We are spending a few days in Essex en route to a week’s holiday in Suffolk Today we visited two nature reserves run by Essex Wildlife Trust.
Old barges on the Blackwater Estuary at Maldon where we are staying at the excellent B&B 32 The Hythe right on the harbour http://www.thehythemaldon.co.uk/
The first was the vast expanse of Abberton Reservoir. We didn’t spend very long here as it was very exposed and very windy but we did have very good views of birds we have not seen this year – swifts and common terns. There were plenty of other birds but they were quite distant and the light wasn’t great for photography.
Common tern at Abberton Reservoir
Tufted ducks at Abberton Reservoir
Egyptian geese at Abberton Reservoir
Greylag geese at Abberton Reservoir
Pochard at Abberton Reservoir
Cormorant at Abberton Reservoir
Great crested grebe at Abberton Reservoir
The second reserve was Fingringhoe Wick which was more intimate and much more rewarding. As the light wasn’t good throughout the day the standout moment was not visual but aural – a nightingale singing in a bush right at the beginning of our walk. It is the first time we have heard a nightingale in the UK.
There were lots of hides but the best was one which looked out on to the Colne Estuary, where we saw oystercatchers, black-headed gulls, shelduck, common tern and lots of little egrets.
The excellent Margaret hide looking out on to the Colne Estuary
Oystercatcher at Fingringhoe Wick
Common tern at Fingringhoe Wick
Black-headed gull and delicacy at Fingringhoe Wick
On a small pool at the Kingfisher hide we saw a little grebe and a redshank.
Shelduck orchestrating a mute swan
We didn’t see swifts here but there were swallows and house martins.
It’s not been the best of weather but we had a great day out.