Trip reports

National Trust DUNWICH HEATH, Suffolk. Monday 9th February 2015

National Trust DUNWICH HEATH, Suffolk. Monday 9th February 2015
Richard Straton

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Just prior to arrival at the coastguard cottages car park bullfinches were seen. Visibility had improved. Six other members of the Lowestoft and District Group turned up ... plus two other RSPB members. A very tame robin sat on the edge of the car boot watching while we changed footwear, and a similarly confiding dunnock hopped literally between our feet. Nine first went to the cliffs overlooking a calm sea and after scanning for a few minutes saw rafts of great crested grebes, common scoters and a few herring gulls. Two marsh harriers flew around, and magpies and chaffinches seen in the bushes. Muntjac deer and a brown hare were seen.
We walked eastward along the path with heather clad slopes seeking Dartford warblers. Red deer saw us before we saw them. One Dartford warbler was soon heard calling - and seen by some of the party. The bird was not as far away as thought, but was only atop the heather for a few seconds each time it was spied. A common snipe flew over.
A large pine tree with bare twigs around the base produced many goldcrests, various tits, a treecreeper and a blackbird. Jays, green woodpeckers and skylarks were heard.
Returning from walking round the heath, the fog cleared, blue skies appeared along with glorious sunshine. Eddie the bullfrog was giving up the possibility of seeing a Dartford warbler when Edwina pointed out two birds just a few feet from the path. Everybody was delighted with good views! The object of the heathland walk was at last achieved.
Species identified were four mammals - brown hare, grey squirrel, Muntjac deer and red deer; twenty-three birds - blackbird, blue tit, bullfinch, carrion crow, chaffinch, common scoter, common snipe, Dartford warbler, dunnock, goldcrest, great crested grebe, great tit, green woodpecker, herring gull, jackdaw, jay, magpie, marsh harrier, pied wagtail, robin, skylark, treecreeper and wren.

Richard Straton