25th April 2017
North Fambridge is a reserve on the north bank of the River Crouch, based at Blue House Farm. The main attraction at this time of year is the large lagoon, so we headed straight there and settled down in the hide. Right outside the window some Black-headed Gulls were setting up territory and were a little noisy to say the least. This small island is also attractive to the Avocets so some interaction was inevitable.
Avocets were driven to extinction in the UK in 1842 following years of both eggs and birds being taken for food, and it was over a 100 years later that the Second World War brought about their return. A stray bomb from a nearby firing range blew a hole in the sea wall at Havergate Island and allowed the sea to pour in creating ideal habitat for Avocets, and in 1947 four pairs arrived and the rest is history.
A lone Redshank also visited our little island, but was clearly on a feeding mission rather than staking a territory.
Just as we were about to leave four Mediterranean Gulls dropped in for what appeared to be no more than a chill-out seesion on the lagoon. These are another species that are increasing in numbers and, although occasionally seen inland, tend to stick to the coast.
But the star of the show today was this rather tame female Wheatear that followed us along the fence-line. I know I have said it before and I will say it again, if only all birds were this cooperative!!