Trip reports

Minsmere RSPB Reserve walk

Minsmere RSPB Reserve walk

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Paul Green, the warden, was one of the most experienced and knowledgeable guides able to identify butterflies, dragonflies and plants in addition to birds. Due to the particularly hot sunny weather (with temperatures rising to 27 deg C) the walk was mainly in shaded areas of woodland. Views came by two by two in the ragwort areas ... two stone curlew, two grey heron and two cuckoos.

One might have thought we had been transposed to the Highlands of Scotland where the view down to the North Marsh was through Scots pines and across heather-clad heath. Butterflies flitted about along the rides with dragonflies darting about and meadow grasshoppers hopping in abundance.

Mammalian species noted were: rabbit and red deer; avian species: blue tit, carrion crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, cormorant, cuckoo, feral pigeon, goldfinch, great tit, greenfinch, green woodpecker, grey heron, house martin, linnet, magpie, marsh tit, moorhen, pheasant, pied wagtail, reed warbler, sand martin, stone curlew, swallow, swift, whitethroat, woodpigeon and wren; reptilian species: slow worm; amphibian species: common frog; insect species: [butterflies] brown argus, comma, gatekeeper, grayling, large white, peacock, ringlet, small copper, small skipper, small tortoiseshell, speckled wood, red admiral and white admiral; [dragonflies] common darter, four-spotted chaser, migrant darter, ruddy darter and southern hawker.

The more eager birdwatchers headed out to the East Hide to try and catch a view of a collared pratincole which had been present at Minsmere since the previous day. As we walked around with the warden we heard on his radio where the bird was being seen . . . from on the scrape to flying over the visitor centre or around Eastbridge. Others headed for lunch at the cafe and discuss the best route home to avoid the eight-mile tailbacks on the A12 due to the "Latitude" festival at Henham Park.

Richard Straton