A poor forecast put off many members from going to Fingringhoe Wick; however four members did arrive at the visitor centre, which was quite an achievement as a road was closed near Great Wigborough and a circuitous route had to be worked out.
We decided that as the tide was exposing mud flats we would start by walking to Margaret’s Hide, the new hide that overlooks the newly developed wetland extension. This turned out to be a good decision as shortly after we arrived there was a heavy rain shower. The good thing about poor weather (it wasn’t as bad as predicted) is that it keeps the crowds away and we had the hide to ourselves. Even in the rain visibility remained good and we were rewarded with sightings of many waders, ducks and gulls. The hide has about a 280-degree view and all around us on the exposed mud, the waders fed. Pools of water encouraged ducks as well as the waders. We left there satisfied and paused briefly at a smaller hide overlooking a pond where heron, teal and moorhens were sighted, but little else.
As we walked along the paths we could hear and see in the trees and bushes many birds but they seemed to prefer the protection of the leaves and remained hidden in the greenery.
Back at the centre the log-burning stove gave welcome warmth, which combined with hot drinks made us comfortable as we sat and watched the birds coming and going on the feeders and beyond them numerous little egrets on the saltings.
We had considered visiting the hides around the lakes after lunch, but as we had the road diversion to contend with we decided to leave for home. We all enjoyed our morning and were pleased to have made the effort.
Birds: Blackbird, Dunnock. Starling, House Sparrow, Robin, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Magpie, Crow, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Red-legged Partridge, Grey Heron, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen, Shelduck, Greylag Geese, Swan, Little Egret, Redshank, Knot, Avocet, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Great-black backed gull
Fungi: Birch Polypore, Sulphur Tuft
Next Meeting: Wednesday 14th December Hanningfield Reservoir – meet in the Visitor Centre 10.00