A long awaited coach trip with the RSPB SE Herts Group to this fabulous reserve on the Suffolk coast. Some mixed weather, but a great location and good to see some new faces. We split up and our small group started off at the Bittern Hide with great views over the reedbed that included Hobby and Great Egret. Very visible were a pair of Marsh Harriers and this is the female.
The Gulls, Terns and Avocets went up in force when the female flew over the scrape looking for a meal!
We saw a few Bittern flying and one still booming. I managed to get a few shots of one in flight from the aptly named Bittern hide.
On the way to the scrape a few Bearded Tits were flitting across the reeds, but did not stop for pictures. From the first hide we had views of Shelduck and some of the feral Barnacle Geese.
A few Redshank were visible allowing the chance for some shots.
And of course, no visit to Minsmere would be complete without great views of Avocets.
One of my target species was Little Tern, but sadly there was no sign of any. Common Tern were however present.
A few Sandwich Terns were on the long spit, but distant, so here are a couple of record shots which also show Dunlin and Ringed Plover.
Next stop was a walk along the coastline with a few Stonechat popping up on the scrub and Gorse.
Viewing the scrape again we had views of Turnstone and Med Gulls together with some great views of Black-tailed Godwits.
We also had fabulous views of Kittiwake. They are "proper" sea faring Gulls and rarely found inland. I believe the population here nest on Sizewell Power Station.
With time pressing on and the weather taking a turn for the worse, we still wanted to see Dartford Warblers on the Heath. Certainly not ideal conditions, but after quite a long search I managed to locate one briefly. All of our group managed some views before it disappeared.
And then another appeared as we headed back.
A fitting end to a superb day! This was capped off by watching the Sand Martins swooping in and out of the nest bank by the visitor centre. Over 80 species of bird were recorded on the day and huge thanks to the friendly RSPB staff.