It was a superb day and Tollesbury looked its best in the sunshine. Twelve of us made our way from the car park and along the seawall to the hide; it was slow progress, as there was a lot to see and hear.
The reed beds had warblers, the fields where the sheep with lambs grazed had birds feeding, and above them, buzzards and harriers soared and hovered. From the hide, we were rewarded with sightings of avocet, pochard, many ducks and much more besides.
A long time was spent deciding if an elusive wader was a Ruff or not; the consensus being that it was, and that there was probably a pair of them.
Flowers were not abundant but close to the hide they did attract a small copper, a butterfly we hadn’t recorded before. Like so many other butterflies agricultural intensification has made it hard for it to survive. Numbers also vary with weather conditions, this butterfly preferring hot and sunny conditions, and in cold, wet summers the numbers fall.
We ended the morning with light refreshments in the café.
Birds Identified: Dunnock, Blackcap, Blackbird, Sparrow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Robin, Wren, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Whitethroat, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Sedge Warbler, Pied & Yellow Wagtail, Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Avocet, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Lapwing, Shelduck, Pochard, Shoveler, Wigeon, Ruff, Greylag Geese, Little Egret, Cormorant, Black-headed & Herring Gulls.
Butterflies: Small Copper
Flowers: Dandelion, Daisy, Buttercup, Black Medick, Cow Parsley, Alexander, Groundsel, Chickweed, Hawthorn, Ragwort, Hoary Cress, Horse Chestnut, Smooth Sow-thistle, Common Vetch, Small-flowered Cranesbill, Salsify.
June 14th – Tiptree Heath (and possibly Shut Heath Wood) meet 10.00 in the car park
July 12th – Fingringhoe Wick meet 10.00 in the Visitor Centre