Saturday, 7 July 2012

Adder at Minsmere

As you'll know if you've read any of my previous blogs I have set out my stall this year to break a year list of 250 and I sit at 248 at the moment. Now Minsmere has seen Honey Buzzard, Roseate Tern and Caspian Tern in the last few days and it's one of those places where anything can show so having checked the weather reports to find Suffolk looks good for today I've decided that's the direction to head.

We set off at 5.30am and debated Andy Murrays Wimbledon triumph, Arsene Wengers transfer policy, Bruce Springsteens latest album, who'se got keys to the Queen Vic....(cos they let themselves in last night to see Cat Slater while Alfie was sleeping) and the best and worst presentors on Talk Sport before arriving at Minsmere at 7.00am after a 90minute drive. We take to the tracks in search of two ticks for the day. The reserve isn't even open but they now leave the gate open so you can get in. The sand bank behind the visitor centre is alive with Sand Martins flying in feeding young birds. Further on I check out North Hide to find lot's of BH Gull, Avocet and Egrets.
We take a short walk along the new wall and see Bearded Tits, Cettis Warbler etc before making our way to the beach.
View across Minsmere to Sizewell power plant
By now I've pointed out Ringlet and Skipper butterfly and Dads found himself a Red Admiral to photograph. On arrival at East Hide we find things a little more lively. A few Little Gulls show well in full adult plumage and a single Little Tern sits amongst the Common and Sandwich Terns. Three Spotted Redshank are sleeping in the reeds and a Common Sandpiper walks between the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. Lot's of Avocet, Blacktailed Godwit, Lapwing, Shelduck, Barnacle Geese etc. A Common Buzzard flies high over and three Marsh Harriers join it. (Must admit we checked it for Honey Buzzard after Thursdays report but agreed it was only Common so no new year tick there.)

Moving on we find lot's of Swallow at the sluice as ever and Sedge & Reed Warbler entertain along the path. Gt C. Grebe and Little Grebe feed with the ducks and Geese and a Hobby shows well low across the reedbed feeding on the numerous dragon fly.
Ruddy Darter (Hobby Lunch)
We carry on and before long I've heard my first Bittern of the day and then get great views of it in flight across the reeds. Stopping at the hides on the way nothing else shows until as I'm walking towards the Bittern Hide I see an Adder basking on the path and manage a quick picture before it hurries back to cover. These guys can attack so I'm both dissapointed not to get more opportunity to snap away and glad on the other hand it's decided to back off. Great to see it though.

The suns shining and the bushes along the path are now alive with darters, chasers, hawkers damsel fly and Dragon fly. (I don't pretend to know too much about these yet but I'm learning slowly)
A large Orange hawkmoth flies by, too fast to snap a shot to my regret as I'd like to be able to ID it.

Cinnabar Caterpillars are on every flower head and we get a shot of one that's emerged and in it's full  red glory.

Cinnabar Moth
A nice day in Suffolk and although I'm dissapointed not to have bagged another year tick I'm also pleased to have seen so much and head off back to Essex trying to avoid the Olympic Torch route on the way and with the mission of finding 250 species of bird this year still alive and kicking even if the last two or proving a challenge.


  1. Hi

    Your photos are amazing, love the butterflies,


  2. Very impressive pictures - I am envious of your talent! Just popped over from Docrafts! Lea :-)

  3. Fabulous blog I'm another Do~crafter :O). Love your blog fabulous pictures would love to be able to take fabulous pictures like this!

    Great blog I'm going to follow

    Thanks to suzanne also for showing us the way over


  4. Stunning photography Brian, what a wonderful selection. I have really enjoyed browsing your blog thanks to your ;ove;y wife Suzanne :o)
    Jackie xx