Friday, 27 January 2017

A New Year Visit to Mistley

17th January 2017

Time for another visit to Mistley to see what this winter brings and as usual we start at The Quay. Sadly the fence is still in place but the Council has applied for The Quay to be designated a Village Green in the hope that this will force the owners to remove the unsightly steel mesh fence and replace it with a safety rail. Luckily the fence does not detract from photography as some Good Samaritans have cut holes in it at head height. How thoughtful is that?

Rather surprisingly no Goldeneye today, the first time in the fours years I have been coming here, but record numbers of Pintail, probably 50+. They were absolutely illuminated in the morning sun and showed what stunning birds they are.

A less common visitor today was this Curlew which walked along the far bank, apparently totally oblivious to our presence.

So now on to The Walls and almost immediately this Buzzard circled over spooking everything in its path. It was a particularly low high tide today so the incoming tide was well behind schedule and so for a while the only subjects were some Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The Lesser in the first photo is a sub-adult.

Normally the bird that totally dominates the waders is the Black-tailed Godwit. However today they were limited to just a few individuals so not sure where they have gone. Their low numbers is also reflected at Mersea and Fingringhoe Wick. Today Redshank were more confiding than usual.

Shelduck are always numerous at Mistley, but are often mid-channel and therefore a long way off. However today they were a lot nearer and afforded opportunities for some close-ups.

Some were more showy than others.

................and relax.

But the stars of today were the Turnstones which I don't recall ever seeing at Mistley before, and in true Turnstone style not only did they come close, but ran at you to within 10 yards. This is the type of bird photography that I like!!!

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