Trip reports

Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Hen Reed Beds

Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Hen Reed Beds
Andrew Chilvers

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Eight members including myself and Howard were present. Before moving off, two kestrel's, in a tree top, were seen. We think they were a male and female. We moved onto the viewing platform, when one kestrel had moved onto a post giving us a better view. Three marsh harriers, two males and a female were flying. A green woodpecker was seen by all before flying off.

Those who know the site will know that you backtrack and cross the Southwold road that then brings you into the main part of the reserve. Much work has been undertaken over the past two years or so to provide a path, strengthening the banking, and erect additional hides.
We arrived to find a large expanse of mud, the tide being well out.
Tide out and mud brings lots of waders although a telescope was needed for the best views.
Approaching the first hide, redshank and little egret were seen. A great white egret, flying, came down in front of the hide, came up and flew off. This view gave everyone the opportunity to compare the size of this egret to the little egret.
Before entering the hide what looked like a diver was spotted but with the scope it turned out to be three red breasted mergansers, so distinctive by the razor / saw bills.
At least 50 shelducks were seen; lapwings, dunlins were also present in good quantities. We entered the hide in the hope of seeing the resident kingfisher (we had seen this on our visit the previous Saturday) but it was not seen at all.
Walking on to the second hide, curlew and possible snipe were seen.

It was very quiet on views from this hide and about 11.30 we started our return looking out for anything new. A lizard was seen on the path and a deceased mole, intact, was found near the end of the walk. For such a small mammal the front paws are huge and you can get an understanding of the digging power so often seen by the mounds on lawns.
Just before the car park a group of siskins were seen and high up in a tree a great spotted woodpecker gave as a brief view before departing.
I think nearly all present had a go at spotting one species and although a small group I'm sure the morning was enjoyed by all.
Next stop the after Christmas walk - look forward to seeing you there.

Sue Bayliss
(walk leader as David Jeffries had been taken ill the week before).