Friday, 27 January 2012

Some Suffolk Birding

Friday January 27
Another social occasion with birding.
Minsmere is a convenient meeting point for our Essex friends, Jen and Marj. It was a surprise to find heavy machinery warnings en route, followed by a rash of temporary buildings taking up space in the car park. These housed the cafe/shop/visitor centre in one, the loos in another - and I don't know about the others. The 'old' centre is being extended towards the loos and a new activities centre is well on the way near the workshops. Hm.....
The cafe area is very small but, there was an empty table for us to catch up over a hot drink before walking to West Hide, on a perfect winter morning. Blue sky - without wind to exacerbate the cold.

All the expected ducks from the hide, until Jen spied the pair of Smew distant on the north side of the scrape.

How good are your eyes? Male Smew. It's the pale blob in the middle - taken with my Powershot
We'd planned a walk to Island Mere after lunch to see them . Great, one of my favourite birds. Fiona (!) the escaped Greater Flamingo fed in front of East Hide, 3 Bewick's preening nearby.
After lunch, we all drove to the Coastguard Cottages on Dunwich Heath. After a sterile half a mile of heather scanning, M and J walked further, Pam and I returning to the car. Waw, a handsome male Dartford Warbler perched on top of a bush for a couple of minutes before disappearing into the depths.
We were not as lucky at Ness Point, at lowish tide in poor evening light. Plenty of Turnstones, no Purple Sandpipers to-day.

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