Yesterday was the last day of our 'Date With Nature' event, watching the dark-bellied brent geese at Leigh-on-Sea. During the 19 days we spent on Victoria Wharf, we would like to thank the 1800 visitors who came along and spent time with us watching this annual spectacle. And a special Thank You to our wonderful team of volunteers, without their time and dedication this event would not happen, THANK YOU ALL.
Our geese this year have had a good breeding season, with almost 25% of the group being juveniles, this compares to around just 5% in recent years. The juveniles can be distinguished from adult birds by their pale feather edging showing as narrow pale bars across their back and the lack of a pale neck collar. The geese will still be present and showing well into December, why not pop along and see if you can pick out the juveniles!
Why not join us in our Discovery Zone this weekend for Feed the Birds Week to Thurdsay, October 28 followed by Halloween for Spooky Kids from Friday October 29 to Sunday, October 31? Here's what we'll be doing.
Tuesday started with an immature male peregrine falcon, which flew towards us across the estuary. It flew straight over our heads and landed on top of the tallest block of flats behind us, fantastic. Brent goose numbers had reduced from 5,000 over the weekend to around 3,500 now, probably a result of high tides, fine weather and increased boat activity. They have not left us, just relocated to a quieter part of the estuary. From Victoria wharf in Old Leigh, the remaining geese are showing very well along with little egrets, dunlin, grey plover, redshank and many other wading birds.
During low tide, up to 15 common seals can be seen loafing on the exposed sand banks and are proving extremely popular with visitors to the brent goose watch. The watch runs daily until Friday 22 October 10 am - 4 pm.
Images below are: black-headed gull, common gull, curlew, a lesser black-backed gull struggling to devour a flounder, pied wagtail and a redshank.