Sunday, 10 January 2016

A Christmas Visit to Magical Mistley

29th December 2015

I like to try and go to Mistley once a month during the winter months as the composition of the birds changes both at The Quay and The Walls. On my last visit The Quay was totally dead as the wintering ducks had still to arrive. However today was quite different with good numbers of Goldeneye and Pintail swimming around quite close in.

At first glance I thought that this brown one was a female but closer inspection reveals that it was in fact a 1st winter male with its white cheek patch just beginning to show and therefore this pair are in fact father and son.

All the birds were resplendent in the mid-day sun, and even better when they performed a number of swim-pasts.

Now on to The Walls and I hadn't even got out of the car when I was greeted by this rather tame Pied Wagtail which strutted its stuff on the grass verge.

Although I often take photos of gulls, particularly in flight, it would appear that this is possibly the first Common Gull that I have ever photographed. I suspect the the reason for this is that they are not in fact as common as the other gulls and are not as tame around people. Anyway, I was quite pleased with this one.

The tide was now well on its way in, pushing the waders up the fast disappearing mud towards the road. Today, Redshanks were very much in abundance and were very smart when illuminated by the sun.

But the stars of the show as always were the 100s of Black-tailed Godwits, which are not only the most numerous wader here but also the most confiding. One still had the remnants of its winter plumage, or perhaps it was getting ready for next summer.

And then when the mud is totally covered they all fly off to their high tide roost. You have just got to love Mistley.

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