1st June 2010
I usually arrange to go out a few days during half-term, and today was a trip to Minsmere. Usually this would be a very good thing, I like the reserve and its big enough to spend the day and not get bored. Unfortunately whilst I was in Suffolk, not only was I missing the Cley Trumpeter Finch (and I didn't see the 2008 one either), but I could also have seen my first Marsh Warbler and Thrush Nightingale (maybe. Did anyone record the song?) Still, never mind, until I learn to drive I'll just have to get used to it.
In the morning we did the main lap around the scrapes. There was a lack of decent waders, two summer-plumage Knot the best I could find. A nice Med Gull swam past North Hide, and the young Avocet, Shelduck and Oystercatchers were cute. Someone could make a really nice pie out of those Black-headed Gulls nesting everywhere, maybe I should suggest it. Having done the usual thing and thanked people for pointing out a marsh-harrier (I know, I know, they're rare everywhere else. If I have some "grumpy local" badges made up, who wants one?) we found a Drinker Moth caterpillar by the pathside.
After lunch it began to drizzle, so we decided to sit in the Bittern hide for a while. We were entertained by a sleeping Fox and a close Cetti's Warbler before a Bittern was called flying over the reedbed. A Sparrowhawk and ten minutes later it was my turn to find one, watching it climb up the reeds, stick its neck upwards in a snake-like fashion before launching into flight. The trip ended on a good note, as a volunteer warden spotted the 1st-summer Purple Heron that has been hanging around, fly up out of the reeds. It appeared to be chased by an adult Grey Heron, giving us good comparison views as it flew through 60 degrees before dropping back down into the reeds.