Saturday, 20 February 2016
Minsmere Smew & Whoopers
On Tuesday 16th February having a TOIL half day. I drove down to an initially frosty Minsmere, walking along the track between West and South hide just after 9am, I managed to see 2 small groups of birds feeding on the Alder seeds of the Alder trees on the east side of the track, both 5 Goldfinches and 5 Siskin fed and I obtained a few pictures of each. I walked on but there was no sign of the Whoopers behind south hide. A knowledgable jogger disturbed a female Stonechat perched right by the path but he knew it was a female Stonechat pity his bird craft wasn't so up to his ID skills. The female Stonechat seen briefly perched in a bush by the reeds and on posts by the side of the track. At Island Mere having first looked for the Firecrests without success by the Rhododendron tunnel. As I walked in the hide, the 2 Whooper Swans took to flight and appeared to fly over to the South Levels. A fine Redhead Smew was on the middle area of the Mere. Back at the Rhodedendron tunnel again no luck despite staying half and hour before I had to leave at 11.30am to go back to work. I'm struggling to see Firecrests this year having dipped them in Corton woods several times.