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.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Wallasea. A predator’s island paradise.

Who needs warm sandy beaches, softly swaying palm trees and the sound of a south sea tide rolling in and just touching your toes, when you can have a cold, lip -chaffing wind, a mile of uneven muddy pathway across a barren, bulldozed landscape?

Welcome to Wallasea Island folks.

Wallasea is certainly a birding paradise, at least, it is if you stick close to the entrance to the reserve and around the car park. With winter comes an array of raptor species with headliners in the form of Hen Harriers and Short-eared Owls. These two species are absent during much of the year in the south-east so it is wonderful when they can be easily watched, often together, quartering the wild bird cover areas of Wallasea Island.

And if that wasn’t enough, there were fine appearances from the scarce Rough-legged Buzzard although this is a particularly fine year for this magnificent bird. A Merlin made a brief sortie by the 'white gate' with Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine and a Kestrel or two took the species tally to seven.

'Ringtail' Hen Harrier
Short-eared Owl
Rough-legged Buzzard in dogfight with Peregrine Falcon

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