Back at the Eels Foot Inn

Eels Foor Inn room
Eels Foor Inn room

We are treating Helen’s parents to a weekend away, the pub at Eastbridge is just the ticket. Arrived at around 7:00 on Friday.

Had breakfast the headed off towards Dunwich Heath. Weather showers which seemed to be showering when we were walking. After a tea break at the coast guard cottages we headed off round the hides of Minsmere. Late lunch at the visitors centre, I had the lovely spinach bake. Quick trip to Southwold for the papers then a rest and into the pub for a well earned beer.

Sand dunes and grey sky

Blackbird, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Mute Swan, Greylag, Mallard, Moorhen, Goldcrest, Robin, Green Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Stonechat, Kestrel, Cormorant, LBB Gull, Red-throated Diver, Black-headed Gull, Gadwall, Black Tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Avocet, Little Egret, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Shelduck, Herring Gull, Coot, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Wigeon, Shoveler, Knot, Oystercatcher, Jay, Coal Tit, Jackdaw, Rook, Snipe, Starling, Curlew, Pheasant.

Rock Pipit (Scandinavian)

Dead fish

On the way to work got a text claiming a Scandinavian Rock Pipit at Wilstone Reservoir. I was less than a mile away and was early for work so I headed on down to the reservoir. The car park was empty, which considering the text was timed 5 minutes earlier is strange.

Anyway I went up the steps to have a look, looking along the concrete beach around the edge of the water near the steps all I could see were a couple of Pied Wagtails, just just as I was giving up I noticed a small brown job, which looked a lot like a Pipit.

Apparently the Scaninavian one gets lumped in with Rock Pipit so I dont think it would count on the life list, but I haven’t seen a Rock Pipit this year so it makes it onto the 2009 list. If you want to know what one looks like try this Google image search (1 YTD 70)

Welney swan feeding

Swans being fed

Did a trip to Welney WWT with parents. Thought we would have to go the long way because the road would be flooded but saw signs for Swan feeding and tried the short way. Turns out the floods had receded recently.

Welney Bridge

Wood Pigeon, Rook, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Black-headed Gull, Comorant, Magpie, Pheasant, Mute Swan, Mallard, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Red-legged Partridge, Lapwing, Wigeon, Coot, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Pochard, Whooper Swan, Redshank, Moorhen, Herring Gull, Greylag, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Tree Sparrow, Dunlin, Great Crested Grebe, Starling. (36)

Sky Larks

Pulpit Hill

Helen saw the first one as we drove back the morning after an evening at Ian and Rosie’s. Later that day I went for a walk from Edlesborough round “Pulpit Hill” and Chequers. In the field that runs next the the village hall about 10 Sky Larks.

Edlesborough church

Walk runs from the village hall carpark, up the road toward Checquers take the footpath across the field, toward the church, then up round the hill, now public access. Up through some over grown privet, then down and across the drive of Chequers. Up to Coombe hill down the other side to the golf club and along the road back to the village hall. (1 YTD 69)

Sunday walk round Minsmere from Eastbridge


After breakfast packed and loaded up the cars, and then headed off down the foot path to Minsmere sluice. Always on the look out for Bittern flying up out of the reed beds. The weathewr was bright but not as sunny as saturday. Spotted some black ducks out at sea we claimed them as Common Scoter. Visited East Hide where we saw a Smew and a a bloke in the hide (new to bird watching) got very excited about a duck we could not figure out, turned out to be a female Smew.
Headed round and along the Northwall back to the visitors center where we had the obligatory coffee and cake. Then headed back to the pub via Bittern Hide (no sign of Bittern). All things considered a fantastic weekend.
On the way back we stopped at Auntie Anne’s and had more cakes and coffee, all home made and yummy. Had to depart all too soon and head  up the A12 followed by M25.

Final list for the weekend: Robin, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, GS Woodpecker, Dunnock, Stonechat, GC Grebe, Herring Gull, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Jackdaw, Green Woodpecker, Wren, Kestrel, Magpie, Siskin, BH Gull, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Cormorant, Lapwing, Shelduck, Mallard, Dunlin, Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Pheasant, Marsh Harrier, LBB Gull, Shoveller, Starling, Curlew, Rook, Bearded Tit, Canada Goose, Moorhen, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Crow, Little Egret, Coot, Common Scoter, Smew, Pintail, Sanderling, Marsh Tit, Greenfinch, Redwing, Long-tailed Tit, Jay. (60 YTD 68)

A picture of the ice. makes a good desktop back ground.

The Old Swan, Swan Bottom


Walked starting and ending at the Old Swan. Yellowhammer then saw a large flock Redwing and Fieldfare feeding in a field. They were spooked by a Sparrowhawk. Later saw a couple of Crows. As we got close to The Lee, saw 20ish Meadow Pipit in a field with horse and possible a couple of Mistle Thrush. Ended the walk with a pint of Weary Banker (The Marlow Brewery), and a Veggie burger and chips, mine Mexican style. Beer was excellent nice light real ale. Burgers were great. (4 YTD 55)

A winters walk

Frosted trees

Went for a walk with Helen up around St Leonards and The Lee. Saw a mixed flock with Yellowhammer, Bullfinch and a Common Buzzard. It was very cold, but well worth the effort to see the winter spectacle. There were no muddy paths just uneven ground because the mud was like concrete.

PS Saw a Green Woodpecker from the window at work on Friday (4 YTD 51).

Three new birds for the 2009 list

Went out early this morning (10am!), to Ivinghoe. it was really cold -3 C. Spotted a Stonechat. Soon got fed up with temperature and went to Hillside for coffee and biscuits, where we got Greenfinch and Greater Spotted Woodpecker. (3 YTD 46)

Wilstone to pick up a few ticks

Late afternoon and getting cold. Gulls flyinging by the 10’s to roost.

Tufted Duck, Common Cormorant, Common Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Common Gull, Common Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Grey Wagtail (13 YTD 43)