Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The New Wetland at Fingringhoe Wick

30th August 2016

The new hide overlooking the newly created wetland at Fingringhoe Wick is now open so time for a visit to try it out. As I arrived at the hide the tide was coming in, pushing the waders on to the various spits and islands. Then, as the lower scrapes and islands became covered, the birds moved on to higher islands until eventually all the birds were pushed on to just two of the larger banks. Therefore, during this time there was plenty of opportunities for some flight shots.

Not surprisingly the first bird to be seen in front of the hide was a Little Egret which actually didn't look bad in the sun against the blue muddy water. Common Terns were also making the most of the small fish being swept in on the tide.

The tide was now causing a great deal of movement amongst the birds and this Curlew had to head for higher ground. Not so for this juvenile Shelduck which I suspect just wanted a change of scenery.

The islands were now filling up with an array of waders including Black-tailed Godwits, Ringed Plovers, Knot and Grey Plovers, some feeding amongst the large crop of Glasswort, also known as Samphire.

There were no Avocets present when I arrived, presumably because they were still feeding out on the mud on the River Colne. But as the tide covered the mud they started flying in in increasing numbers. Avocets are the only wader I know that are happy to bob around on the water waiting for the mud to re-appear.

But by far the largest movement of waders was by the Black-tailed Godwits which numbered just a handful at the beginning, but rose to over a thousand by high tide. They began by flying in singularly at first, then in small groups and eventually large flocks.

Small groups became larger groups until the larger islands became covered.

But the star of the show today was this Redshank which was the only bird to land on the beach just yards in front of the hide. Why can't they all be like that?

Well, all I can say is congratulations to Essex Wildlife Trust for such an innovative project that was obviously well planned and implemented. Well done.

On the way home I called in to Layer Breton causeway for a cup of tea and wasn't too surprised to come across some rather obliging Yellow Wagtails. What a fantastic way to round off the day.

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