Depending on up-to-date information, we may visit North Warren and Minsmere RSPB reserves, Southwold and Sizewell in search of species that make Suffolk famous. The grazing marshes at North Warren support nationally important numbers of Eurasian White-fronted Geese and this is one of the few regular wintering sites for Tundra Bean Geese in the UK. In recent years several Great Egrets have wintered along the Suffolk coast so we will keep our eyes peeled for them on our travels.
At Southwold marshes it is possible to see wintering Water Pipit feeding on flooded fields and nearby saltmarsh could hold a flock of Twite. The harbour attracts many gulls such as Mediterranean, Caspian and Yellow-legged.
Minsmere RSPB reserve needs no introduction particularly with the BBC ‘Springwatch’ programme broadcasting from here in the past. If weather has been mild, Woodlark and Dartford Warblers may be heard singing on the heath. The coast sees large numbers of wintering Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe as well as Common Scoter and Northern Gannets passing northwards as they return to their breeding grounds.
The reed-beds hold Eurasian Bittern, Water Rail and Western Marsh Harrier and as dusk falls, Tundra & Whooper Swans regularly roost after a day of feeding in nearby fields. If time permits we may visit a small colony of Black-legged Kittiwake with the chance to find wintering Black Redstarts.
On previous trips to this area we have seen Arctic Redpoll, Green-winged Teal, Snow Bunting, Horned Lark (Shore Lark), Glaucous Gull, Purple Sandpiper, Cattle Egret and Great Egret!
(Does not include reserve admission charges)