One of the places I wanted to visit during our recent trip to Suffolk was RSPB Minsmere. We have a nature programme here in the UK called Springwatch and they have based themselves at this nature reserve during the filming. It always looked interesting and although I feed the birds in my garden and like to spot them on the beach I have never gone specially to seek them out.
Gav was happy to stay with Buddy (he couldn’t come in of course) and I set off on my new adventure. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I arrived at the visitor centre but quickly realised that they take all this nature watching very seriously with trails, hides, different types of habitats, enough for a week’s worth of exploring let alone the couple of hours I thought I’d be there.
I decided to take the coastal path that was 2 miles in length and took me past shingle beach and several lagoons. There are huge hides build along the side of the lagoons Wooden buildings on two levels where a dozen people can sit comfortably binoculars in hand watching and documenting. I ventured into three of these and in the second one a chap sat next to me and asked that question. “Have you seen the Smew?” My poor brain struggled with a response until I decided that honesty was the best policy and I explained this was my first visit to the reserve. To give him his due he did briefly explain what they looked like and that a sighting of a pair had apparently been made that day – he had come specially to see them. Then he turned and asked the people to his left if they had spotted them. The Smew were it seems being elusive.
Although I had an old pair of binoculars and my 100mm lens I struggled to see most of the birds out there. My equipment paled into insignificance set alongside what others were wielding. But I had a very enjoyable two hours or so and when I got the photos on the computer I did manage to zoom in so I could identify a few species.
The first photo above is of a Shelduck then there is a Wigeon and below are Avocets.
And of course here we have the lesser spotted Buddlington.
I don’t think I’ll be taking twitching up a hobby but like I say it was an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon.