To say we had a cold start to the day is an understatement, it was freezing and we had to scrape the car before we could head out. We were treated to the sight of several deer on our pre breakfast trip to Minsmere, Muntjac and Roe on the way and Red deer from the hide. It was another beautiful sunrise although a little cloud meant the light was not so striking, although I think even the hide itself looks good in the early morning light. I assume due to the cold the birds were slower to wake up today, the Marsh harriers appeared quite a bit later than yesterday and we could see a Snipe sitting but it didn’t move the whole time we were there!
I could easily get used to coming back from an early morning bird watch to have someone cook me breakfast but after tomorrow it will be back to usual! After refuelling ourselves we headed off to Westleton Marsh in search of Dartford warblers. This may be a good time to point out that during our Pursuing wings (and other things) year we are only counting things that we both see so if Ian or I miss something it will not appear on my list. So imagine the feeling when after a really good look around the heath I saw a Dartford warbler on some heather but it was gone from sight before Ian could get on to it. No problem we thought it will pop up again shortly but it didn’t, no sign of it. We spent some time waiting, looking and hoping and in the end we were rewarded, another one appeared in a tree and flew down in front of us then away…relief it can go on the list! We also first heard then saw two Woodlark so that was two new one for the year.
Next stop Dunwich heath also a good place for Dartford warblers and plenty more beside or so we thought. As is often the case at good birding places a board was up showing recent sightings, this was the list: Dartford warbler, Magpie and that was it!!! We did enjoy the walk across the heath although caught no sight of a warbler but rest assured there was no shortage of Magpies. I love to see birds on gorse and the only one that cooperated to day was a little Robin although even he was looking away from me, gazing out to sea I think! The best was yet to come we were treated to two beautify Short eared owls flying over us, sadly too fast for me to get any decent shots but I include one I took just because it was so lovely to see.
We caught sight of a herd of deer but they were rather well hidden.
We decided return to Minsmere for the afternoon although we somehow managed to miss out lunch, not our best bit of planning! There were no particular birds to look for today so we just enjoyed a good trek round. We saw a nice female Stonechat on the way and several Chiffchaffs. It seems you can’t go far there without meeting rabbits and I can’t resist taking pictures of them!
We are back at The Eels Foot now and will soon be going across for something to eat, a rather nice vegetarian curry is calling me! So I will end with my favourite photos today which are certainly not of my favourite bird but he was obliging so I include a couple of shots of a Magpie. We go home tomorrow but may make the odd detour on our journey.