Minsmere - Green Woodpeckers, Bitterns, Bearded Tits, Terns, Sand Martins and Adders.

Just over two weeks ago we visited Minsmere R.S.P.B. Reserve a couple of times (we were staying in the area) in the hope of seeing adders and bitterns.
As is so often the case at this time o year on the East Coast, sea-mist rolled in and made photography impossible so the lovely Golden Plovers, Grey Plovers, Terns etc were a bit `lost` in the mist and the weather was much too cold for Dartford Warblers to be performing in full view. However, all was not lost as a beautiful Green Woodpecker decided to land and feed off ants withing view of the path as we walked from the coast and actually stayed long enough to be photographed! The low-contast lighting and water-drops on the grass and flowers really added to the sight; truly lovely...
green woodpecker 040c (120)green woodpecker 040c (124)

On returning to the coastal path, a linnet showed well as he fed on seeds at the top of the dunes. The image stabilization was put to the test here as the strong wind blew me about! A Whitethroat also braved the cold temperatures to sing from a branch.
linnet 040c (905)whitethroat 040c (2368)
The cold weather and misty conditions warranted a cup of tea and piece of cake so we headed back to the visitor center - and were treated to the sound of a Cetti`s Warbler (no surprise there) AND a brief clear view (wow)! Engage motor drive...

cettis warbler 040c (474)

Suitably refreshed, we headed over to Dunwich Heath to enjoy distant views of a Cuckoo and search for Dartford Warblers; they were there but not showing in the cold conditions. Still, all in all, a good day!

The following day saw more sea-mist but the promise of sunnier conditions in the afternoon so we walked from Minsmere to Dunwich Heath once more - the sun beginning to `burn through` as we descended to the stream on the return leg towards  Mismere: almost stepping on an adder as it crossed the path!  Engage motor-drive again...
adder 040c (2281)

With the weather finally warming a little we set off back to Minsmere to try our luck with the bitterns from The Island Hide. We were totally unprepared for the stunning sights of a bittern close to the hide in full view (for over 20 minutes) and the seven male bearded tits performing in the reeds behind us....

Engage motor-drive again.... and again...

bittern 040c (1526)bittern 040c (2607)

bearded tit 040c (1815)

There a more images on my Flikr Feed of course. Just click on the images above to view them.

And then, on the walk back to the exit, a Common Tern provided a perfect chance to grab an action photo` as a fitting finale.

common tern with fish 040c (2529)
Minsmere delivered again!

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