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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Heybridge Basin

April 10th

First visit since the winter of 2010, I watched the Estuary for a couple of hours with an interlude in between for some lunch for me and the wife in The Old Ship on the front. I can recommend the pub, good food and very conveniently placed.
Birds were only recorded in the front of the Pits in the estuary facing the island, numbers of summer plumed Black Tailed Godwits were very high with a count of 650 all frantically feeding on a rising tide. This was obviously only the tip of the iceberg as I could see many, many more dropping into the channel looking towards Maldon.
Also good to hear my first Sedge Warbler of the year and also a couple of Swallows were seen over the pits, Cetti’s Warblers were also heard with at least 3 singing birds.

Golden Plover overhead

Black Tailed Godwit

Dark Bellied Brents

Birds seen on the Estuary included:

Avocet – 7 feeding on the mud
Mediterranean Gull – a flyby adult
Dark Bellied Brent Goose – 89 directly in front and then a flock of 300 dropped into the island
Redshank – 170
Golden Plover – 86 initially aloft but then landed on the mud
Dunlin – 68
Bar Tailed Godwit – 15 amongst the Black Tailed hordes
Little Egret – 3
Knot - 44

I also got of a few photos, experimenting with various settings gave me a headache trying to 2nd guess the weather as it went from light to dark and back again, brief bursts of sunshine came through the gathering clouds as I tried to shoot Black Tailed Godwits overhead. Some of them didn’t come out too bad; it used to be so much easier when I was on automatic.

Black Tailed Godwit