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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Amazing time at Trimley Marshes

On Wednesday 8th June, Rob Will contacted me to see whether I was up to going down for both the Whiskered & Little B at Trimley, I was! I was grateful for the company and for Rob doing the driving and just after the hour we were parking at the carpark by the reserve entrance. Happy memories of coming here in the past included the White- throated Sparrow feeding around the base of the Oak trees at the reserve entrance many years ago and more recently seeing the Pacific Swift zooming around the scrape. We undertook the interminably long 2 mile trek down to the reserve proper. It meant that I couldn't and didn't take my camera bag as I couldn't have carried that all the way down and all the way back again. A Nightingale was heard just before the hide, singing from within the scrub. We walked along the river wall and was told the Whiskered was flying around the pool by the third hide, sure enough scanning over there we could see the fine Whiskered Tern flying away. Also on the pool were 2 magnificent male Ruff in their full breeding finery chestnut, dressed like Tudor nobility one bird sported a sensational chestnut ruff and another male bird showing a magnificent black ruff. Around 30 Black- tailed Godwits seen here too. The Whiskered tern flew up and down the watery areas, with a similar flight to other marsh terns, it sported a black cap white ear coverts white facial area that clearly contrasted with the grey back wing coverts and belly. Walking over to the reservoir hide, we saw the Whiskered tern flying over here on occasion. We were hopeful of seeing the LB, Steve P, Justin Z, Eric P and other South Suffolk stalwarts were here. Steve then left but no sooner had he done so than he came back in and announced excitedly that the LB was calling outside. No sooner had the hide rapidly emptied, we could all hear the loud "barking" call of the Little Bittern, we walked quickly across a bridge over a dyke with reeds over the other side and we went into another hide, I settled along the right hand side out of the side window. I was perfectly situated as the call appeared to coming from the dyke (over which we had just crossed using the wooden bridge walkway) suddenly I saw a black capped Little head and long yellow bill with black tip stick up from above the reeds really close (oh, I wished I had my camera with me!) it was the fantastic Little Bittern! It stuck its head up further and we saw a greyish face and then a warm yellowy- orange body wings as it clambered up the stem and jet black body. It then flew out and across the hide settling near the top of a reed on the left hand side of the hide. Its black body, orange- yellow wings, neck, grey head, black crown and yellowy bill clearly seen as it perched there for a couple of minutes before finally it flew directly away from the hide and eventually out of sight! What an incredible trip, 2 Suffolk ticks in one night sometime i have to wait 2-3 years for a new Suffolk bird.

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