Also on the scrape were a number of waders including 21 Dunlin, four Greenshank, three Green Sandpiper, four male Ruff, 50+ Black-Tailed Godwit, 50+ Avocet, five Ringed Plover, two Spotted Redshank, five Redshank, seven Common Sandpiper, a juv Little Ringed Plover, and a single Whimbrel. There were also over 40 Little Gull present, most in summer plumage, eight Little Tern with young, and six Sandwich Tern.
From the South Hide a surprise Ruddy Duck was my first for a couple of years. Along the tracks, parties of vocal Bearded Tit were seen well with young, and a single moulting drake Wigeon fed on the scrape.
Highlights were far from restricted to avifauna, moreover the diversity of lepidoptera and odonata provided personal affirmation of the abundance and diversity of wildlife within this area.
An impressive total of 21 species of butterfly including my first PURPLE EMPEROR - actually a couple active over the tops of oaks seen occasionally gliding between the wooded fringes. A White Admiral was seen briefly on the road out of Minsmere disappearing into the woodland, with Purple Hairstreak, Grayling, Small Copper, and Essex Skipper the other highlights. Sadly no Scarce Tortoiseshell but I imagine more appearing over the next few days now that identification has become clearer to the untrained.
Flock of Dunlin
Track towards visitor centre
Puss Moth Caterpillar