Havergate Adventure 21st August

We had a family holiday back in my native Suffolk in August and went across to Havergate Island on one of the Havergate Adventure trips organised by the Woodbridge RSPB Group. I hadn't been to Havergate for many years and it was a first visit for my partner and our daughter, Jessica. On collecting our tickets from the harbourmaster's office on Orford quay Jessica was given a list of birds to tick. This always brings out the  nascent twitcher in her! Low cloud hung over the River Ore as we were ferried to the island in a bracing wind. On arrival we were met by a volunteer and escorted to three of the hides on the island.

There were lots of birds on the scrapes with a good selection of waders. A greenshank feed obligingly in front of the first hide we entered and we saw some smart golden plovers still in breeding plumage, dunlins, ringed plovers, knots and a little egret. A couple of juvenile common terns were on the island, the adults flying back and forth to feed them. From the next hide there were black-tailed godwits and a single bar-tailed godwit, redhanks, a curlew and just before we left a dark phase arctic skua flew in over the adjacent scrape, dropping to land out of view.

The final hide was what birdwatching should be - sat watching 17 spoonbills whilst drinking a cup of tea and eating a slice of delicious homemade cake. There were hundreds of avocets on this scrape and a selection of ducks - shelducks, mallards, gadwalls, teals, shovelers and wigeons.

Back at Orford quay, Jessica handed in our completed list of birds seen and we visited the castle, seeing a couple of swifts over the village. Back home in Newark we got a telephone call to say Jessica had seen the most species and won a prize. She was very pleased with her RSPB bird guide.

Thank you to all the volunteers from the Woodbridge Local Group and RSPB staff for making it such an enjoyable day out.