A single tundra bean goose has been present all week amongst the greylag goose flock on Vange Wick. The birds are best viewed from the marina in Wat Tyler Country Park. The views across the reserve are spectacular, viewing from either the marina's raised viewpoint or the pillbox viewing platform in Wat Tyler Country Park your view will be filled with literally thousands of birds. The lush wet grassland and extensive wet areas attract flocks of grazing geese and ducks, with over a hundred wigeon currently present. The pools are a magnet for the 1000's of gulls which feed on the nearby landfill site and drop in to the reserve for a wash and rest. Although their rest is regularly disturbed either by the movement of the grey herons, or spectacularly by a hunting peregrine falcon, when just about every species will take to the air in an attempt to confuse the hunter. Lookout also for the hundreds of starlings, either feeding on the landfill or noisily sitting on the pylon wires above your head. They are regularly disturbed when feeding, and fly in flocks, wheeling and creating smoke like shapes, if they form a tight ball like shape, this is there defence against predators, look above the ball and you may see a sparrowhawk.
Drop in to the RSPB visitor centre this weekend, where Christmas cards and gifts will be on sale, and homemade cakes and a hot drink may tempt you to stay longer and look for water rails. As the edges of the scrape have become frozen, water rails are being seen by our CCTV cameras feeding along the reed edges. The live images are beamed back to our plasma screens for you to enjoy along with your tea and cakes, mmmmm delicious.