I was out to RSPB Minsmere today, an hour and a halves journey from the Bed and Breakfast I was stopping in at Thetford, arriving at approximately 9:30am.
Sand Martins were the first birds noted as there is a sand Bank nesting site for them close to the car park which gives rather good views of the birds. After getting my bearings I headed off towards the beach, stopping first at the Stone Curlew sight, no matter how I tried I couldn’t conjure one up, but a Wheatear was nice to see. I then made my way down to East hide and stopped off for a while enjoying the birds from here , picking out Redshank, Avocet, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Black tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper, other birds included Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, and plenty of Black headed Gull. Wildfowl included a very nice male Pintail along with Mallard, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler.
Moving on then and down onto the back and to the Public viewing platform at the South Scrape, loved this area. Here I saw more waders Turnstone, Sunderland, Dunlin, and Oystercatcher. Calls went up for a couple of high flying Bitterns, Common Cranes and three Glossy Ibis dropped down on to the West Scrape. Back on South Scrape Litte Tern was picked out amongst its cousins Common and Sandwich Terns, there were also again plenty of Black headed Gull and amongst them a pair of Mediterranean Gulls.
After all that excitement I decided to go on up to Dunwich Heath, I had dinner on the beach first and enjoyed the great weather we were having this week. Moving on, I nearly trod on an Adder as it quickly made its way across the path, theres a scrubby area of bushes on the path to the heath, Great for birds like Blackcap, Whitethroat and Sedge Warblers. Up on the heath I could here Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker, saw Linnet and Stonechats, but these weren’t the target. I remember watching a wildlife program that stated if you find a Stonechat there will be a Dartford Warbler nearby, low and behold after a couple of minutes up popped a couple of Dartford Warblers, after more searching futher along I found a couple more Dartfords after finding Stonechat first.
Back down at Minsmere I tried for Stone Curlew again and again wasn’t successful, only finding Crows. On my walk back to the visitor centre I stopped off at the dipping pond and here I caught up with Blue tailed, Large Red and Variable Damselflies, this time in seeing Variable, after failing a number of years back, I managed to get a few photos.
My next port of call was the Bittern hide, which was rammed when I got there but did manage to see a fly past Hobby and Marsh Harrier. I moved on quickly and headed to the Island Mere hide, which was quiet, Cormorant was seen from here and Bittern briefly, which I missed, more Marsh Harrier and Hobbies over the wood , Reed Bunting in the reeds along with an out of place Great Tit.
Very little else of note on the way back up Whin Hill towards the car park however a singing Nightingale was evident at the entrance to the car park, which brought back memories of long ago when I first visited Minsmere back in 1986, may it not be long before I’m back, a fantastic day seeing 79 species in all, but sadly the ending to a fantastic few days birding, heading back home tomorrow with a brief visit on route at Rutland Water.
Bird List : Avocet, Barnacle Goose, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cetti’s warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Common sandpiper, Common Tern, Coot, Cormorant, Crane, Cuckoo, Dartford warbler, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Glossy Ibis, Goldfinch, Great Black backed Gull, Great crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greenshank, Grey Heron, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Hobby, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Kittiwake, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Little Tern, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nightingale, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pintail,Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Reed warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Spotted Redshank, Stock dove, Stonechat, Swallow, Swift, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren (79)
Dragonfly List : Blue tailed Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Variable Damselfly (3)