The morning is, as expected, rather cloudy but no rain is predicted so should at least be a dry day.  Decided to go to Minsmere, an RSPB nature reserve near the coast at Dunwich.  We thought we would never reach it as the lead-in down a narrow track with speed bumps seemed endless.  Eventually we came upon a very large car park and an excellent Visitor Centre where we decided to join the RSPB for £5 a month.  The reserve is enormous here and is one of 200 across the country so we’re sure to make the most of our membership.

We chose to go around the red route which incorporated the coastal stretch and had several hides.  Saw Avocets, Little Egrets, Black-headed Gulls (lots), Barnacle Geese, Greylag Geese, Swans, Coots, Long-tailed Tits, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Common Terns, Swallows, Heron, Grebe, Oystercatcher and Lapwing.  Got some terrific close-ups of a Swallow (see above) but otherwise our photos are a bit disappointing as most birds were quite some distance away.

Back to the restaurant for a drink and cake (delicious) and, sitting at a table outside, we suddenly saw a female red deer appear on the bank, making a good meal of a nearby hawthorn bush.  Wonderful to see her so close to us.

The gloriously coloured pheasant, who we had seen earlier in our visit, came over to see us and enjoyed a few spare crumbs from our cakes (not many!).

Just to finish off our day and, as the sun was now out making for a very pleasant evening, we drove up to Southwold to take a look at this very genteel Edwardian watering hole.  It has a pier (not goo garish of course) and is noted for its brightly coloured beach huts, of which it has many.

Not much else to see but all very pleasant.  There is a foot ferry over to Walberswick which we didn’t use but we drove around to the other side to take a look.  Again, very genteel and not a fish and chip shop in sight – which was a pity as I really fancied some!