Friday, 21 December 2012

The only way is Essex

Decided to stay in Essex today due to all the flood warnings and the world was also due to end at some point today so I needed to get home quick time if that happened.

First stop was an hour on Layer Breton causeway Abberton where two drake Smew showed and at least thirteen Snipe were counted but otherwise nothing of note.

We moved on to Abbots Hall farm where we walked down to the hide to view the marsh. Finches, Reed Buntings and Yellow Hammers were present in good numbers along the path. Upto six Marsh Harriers hunted and a falcon sat on a post in the distance which we thought was probably Peregrine but it was distant.

Good numbers of Pintail here along with Teal, Wigeon and Brent Geese. Curlew, Golden Plover, Lapwing and Redshank covered the waders present. Grey Heron and Egret were also seen from the hide.

We moved down the coast towards home stopping at Bradwell-on-sea on route.

We parked at the small car park in East End Road and walked to the Chapel noting Corn Bunting along the path. The Bradwell bird observatory is a few yards from the chapel so we paid it a visit noting good numbers of Finch on the feeders along with Coal and Marsh Tit. A GS Woodpecker was present along with a couple of Mistle Thrush.
Sitting on the bench at the observatory we scanned the marsh (and the Bradwell sea cockle spit) and our reward for a couple of hours here was distant flocks of Brent Geese, Lapwing, Golden Plover, a few Curlew and Egrets and a single Marsh Harrier.

On the walk back to the car we watched as a kestrel took a Goldfinch for lunch.

Nice to spend a day birding the home county, dissapointed we didn't connect with any Hen Harriers but pleased the world didn't actually end as predicted.

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