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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Southend Pier and Seafront

October 28th

A day off from work meant that I was able to visit Southend with my wife Christine parking up towards Thorpe Bay and then heading along the shoreline for the Pier. A good walk and always plenty to see on the way, especially waders as the tide was rising and the mud was covered.

Adult Mediterranean Gull(click on photos to enlarge)

Gulls were ever present and at one time I had 3 adult Mediterranean’s in view at the same time, plenty of people about feeding them works a treat and it does congregate them. I could also see in the distance a very large flock of waders, this turned out to be the Sanderling flock; this has risen quite dramatically since my last visit. At a conservative estimate I would now say there are around 350 birds, on our return journey quite a bit later the flock was really bunched and an estimated count was probably a bit more accurate. On a tight wheeling flock it is very hard and having photographed the odd flock in times gone by on a photo and then counted the dots, (I know very sad) I have found that I am always undercounting, hence the conservative estimate.


Rock Pipit

Sanderling flock

Ringed Plover alighting

Sanderling, Ringed Plover and Dunlin

Looking for some room



Certainly an impressive sight, they are constantly on the move from people walking down the beach and dog walkers, nothing wrong in that, I do it myself, walking by the sea makes you feel good. You would think the Sanderling would find a high tide roost like the Turnstones; these are very adaptable and will roost anywhere.

Turnstones on the Pier - posers

Eventually arriving at the Pier head after a hearty breakfast on the way produced 8 adult Mediterranean Gulls and 2 1st winters, I took some photos, none too clever as the weather was really grey and over cast. A Common Seal was also seen.

1st winter

Adult - ringed as well

1st winter

The highlight came whilst we were waiting for the train back in the shape of Gannets coming out of the Estuary, a group of 11 first of all, then these were followed closely by a group of 4 and then closely on their tail, another group of 4.In total 19 came out and passed right over the pier, I suspect the murky grey weather had bought them in.

9 of the 1st bunch of 11

A good end to the day.

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