Suffolk Saga and ‘Springwatch’ – Pictures from Minsmere

It seems we chose the driest, sunniest and most windy week for our holiday in Suffolk which coincided with the final week of Springwatch at Minsmere, about 30min drive from our holiday cottage. On my two visits the only personality seen was Spineless Simon the stickleback.

SpinelessSimon

I had hoped to upload a video clip but it doesn’t seem to be possible. I’m sure you will find it online. This photo was taken from the walkway up to one of the hides from which I had excellent views of marsh harriers, bitterns and hobby. All proved difficult subjects to photograph but I managed some reasonable shots of all but the bittern.

Hobby21

The hobby is a small bird of prey that has been described as like a large swift. Its prey of choice is dragonflies – which it eats on the wing.

MarshHarrier22

The marsh harrier flies slowly just above the reed bed looking for small birds and mammals.

Redshank21

A redshank posing on the electric fence erected to protect ground nesting birds in the shallow lagoon known as ‘The Scrape’ from marauding badgers, one of which devastated the avocet nests last year.

AvocetYoung01

A young avocet already showing the upturned bill typical of this elegant bird – emblem of the RSPB.

Avocet21

BlackTailedGodwit21

Finally there was a extraordinary number of these black tailed godwits which should be in Iceland breeding – the reddish tinge to the neck is part of their breeding plumage.

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