The plan today was to call in to Abberton Reservoir to see what was on the causeways, go to Fingringhoe Wick to look for warblers in the bushes, and end up in Robbies Hide by 2.00pm, an hour before high tide to hopefully get some waders being pushed up on the tide. Well, some of it worked.
We arrived at Layer Breton causeway in time for breakfast (I do have a late breakfast) and had a quick scan round. Nothing too obvious at first glance but then Andy noticed a wader amongst the gaggle of Grey Lags - a Ruff. I started taking photos immediately but when it flew a few yards I noticed more, two, five, and eventually 25, all feeding at the water's edge at the bottom of the concrete bank. Well, what a good start to the day.
A quick look at the Layer de la Haye causeway produced nothing so we headed off for Fingringhoe. The bushes at The Wick were also very quiet so we went straight to Robbies Hide for our appointment at 2.00pm. Now, our timing up to now had been immaculate, but I had overlooked one tiny detail. The high tide today was particularly high and by the time we got into the hide, well before 2.00pm, all the mud and most of the beach was already covered. As we settled down the last of the Black-tailed Godwits flew off to roost on Geedons Marsh.
As we had missed the encroaching high tide, the next best bet was to go to the scrape hide in the hope that some waders were roosting there. Despite visiting Fingringhoe for over 20 years, this was the first time that I had visited this hide and I was not going to be disappointed. The first birds on view were a flock of Greenshank which were rather jumpy and kept flying off and circling round for no apparent reason.
However below them, still on the water was a flock of Spotted Redshank which were not quite as flighty.
Well, what a day. This is an absolutely superb hide, but could do with some more screening as people arriving at the hide were spooking the birds particularly if they were talking (the people not the birds).