Sunday, 19 April 2015

A brief visit to South Essex

Spent a couple of days for work in south Essex on the 15th and 16th of April, managed to see a few birds along the way.

A hot Wednesday afternoon was spent walking the seawall at Wallasea Island a real feel of summer with the odd Swallow hawking over the approach road and a smattering of citrus bright Yellow Wagtails. As ever the hugeness of this site hits you straight between the yes as you walk down footpath along the edge of the Crouch estuary and view the island being transformed before your eyes.

Bird-wise we heard then saw two or three Med Gulls and a number of Little Egrets and lost of sky larks and singing Corn Buntings. But perhaps the highlight of the visit were the two Short Eared Owls hunting the rank grass by the side of the road.

Black Winged Stilts caught in the act at Bowers Marsh
On Thursday a walk and talk around Bowers Marsh was enlivened by the presence of a pair of Black Winged Stilts part of an influx in the K this spring as this species continues to show signs of colonising. Whilst watching the Stilts and Avocet's we also managed to pick out an unexpected Glaucous Gull. Half a dozen Swallows were the most I have seen together this year. I tried my hand at digiscoping through my old Nikon ED and got the "best" results using my Panasonic Lumix TZ30 Macro Zoom setting.

Glaucous Gull at Bowers Marsh
Finished the tour at Wat Tyler Country Park where the first bird I saw and heard was a Cuckoo, pretty quickly followed by the explosive song of a Cettis Warbler.

Decaying boat at Wat Tyler Country Park

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