Monday, July 03, 2006

East Anglia Holiday - Day 5 pt 2

Our primary ambition for Dunwich Heath was to see a Dartford Warbler. The first bird of note we sighted though was this Meadow Pipit:

We followed the advice of the birders we’d met back at Cley Marshes and explored the path behind the loos and all around that mound area, finding lots of Reed Warblers but nothing else. We then followed the coastal path towards Minsmere and walked along the edge of the reserve all to no avail. The evening was getting on so we decided to complete the 2+ mile walk back to the car following the walk directions. As we headed along the path inland and uphill we spotted some small birds flitting around the branches of a dead shrub. On closer inspection they turned out to be Dartford Warblers, evident from their tails. We had found a family, feeding their young as you can see from this snap showing an adult male (left) and juvenile:

Here’s a view of that tail shape – it really is quite distinctive, and a good guide if the light is poor:

Walking back at pace now we spotted this Stonechat perched prominently:

On the last stretch of grass path we flushed a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and spooked a bird at some distance, which we completely failed to identify, as it was across private land.

Eventually we made it back to the car and on to our next accommodation a Bed & Breakfast called Lime Tree House in Benhall Green near Saxmundham ( In my opinion the best B&B I have stayed in as Linda, the hostess makes sure every breakfast is different, the bedrooms are big and airy as are the adjoining bathrooms and they leave you to yourself, which I really appreciate.

We walked for a total of 11 miles.


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