Saturday, July 11, 2015

Minsmere

You make plans, you change plans, and you end up at Minsmere.  What a scorcher of a day, blue skies, warm sunshine, those high cirrus clouds that I just love seeing.  The reserve looked immaculate, what a great place to be on a Saturday.  It wasn't busy, just right, people out enjoying wildlife as it should be because we have it in abundance.  Lots of great stuff to see.

A leisurely start of tea and cake from the cafe, and then towards the East hide stopping first at the dragonfly ponds where there were plenty of Azure Damselflies and a few Common Emeralds.  A Brown Hawker whizzed round with the backdrop of busy Sand Martin frequenting the sand bank.

Common Emerald


Heading over to the East Hide, there was plenty of interest on the scrape.  Avocet were busy feeding, five Ruff in moulting plumage were present, as were a group of Black-Tailed Godwit.  A Green Sandpiper was picked out through the heat-haze toward the back of the pool, and Spotted Redshank were happy to hide by the bund next to Island 3.  Then a smart Little Tern flew in and settled next to four Sandwich Tern, and at least eight Mediterranean Gull were well suited to the current climate that bears its name.


On South Scrape 17 Little Gull with 12 still in summer plumage sat on the bank with a Whimbrel in attendance.  There were seven summer plumage Dunlin here with a Ringed Plover keeping company.  Six Siskin flew east over Whin Hill.



It's tough leaving Minsmere - such a great place but the general area is so rich with wildlife.  So after a hearty dinner at a local village pub, we made our way over to Dunwich Heath where shortly commencing our walk, a stunning male Dartford Warbler appeared, singing on the tops of the heather before disappearing into cover.  The area was generally quiet, but the walk was a joy through the heather and sporadic tree-lined paths.

Westleton Heath proved to be a more productive visit.  A distant cry led us to an area of exposed ground where a solitary but vocal Stone Curlew paraded through the bare land and into the heather, actively feeding before trotting off into the gloom.  A Woodlark sat along the fenceline, teasing us with a brief utterance of song.  A juvenile Cuckoo appeared from the thickets, flew across the skyline briefly settling on the tops before disappearing over the ridge.




Stonechat chacked way in the distance, a Dartford Warbler scratched away as the daylight ebbed away, on the most perfect of English summer evenings.



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