Sometimes a days birding can deliver very little and then sometimes days like today come along where it all seems to go right. A Barn Owl as we pulled into the track to the reserve followed by two Short-eared Owls hunting at first light then a male Merlin flashes across us and sits out on a small mound giving superb scope views. Corn Buntings and Skylarks fly around calling before the main attraction comes out to play. A male Hen Harrier hunting the marsh and wow do we get good scope views as it stays out for over half an hour before being joined by the female bird.
Lots of Kestrel and a single Marsh Harrier showed before we stumbled on a Mealy Redpoll keeping close company with the four Twite wintering at Wallasea. A Green Sandpiper and couple of Snipe flew over and good numbers of waders were on the mud banks of the estuary. A tip off gave us Shag and Eider at the Marina where we picked up a Green Woodpecker too.
As we were close to Southend we took the detour and picked out several Med Gulls on the beach and found a smart Kingfisher using the jetty to fish the shoreline. We then headed for Pitsea and connected with the Waxwings outside Mcdonalds with a small mixed gathering of birders and interested shoppers all getting a little more birding experience which can’t be a bad thing.
I dropped the Jims off and headed off into Epping Forest with my son for a quick bit of local birding.Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Goldcrest and Mandarin were all added quickly and we found a nice male Brambling which is a good bird here. I couldn’t find Jimmy’s Firecrest so that’ll have to wait for another day.
Add the mid-week Parakeets (Highams Park and in the garden) and Mistle Thrush (Abridge) and the year list now sits at a healthy 128.