There are loads of ways of getting involved with the RSPB South Essex Marshes. We have just posted all of our new volunteer roles on environmentjob.co.uk so go ahead and see if there is anything you would like to do.
Friday 14 Vange Marsh -12:35 to 13:30, Rain, westerly wind55 Wigeon, 6 Gadwall, 420 Teal (possible the highest number recorded on the marsh), 2 Pintail, 10 Shoveler, 1 Sparrowhawk (female), 42 Snipe (one large 'wisp' flying around the marsh for about 10 mins occasionally breaking up into smaller groups.)
Monday 10 Wat Tyler Country Park - 08:30 to 15:151 Red-breasted Goose (likely escaped bird on the scrape at 15.15 with Canada geese.), 671 Wigeon (on Vange Wick (the largest number to date for the reserve), 30 Teal, 1 Ruff, 41 Black-tailed Godwit (on Vange Wick), 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Waxwing (single bird heard calling whilst in the RSPB reserves office garden but could not be located).
Now I'm off to Rainham Marshes to try and see the Slaty-backed Gull, a first ever record for Britain!
The bittern which has taken up residence on Vange Marsh, continues to be seen albeit briefly in flight over the eastern reedbed. This bird takes some patience to see, but it is well worth putting the effort in. Probably the best place to look from is the raised path to the viewing screen, here you will have the sun behind you in the mornings, please avoid entering the reedbeds and good luck. More interesting species seen or heard on the marsh include a pair of pintail, up to four cetti's warblers, water rail, 7 common snipe, 3 green sandpipers and a kingfisher.
Thursday 6th January: Thursday Wildlife Walk at Wat Tyler Country Park 10.30am – 12.30pm.Come for a FREE guided walk each Thursday around Wat Tyler Country Park, discover the wildlife of the park and see the changes that each season brings. Free event, no need to book. Location: RSPB Visitor Centre, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon SS16 4UH
Saturday 8th January: RSPB West Canvey Marsh Walk 10am – 12noonThe first Saturday of each month, join our wardens for a walk around our new reserve on Canvey Island. Booking essential; call 01268 498627. Location: The entrance to the reserve car park is from the roundabout junction of Canvey Road and Roscommon Way. Cost: Guided walks cost £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children. RSPB members and RSPB Wildlife Explorers receive £1 discount.
Monday 10th January: Healthy Living Walk at Wat Tyler Country Park 12.30.Come for a brisk 30-minute walk around Wat Tyler Country Park on a regular basis to improve your fitness in peaceful surroundings. Free event, no need to book. Location: RSPB Visitor Centre, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon SS16 4UH
Tuesday 11th January: Wildlife & Watering Holes Walk - Hullbridge 10.30am – 12.30pm.Now here’s a good idea – a guided walk to see birds and wildlife along the River Crouch, combined with the option of popping into the Anchor Inn for a drink or bite to eat. Perfect for a chilly day! Booking essential; call 01268 498627. Location: Meet in the public car park behind the Anchor pub at the bottom of Ferry Road. Cost: Guided walks cost £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children. RSPB members and RSPB Wildlife Explorers receive £1 discount.
Wednesday 12th January: Little Owl Club at Wat Tyler Country Park 10am – 12noon.Come along for some outdoor fun and activities aimed at the under 5s. £2 per child, no need to book. Location: RSPB Discovery Zone, Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon SS16 4UH.