One of the real perks of our special year is the freedom that has come with it. At the beginning of the week we noticed the weather looked good in Suffolk so we were able to pack our bags, book a room and go.
I am not exaggerating when I say we have had a brilliant time including a tasty curry last night and our farewell morning today. Last night we decided to set an alarm early again, to make the most of every moment and go to Island Mere hide before breakfast, but when the alarm went off we weren’t quite so keen, after all it was set to be even colder than yesterday! It didn’t take long for us to decide to go for it, after all it was our last morning near Minsmere, at least for this trip! It was another beautiful morning, I wonder if they are all like this in Suffolk!
I was right though it was cold, how do those little birds survive nights in the frozen reeds? This little Water pipit was busy nipping in and out and then going for a brief skate on the ice!
The hide was busier today and I am struck by the atmosphere there, they seem a friendly bunch who obviously know each other well but were happy enough to welcome outsiders. I have been enjoying meeting so many new people, mostly so friendly and some excellent characters. I think if Minsmere were our local reserve we would find our way to Island hide rather a lot of mornings to enjoy the usual and the unusual.
Mute swans looked stunning in the morning light and again the Marsh harriers were flying high. It does seem strange sitting in such a beautiful place with Sizewell looming in the background!
I didn’t know it then but very shortly we were in for such a treat, one of the highlights of our time away. We had briefly seen an otter swimming another day but this morning with ice on the water it made a fantastic appearance. He came out of the ice stayed a while then down he went again, repeating this until he reached the unfrozen water and off he swam. All in the hide were thrilled to have seen him so well.
Back to The Eel’s Foot for breakfast before checking out, if you ever need somewhere to stay in that area we do recommend it. We had considered leaving for home then and making a couple of detours on the way but we changed our minds and decided instead to go back to have a last visit at Minsmere then head straight home. Due to a concern about Avian pox the feeders near the visitors centre had been taken down but the ever hopeful Pheasants that lurk under them don’t seem to have got the message.
Time to leave Minsmere with the hope that we will return again soon. Seeing how many trees have been newly cut down I trust there will still be plenty when we come back! Hoping too that the abundance of rabbits continues, I just can’t resist them!
Thank you for joining in our Suffolk tale, it has been lovely and reinforced our decision to take a ‘gap year’.
I thought it would be fitting to end this tale with a tail!