April, 2012

South Essex

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

South Essex

  • Our new arrivals!

    This weekend our first blue tit chick hatched, we now have eleven tiny little chicks and two very devoted and I'm sure proud parents. Our visitor centre is open daily 10 am - 5 pm, come along and watch their progress in stunning live colour footage.

  • Early risers enjoy the sound of spring!

    Spring is well under way as the later arriving migrants start to appear. Several Cuckoos have been seen, so keep an ear out for them calling, a sure sign warmer weather is on the way! A single Hobby was seen over Vange Marsh on the 26th April, these acrobatic falcons are great to watch as they try and chase Swallows and Martins. A Yellow Wagtail was seen over on West Canvey Marsh, along with several wheatear. The reedbeds are starting to come alive too, especially on Vange Marsh where you can hear Reed, Sedge and Cetti’s Warbler all singing, along with Reed Buntings and the ‘pinging’ calls of Bearded Tit. This time of year is great for the dawn chorus, so why not get out early one morning and see what you can hear. Or, if you’re a bit rusty on your bird songs, come along to one of our dawn chorus walks at Wat Tyler Country Park. Each walk starts at 5 am and lasts around two hours. The walks are on Sunday 6, Tuesday 15 and Sunday 19 May.  To book yourself a place call 01268 498620, cost is £3 with a £1 discount for RSPB members.

    Cuckoo - David Lee

  • An Islandic black-tailed godwit tracked!

    The importance of bird-ringing, we have known for a long time that many of our black-tailed godwits in the Greater Thames Estuary originate from Iceland. One such bird was seen in the creek, here at Wat Tyler on March 1st this year. The bird was rung 'RW-GO' and from that ring the following information was found:

    RW-GO was ringed as a breeding female in N Iceland.

    RW-GO 20.06.11 Langhús, Fljót, Skagafirði, N Iceland

    RW-GO 03.08.11 Thames Estuary, Kent, SE England

    RW-GO 07.12.11 Vange Marsh, Essex, E England

    RW-GO 26.12.11 Pitsea, Vange Creek , Essex, E England

    RW-GO 15.01.12 Marshside RSPB Reserve, Southport, Merseyside, Lancashire, NW England

    RW-GO 12.02.12 Pitsea, Vange Creek , Essex, E England

    RW-GO 01.03.12 Wat Tyler CP, Pitsea, Vange Creek , Essex, E England

    You can see the bird has been pretty much faithful to The Thames Estuary outside of the breeding season, although it did make a brief trip to Lancashire mid January but soon returned. The godwits have been arriving back in Iceland over the last few days, with the first sighting back in Iceland on March 29.

    If you are lucky enough to be able to read a ring, you can find more information here

    And here is a black-tailed godwit, not the black-tailed godwit and I'm not sure if it's female, it was taken by Chris Gomersall