RSPB Minsmere

by Ian Short

Over new year we visited RSPB Minsmere, one of the finest bird reserves in England. North and south of it are other outstanding reserves, owned by the National Trust, Natural England, and EDF Energy (Sizewell nuclear power plants are nearby). A highlight for me was a group of bearded tits, plucking at reed heads, in Tinker’s Marshes near Southwold. I can’t photograph birds, so here’s one from Wikipedia

Panurus biarmicus -Oare Marshes, Kent, England -male-8 (3)

Another highlight was a flock of Barnacle Geese, also on Tinker’s Marshes. I haven’t seen these birds before; they are more commonly found on the west of Scotland, exclusively in winter. During spring they fly off north somewhere, to Scandinavia I suppose.

We saw starling murmurations over Dunwich Forest. Apparently about 10, 000 starlings. And there was an avocet at Minsmere. (Lots of avocets at Minsmere in the spring and summer, but they head further south in Winter.) What else… marsh harriers aplenty, widgeon, teal, shovellers, and a marsh tit. Oh, and loads of curlews; I’ve never seen so many before.