Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

From Bewick’s swans to bouncing bombs

Following the blustery day at Rainham Marshes, the following day was calm, sunny and reasonably mild. The plan was to visit Fingringhoe Wick and Abberton Reservoir.

Fingringhoe is on the Colne esturary and can attract a range of wintering ducks and waders. There was also still a long-staying Glossy Ibis which eluded me so we’ll skip over that one.

Most action came from the esturary. There were 18 red-breasted Mergansers on the water with small flocks of Brent geese. Avocets, curlews, knots and dunlins ferried back and forth with redshanks and lapwings adding their voices to the scene. A single Slavonian Grebe drifted slowing up river providing another highlight.

Pretty Map

Brent Geese

Red-breasted Merganser

Slavonian Grebe
From Fingringhoe Wick, I headed over to Abberton Reservoir. Abberton Reservoir is famous for a slightly different type of bird. In 1943, the RAF used Abberton reservoir as a practice run site for the Lancaster bomber and the bouncing bomb, created by Barnes Wallis because it was a similar shape to the Eder Dam in Germany. Lately, and more peacefully, the reservoir has played host to hen harriers, short-eared owls and Bewick’s Swans. I was hoping that it was still the case.

Upon arriving at the reservoir, I was a little surprised to find so much land management work going on. A new visitor centre and re-profiling of the reservoir is all taking shape. Fortunately, this hasn’t affected the quality of the birds.
Roy King Hide, Abberton Reservoir
I counted five short-eared owls quartering fields around Wigborough Bay and four Bewick’s swans roosted in the same area.

Bewick’s Swans

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