11 members met in the car park on an overcast morning – it had been raining for the previous few hours but by the time we arrived the rain had stopped. We made our way slowly from the car park through the village to the seawall – identifying a few wildflowers that lined the banks and grass areas on the way. A Swallow flew overhead and Blackbird, Blue Tit, Crow, Robin and Wood Pigeon were seen. The tide was low and we had hoped to see feeding waders but apart from a Redshank and Little Egret there was little else.
Tollesbury Wick reserve covers 600 acres of coastal grazing marsh, sea walls and saltings. It is possible to walk around the reserve, about 5 miles, but we limited ourselves to the section between the entrance to the reserve near the marina and along the seawall that runs beside Woodrolfe Creek, to the bird hide. Most of the inland areas have restricted access.
The bird hide overlooks a lake which to our great disappointment had virtually dried up due to the very hot summer and there was very little bird life. However we did spend some time in the hide and were eventually rewarded by having a good sighting of a Marsh Harrier (the highlight of the morning). We also spotted a Kestrel hovering nearby, some Gadwall flew in and a Grey Heron appeared out of the reeds. Several Cormorants also flew overhead.
On the way back a Robin was heard singing, a Pied Wagtail was spotted on the beach and 30-odd Starlings were jostling for position at the top of a crane.
A welcome drink and snack were then enjoyed in the cafe.
Birds: Blackbird, Blue Tit, Crow, Robin, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Marsh Harrier, Gadwall, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Mallard, Collared Dove, Redshank, Little Egret, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Grey Heron, Starling, Sparrow.
Wild Flowers: Ragwort, Valerian, Bristly Ox-tongue, Yarrow, Black Horehound, Bird’s Foot Treefoil, Fleabane, Buttercup, Dandelion.
Other: Blackberries, Hazelnuts, Hips and Haws.
Next meeting: Blue House Farm, Fambridge – Wednesday, 10 October, 2018 – Meet in Car Park at 10 a.m.