Trip reports

Snape RSPB reserve

Snape RSPB reserve

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The weather was warm with a light shower before and after the walk. Warden Dave Fairhurst led the party off at 10am to Abbey Farm and Botany Marshes, stopping from time to time to explain the works that have been, and will be, carried out. Pools and ditches have been dug out and reeds planted. The flatlands are to be flooded over a period to encourage the reeds to grow and create extensive beds for such birds as bittern, bearded tit, water rail, sedge and reed warblers and marsh harrier.
During the gradual flooding process the pools and scrapes will attract wintering waterfowl and waders. A viewing area will be created on the western edge overlooking Botany Marshes.
At one point, whilst looking across to Snape Marshes, Dave spotted a possible bearded tit - so we all stopped and watched to see if it would fly out of the reeds again. Swallows flew past, a grey heron, a kestrel and stock doves. A reed bunting and little egret seen. A lesser whitethroat was heard . . . and then a bearded tit flew out of the reeds on a feeding flight. Great joy! This was the first summer / breeding record for the species. Dave was delighted and thanked us all for being there . . . if we hadn't come he may well have missed the sighting.
On the way home, via Westleton area, a marsh Harrier, red-legged partridges and a stone curlew were seen. A nightingale sang nearby when we stopped for a few minutes.
46 species of bird were idectified during the walk: bearded tit, blackbird, blackcap, black-headed gull, blue tit, Canada goose, carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, chaffinch, chiffchaff, collared Dove, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, garganey, greenshank, grey heron, greylag goose, herring gull, house martin, jackdaw, kestrel, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, lesser whitethroat, little egret, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, mistle thrush, mute swan, pheasant, pied wagtail, reed bunting, reed warbler, robin, rook, sedge warbler, shelduck, skylark, stock dove, swallow, swift, whitethroat, woodpigeon.

Richard Straton