We were a small but enthusiastic group that met on this fine Wednesday morning and made our way slowly from the car park through the village to the seawall – identifying the many wild flowers that lined the banks and grass areas slowed our progress. Of the birds that flew high overhead (swallows, martins) just one member heard swifts; more positively we all heard the chiffchaff singing in the nearby trees in the car park.. The tide was low and we had hoped to see feeding waders but apart from a redshank and a little egret there was little else. A chirruping bird sitting on a post in the saltings caught our attention and it took some time before we agreed it was a linnet.
Tollesbury Wick reserve covers 600 acres of coastal grazing marsh, sea walls and saltings. It is possible to walk round the reserve, about 5 miles, but we limited ourselves to the section between the entrance to the reserve near the marina and along the seawall that runs beside Woodrolfe Creek, to the bird hide. Much of the inland areas have restricted access. The bird hide overlooks a lake where a few avocets waded and tufted ducks preened themselves but there was little else. Not too far from the hide, on a small island, an avocet was sitting on a late clutch of eggs; disturbed by something the bird twice left the nest and we counted three eggs. Returning to the car park we saw house martins nesting in the eaves of the flats near the marina and our final sighting of the day was a green woodpecker that visited the park where we ate our lunch.
The following night six members met for the second of the year’s glow worm surveys. It was a beautiful calm evening with a half moon and the evocative sounds of curlews and other birds drifted across the water. On our previous outing several weeks earlier we had recorded 21 sightings but we were thrilled this time to record 37 glow worms. Both of these numbers far exceed those recorded last year. It is interesting to note that returning along the footpath there were far fewer glow worms visible and we concluded that mating had probably taken place
Birds: Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Starling, House Sparrow, Robin, Linnet, House Martin, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Greylag Geese, Swan, Little Egret, Redshank, Avocet, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern
Butterflies/Insects: Meadow Brown, Orange Tip (female), Heath Brown, Large White, Peacock, Skipper, White-tailed Bumblebee,
Flowers: Daisy, Buttercup, Borage, Bramble, Great Willowherb, Ribwort Plantain, Dove’s foot Cranesbill, Small-flowered Cranesbill, Mallow, White Clover, Red Clover, Ragwort, Common Valerian, Prickly Sow-thistle, Black Horehound, Stinging Nettle, White Deadnettle, Creeping Cinquefoil, Bindweed, Common Poppy, Marsh Thistle, Dandelion, Self Heal, Black Medick, Yarrow, Hoary Cress, Sea Lavender, Ox-eye Daisy, Scentless Mayweed, Wild Carrot
Grasses: Couch Grass, Meadow Barley.
Next Meeting: Wednesday 10th August Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve – meet in the Visitor Centre 10.00