On a bright and sunny, but very cold, morning 21 members met in the Blackwater Bistro at Mayland.
After ordering lunch we made our way up to the seawall; the tide was low and there were a large number of waders feeding in the mud. We immediately identified Redshanks and Lapwings but needed a telescope to identify waders on the other side of the river; we were fortunate that we had 3 members with a telescope.
On the far shoreline we identified a large number of Lapwings, at least 20 Shelducks, a few Dunlins, Oyster Catchers and Godwits, a lone Curlew and a Little Egret. A little further along the seawall we spotted around 30 Wigeons on the saltings before rising into the air, circling around and then coming down into the river. A number of Teals were also seen on the other side of the river.
Highlights of the day were seeing a large flock of Avocets (well over 100) flying in and coming to rest on the mud on the far side of the river and a large number of Golden Plovers feeding in the mud. A few members spotted a Goosander, and a few Meadow Pipits were also seen.
Some members become quite concerned when they saw a lone Dunlin sitting on the mud, and suspected it might be ill or injured. But a little later on our way back it had disappeared, so we hoped it had flown off and previously was just resting.
We also saw some flowering Marigolds along the seawall which, evidently, is very rare at this time of year.
By this time some members were getting very cold and returned to the Bistro for coffee.
Two members braved the cold and walked along the seawall to the northern point and were well rewarded as they saw five Seals resting on an island and Turnstones feeding close by on the waterline.
Back at the Blackwater Bistro we were joined by a few spouses and sat down to a very enjoyable lunch.