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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunrise start catches the Minsmere Little Crake

A very early start saw me entering the Bittern hide at Minsmere at 6.50am, it was already light and the Crake had already shown. My error in arriving 20 minutes later had no knock effect however, as I entered a packed hide but with room in the third row back to set up my scope. I stood next to Dick W & Paul & Jane F. After just 10 minutes the bird was seen, a wonderful immature Little Crake, It had been seen at the far pool walking around, or rather running around the at the back on the mud. However, when I saw it It crept out from the right of the far pool at the nearest edge (which narrowed to a pint at its nearest edge) whilst was slightly covered by a few reeds. The immature Little Crake walked out and around and then walked left. It later popped out and walked right, then I saw it come out again from the right. The small size and typical Crake like appearance ruled out Water Rail and the structure, particularly the protruding primaries and prominent fine white face and lack of barring ruled out Baillons. All in all I saw the bird for around 5 minutes wandering around and most of the distinctive feature were observed. Incidently, this was the 3rd bird for Suffolk the last being in 1973, also at Minsmere. A walk around the Scrape viewing from the East scrape hide, revealed many Black- tailed Godwits at least 50, and 3 Dunlin. We also saw 4 Spotted Redshanks in their grey winter plumage in the south west corner too. From the public hide, returning Wigeon 100 were back in some numbers as were 3 pairs of Pintail, with some asleep on the island. We were also fortunate to see several small parties of erupting Bearded Tits, usually around 8 in number, 3 distinct groups seen. Plus a pair of Stonechat on gorse by the path. Walking back along the North marsh, an immature Bearded Tit was showing well in the reeds.

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