Monday, July 03, 2006

East Anglia Holiday - Day 6 pt 2

The last snap from around the Sluice gate and the path beyond is of this female Stonechat, a completely different bird to black headed male:

We followed the path along the beach side of the reserve to the East Hide, which is right in front of a Black-headed Gull colony, which is a very noisy and smelly place. These youngsters were begging for food from any bird that came within a yard:

We also saw Spotted Redshank for the first time, and they are a remarkable colour, almost starling like but with long legs and beaks!

On from the hide and heading back to the visitor centre we still hadn't seen a Bittern but the next five minutes were to prove very rewarding. First I spotted this Bearded Reedling youngster in the reeds:

Then the male Bearded Reedling, who posed nicely for a snap:

And finally in the last ten minutes of our visit to Minsmere we spotted a Marsh Harrier flying out close to some trees, only it wasn't a Marsh Harrier - the profile was wrong, so I immediately started snapping, even though the Bittern was at some distance:

Watching her fly was really quite something as we'd been wanting to see a Bittern since we first started birding last year. We got a 180 degree arc as she took off to our left and landed in the reeds to our right. This was a genuinely goosebump moment! Minsmere lived up to its billing as one of the foremost reserves in the country. But our day hadn't finished there, next stop Sizewell and a 7 mile walk we had planned there...


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