Saturday, 8 June 2013

Good birding at Minsmere

We took a trip up the A12 today to the RSPB's top reserve that is Minsmere. It's 110 miles from home so we set off early and were walking down the North Wall before 7.30am before the visitor centre opened and had the reserve pretty much to ourselves.
Bittern in flight from Island Mere hide

We stopped at the Stone Curlew watch point where a pair have made the reserve home this year but we failed to find them and the Red Backed Shrike reported yesterday looked to have moved on too and you couldn't blame it as the temperature was around 5 degrees, the sky was grey and the wind was quite strong too which caught us be surprise after the recent warmer weather but must have caused the Shrike to rethink it's locale.

A couple of Bearded Tit pinged briefly whilst Cetti's, Sedge and Reed Warbler were noisier and a little
more showy. We had the bonus of an Otter run across North Wall in front of us and it showed again fishing in front of East Hide a few minutes later where we also had a pair of Garganey and displaying Avocets.
From the public hide we picked up a pair of Little Terns along with a summer plumaged Knot.

Marsh Harrier
I picked up a distant Skua on the sea which I'd like to say was Pomarine with it's soft flappy flight but in truth it was too distant to be sure. From South hide we picked up Little Gull and Jimmy found a summer plumaged Little Stint to give us all a year tick. Ringed Plovers were present in good numbers with a couple of Dunlin and a few Black Tailed Godwits. Lot's of Marsh Harriers showed even giving us a food pass before we enjoyed good views of no fewer than three Bitterns. In all the day delivered 82 seperate bird species which in the conditions was a reasonable count for June.

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