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Thursday, 2 October 2014

RSPB Vange Marshes and Bowers Marsh

October 1st

With a morning spare I opted for a visit to the above sites, not great weather wise, overcast and grey but pleasant enough.

There’s always a good selection of waders at Vange Marshes so I decided on there first, the main reason being that Bowers Marsh does not open until 9.00am.You can get in earlier but it involves leaving your car in a very remote section of the Lane, so if you do visit, keep this in mind if you arrive early. Be good one day to see the RSPB opening it up at dawn?

Getting back to Vange Marshes, I had the place to myself at this early hour so set up on the mound and viewed around.
100+ numbers each of Lapwing and Wigeon spread out well, and I quickly located 4 Bearded Tits pinging away in the reed bed, got some brief views as you do with these.

Elsewhere after scanning for about 45 minutes I can up with the following;

Spotted Redshank - 5
Black Tailed Godwit – 19
Ruff – 1 male
Green Sandpiper – 1 seen in flight
Avocet – 10
Curlew – 2
Whimbrel – 1 heard but not seen
Common Snipe – 3

A nice selection of waders, albeit very distant, could go into it but have mentioned it before so won’t go over it again – Hides?

Other than the waders I had a single Swallow heading south to round off the visit.

From here I headed to -

Bowers Marsh

Again all to myself, on the walk out 7 Corn Buntings gave themselves up feeding in the set aside and I spied a distant peregrine sitting on one of the pylons. The main Lagoon was teeming with Wigeon and a count produced 46 Avocet, I also had a flyover Grey Plover which was a new bird for me for the site.

In amongst the Wigeon were also 11 Pintail, some of the Drakes just starting to show their colours from eclipse, good to see them arriving for the winter.

Bearded Tits again put in an appearance with 3 seen; other birds of note were Ruff, 2 Green Sandpipers and 12 Black Tailed Godwits.

Avocet and Wigeon - the Peregrine effect

The walk back produced a soaking as the heaven’s opened up.

Further to my recent posts on dieting and getting fit bike riding, I have now hit 14s 10lbs, it’s not dropping off as fast I thought, weekends are bloody hard, there’s just too much food about.

I had hoped to have lost more but can only presume that the fat that I burn is now being turned into muscle bike riding – hence a good reason why I am only dropping slowly,I'm bulking up,

At 57 the beginnings of a six pack are starting to appear over the reducing stomach, again I suspect a side effect of all the bike riding.

The circuit I cover Hornchurch – Ingrebourne Valley – Aveley Bay Car Park is around 10 miles, have now started to mix it up a bit as well and undertook some late afternoon rides.
There is method in this; I need Short Eared Owl for a year tick at Rainham, they should start showing soon.

Looking forward to the Saracens- Bath match Friday evening, Sarries have started well but it’s the best Bath team I have seen for a few years, Eastmond in particular is buzzing.

I still think the best centre pairing for England is Tuilagi – Eastmond, time will tell.

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