Trip reports

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Bittern walking on edge of reedbed

Saturday, 9 May 2015

T'was a dark chilly morn
In Eastbourne town
Folk still asleep under the eiderdown

Then alarm clocks ring out
The silence is shattered
Bleary eyed birders are up and about

And so it was on that Saturday morning 9th May that twenty-seven early birders rose from their slumber to be at bus stops from 5.00 am for our coach journey to Minsmere.

The very early start gave us a full day at the Reserve arriving at 10.00 am and leaving close to 5.00 pm.

I particularly draw attention to the view of the bittern we had from the Bittern Hide, as it was nothing short of spectacular. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say the bird seemed so close, the clarity was so good, it felt as though one could almost reach out and touch it. Just wonderful.

Our lack of sleep was richly rewarded by all that we saw and heard, and the bird list compiled for the day reflects just that.

Birds seen by Neil Greenaway and pointed out to members were:- Sand Martin, House Martin, Swallow, Swift, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Shelduck, Canada Geese, Barnacle Geese, Mute Swan, Heron and Little Egret. As mentioned earlier highlight of the day was the excellent views of the Bittern. Other birds seen were Greylag Geese, Coot, Blacktail Godwit, Redshank, Avocet, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper as well as Black Headed, Herring, Lesser Black Backed, Great Black Backed, Little and Common Gull. Also seen were Sandwich Tern, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Kittiwake, Great Crested Grebe, Pheasant, Jackdaw, Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Spoonbill, Cormorant, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Dunnock, Blue, Great, Long Tail, Marsh and Bearded Tits, Wren, Treecreeper, Whitethroat, Black Cap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Cetti's Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Common Tern, Reed Bunting, Robin, Blackbird, Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Turnstone, Little Tern, Pied Wagtail and Moorhen. A Water Rail was heard, but not seen.

Other group members saw Mediterranean Gull, Green Woodpecker, Great White Egret, Peregrine, Little Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Red Legged Partridge, Sanderling, House Sparrow, Collared Dove and Cuckoo.

A great days birding making an impressive list of 86 species of birds seen or heard at this flagship RSPB Reserve on the Suffolk coast.

SMB