Thursday, 18 February 2016

Another Visit to Magical Mistley

11th February 2016

For the first time since we have been visiting Mistley the Quay was absolutely dead with all the usual suspects present, but distant. Therefore, after some breakfast and a cup of tea we moved straight on to The Walls to see what that would bring.

The tide was still a long way out but that allowed some time to snap some of the locals that were happy to sit around just off the beach such as this Black-headed Gull and Curlew. As the tide began to creep in there was the usual local movement of waders involving Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits flying from one feeding area to another as the mud was gradually covered.

As the tide edged in the waders were pushed even closer including good numbers of Dunlin, Redshank and just a single Knot. Today there were also some Turnstones which I have seen here before albeit distant, but today they were showing well on one of the small muddy islands. The weather was so good with virtually no wind such that even on the estuary it was possible to get some reflections of the waders.

As the tide was getting higher some of the residents from The Quay such as these Pintail ventured out into the estuary and passed quite close to the beach

The Mute Swans were also active, most sporting their colour rings. One of the birds passed so closely I could I only get a head shot.

But the star of the show today was this rather splendid drake Shelduck. Shelducks are very common here but usually stay well out in the middle of the estuary, only venturing on occasions to within 50 yards. But this individual was flying past when it suddenly veered towards the beach and landed just 25 yards away and proceeded to feed and loaf around on the islands, allowing endless opportunities for some close-ups.

Well, that was rather superb so now on to Alton Waters, so WATCH THIS SPACE!!!.

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