Minsmere 100 (12/05/18)

Today I was determined to get 100 in a day.

We set off at 3am and the first bird we heard was a Tawny Owl. We went to the heath near Minsmere and were predicting what bird we would see first. The aim of going out that early was to find a Nightjar. Whilst walking Bitterns were booming a Cuckoo was calling and the Nightjars were reeling.  We were tracking the Nightjar listening to the call.  Eventually we found one half an hour later and a one turned into a three, all circling around us for a minute until they disappeared back into the heath.

Muntjac Deer

Muntjac Deer

Then we went to see the Stone Curlews, which we found in a field.  Walking back we saw Bullfinch, Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff in a tree bounding around.

CHiffchaff

Chiffchaff

We diverted down a track to find a Dartford Warbler with three Stonechats hopping around on some gorse bushes.

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

After that we were looking out for Tree Pipit and Woodlark, unfortunately we only found the Woodlark.  It was about five o’clock and we were up to 40 different species.

Then we went to Minsmere and went straight to the Isle of Mere Hide managing to see and hear the Savi’s Warbler calling.  Marsh Harriers where gracefully flying and Bearded Tits, Reed & Sedge Warblers hopped around the reeds.

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Whist walking out we saw a broad bodied dragonfly on a reed glowing yellow.

Four-spotted Chaser

Broad Bodied Chaser

When we were on the path to North Hide there was a Turtle Dove calling, we hunted for it but it was too buried in the bushes to see it.

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Then went up to the breach and saw a least 200 Common Scoter fly past and also in the water.  Also there was Little, Sandwich and Common Terns flying around.  We had a variety of ducks and geese, gulls and waders on the scrape.  When we got back to the centre by 10:45 we had 86 species of birds.  Our next challenge was to find a Nightingale, we heard one singing but it didn’t show itself.  We did however have a glorious view of a Yellow Hammer and we was luckily enough that a Turtle Dove flew over as well.

Yellowhammer

Yellow Hammer

We were missing Collard Dove, Starling and House Sparrow so we went to a local town and got them.  Then going to Blyth River to get a few more waders and got Egyptian Geese and Common Sandpiper.

Finally we went to Colton Marshes to find our 100th bird and try to see the American Bittern, which after couple hours we managed to see.  Our 100th bird was a Yellow Wagtail that flew past whilst waiting for the Bittern.  On the way back we saw a Barn Owl and a Cuckoo.  We finally got 107 birds, we saw 101 and the other 6 we only heard.

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