What can be a better start to the New Year than a day in the sunshine with a group of jolly friends? It was the day of our New Year lunch preceded by a short bird watching outing. Fourteen of us had gathered but the morning didn’t go quite as planned as the proprietor of the Blackwater Bistro, who was to take our lunch orders at 11.00, had a problem and didn’t arrive until after 11.30.
Undeterred, as we waited for him we set up telescopes nearby and with them and binoculars trained on the mud flats could see many waders feeding. Once we had ordered our lunches we set off eastwards along the seawall where plentiful birds had gathered in the creek: avocet, teal, shoveler wigeon and several ringed plover, to name a few.
Ringed plovers are chirpy, small waders that run a short distance, and then stop, often bobbing their heads. They have a black and white ringed head and throat, a broad black breast band, orange legs and a short, black and orange bill.
With so much to see it was slow going and the group spread out along the seawall.
Eventually the chill wind got the better of us and we made our way back to the warmth of the Bistro where we were served promptly. Over lunch we formulated an agenda for 2018 with old favourite locations and a few new ones included. A good suggestion for August was Hockley Woods – birds are not so easily seen in August but the butterflies should be plentiful and Hockley Woods is ideal for that.
Birds: Sparrow, Blackbird, Starling, Robin, Crow, Little Grebe, Mallard, Shelduck, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Little Egret, Brent Geese, Black-headed, Herring & Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Next Meetings: February 14th – Abberton Reservoir. Meet 10.00 in the Visitor Centre