Teal at Minsmere
Minsmere: World Wetlands Day
The RSPB is organising two walks on the Suffolk coast this year. They commemorate the signing of the Ramsar Convention on 2nd February 1971 in the Iranian village of Ramsar. It aims to protect internationally important wetlands.
Two walks are taking place. One at Minsmere on the 25th anniversary itself (Thursday 2nd February 2006) and another at North Warren near Aldeburgh (Sunday 5th February 2006).
RSPB Minsmere nature reserve
The RSPB's Ian Barthorpe will lead the walks "‘RSPB North Warren is a fantastic place to watch winter wildfowl. Hundreds of wigeons and teals can be easily seen feeding close to the paths. We will look for other ducks among them, and try to find the flock of white-fronted geese that come all the way from Russia to spend the winter on the Suffolk coast. There are few more evocative sounds than whistling wigeons on a winter morning. The forecast's not too bad - the winds will be calm so there shouldn't be too much problem."
Lapwing, Green Plover or Pee-wit?
The first RSPB walk, called ‘Wildfowl and Waders’ is at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, near Westleton, on Thursday 2nd February. RSPB staff will show visitors many of the special water birds that visit this beautiful reserve for the winter, including wigeons, teals and lapwings. You will also learn why wetlands are so important for birds and people.
The walk starts at 9.30 am, and will last for about two and a half hours. Places are limited and can be booked on 01728 648281. Costs are £5 for adults (£4 for RSPB members), with children half-price.
The second walk, ‘Winter wildfowl at North Warren,’ starts at 10am on Sunday 5th February, from the pay and display car park at Thorpe Road, Aldeburgh (next to the Scallop sculpture). This walk will last for about three hours, and costs £3 for adults or £1 for children. There is no need to book, but more information is available from Minsmere on 01728 648281.
Ian Barthorpe says his personal aim is to enthuse people with birdwatching "Our coastal wetlands are possibly the best in Europe. Another site in Suffolk well worth having a look at is Lakenheath Fen near the US Airbase. We've spent ten years turning carrot fields back into a wetland and grassland area. It's an ongoing project to get it looking as it was three centuries ago before the land was drained."
All bird pictures have been taken by Ian Barthorpe.
last updated: 26/11/2008 at 13:32
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