12 members met in the Cudmore Grove car park on a rather overcast morning. We decided to visit the lake hide first and on our way there it started raining. From the hide we spotted Moorhen, Wigeon, Coot, Little Grebe and Pintail on the lake, and also Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Collared Dove, Rook, Little Egret, Crow, and a Curlew in the field beyond.
After spending around 30 minutes in the hide, the rain had stopped so we made our way down to the seawall spotting a Jay, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tits and Blackbird. Cudmore Grove is situated on the south-east end of Mersea Island with the River Blackwater to the south and the River Colne to the east, and various channels to the north and west. Access to the island is by a causeway crossing the Strood channel.
On reaching the seawall the tide was going down and there were a large number of waders on the River Blackwater mudflats. By this time the weather had improved and the sun came out and we walked down onto the beach. We immediately spotted a number of Turnstones sitting on posts and the mud, and looking closer, with the help of two telescopes, realised there were about a hundred of them, maybe more. There were also a number of Redshanks, Brent Geese, Dunlin, Curlew, Godwit, Cormorant, Grey Plover and Oyster Catchers. A Common Sandpiper and Greenshank were also seen and also what we thought were a number of Sanderlings, although no-one could positively identify them as they were too far away. As we were leaving the beach some members were excited at identifying a Rock Pipit.
Two members identified Golden Samphire which is rather rare and is mainly found on the coasts of southern and south-eastern England and North Wales.
By this time we were ready for lunch and made our way back to the Car Park where we sat out on the picnic tables in the sunshine and ate our lunch. Most members then made their way home but the four remaining members in the car park had a really good sighting of a Mistle Thrush sitting in a nearby tree.
Three members decided to call in at Abberton Reservoir on the way home and while having a drink in the Visitors Centre spotted a Kestrel, hovering just outside the Centre. On the reservoir we identified Shovellers, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Geese, Greylags, Shelducks, Mute Swans and Cormorants.
Birds seen: Moorhen, Rook, Magpie, Wigeon, Curlew, Wood Pigeon, Little Grebe, Little Egret,
Robin, Pied Wagtail, Coot, Pintail, Crow, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Collared Dove, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Tufted Duck, Herring Gull, Jay, Brent Geese, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Greenshank, Turnstone, Oyster Catcher, Lapwing, Curlew, Godwit, Grey Plover, Rock Pipit, Mallard, Cormorant, Sanderling, Mistle Thrush, Great Black-backed Gull, Shoveller, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Greylag Geese, Shelduck.
Wild Flower: Golden Samphire