After few weeks of anticipation and preparation. I was very much looking forward to today, spending the day at Minsmere, meeting up with a long time friend who I met on a Limosa holiday tour in the Gambia over ten years ago. It was a memorable morning being birding with him again. He lives near the reserve and worked voluntarily for the park which I found interestingly amazing. Remarkably the weather was on our side clear and sunny.

It was at 06.00am when my friend picked me and drove to Minsmere arriving just before light nice and quite lovely. On the way to the reserve we had a superb view of Male and Female Pheasant in the fields and a Common Kestrel flew away from our vehicle as things feel promising. On arrival we were greeted by our only Green Woodpecker of the day while Simon parked the car. Our surrounding was fill with bird songs and activities, among them were Great and Blue Tits, Robins, Wren, bull and Chaff Finches. Walking in the woods produce activities in form of Marsh and Long Tailed Tits. Along the track on the right of the Bittern Hide near the water edge were 6 Moorhens feeding happy hours of the morning. Walking further in the woods, sitings include 2 Reed Bunting sitting on the track in front of us which we had a good view of and a flying over Marsh Harrier. Cetti's Warbler was herd but not seen as they were elusive in the tall reeds. At the hide we spend most part of the morning over looking the water with mud patch islands was remarkably exiting lively with birds. My favourite Lapwings were abundantly on display, lots of ducks species including Shelduck, Wigeon, and Tufted Ducks. After nearly an hour in the hide, my friend Simon, shouted a Bittern which I managed to see for the first time flying away from the sun light, great views as I saw it's plumage very well. Even the couples in the hide with us where very pleased and thanks Simon for the finding. Other birds here including Great White Egret, Grey Heron feeding, Great Crested and Little Grebes doing what they do best and few Bewick's Swan flying in and out. It was indeed a great blessing morning.

Unfortunately thou, my friend has to left early after receiving an urgent phone call, so we decided to walked back towards the visitor center via the Bittern Hide were he left me on my own. Sitings here include again flying Marsh harrier, moorhen and a Bittern. Further sitings around the park include amongst others Shoveler, Teal, Yellow Legged Gull and red Shank were also seen before I call it a day. All and all a remarkable morning truely enjoyable.

Gambian birder.