned their cliff nests near to the entrance but we were not too disappointed as apparently they had moved to the nearby Dunwich Cliffs and we still saw hundreds of them them dashing across the reed beds enjoying their late evening feed.
The abandoned sand martin nests
We saw two types of tern (I hazard a guess at common tern and sandwich tern),
thousands of black-headed gulls, and other gulls including a mediterranean gull. There were lots of waders on the scrape (and an incredible din); however, it was quite difficult to see clearly how many there were as we were facing straight in to the sun but we could certainly make out avocets (one of our favourite birds).
On the way back we could hear bearded tits and Cetti’s warblers and saw male and female pheasants. Not a raptor in sight though, but it was a good start to our week.
Click below for gallery of photos.