Trip reports

Benacre Broad Thursday 13 September

Thursday, 13 September 2018

The estate is approximately 6500 acres, with a variety of habitats including woodland, beach, heath and farmland. There is approximately 3 to 4 miles of coastline and they lose up to 25 acres per year due to erosion. The estate is well managed for wildlife with the involvement of Natural England.
We start our walk in bright sunshine at Covehithe church, with 15 members and 2 guests, our first sightings were of Swallows, Starlings and feral Pigeons on or around the church tower. The churchyard is very overgrown and looks like it would be good for migrants but there was only the odd Sparrow or two.
We continued up the old road, now very overgrown leaving just a narrow track to the cliff edge, at this point we turn left along the cliff path not seeing much except for Crows and Jackdaws. Our destination was the hide at the south side of the broad, this is where we spent most of the morning, and were rewarded with waders and wildfowl in good numbers. Because of our number some viewed the broad from the hide and some from the beach which is now breached by the sea making it difficult to travel north from this point. The tide was low when we arrived so there was plenty of mud on view although most was down at the west end of the broad and a scope was essential to view the birds. Not all birds were seen by all but the overall number of species seen I have listed at the end of this article. We spent about one and half hours here and by the time we left the tide was coming in and the broad was filling up fast.

Species seen: Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Teal, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin. Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Swallow, House Martin, Jackdaw, Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch. Total 34.

Butterflies: Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White and Red Admiral.

Thank you to all who attended this event.

Bill Whybrow.