6 members met in the Visitors Centre and started the morning with a welcome cup of coffee.
From the Car Park and Visitors Centre we spotted a number of Swallows, Blue Tit, Sparrow, Chaffinch and Robin.
We were delighted to learn from the staff that the new Intertidal Habitat was now open to the public – it has been developed by Essex Wildlife Trust in partnership with the Environmental Agency and is of local, national and international importance. There are two new hides, the Margaret and Kingfisher (making a total of 10 Hides on the Reserve). We decided to make our way down to this new development and on the way we saw a Blackcap and heard a Green Woodpecker. Passing Kit’s Pond we watched a Reed Warbler flying across the reeds.
We had visited Fingringhoe as a group back in April and reaching Kingfisher Hide we were amazed and impressed by the amount of work that had been achieved since then. From this hide we spotted Lapwing, Little Egret, Common Term, Black-headed and Herring Gulls.
It was quite a long walk from this Hide to the much larger Margaret Hide, but it was certainly worth it; it is a very large hide and has three-way views and also two armchairs. We spotted a number of Black-tailed Godwits, Little Egret, Oyster Catchers, Cormorants, Curlew, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Coot, Mallard, Shelduck, Redshank, Greenshank and Little Ringed Plovers.
By this time we were feeling rather peckish so made our way back to the Visitors Centre where we sat in the sunshine and ate our packed lunch. While eating our lunch Greenfinch, Great Tit, Goldfinch and Chaffinch were seen.
Not many butterflies were sighted but we did see several Small Copper, Large White, Red Admiral and Painted Lady.
After lunch three members went home and the remaining three visited the Lake Hide. From here we watched a Jay in the trees, heard a Green Woodpecker and saw several Little Grebes, Coots (with young), Moorhens and Mallard.
Thanks to Sue Jones who made a list of wild flowers seen throughout the day as follows:
Wild Flowers: Viper’s bugloss, Common Ragwort, Musk Mallow, Field Bindweed (pink), Spear Thistle, Creeping Thistle, Bramble, Honeysuckle, Great Willowherb, Rosebay Willowherb, White Bryony, Common Nettle, Yarrow, St. John’s Wort, White Campion, Nipplewort, Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Bittersweet, Bristly Oxtongue, Buttercup, Reedmace, Wall Lettuce, Hogweed, Scentless Mayweed and Common Knapweed.
Birds: Swallow, Blue Tit, Sparrow, Robin, Chaffinch, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Green Woodpecker (heard), Lapwing, Little Egret, Common Tern, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Black-tailed Godwits, Oyster Catchers, Cormorants. Curlew, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Coot, Mallard,
Shelduck, Redshank, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Jay.
Butterflies: Small Copper, Large White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady
NEXT MEETING: 14 September, 2016 – Papermill Lock – Meet in Car Park at 10 a.m.