In the dunes

I visited a couple of weeks ago and was disappointed I didn't see Dartford Warblers (how come on TV they're always helpfully perched on top of gorse bushes?)  Looking at the photo's I manged to get, look like Whitethroat and probably a Dunnock (somehow I wasn't expecting one in that habitat), is that correct.

Later on having some time left after completing a walk around I went back for one last look out of North Hide, being closest to the car park.  Some kind person pointed out that a Bittern had not long before dropped into the reeds so I thought I would wait around a little longer.  After a while apparently the original couple could see it in the reeds, but despite many imaginative ways of describing where it was neither  I nor any of the other people in the hide could see it !  Anyway as luck would have it, patience paid off as it emerged from the sidelines and I got the best view I've ever had of a Bittern.

Just to add to the pictures, I liked one of a laughing Old Frank & a Dragonfly that was very obliging


  • Very nice set and not uncommon to find a Dunnock in that kind of habitat in my experience




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  • Good to see you had an obliging Bittern. We don't see them that regularly from North hide (Bittern & Island Mere are the go-to spots), but it just shows you how some patience can pay off sometimes - bet the camera was red hot :-)


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  • Lovely pictures. It is indeed a dunnock. They are common in any areas of scrub, and are regularly seen in the dunes, where they often cause similar confusion. It's not unusual for familiar "garden" birds to cause confusion when seen in a different habitat. The other photos are also correctly identified as whitethroats.
    Regarding Dartford warblers. They do sit upright on the top of gorse bushes, but only usually when singing. Most of the time they will be skulking within the gorse or heather (or bramble along the dunes) and will be seen best as they flit low and fast between the bushes. While a couple of pairs have bred along the dunes, and have at times given visitors some great views, they are usually much easier to see if you have a walk around the large areas of heathland on the Suffolk coast, including both Westleton Heath (most of which is within the reserve boundary) and Dunwich Heath National Trust. In my experience, you are best to look for them early or late in the day as they tend ot be less active in the heat of the day. Better luck next time - though you can't grumble at those views of a bittern!