Trip reports

Coach Trip - Minsmere RSPB

Sunday, 15 May 2016

As a group we have been visiting the Minsmere reserve for many years and over time we have seen changes, most obviously to the visitor facilities, the café, toilets, parking, and hides, which are now top-notch. More subtle will be the changes to the birds and the habitat, possibly more chance of buzzard or Cetti's warbler but less of redstart or spotted flycatcher? Another change, that I think may go un-considered, would be in our expectations as we become more experienced and knowledgeable. According to the list circulated on the return journey the total species for the day was 99, recorded at various points between Dunwich Heath (Dartford warbler) and Sizewell Power Station (black redstart) , while my list was only 56. So was I disappointed? At one time I may have been but not now because for me it isn't all about ticks or numbers, and there were some birds that made the day special. There were kittiwakes collecting nest material to use off the reserve, the little terns (that I missed at Rye Harbour in April) some very handsome grey plovers in summer plumage, and the hobby that whizzed past the Bittern Hide twice, and quite close, just moments before I headed back for my last coffee of the day.
Also if I have a little group with me I always try to make sure that all get good views of the more "common" birds, including things like reed bunting, reed warbler and sedge warbler and on this day I think all did have that opportunity. When it came to Dartford warbler (always a challenge!) some missed out, but I think all then we all need something to look forward to, perhaps on our next Suffolk visit.

This is the total list for the day but I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the sightings. T.B.

Bittern, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose
Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Gadwall, Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck
Marsh Harrier, Teal, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby, Peregrine, Pheasant, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Stone Curlew, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Little Stint, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Spotter Redshank, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Stock Dove, Wood Pidgeon, Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great- spotted Woodpecker, Woodlark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Nightingale, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Ciffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Bearded Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting.