Tuesday, 17 July 2007

A day at Mins

A day off. So we decided that we should go to Minsmere. After a leasurly roll out of bed we eventually got to the car park sometime around 11am. A quick spin down to the Bittern hide and after a 20 minute wait we life-ticked Bittern for Carrie. A great view as it flew right in front of the hide. Plenty of Marsh Harrier action too, with a pair of juveniles mouching around in the reeds close-by...

Back to the cafe for a spot of lunch (nice jacked spuds!) before a walk up the road to the canopy hide. I've never really seen much from this hide, as it looks over, well, trees. However this time was different, I wasn't looking for birds, I was after seeing a butterfly! Purple Hairstreak to be precise. The weather was still looking a little dicey but sure enough we got a good view of a Hairstreak in the Oak next to the hide.

After this minor triumph, we tried our luck at Silver Studded Blue's out on Dunwich Heath. It was rubbish. We only saw a handful of butterflies, most of them Graylings.

Back to the reserve and the best bit - the Scrape!

So, where's the mud and water gone? It seems to be covered up by all that vegetation. Still, it's good for breeding gulls. Two pairs of Med Gulls out there, this one had three chicks...

After a short (but rather hard) shower, we had a look at the Little Tern colony on the beach. It was excellent! Fantastic views of the adults feeding chicks. Almost worth the trip alone in my book.

A family of Stonechats were remarkably tame just along from the tern colony. These shots were taken uisng my 30x eyepiece and my S80 hand-held. I was quite impressed, especially as the light was so flat at the time.

A bit of rare plant spotting too. This is Marsh Mallow....no, really!

To round off the day we sat in one of the hides looking through the terns in the vague hope a Roseate was amongst them. Unfortunately didn't find a rosy tern but we did get this male Marsh Harrier sit on a post not too far away...

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