Saturday, 21 February 2015


The RSPB's flagship nature reserve at Minsmere was conveniently close to our temporary home in Suffolk for the last few days so deciding what to do on our first full day was an easy choice. The bird life was plentiful if not spectacular, with the odd scarcity among the expected wildfowl.
A pair of Whooper Swan (#98) were on the flooded Konik pony field
A Redhead Smew was roosting on one of the scrapes... later flew it front of the Island Mere hide
Shoveler (#99) were plentiful on the scrapes
Greylag Goose making it's first appearance on the blog this year (#100)
Ringed Plover ditto (#101)
Chiffchaff - a poor photo included solely for the purposes of grinding the photo year list on another meaningless notch (#102) - and in case I forget to post one later in the year
Despite seeing not much out of the ordinary, I did get one tick at Minsmere in the form of Bird's Nest fungus - named for how it looks rather than where it is found. There was a profusion of it on the boardwalk near the visitor centre but it was so small that I think we would have walked straight past it had it not been for someone else on their knees with a macro lens giving its presence away. 
The tiny and exquisite Birds Nest fungus
This picture gives some idea of scale
Marsh Harrier against the slightly incongruous backdrop of the Sizewell nuclear power station
This area is one of the strongholds of Marsh Harrier in the UK
There was precious little going on out at sea but a few Red-throated Divers (#103) were on the move
We stayed until dusk to watch to sun go down, and were rewarded with close views of feeding Common Snipe, a short Bittern flight, a couple of dozen Bewick's Swans coming in to roost and 3 Otter scudding distantly across the Mere.
The Whooper Swans dropped in to the Mere as the sun was setting

Common Snipe
24 Bewick's Swans flew in to roost just as we were leaving for home
Dusk is a good time to see Bittern (#104) - this one just caught the last rays of the sun

The extensive reedbeds at Minsmere catching the evening sun
Marsh Harrier
Sunset at Minsmere

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