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017The sea (640x480)

The beach at Minsmere. I never tire of photographing waves rolling in to the shore.

This is another catch-up post featuring some photos I took last year.  Richard, Elinor and I visited the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) reserve at Minsmere on the Suffolk coast last August on Richard’s birthday.  We are fairly frequent visitors as it is only a few miles drive from our home.  It is a large reserve and has many different types of habitat – woodland, heathland, shoreline, lagoons and creeks.  Not only does it have many, many species of bird there but it is home to all sorts of other wildlife – insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants.  Quite often we hardly see any birds at all depending on the time of year and where we decide to walk.  We don’t often go into the hides but on this occasion we did go into one briefly.

003Rosebay Willowherb (480x640)

Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium), a common enough plant, but at the time this was the first one I’d seen that year.

005Red deer (640x480)

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus). This photograph is not cropped and was taken from the causeway path through the wetland going in the direction of the sea. The deer, though wild, was oblivious to the group of admiring humans taking pictures of it while it ate some tasty vegetation. The deer know they are safe here and feel free to go wherever they want.

006Red deer (640x480)

I love the dark edges to their ears and the dark line down their necks.

009Red deer (640x480)

She has such a lovely face! The females are much smaller than the males and are 160 – 210 cm / 63 – 83″ long (not including the tail) and weigh about 120 -170 kg / 260 – 370 lbs.

021Driftwood (640x480)

Driftwood on the beach

019Richard and Elinor (640x480)

Don’t be fooled! They were enjoying themselves really!

022Sea Kale (640x480)

Sea Kale (Crambe maritima)

023Plants on sand dune (640x479)

A variety of plants grow on the sand dunes or shingle dunes as they should be called here!

037Lesser centaury (640x480)

Lesser Centaury (Centaurium pulchellum). Unfortunately I didn’t manage to find any with the flowers open.

033Common Sandpiper (640x480)

I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it that this is a Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) My camera wouldn’t zoom any closer.

035Duck and Avocet (640x480)

An unidentified duck and an Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

053Spoonbill (640x480)

A Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

 

 

 

038Reed (480x640)

Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

039Common Restharrow (640x480)

Common Restharrow (Ononis repens) The sticky leaves are covered in grains of sand.

040Stonecrop (640x480)

Stonecrop (Sedum). I am not sure which Stonecrop this one is.

041Teasels (640x480)

Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) seedheads

044Teasel flower (480x640)

I managed to find a Teasel still in flower – just!

042Lesser Burdock (640x480)

Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus)

043Burdock flowers (640x480)

Lesser Burdock flowers – the pink-purple florets grow out from between the spiny bracts.

045Tansy (640x480)

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

046Tansy (640x487)

Little yellow buttons!

 

047Konik pony (640x480)

Konik ponies – primitive ponies from Poland – are used by the RSPB as they are very hardy, thrive on rough grazing and tolerate wet conditions.

048Konik pony (640x480)

I couldn’t get a shot of the pony’s face –

049Konik pony (640x480)

– no matter how I tried!

 

 

050Elinor and Richard (640x480)

I am always getting left behind!

051Elinor and Richard (640x480)

And this is what happens when I catch up!

054Marsh Sow-thistle (480x640)

Marsh Sow-thistle (Sonchus palustris)

055Michaelmas daisy (480x640)

I believe this is Michaelmas Daisy rather than Sea Aster, unfortunately

058Chickweed (640x480)

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

059Marsh Mallow (480x640)

Marsh-mallow (Althaea officinalis)

060Sloes (640x480)

Ripening sloes on the Blackthorn trees (Prunus spinosa)

062Silverweed (640x480)

Silverweed (Potentilla anserina) so called because the leaves are covered in silvery, silky hairs that catch the light and shine like silver.

061Highland Cattle (640x480)

The RSPB also use black Highland cattle to graze the marshes

 

We will no doubt be visiting the reserve again very soon.  I read that they have discovered some Common Bird’s-nest fungi there recently and I would like to see it.