January, 2012

South Essex

South Essex
A landscape of wetlands and marshes nestled along the Thames Estuary.

South Essex

  • Waders steal the show

    There’s a great selection of wintering waders to see across our reserves at the moment. At Vange Marsh, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Ruff and Green Sandpiper have all been regularly seen, along with Water Rail skulking in the ditches. A trip down to Timberman’s Creek at Wat Tyler Country Park may reward you with Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and Oystercatcher, while Lapwing and Curlew can be found on all our reserves. These waders also provide food for birds of prey, if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of a Peregrine trying to pick one out of the flock. Looking out from the marina at Wat Tyler Country Park is a great place to try and see them at the moment. On Pitsea Scrape, both Yellow-legged and Mediterranean Gulls have been seen amongst the gull flock.

    Thanks to Darren Chaplin for his excellent black-tailed godwit picture

  • Big Garden Birdwatch - Are you ready?

    I just had to share these stunning images taken in our wildlife garden this week. These great and blue tits along with the goldfinch are regular visitors to our bird feeding station and were captured beautifully by Neil, you can see more of these images here.

    Our 'Big Garden Birdwatch' takes place on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 January. Pop in to our visitor centre at Wat Tyler Country Park and pick up your survey form and while there why not have a peek at our bird feeders!

  • New Year's resolution to get out more?

    If you’ve indulged over the Christmas period and are now trying to work off the turkey and chocolate, why not take a walk round one of our reserves, the New Year is a great time to get out and see many of our winter birds. There are impressive flocks of Fieldfares on our West Canvey Marsh reserve and at least one of the short-eared owls is still showing well hunting over the fields near the Pantile picnic area. As the grassland starts to get wetter, more and more waders are being attracted to the reserve. There has been increasing numbers of Lapwing and Curlew feeding on the grassland as well as wildfowl such as Wigeon and Teal. Water rails are also starting to become more visible, these elusive birds spend much of the summer hidden away amongst the reeds, so winter is the best time to see them. Vange Marsh and Pitsea Scrape in Wat Tyler Country Park are great places to try and see them, feeding along ditches and reed edges. In Timbermanns Creek at Wat Tyler Country park, alongside redshank, curlew and black-tailed godwits, four spotted redshanks and a greenshank have decided to spend the winter.

    Fieldfare and black-tailed godwit images kindly provided by Russ Sheriff.