Naturelog:7th March

Posted: March 11, 2015 in Birds, Butterflies and Moths, Natural History
Tags: , , , ,

In the afternoon we visit the RSPB reserve at Minsmere. This is one of the premier birdwatching sites in the UK most notably because of its position on the east coast and because of the way it manages to combine a number of different habitats (heathland; freshwater lake; reedbed; marsh; woodland; coast) in one area. As we are in the area for a few days we decide to break it into two sections and do one today and one tomorrow. Today we concentrate on the heath, marsh and the coast. There has been some maintenance work in progress over the winter to install a new protective fence for the nesting birds on the mud-flats and this has probably reduced the numbers of wading birds which have wintered here this year, so it is quieter than I would have expected.

During the lunch-time sun a peacock butterfly makes an appearance, my first butterfly of the year

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

From the dunes looking over the marsh I can just make out a distant Spoonbill. Once rare these birds are now being seen with increasing frequency in Southern England.

SPOONBILL
Spoonbill
Photo by Fabio Gismundi (https://www.flickr.com/photos/fabiogis50/)

On the Mud-flats are several Avocets along with some Oystercatchers.

Marsh and Mud-flats

Marsh and Mud-flats

Avocets and Shelduck

Avocets and Shelduck

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

There are also a number of Little Egrets, another bird which was rare 10 years ago but is now nesting in many places in southern England.

Little Egret

Little Egret

On the heath the song-birds are beginning to sing with the resident Dunnocks and Robins to the fore. It will not be many weeks now before the summer visitors have arrived to swell the chorus.

Heathland at Minsmere

Heathland at Minsmere

Robin

Robin

On the coast there is little to see apart from some Herring Gulls and two distant Red-Throated Divers flying out to sea as they make their way north to their breeding grounds

Coastal sand Dunes at Minsmere

Coastal sand Dunes at Minsmere

Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata)
Red-Throated Diver
Photo by Noel Reynolds (https://www.flickr.com/photos/29237715@N05/)

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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