Wednesday 30 June 2010

Westleton Heath, Dunwich Heath and Minsmere

I was given the gift of a day off yesterday so rather than have a disappointing local walk I decided to go to Suffolk. I did a big circular walk, leaving the car at Westleton Heath and making my way down the country roads towards Dunwich Heath and Minsmere and looping back to Westleton Heath for dusk.
Apart from some nice Stonechats on Dunwich Heath and a frustratingly distant and fenced off view of what was probably Silver Studded Blue Butterflies, i didn't see much until I got to Minsmere. I bumped into someone who just had some Bearded Tits so I stuck around and while we were waiting a Bittern sat up on the reeds enough for us to see it's head before flying off towards Island Mere. I did get a good view of 3 Bearded Tits, including a smart male who sat up long enough for me to snap him.

I then went to Island Mere to track down the female Ferruginous Duck. I'm not 100% sure i saw it (was more likely a female tufted silhouetted against the sunlit water) but
while I was scanning I did see the unusual sight of a grass snake swimming across the water being chased by ducks. Also of note were some Southern Marsh Orchids on the approach to the hide.
I Left Minsmere back along the coast to Dunwich Heath and back up to Westleton Heath where I saw a pair of Dartford Warblers (got decent view but alas no photo) before waiting for nightfall. I had a short churr from a Nightjar at dusk but it never got going after that. I heard a further 2 birds on my way back to the car.


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