This was the first time in 14 months that we were able to meet as a group and we decided to go to Fingringhoe Wick.
Fingringhoe Wick was Essex Wildlife Trust’s first nature reserve which opened in 1961. Some years later it was where the Trust opened their first Visitor Centre. Sixty years on visitors are still coming to see this magical place. Set in a spectacular position overlooking the Colne Estuary the reserve offers a sense of real peace and quiet and a chance to escape from it all.
Spring sees the return of many migrant birds, including Nightingales. Fingringhoe Wick is one of the places in England where you are most certain to see/hear Nightingales each spring. Approx 1% (30-40 pairs) of the total UK population breed on the reserve before heading back to Africa for the winter. These amazing songsters can be heard/seen across the reserve during April and May.
So it was with some excitement that members met at the Visitors Centre. Jill was the first to arrive and while waiting was fortunate to hear Turtle Doves, staff in the Visitors Centre confirming that there are 4 Turtle Doves on the reserve so far this year. The Turtle Dove is one of the UK’s fastest declining bird species.
After a very wet start to the day it remained fine and at times the sun broke through and it was very warm.
After enjoying a cup of coffee in the Visitors Centre we made our way to the hide overlooking the Colne estuary. It was low tide but there were very few waders, although we did see Oystercatchers, Shelducks, Little Egrets and Tufted Duck.
The highlight of the day was the sighting and hearing the magical song of the Nightingales. Also to see/hear the Cuckoo, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Cetti’s Warbler etc. and a Kestrel hovering overhead.
Apart from birds there were sightings of an Adder, a Weasel, a Muntjac and a large variety of wildflowers, including Spring Beauty (photo below) which was new to all of us.
Altogether a really super day. It felt so good to be out together again as a group and we felt that we could not have chosen a better place.
Birds: Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed Gull, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Magpie, Mallard, Nightingale, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Reed Warbler, Robin, Shelduck, Swallow, Tufted Duck, Turtle Dove, Whitethroat, Wren.
Flowers: Broom, Bugle, Common Chickweed, Cow Parsley, Daisy, Dandelion, Dog Rose, early Forget-me-not, Elder, Germander Speedwell, Gorse, Green Alkanet, Hawthorn, Marsh Thistle, Prickly Sow Thistle, Red Dead Nettle, Small-flowered Cranesbill, Spring Beauty, Storksbill, White Dead Nettle.
Other: Adder, Rabbit, Weasel, Muntjac
Next Meeting: Wednesday, 9 June, 2021 – Tollesbury – Meet in Woodrolfe Road Car Park – 10 a.m.