Monday, 4 January 2010

Back at Minsmere

Not sure I have experienced temperatures this cold on the reserve before, a tough week awaits our wildlife. A Green Winged teal had been present for a few days, but I was unable to locate it from the East Hide. A teal with a go faster white stripe doesn't really do it for me anyway. A single pintail roosted amongst the usual suspects, and snipe were in evidence feeding and nipping around the reserve. A woodcock was flushed from the sluice bushes and a single Marsh Harrier floated over the levels. The highlight of the day came in the sublime form of a hunting stoat. Fantastic views for a few minutes close to the South Hide, what plucky animals they are.
On the walk back to the centre a Marsh Tit was seen and Water Rail heard.
After warming up with a jacket potato and a read of the new Suffolk bird report we headed to Dingle Marshes. What may have been Twite alighted upon our arrival. A wintering Greenshank was a nice find amongst the Snipe and Redshank. A single Avocet arrived from somewhere; a few for the year listers here.
We finished off at the Blyth Estuary, where around 10,000 Common Gulls had come into roost, their numbers growing during our short stay here. A large group of Knot swirled in the freezing air along with a few Dunlin. Golden Plover were distant but identifiable.
The drive home threw up a hunting Barn Owl near Darsham.

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