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Thursday 29 December 2011

Southend Christmas Eve

Bit of a late posting as my BT Internet crashed on the 23rd, finally identified and back on line after 6 days due to a failed server.
I have at last got my new camera; a D300 so decided to try it out, firstly on the foreshore at Southend and then out to the pier to catch the high tide. The light at first was not too bad but then it became overcast and grey.
I have to say that the camera performed well, it’s going to take me a while to get used to it, I am not a gadget man, there’s just too many things to remember at once, can’t teach an old dog new tricks springs to mind.
With my wife Chris going shopping in Southend I headed for the pier after a few shots of the Sanderling flock on the way as well as a couple of Brent Geese near the pier.

Sanderling and single Dunlin (click on photos to enlarge)

Sanderling and Dunlin

Brent Geese differing

Dispute over


On arrival at the end I checked the ramp Turnstone roost and tucked in with them was the Purple Sandpiper, a cracking bird, I suspect it will be on many New Year’s Day lists if the tides are right.

Purple Sandpiper


Just behind them the Mediterranean Gulls hovered around the 20 mark, the full range from 1st winter right through to full adult were on display, not a great lover of Gulls but I never tire of looking at these.
After firing off god knows how many shots, new toy you know what it’s like, I tucked myself out of the westerly wind and watched the river from 11.00am to 1.00pm.Quite surprised as I was not expecting too much, I saw the following;

Great Northern Diver – 3 at one point all fishing together about 150 metres out of the eastern end of the pier
Red Throated Diver – 38 all upriver, this included a flock of 16 together
Kittiwake – 19 mostly following boats but some loafing on the sea
Great Crested Grebe – 2 on the sea
Guillemot – 3 all up river
Razorbill – 1 upriver @ 12.02 and presumably the same bird out @ 12.24pm
Common Seal – 2 just off the pier

Distant flock of 16 Red Throated Divers coming in

Distant Great Northern

2 of the 3 Great Northerns together

Great Northern Diver

Not a bad haul for a couple of hours, a pity about the overcast skies, just have to go back over the Christmas Holiday, a good easterly wouldn’t go amiss.

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