Arrived Links Road, Lowestoft to enjoy stunning views of the WOODCHAT SHRIKE in the glorious sunshine right next to the car - and watched it eating wasps. Watched the shrike up until 12pm. Gripped Eddie with a Yellow-Browed Warbler in the wood next to the carpark - it was in full view, but only for seconds and was with a tit flock. Met Joseph Nichols (who got Bird Photo of the Week on Birdguides for his stunning Sandhill Crane shot - see here) who also saw the YBW the same few seconds as me. By the time we left, the Woodchat Shrike had relocated to its new perch - the notice board by the seawall!!!
I can't remember the last time I visited this reserve - I love Minsmere and should visit more often really. Eddie and I started off with lunch in the cafe whilst watching greenfinches, goldfinches etc on the feeders. We walked for what seemed like miles to find the Glossy Ibis with no luck initially. We walked a long way past the 'levels', almost up the power station! The wind felt really cold and I wasn't feeling very well, which didn't help. We sat along the top dune path and had fantastic views of 4 red-breasted geese (strikingly beautiful), fem. cape shelduck, 117+ Barnacle Geese and to our surprise at least 100+ house martins skimming over a pool! We then walked back as far as the sluice and continued along the path to East Hide. Along the path we saw 5 Stonechats. From this hide we had close views of a Hen Harrier (ringtail) at 5.35pm. Walked back and watched a Wheatear on the sluice wall at 6pm and a Cettis Warbler was heard. 2 Bearded Tits flew across the reedbed on the way back, just before West Hide. It was semi dusk now and all hopes of seeing the Glossy Ibis had disappeared. Eddie went into West Hide for a quick look. I felt quite ill and cold and just wanted to go home at this point, so sat on the seat outside the hide listening to a Cettis Warbler. Eddie came straight out of the hide and said 2 birders had seen the glossy ibis a few minutes ago. We went back in the hide and a few minutes later saw the GLOSSY IBIS at 6.27pm sitting more or less in front of the East Hide, where we had been earlier! No hope of a picture though at that distance and in the now abysmal light - but at least we managed to see it!