Nine members met in the Visitors Centre and all enjoyed a drink before setting off. The weather was perfect for birdwatching, comfortable temperature and not too glaring
We were pleased to hear, if not always see, several of the summer visitors singing – sedge warbler and whitethroat had only just arrived, according to the visitor centre staff. There were quite a few skylarks singing and we saw tufted ducks and Canada geese mating.
But the ongoing story of the morning, which became a running joke, was the Cetti’s warblers. There were dozens of them, shouting from every bush and reedbed. Diane and Tony were desperate to get a photo of one, but you know how elusive they are. Every time we stopped or turned around, there was one behind us, calling “Cetti, Cetti!”, or flying at high speed across our path, teasing and taunting our photographers, laughing at them! Try as they might, I don’t think either of them succeeded in getting that shot.
We are now looking forward to May when we will be going to Fingringhoe and hopefully will see and hear some Nightingales.
Birds seen: Avocet, black-headed gull, blackcap, black-tailed godwit, blue tit, buzzard, Canada goose, cetti’s warbler chiffchaff, collared dove, coot, crow, curlew, gadwall, goldfinch, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, house sparrow, lapwing, lesser black-backed gull, little egret, little grebe, magpie, mallard, marsh harrier, moorhen, oystercatcher, pochard, redshank, robin, sedge warbler, shelduck, shoveler, skylark, starling, teal, tufted duck, whitethroat, wigeon, willowwarbler (heard but not seen) wood pigeon, wren.
Wild Flowers: Apple blossom, cow parsley, daisy, dandelion, dogwood, ground ivy, guelder rose, hoary cress, marsh marigold, may blossom, red dead nettle, storksbill, wayfaring tree, white dead nettle, willow.
Other: Bumble bee, peacock butterfly, queen wasp, small tortoiseshell butterfly, snail.