RSPB Minsmere

254 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

November, 2017

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Wife

Reasons for trip

Beautiful winter day with hardly a cloud meant we could be looking into the sun. We were also later than usual, especially after stopping for a light lunch and drink. Bittern Hide was bereft: birders in plenty but no birds.

Should we retrace steps and look towards the sea, which at least meant having the sun on our backs? We decide to try Island Mere first. This is further inland than most others, and of course had the disadvantage of low sunlight across water. Still, there were birds. Cormorants, as often, but also grebes, geese and swans – whoopers had been spotted in the morning. Someone mentioned a bittern: it stepped out then back into the reeds. That usually means the end of bittern sightings, so we settled for what else there was.
Then, surprise: it stepped out of another patch of reed and slowly made its way towards a stretch of water flowing into the mere. It stood up like a caricature of itself, waited a short time then plodded on. There was plenty of time to note its camouflage, and to realise how easily such a big bird can be disguised in full view.

A grey heron landed at the mere’s edge just where the stream debouched. For a short time both were in the viewfinder, an interesting contrast between the slender and the rotund. Would the bittern enter the water? It was like a nervous swimmer tip-toeing to the Christmas dip. Suddenly it darted its beak into the water and drew it back with a fish. A few moments later, having adjusted its prey comfortably, it took off. That was certainly the last we would expect to see of it. The fish looked a good size for a meal and afterwards it would have better things to do than parade for us.

There had been otters and marsh harriers in the morning but they were no more likely to return than the bittern. Nonetheless, with beech trees still helmeted in orange and sunlight glinting off streams there was plenty more to enjoy on the way back to the visitor centre and car park.

Not a long visit but a very rewarding one.

John.Pelling

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.