After rising early,I decided on the 65 mile journey, across country, to spend a day on the Suffolk coast at Minsmere!However after getting lost, the 65 mile quickly became 100 mile, and I finally arrived at my destination a good hour late(.I really will have to invest in a sat nav)
Walking down to the visitor centre,I noticed how busy it was becoming,with cars and coaches being directed into allocated parking lots.The weather was glorious sunshine well into the 70`s but really muggy and humid!It was going to be a long day, so I went back to the car and stocked up on cool drinks from the cool box.
There were several hides to choose from on the reserve,so I started off in the bittern hide,which gives good all round views of the reedbeds.A couple of hours were spent in there, and I observed a few Marsh Harriers in the distance and a couple of Bittern flying low across the top of the reeds.With the weather being so clammy,I suppose things were lying low in the reedbeds where it would be alot cooler.
Farther on round the reserve,I came to the East hide, which overlooked the wader scrapes. There were numerous Avocets feeding and a good flock of Black Tailed Godwits gave a brief flypast.A few Greenshank piped in the distance along with Spotted and Common Redshank!It was a lot cooler on that side, as a nice breeze had sprung up, and I spent a pleasent hour watching the activities of the birds ,on the shallow pools.Some local birders were saying that they had never seen the water levels so low.This contributed to the waders being some distance away from the hide!
The rest of the hides were briefly visited, but all were quiet,the only birds of note were a few Snipe,a dozen or so Teal and a fleeting glimpse of a Sparrowhawk, as it hunted at the edge of the reedbeds.I suppose early August isn`t the ideal time to visitMinsmere, especially with the weather being so hot,however I now have a feel for the place, and will definately return again next May, when I`m sure it will be a completely different encounter.I`ll try to get there very early morning next time,when it will of course be a lot quieter and of course cooler.
It will be my last day of my break tomorrow,so again I`ll rise early and probably spend the day at Lakenheath Reserve, before my long drive North.I`ll post that account at a later date!