Spring sort of passed us by at South Essex, one minute it was chilly the next we were in a heat wave! Thus, water levels on site have been dropping dramatically across the South Essex reserves. This is partly deliberate as we aim to dry out certain sites such as Vange Marsh by the autumn. This will allow us to get some machinery on to the lagoon area and cut as much of the Club rush as possible. This will produce the best views across the lagoon throughout winter and into next year. However, currently the water levels at Vange Marsh are low enough to expose some mud and small island areas which has attracted exciting birds such as a Pectoral sandpiper recently.

Pectoral Sandpiper by Mike Langman (rspb-images.com)

We have also been aided by having all our wind pumps fully functional, drawing water out of the reservoir and feeding the ditches and lagoons on West Canvey Marsh and Bowers Marsh. On the flip side, due to maximizing our water levels over the winter; this has created some lovely areas on Bowers Marsh that has attracted quite a few waders including Ruff. Keep en eye out on our website for when this amazing reserve will be open, it's coming very soon!

Steven Roach – Warden, South Essex