Cat no. 279

The Reed Marsh

Running time53:09 Colour Silent c.1955 Minsmere, Suffolk

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The various breeds of birds that flock to the RSPB reserves in Minsmere.

Genre:

AnimalDocumentaryNatural History

A map on which the location of Minsmere is marked. There are general views of the marsh and of a derelict pumping windmill. Characteristic flowers are shown in close-up, including reedmace and yellow flag. A swan and family of cygnets are shown in the reeds. The 'tree' hide is shown and then several shots of the marsh harrier flying. Many of these are in front of the pumping mill. At one stage the harrier lands on a post, but there are no close up shots. Various waders feature, including the green plover or lapwing, the ringed plover and the Redshank. The film of the redshank is particularly impressive. A pair is filmed at quite close quarters. The male performs his courtship dance and then the two mate.

At Scolt Head Island a redshank is seen nesting. At Minsmere a dunlin is filmed and then an injured Ruff. This bird has a damaged leg; it is holding it out to one side and hopping around on the other. There are some close-up shots of many of the birds who live in the reeds. A reed bunting's nest is filmed with the eggs inside. The adult bird is shown among the reeds and then feeding chicks. The film of the sedge warbler's nest is impressive. First the eggs are shown, then the chicks. The hen bird is seen feeding the chicks. The sequence showing the reed warblers also shows the nest, eggs and chicks being fed.

The final sequence features the bittern. The sequence does not begin until after the eggs are hatched, as the film explains that building the hide would have disturbed the parent bird. The chicks are shown at various stages of growth, becoming progressively uglier. The female feeds the young, is seen brooding and regurgitating food for the young. At a later age the chicks are seen moving about the nest.

Notes:

There is a longer version of this film in the Archive's collection. This includes a sequence showing terns on the beach and was probably the copy used for the first catalogue entry.

Featured Organisations:

RSPB

John Chear

John Chear

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