Trip reports

RSPB Minsmere 20 Oct 2014

RSPB Minsmere 20 Oct 2014
Pat Chilvers

Monday, 20 October 2014

Our first port of call was the north hide, after spotting a few woodland birds, a fly agaric fungus in very good condition and a small copper butterfly on the way there. We did not stay long in the hide as the sun was in our eyes making it very difficult to see any birds, However we were able to observe the Highland cattle just in front of the hide which was very nice to see.
After leaving the North Hide we followed the temporary trail to the north wall seeing a red admiral butterfly, some common darter dragonflies and more species of fungi and small woodland birds including a bullfinch on the way. Cetti's warblers were in good voice but as usual very difficult to see. Overhead, hundreds of pigeons and stock doves were flying in from the continent and looking over the field to the left of the start of the north wall we saw a curlew and some lapwings, apparently we had missed a ring ouzel by about 10 minutes!!
We crossed the north wall and along to the East Hide where we could see waders along the bank at the back and many ducks in the foreground. There were godwits and lapwings in quite good numbers and all the usual winter ducks also little egrets and a heron. On leaving the hide a kestrel flew overhead and hovered in front of us for a while. We moved on to the public hide where Phil had a spotted redshank in his telescope and Sue and Howard had a snipe in theirs. They both very kindly allowed the rest of us to view the birds through their 'scopes.
We came back onto the reserve at the sluice and walked down the path towards the Wildlife Lookout, there was very little to be seen apart from a little grebe that always seems to be there and a grey heron that was fishing and we had very good close views of it.
Nearing the end of the path a very handsome pheasant was almost within touching distance and was not bothered by our presence at all.
At lunch time some members went home, but after lunch a few carried on up to the Island Mere hide where they were rewarded by views of an otter with a fish and 100+ coots.
It had been a very pleasant day out with good company and perfect weather.
Thank you to Howard for compiling the birdlist.
Pat Chilvers

Birds seen:-
Pheasant, moorhen ,robin, woodpigeon, crow, magpie, little egret, lapwing, redwing, starling, kestrel, shelduck, bar tailed godwit, avocet, lesser black backed gull, shoveler, snipe, widgeon, mute swan, little grebe, spotted redshank, herring gull, blackbird, great tit, blue tit, bullfinch, long tailed tits, Cetti's warbler (heard only), mallard, curlew, swallow, goldfinch, teal, gadwall, knott, greater black backed gull, dunlin, redshank, black headed gull, pied wagtail, Brent goose, pochard, greylag goose, skylark, marsh harrier, cormorant, gadwall, dunnock, pheasant
The following were seen by some of us later at the Island Mere hide, jay, coot (at least 100) otter (with fish), chaffinch
Other wildlife seen, red admiral and small copper butterflies, common darter dragonflies and fly agaric fungi.

Howard Bayliss