Sunday, 18 November 2012

Mersea Magic - Sea Wall and The Point

....and so on past the freshwater pools to the sea wall. This is a fantastic piece of habitat with the sea on one side and the grazing fields on the other. Both can be filled with birds depending on the conditions. The first bird to appear was a Sky Lark on the edge of one of the fields. For what is after all a brown bird, they are amazingly photogenic.

The second birds to appear were a couple of White-fronted Geese, one of my favourites. White-fronts were the first wild goose that I ever saw, at Abberton some 45 years ago, and they have always been special with their white markings around the bill and the black stripes across the breast.. Unfortunately, these were on the far side of the field which I subsequently measured on Google Earth as being at a range of 320 yards. Therefore, the results aren't great but adequate for a record shot.

I then continued  to The Point where the tide was exceptionally high, too high in fact to go onto without wellies. I therefore watched initially from the sea wall until the tide had started to recede. One of the many Little Egrets provided a fly past and luckily this time the sun was in the right position.

As the tide receded I managed to get on to The Point which, for the first time I've been going there was very quiet. However, the 500 or so Brent Geese had been disturbed from the fields, surprisingly by just a Sparrowhawk, and were now floating around just off the saltmarsh. Again, such an attractive goose and so small. As I watched them the air was full of their gutterel calls which seem to give reassurance to the rest of the flock.

But finally, what visit to East Mersea could ever be complete without some compulsory shots of those most trusting of waders, the Turnstone. When I got to within about 10 yards of these, the only response I got was for them to look at me as if to say, are you coming any closer? A bird photographer's dream.

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