Who in their right mind would get up at 4.30 am to go birding? …..OK I hold my hands up, I would but then it was in a good cause. There’s been a Savi’s Warbler at Minsmere now for a few weeks and I’d never seen one, so up I get…..the surprising thing was that I wasn’t even the first to rock up at the Island Mere hide at that ungodly hour. I guess that this little bird with the reeling song is enough to get some birders leaving the comfort of a warm bed to stare at a reed bed 🙂
The Savi’s Warbler wasn’t the only bird singing that morning….the group of backing singers included Booming Bittern, Wailing Water Rail and Calling Cuckoo plus cameos from Bearded Tits, Reed and Sedge Warblers plus scratchy Sand Martins……now tell me that’s not worth getting up for 🙂
Where to go when you’re trying to avoid the crowds of Southwold or Minsmere on a bank holiday Monday?…..I know, I’ll go to Hen Reed-beds…..nice easy stroll out to look out over the Blyth estuary and maybe get something interesting.
Straight away on getting the ‘scope out of the car, a Bittern boomed and was soon joined by the rhythmic scratchiness of reed and sedge warblers. Marsh harriers are always a great sight to see and one soon made an appearance, gliding gracefully over the reed beds and annoying the bearded tits and grey-lag geese no doubt. My favourite bird of the day though had to be the Wheatear who very kindly posed for a few (not very professional) pictures….I think those in the know call them ‘record shots’ 🙂
I was just sitting in my garden, enjoying the sunshine and a cool beverage when I heard a noise I wasn’t expecting to hear. It was the call of a Mediterranean Gull. Surely not I hear you say, they must be only found in the Mediterranean…..but no. Apparently, up until the 1950s they were rare in these parts but have expanded since. I remember in the 80’s travelling quite a distance to get these posh versions of a black headed gull onto my life list but now a trip to Minsmere or the Blyth Estuary normally turns one up (in Minsmere’s case they have quite a colony. If you’ve yet to see one look out for a bird a little bigger than Black-headed Gull with a properly black hood (black headed have brown hoods….I know who’d have thought it 🙂 ) The hood also reaches further down it’s neck…also listen out for the thing that distracted me from my beer….it’s mewing type call not like the kawing one of the black-headed gull at all
Sometimes I think that birds have a sixth sense. Just today I heard of a Red-footed falcon at Walberswick just a few minutes away from my home. At least it would have been had I not been at work a hundred odd miles away….grrrr.
The Red-Footed Falcon would have been a life tick for me as well….I’m just hoping that it hangs around til the weekend when I can admire this amazing bird of prey in all it’s glory. Looking superficially like a Kestrel or a Hobby but with dark grey body and red ‘trousers’ and backside it must be a great sight to see as it snatches insects while they whizz around. Who knows? One day I might actually see one…..