The venue for the November U3A Bird and Wildlife Group was Blue House Farm at North Fambridge. This 600 acre farm has been managed by Essex Wildlife Trust since 1998 and is situated on the north bank of the River Crouch. The farm is notified as a Site of Special Interest, and is important for wildlife, particularly overwintering birds, and also for water voles and for coastal plants and insects. Around 2000 Brent Geese use the flat fields as feeding grounds in the winter.
12 members met in the car park on a bright sunny morning. A Marsh Harrier was flying overhead and Chaffinch and Great Tits were spotted in the trees.
A circular route begins in the car park and follows a permissive footpath around the farm going to all three bird hides before joining the public footpath on the seawall to return to the car park. We made our way across the fields to the first hide. It was very wet and muddy underfoot but the sun was shining and we were excited to see to the right of us on the flat fields around five hundred Brent Geese and to the left a pair of Mute Swans with 2 cygnets, a large number of Canada and Greylag Geese, Rooks, Lapwings, Curlew, Robin and Magpies.