Monday, 14 March 2011

Saturday 12th - Minsmere

Today I took a walk around Minsmere in rather pleasant early spring sunshine and what a difference a few days of sunshine and a change in wind direction makes. Birds were calling all around the reserve and the Red-throated Divers on the sea seem to have progressed a bit further towards summer dress with the hint of their red-throat patch coming through. A Chiffchaff the was calling strongly from the dunes was probably a true spring migrant and bounced from bush to bush with its typical tail pumping jizz. The black-headed Gulls on the scrape had increased in number with 300+ birds present with 5 very smart Mediterranean gulls mixed in. The assemblage of larger gulls contained just the one Yellow-legged, but a few colour ringed Herring and Lesser black-backed Gulls.
Ringed LBB Gull

With the sun out I was a bit more optimistic of perhaps stumbling across a Penduline Tit but alas drew a blank. The 2 Snipes seem to have done a bunk and were not seen in front of Island mere. 2 Nuthatches feeding on the feeders near the work centre hark back to days when they used to be commoner in years gone by.

A couple of people have asked about the familiaris race (Northern) treecreepers I was talking about a couple of posts ago. These are the nominate form of our British Treecreepers, and are found in Northern Europe. Little information on the status of these birds is scant but a look at some of the galleries show this race has a frosty appearance with clean white underparts, extending to the undertail coverts and vent. The supercillium is pure white both in front of the eye and behind and the ear coverts lack any buffyness. The following link show a gallery of such birds.

With the continued good weather spring migrants are liley to become ever present over the next few days.

Great crested Grebe

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