12 members met in the cafe at the Golf Range on Two Tree Island on a warm and sunny morning.
The name of the island originates from two large elms that were a prominent feature until they were brought down by storms in the early 1960s. Two Tree Island is situated south of Leigh on Sea train station and consists of 640 acres of grassland, scrub, reedbed and lagoons and supports a wide variety of birds, particularly migrants. Avocets breed on the island each year. Essex Wildlife Trust manages the island as a nature reserve.
After enjoying a cup of coffee in the cafe we made our way down to the far car park. The tide was out and a few waders and gulls could be seen on the mud – Curlew, Redshank, Godwit and Great Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls were identified.
Walking along the seawall, and from the hides, Ringed Plovers, Brent and Greylag Geese were seen and in the far distance we could see patches of white which we first thought were Gulls. However looking through the telescope they were clearly identified as Avocets, at least 20 – 30 of them. A Grey Heron flew overhead.
At the hide overlooking the lagoon a number of ducks were spotted, including Mallard, Shoveller, Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck. Also waders including Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Lapwing and Redshank. One of our members with a telescope then spotted what he thought was a Snipe which was asleep in the reeds with its long beak across its back. It could not be seen through binoculars or by the naked eye and by taking it in turn to look through the telescope we positively identified it as a Common Snipe, and a little later two more were also seen.
A number of small birds were seen in the trees but it was difficult to get exact identification for most of them although we did identify Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit, Starling and Pied Wagtail.
Some of us then went back to the cafe and sat out in the sunshine to have a drink and eat our lunch.
Altogether it was a great day out with super weather.
Birds seen: Birds: Starling, Robin, Great Tit, Pied Wagtail, Wood Pigeon, Crow, Cormorant, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Brent & Greylag Geese, Common Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Avocet, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Black-headed & Great Black-backed Gulls
Next meeting: Wednesday, 12 December – Hanningfield Reservoir – Meet in Visitors Centre at 10 a.m.