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.
Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium), a common enough plant, but at the time this was the first one I’d seen that year.
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.
I love the dark edges to their ears and the dark line down their necks.
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.
Driftwood on the beach
Don’t be fooled! They were enjoying themselves really!
Sea Kale (Crambe maritima)
A variety of plants grow on the sand dunes or shingle dunes as they should be called here!
Lesser Centaury (Centaurium pulchellum). Unfortunately I didn’t manage to find any with the flowers open.
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.
An unidentified duck and an Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
A Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
Common Restharrow (Ononis repens) The sticky leaves are covered in grains of sand.
Stonecrop (Sedum). I am not sure which Stonecrop this one is.
Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) seedheads
I managed to find a Teasel still in flower – just!
Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus)
Lesser Burdock flowers – the pink-purple florets grow out from between the spiny bracts.
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Little yellow buttons!
Konik ponies – primitive ponies from Poland – are used by the RSPB as they are very hardy, thrive on rough grazing and tolerate wet conditions.
I couldn’t get a shot of the pony’s face –
– no matter how I tried!
I am always getting left behind!
And this is what happens when I catch up!
Marsh Sow-thistle (Sonchus palustris)
I believe this is Michaelmas Daisy rather than Sea Aster, unfortunately
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Marsh-mallow (Althaea officinalis)
Ripening sloes on the Blackthorn trees (Prunus spinosa)
Silverweed (Potentilla anserina) so called because the leaves are covered in silvery, silky hairs that catch the light and shine like silver.
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.