Saturday, 11 August 2012

Once again, Minsmere's the Place!

Dad and I headed for Minsmere on Wednesday, looking for the elusive Ferruginous Duck, that has been lingering around Island Mere. We were also prepared for the local Spoonbills to show up as well, and maybe some other interesting species.

First we headed to Island Mere, hopefully getting the day off to a great start with the Ferruginous Duck. When we got in, people were still searching for the duck, amongst about 250 other ducks! After about 15 minutes searching, I revealed the elusive Ferruginous Duck!

The darker coloured bird, center is the Ferruginous Duck. I took this one. 
Here's Dads...

The one with the white bum is the Ferruginous Duck.

That was a great start, and one of my target birds of the day ticked. This was my first ever Ferruginous, Dads second, as his first came at Bosmere - I don't regret not seeing it as much now! We moved on to the Bittern Hide, and typically, we had been 15 minutes late of seeing the Bittern right in front of the hide! Within 2 minutes I spotted a distant group of 5 Spoonbills flying towards us......

5 Spoonbills

The pinging of Bearded Tits ruled the reedbeds, but not showing. We did however get a great view of a Reed Warbler right in front of the hide. A brief Sedge Warbler, and a squeaking Water Rail was upstream out of sight. Some Butterfly species were about, with Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and some lovely Painted Lady's. 

Speckled Wood


Not Sure, possibly another Gatekeeper. 

We moved back, had lunch, and we headed around the scrape. Unfortunately, they were chopping down the vegetation, so all the wading birds were on Lucky Pool, so that's where we headed. 


The pool was packed. interesting birds included the 5 Spoonbills, Spotted Redshanks, Greenshanks, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Avocet and Little Egret. A few more waders came in off the sea and onto Lucky Pool. Here they are.

You may be able to see the faint circles on the furthest bird left, and the fifth bird from the right. The left hand side bird that is circled is a Curlew Sandpiper. and the one preening on the right circled is a Pectoral Sandpiper. It took me a little while to try and id this bird, but with a bit of help from the visitor centers sightings board, it soon clicked in. This is my first ever Pectoral Sandpiper, and the same with Dad. This bird wasn't there for long, and neither was the Curlew Sand. But the Pectoral Sand was seen again yesterday on Lucky Pool again. An incredible day. Happy Birding.


  1. Hi Ben, your bottom butterfly is a Grayling. Congratulations on your first Ferruginous Duck and Pec Sandpiper.

    1. Cheers James, I did think about that, but I put down a Gatekeeper. i will rely on you for future id tips. Thanks again, Ben.