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Recent sightings

  • 13 October 2014

    Small is beautiful

    The very popular, if rather elusive, little crake is still in residence in the reedbed pool in front of Bittern Hide. Having completed nearly two weeks here, it's stayed much longer than expected, giving most twitchers, and many casual birdwatchers, the chance to see it - though some have had to wait for several hours or return two or three times. How much longer will it stay? It's not been an easy bird to see, so getting good photos has been even more tricky - see here for one of the best examples, taken by Minsmere regular John Richardson, and shared on our community gallery.

    The great white continues it's long stay too, having arrived a few days before the crake, with Island Mere its favoured spot. With so many eyes looking across the reedbed it's perhaps not surprising that sightings of bitterns, marsh harriers and kingfishers remain regular, while flocks of bearded tits are best seen in the mornings. Otters, too, are seen most days, with a large dog fishing on Island Mere today. My five year old was even lucky enough to see one there on Saturday afternoon!

    After a beautiful weekend, the weather has deteriorated somewhat today. We had 25 mm (an inch) of rain in the 24 hours to 10 am today, most of that falling in the early hours, resulting in deep puddles in many places on the trails - so bring your wellies if visiting this week.

    With the rain have come the migrants. It's been an excellent day for watching passage brent geese, with many flocks of upto 100 geese heading south, close tot he shoreline, and some resting briefly on the Scrape or Levels. Redwings, too, arrived in force this morning. Most passed straight over, but some landed briefly to rest, especially near Island Mere.

    With so many birds on the move, it was perhaps inevitable that something notable would arrive. And it did. A brambling was reported near the visitor centre this morning, though perhaps not a new arrival as one was seen there over the weekend too.

    Shortly after lunch our Senior Site Manager, Adam, located a yellow-browed warbler in the sluice bushes. Barely bigger than a goldcrest, these scarce autumn migrants breed in eastern Scandinavia and Russia and usually spend the winter in India and South-east Asia. Every year a proportion of the population migrates in the opposite direction, arriving along the east coast of the UK from mid September to late October, with a few even deciding to spent the winter here. What happens to the rest is unclear, but it seems that some of the tiny warblers are possibly pioneers, exploring alternative areas to spend the winter. I strolled down to the sluice, hoping for a glimpse of the lovely little bird, and my luck was in. There it was, perched momentarily right next to another gorgeous tiny migrant, a male firecrest. Better still, just behind them in the same bush was one of my favourite birds, a goldcrest. I still find it incredible that a bird so small (weighing the same as a 20 pence coin they are the smallest bird in the UK), can fly across the North Sea to spend the winter searching for insects and spiders in a wood or garden in the UK -  perhaps even in my garden as i saw during last year's Big Garden Birdwatch.

      

    Three of our smallest birds for comparison - a yellow-browed warbler (above, by Jon Evans), firecrest (below by Angie Knight) and goldcrest (bottom, by Jon Evans)

    Also on my walk I followed a huge flock of long-tailed tits along the path towards the Wildlife Lookout, heard the distinctive song of Cetti's warblers and squealing call of water rails, spotted a kestrel hunting over the Konik Field, watched two wheatears and several meadow pipits in the dunes, and glimpsed six avocets and four dunlins with about 50 black-tailed godwits on South Scrape. If I'd entered the hide I'm sure I'd have seen even more. Perhaps most surprisingly, given the dull, damp and windy weather today, I also watched several migrant hawker dragonflies chasing tiny insects near the visitor centre.

    The other highlight of my walk was a large red deer stag dashing through South Belt woods with four hinds. His antlers clattered loudly among the branches as he went. I'm not sure I've seen a stag that close to the visitor centre before. He was too fast for a photo, but I did get some brillaint views whilst leading deer safaris for the Minsmere Wildlife Explorers group on Saturday.

    Two of the stags seen on Saturday, by Ian Barthorpe

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 10 October 2014

    Mooo-vable managers

    Habitat management is a complex balancing act. Our wardens work hard to create the optimum conditions for a wide variety of wildlife - and for the people who come to see it. 

    There are several different tools at wardens' disposal, including staff and volunteers, tractors, chainsaws, brushcutters and livestock. 

    Regular visitors to Minsmere (or readers of these blogs) will know that we use several types of livestock to assist with management, including konik and Exmoor ponies and Highland cattle. Using livestock allows us to create a complex mosaic of different habitats, especially around the edge of wetlands where hooves churn up the ground and create tussocky areas  favoured by feeding snipe. 

    Where we have recently cut large areas of fen vegetation using the Piston Bully and Soft-track machines as part of a trial project to create biofuel briquettes from our cut vegetation, the livestock can further trim the vegetation and add more structural variety. Our Highland cattle have been particularly good at doing this in the area known as South Girder - south of the path from South Hide to Wildlife Lookout. We've now moved them onto the Scrape to graze the fen area around North Hide. This is sure to prove popular visitors as Highland cattle always make photographic subjects.

    Elsewhere on the reserve we are planning to cut the vegetation in front of Island Mere to improve opportunities to see bitterns, water rails and snipe. However, the heavy rain on Wednesday delayed our plans this week, so we'll try again next week - if the weather is kind to us on days when we have a work party in. We won't be cutting at Bittern Hide just yet though as the little crake remains in residence- if proving a touch elusive.

    We also have several temporary paths open to add to the variety of wildlife that can be seen. The North Bushes trail is a good place to look for tits, finches and migrants, and was heaving with common darter dragonflies today. The North Levels trail is also good for dragonflies, and gives views over pools in the reedbed where you might spot waders, ducks and herons. This path is also great for seeing bearded tits. We haven't opened a reedbed trail this year as the beardies are showing so well from the main reserve trails. We have, however, opened a new seasonal path to view the Leiston Abbey chapel ruins - with great views across the South Levels.

    Finally for this week, if you want to learn more about our amazing fungi then why not join us tomorrow for a special event as part of National Fungus Week. They'll be displays and guided walks, and expert advice from the British Mycological Society. See you there.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 8 October 2014

    Elusive crake

    The little crake is still being seen every day at Minsmere, but it's not been easy to see. It has probably been most reliable just after dawn, with sightings between 6.50 am and 8 am most days - though often for only a few minutes. On Monday there were many disappointed birdwatchers when it wasn't seen after 9 am until being relocated at about 6 pm. It showed on and off all day on Tuesday, which like Sunday was mostly sunny. With rain again today it was not seen after 8 am until the sun briefly came out at about 2.45 pm. So, if you are planning a visit to see it, it's best to arrive early or time your visit for a sunny day - and of course hope that it decides to stay for several more days!

    Due it's elusive behaviour, we haven't been able to get any decent photos yet.

    A bit more reliable is the great white egret at Island Mere, though it too can hide in some of the bays at the right hand end of the mere. Bitterns, marsh harriers and kingfishers are seen everyday within the reedbed, especially if you have the patience to wait, and up to three otters are seen everyday on Island Mere. Bearded tits are a bit more reliable, especially in the mornings and on sunny days.

    Ducks are dominating sightings on the Scrape, with numbers of wigeons, teals and shovelers increasing by the day. There are still a few waders among them too, including 70+ black-tailed godwits, several snipe, a couple of spotted redshanks, and at least six avocets. Big gulls have been testing the ID skills of some birdwatchers too, with both Caspian and yellow-legged gulls still being reported.

    The unsettled autumn weather has seen good numbers of seabirds passing by in the first few days of the week. Counts have included 70 gannets yesterday, 830 brent geese yesterday, eight Sandwich terns today, and an Arctic skua yesterday. A pomarine skua and 18 great skuas were seen on Saturday and three little gulls were seen on Sunday.

    This arctic skua sat on the beach a few years ago - though they are usually only seen offshore. Photo by Jon Evans

    Despite the changeable weather there are still a few butterflies and dragonflies out when the sun shines.

    I was also lucky enough to see an impressive flock of 19 stone-curlews whilst leading a deer safari yesterday. They were close to the viewpoint on Westleton Heath, so it's worth looking for them from their, especially in the morning. Talking of the deer safaris, there are just a handful of trips still available between Wednesday 29 October and Sunday 2 November.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 6 October 2014

    Little and large show

    The weekend just gone saw the main focus at Minsmere turn to red deer, with our annual weekend of guides and activities at the viewpoint on Westleton Heath. The red deer rut is one of the most impressive wildlife spectacles in the UK. After all, the stags are our largest land mammals, and the sight of two clashing antlers is pretty dramatic. Not that it is seen very often, as their prehistoric bellows are often enough to determine which is the strongest animal, thus avoiding a potentially damaging fight.

    The deer weren't playing ball at times this year, though as they seemed to be favouring fields just over the brow of the hill from the viewpoint, where they were very difficult to spot. You could certainly hear them though - and they were easier to see at either end of the day. There are plenty of other species to look out for on the heath, too. Other highlights include five stone-curlews, Dartford warblers, little owls, and of course, rabbits.

    A stone-curlew by Jon Evans

    This year, however, the red deer show was pushed down the rankings somewhat by an unexpected star visitor in the reedbed at Bittern Hide. This was a tiny, secretive bird called a little crake. Similar to the equally shy water rail, it was only the third time a little crake has been seen in Suffolk - once in the 19th century, at Minsmere in September 1973, and now this one - so it attracted huge crowds of twitchers.

    The little crake was first spotted by a visiting birdwatcher on Tuesday evening, before being relocated late on Saturday by another group of visitors. Hundreds of birdwatchers rushed to Minsmere for a glimpse of this elusive bird, so it was standing room only in Bittern Hide from dawn on Sunday. Although it showed on and off all day, there were some anxious faces when it disappeared for long periods, and much relief each time it popped into view. It wasn't easy to see though, as little crakes are only the size of chaffinch and it favoured the front edge of the far pool so was usually partly hidden by tall vegetation. Most people managed to see it, though perhaps not as well as they'd like, and there were few photographic opportunities. 

    Little crakes breed patchily across Europe, mostly in the east, and winter in parts of Africa and the Middle East, with only a handful of records each year in the UK - though many others probably pass through unseen - so they always draw the crowds. It's not been easy to photograph though - and no-one has sent us any pictures yet.

    The crake wasn't the only unusual visitor at Minsmere though, with the great white egret still present on Island Mere all day. An otter put in a regular appearance there too, as did bearded tits, kingfishers and bitterns. 

    It was a good day for raptor migration too, including one flock (or kettle) of 16 buzzards soaring on a thermal - possibly the same group that I saw over nearby Dunwich Forest. Kestrels and sparrowhawks put on a good show too, and at least one hobby is still around.

    Waders around the Scrape included one avocet, six spotted redshanks, two greenshanks, a knot, a curlew sandpiper, four ringed plovers and 60 black-tailed godwits.

    The beautiful sunny, if cooler, weather meant that it was great day for insects. Common darters were everywhere, with a few ruddy darters, migrant hawkers and willow emerald damselflies still seen. Butterflies included small copper, brown argus, comma, red admiral, green-viened, small and large whites and a couple of clouded yellows. Hornets were numerous too.

    A posse of common darters taking a rest yesterday

    With autumn weather finally upon us, it will be interesting to see if any more scarce migrants reach our shores.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 29 September 2014

    The colour is purple

    There's still a good selection of wading birds on the Scrape, but one has been stealing the show for birdwatchers this week: a beautiful purple sandpiper. These are usually birds of rocky shores, which means there are few reliable places to see them in Suffolk - the north and west coast of the UK are much better. The best place to see them locally is England's most easterly point - Ness Point in Lowestoft - but every winter we'll see one on the sluice outfall here at Minsmere. This month we've been lucky as one has spent a few weeks there, often in company with a couple of sanderlings. Last week it decided to move with the other waders onto the Scrape, where it even posed for photos close to East Hide. Below is a lovely picture taken by our reserve assistant Christine Hall on the beach last week, and Minsmere regular John Richardson has posted a great photo of it on the Scrape in our Forum

    Purple sandpipers are easily overlooked small dark waders. Another easily overlooked wader is the little stint, this time due to its minute size. At least four are still using the Scrape. Other waders to look out for this week include spotted redshanks, greenshanks, common sandpipers, black-tailed godwits and snipe, although only four avocets remain this morning.

    The other stars of the show at the moment are in the reedbed, where a great white egret has taken up residence at Island Mere and flocks of bearded tits are popping up all over the place. Autumn mornings are always the best time of year to see bearded tits as family parties flit around calling, before "erupting" from the reedbed. This means they fly several metres high before dispersing to other reedbeds for the winter. Otters, kingfishers, bitterns and marsh harriers are also seen daily in the reedbed, especially at Island Mere.

    It's been a good week for spotting mammals. As well as the otter, our water vole at the pond has been very showy today, and there are regular sightings of stoats and muntjac. The red deer rut is in full swing, and we're running a special event this weekend to help you to learn more about these impressive beasts. Join us on Westleton Heath from noon on Saturday or 8 am on Sunday, until dusk on both days. A common seal pup was on the beach for a day last week. Perhaps the most exciting sighting was a gorgeous harvest mouse rescued from a pile of cut reed on the Scrape during reserve management work. I wish I'd been around to see it as I've yet to see one of these very cute, tiny mammals. Although common, they are rarely seen.

    Other highlights this week have included a clouded yellow and a few very late white admiral butterflies, willow emerald damselflies, good numbers of migrant hawkers and common darters, as well as hobbies, three pink-footed geese, a red kite and the first water pipit of the autumn.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 20 September 2014

    Great white alert

    A great white was found at Minsmere this afternoon. There's nothing to worry about though as it wasn't a shark. No, our great white is an egret. A beautiful bird it is too.

    Great white egrets remain rare visitors in the UK, though their numbers are increasing and they have been breeding in Somerset for a few years. Here at Minsmere we can see them in any month, though late summer and autumn account for the most sightings. Island Mere is often a favoured spot, but today's was found on South Scrape. Hopefully it will hang around.

    A great white egret photographed by Ian Clarke

    These egrets are best told from their smaller cousins by the bright yellow bill, black feet (little egrets have yellow feet) and of course size. They are larger than a grey heron and much bulkier in flight than a little egret.

    Also on the Scrape today were several waders, including little stint, spotted redshank, greenshank and 73 black-tailed godwits. A purple sandpiper and three sanderlings were on the sluice outfall, while offshore sightings included Sanwich terns and brent geese.

    A hobby was hunting over Bittern Hide, and bearded tits were putting on a good show at Island Mere. Bitterns, marsh harriers, reed buntings and water rails were also seen from the reedbed hides, and a kingfisher flew through the North Bushes.

    All in all, not a bad day considering that it remained dull and dreary all day - though remarkably we avoided any rain while some local areas experienced torrential showers.

    All eyes will be on the beach tomorrow as visitors and volunteers take part in the Marine Conservation Society's annual beach clean. You can join in too, helping us to count and record the litter on the beach. Siply turn up from 10 am to take part.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 18 September 2014

    Osprey!

    The radio crackled into life. "There's an osprey fishing over Island Mere."

    I grabbed my binoculars and camera, clicked lock screen on the computer and headed out to the Whin Hill watchpoint to try to get a look. I called out to two passing visitors that there was an osprey at Island Mere, and they turned to follow me.

    As I reached Whin Hill the radio crackled again. The osprey was now flying past Bittern Hide towards the Visitor Centre - completely the opposite direction to where I was now standing. Hoping it was high enough above the trees to still get a glimpse I looked back along the ride whence I had just come.

    "It's above North Hide now." "How high?" "About 50 metres!" I was looking too high, and Kathy shouted, "It's there!" We didn't have long to watch it before it drifted on north above the trees, but what a bird! There's always something special about seeing an osprey - and for the couple who had followed me it was a first, so even more special. Perhaps it's the one that spent a few days fishing around the Blyth estuary, a few miles to the north? Or maybe it's a different bird, pausing on route from Scotland or Scandinavia. In a few weeks it will be fishing around the coast and rivers of Senegal or Mauritania in West Africa. I hope it has a safe journey and returns to our shores to breed again next year.

    An osprey by Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com) - not the one I saw today.

    I decided to continue on to Island Mere to have my lunch, watching small copper and female common blue butterflies on Whin Hill as I walked. It felt like mid summer, with Sizewell almost obscured in the haze and the sun beating down, and there really are fewer better places to sit and relax than Island Mere Hide.

    The visitors in the hide were buzzing with excitement as not only had they seen the osprey, but they'd watched it being mobbed by a female marsh harrier. In the distance a buzzard circled over the Eastbridge poplars, and a juvenile marsh harrier quartered above the reeds.

    It wasn't easy spotting birds on the mere at midday as we were looking straight at the sun, but I picked out gadwalls, coots and shovelers, several little grebes and five great crested grebes, as well as the usual cormorants. No sign of an otter in my brief 20 minute visit, but one was very active yesterday and the mud below the boardwalk was criss-crossed by what looked to me like otter tracks. Bearded tits pinged nearby, but sightings typically brief as they dashed low over the reeds. A Cetti's warbler shouted his distinctive welcome from a hidden perch. More obliging were the ruddy and common darters that landed on the window ledge.

    All too soon it was time to return to the office, suitably refreshed and inspired by my short connection with nature, knowing that I'd have to try to ignore subsequent radio messages.

    The osprey wasn't today's only highlight. An extremely late nightingale was seen in the North Bushes this morning, along with a blackcap, and an unfortunate goldfinch succumbed to a hungry sparrowhawk. Above the woods a couple of hobbies hawked for dragonflies.

    The autumn's first purple sandpiper and two sanderlings fed on the sluice outfall, and a variety of wading birds could be seen on the Scrape. The best of the waders this week have been little stints. The peak count yesterday was five, but over the weekend there was a colour-ringed stint that was ringed on it's breeding grounds in Norway. After refuelling at Minsmere this tiny wader, like the much larger osprey, will most likely spend the winter in West or southern Africa. Other waders this week have included ringed, golden and grey plovers, knot, dunlin, ruff, snipe, black- and bar-tailed godwits, spotted redshanks, greenshansk and common sandpipers in varying numbers, plus at least 22 late lingering avocets.

    Several visitors have reported seeing grass snakes and adders enjoying the autumn warmth, while a  plethora of different fungi are now appearing around the reserve. One day I may learn the names of a few of them!

    A parasol - one of the few fungi I can identify

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 10 September 2014

    Time for a chat about cricket

    The fabulous Indian summer weather has proved particularly attractive to some of our insects, as well as providing perfect conditions for migratory birds to drop in.

    Our amazing autumn for wryneck records continues. At their final ringing demo of the year last Thursday the Waveney Bird Club trapped and ringed their third wryneck in eight days in the North Bushes. Amazingly, another was found in the dunes the next day and another near near South Hide over the weekend. One remains in the North Bushes today, though it is elusive at times. This brings the total to at least seven wrynecks so far this autumn.

    A wryneck in the hand, showing the amazingly cryptic plumage (photo by Ian Barthorpe)

    Another migrant seen in unusually high numbers this week has been whinchat, peaking at an impressive 10+ in the Chapel Field this morning. The sluice area is a good place to look for these chats, and the closely related wheatear, which often perch prominently as they scan the ground for invertebrates. 

    These chats feed mainly on beetles, crickets and other surface dwelling invertebrates. Walking around Minsmere at the moment you can hear several different species of cricket and grasshopper, but one of the most impressive is the great green bush-cricket. At about 6 cm long these are huge insects, and their stridulations (the sound made by rubbing their wings against their hind legs) is particularly loud. It is a similar sound to the grasshopper warbler, explaining clearly how the latter came to be named. The North Wall and Sluice area are good places to see these not so minibeasts.

    A great green bush-cricket by Jon Evans

    These aren't the only insects enjoying the warm weather. There are several willow emerald damselflies (a recent coloniser) near Wildlife Lookout and good numbers of migrant and southern hawkers and ruddy and common darter dragonflies. In grassy areas there are common blue, brown argus, small copper and small heath butterflies, while the woods hold good numbers of speckled wood. Red admirals, small tortoiseshells and commas are feeding on bramles and buddleias, and a late meadow brown was seen today.

    Reptiles are benefiting from the mild weather too, and Steve found both grass snake and adder during his insect walk this morning.

    Of course, autumn is a great time to look for migrant wading birds feeding in the shallow muddy margins of the Scrape and North Levels pools. There's an excellent variety of species present, though counts of most species remain low apart form the 150 or so black-tailed godwits. A few avocets remain, and several spotted redshanks, greenshanks, snipe and ruffs can be found. Among the highlights this week have been up to five curlew sandpipers and five little stints (including a colour-ringed bird today). Other species seen include sanderling, knot, dunlin, turnstone, ringed and little ringed plovers, green and common sandpipers. A wood sandpiper was on the Konik Field yesterday and the North Levels today, but best of the waders was the elusive pectoral sandpiper on the North Levels this morning.

    A pectoral sandpiper by Jon Evans

    Other migrants seen this week include good numbers of warblers, especially whitethroats and lesser whitethroats, one or two spotted and pied flycatchers and yellow wagtails, and a good passage of swallows. At least nine buzzards today were presumably migrants, while a couple of hobbies remain. A white-winged black tern was on Island Mere briefly one evening last week.

    The reedbed is generally quieter at this time of year, though bitterns and marsh harriers are still seen every day and if you are patient enough you might be lucky. Otters are seen most days too, and kingfishers sightings are most frequent in early autumn. Bearded tit activity should increase in the next few weeks, while water rails are often seen feeding along the edge of the Scrape. At Island Mere the ferruginous duck continues to put in sporadic appearances among the large flock of coots and gadwalls.

    With the high pressure set to continue, perhaps we'll be treated to the arrival another rarity or two in the next week or so too.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

  • 2 September 2014

    An avian Watford Gap

    There's a real feeling of autumn arriving at Minsmere now, despite weather forecasts for another warm spell arriving. It was cool and breezy for my lunchtime walk today, with a hint of drizzle in the air, but all around were signs that migration is in full swing.

    As I strolled through the North Bushes it seemed strangely quiet. Where yesterday the bushes were full of migrant warblers, refueling on blackberries for the long journey ahead, today I saw just a few goldfinches and blue tits. Such a contrast is not unusual as birds spend the morning feeding then either rest or move on. Indeed, from the behaviour of some of the birds yesterday I think there had been a recent arrival of tired migrants - like this juvenile whitethroat that hopped around just a metre away from me.

    There were double figure counts of whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, blackcaps and pied wagtails, a few chiffchaffs and a lovely spotted flycatcher present yesterday, and all these species had been reported again earlier today. Sadly the wryneck was last seen on Sunday though.

    As i reached the beach today I was lucky enough to spot a couple of black terns passing by close inshore - part of a small passage of these beautiful birds. A long-tailed skua was seen offshore this morning too.

    When I reached East Hide it was great to see the Scrape full of birds. Some, like our feral greylag geese and local mallards, moorhens and gadwalls, stay on or near the reserve throughout the year, but many were migrants, taking advantage of the shallow water and muddy margins to refuel. They are using Minsmere as the bird equivalent of a motorway service station, with some stopping only briefly while others stay for several days before continuing their journey southward. Others have arrived to spend the winter.

    Teals were the most numerous ducks, back already from their nesting areas farther north or east. Among them a few wigeons rested on the banks, and I managed to pick out a female pintail. The ducks are an ID challenge still, though, as they remain in their moult, or eclipse, plumage. It will be a few weeks till they acquire their bright colours again.

    If ducks are a challenge, waders are probably even harder. Many visitors don't get the opportunity to watch waders very often, and with a variety of species in all sorts of plumage - breeding, winter, juvenile and intermediate moults, it can get very confusing. I found myself fulfilling the role of our volunteer guides for the next 30 minutes, helping visitors to spot some of the species.

    Three juvenile curlew sandpipers obligingly fed close to the hide, giving a good comparison with the more numerous but very similar dunlins. The three little stints were more tricky to spot, but we eventually found them as the flock wheeled around in flight after being disturbed by a grey heron. There were a few common sandpipers, ruffs, spotted redshanks and greenshanks, as well as little ringed and ringed plovers, all providing a good test of my ID skills. Much easier to see were the remaining dozen or so avocets and about 100 black-tailed godwits. 

    Among the gulls on the Scrape I spotted a little gull in adult winter plumage, while one of our volunteers had earlier seen a juvenile Caspian gull. There was also a juvenile Sandwich tern. Along the reedy margins a few water rails had been putting on a brief show, but I only heard their pig-like squeals.

    Elsewhere on the reserve we still have regular sightings of bitterns and marsh harriers in the reedbed, though neither is easy to spot at this time of year. Bearded tits are becoming more showy and Cetti's warblers are starting to sing again. Otters have been seen most days, including a fight between a dog otter and a youngster at Bittern Hide on Saturday morning. The youngster had a quick sleep afterwards, as photographed by Roy Farrington.

    There still lots of butterflies and dragonflies, the beewolfs can still be seen in the North Bushes, and our wasp spiders may be seen in the dunes. And, of ourse, the best signs of autumn are the ripening blackberries and hawthorns berries around the reserve.

    Posted by Ian Barthorpe

How you can help

Coast on a stormy day with heavy rain falling on coastal headland

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Your sightings

Grid reference: TM4767 (+2km)

Great White Egret ()
22 Oct 2014
Rough-legged Buzzard (1)
22 Oct 2014
Little Crake ()
11 Oct 2014
Wryneck (1)
24 Sep 2014
Ring Ouzel ()
22 Oct 2014
Avocet ()
20 Oct 2014
Black-tailed Godwit ()
20 Oct 2014
Ruff ()
20 Oct 2014
Spotted Redshank ()
20 Oct 2014
Greenshank ()
20 Oct 2014

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 52.24746,1.61705
  • Postcode: IP17 3BY
  • Grid reference: TM473672
  • Nearest town: Saxmundham, Suffolk
  • County: Suffolk
  • Country: England

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Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.

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