|Looking over to Leigh from Two Tree Island|
Today, I chose to visit Two Tree Island. hidden away behind Leigh Railway station is the access road to this dog-walker and model plane enthusiast paradise. Reclaimed from the Thames estuary Two Tree Island is made up of rough grassland, brackish marsh and lagoons with a maze of meandering creeks, this nature reserve is perfect for finding roosting waders and winter raptors.
The island is split by the access road and has an eastern and western side. I went to the western side where there is a couple of hides. Land birds consisted mainly of greenfinch, dunnock and linnet. On the mudflats of the estuary, there were curlew, common redshank and parties of dark-bellied brent geese. From the main lagoon hide huge flocks of gulls were creating one hell of a racket. These were nearly all black-headed gulls with a few great black-backed and herring gulls in for good measure. At least 100 knot were huddled together with oystercatchers, dunlin and a couple of ringed plover.
|Knot and Shelduck|
Heading back to the eastern side there were more brent geese on the Thames. The sun was low and strong so any clear viewing was made difficult. Upon reaching the eastern end of the island, there were obviously many waders feeding on the now receding tide. Oystercatchers, redshanks and curlew were easily identified but the few godwits that shared the point were impossible to name. Towards the boatyard, a few grey plover were about with a couple of turnstone.