Sunday, 7 May 2017

Aveley Bay.....wader mecca!

Spent a couple of hours yesterday at Rainham along the seawall. Pretty much all of the time was spent around Aveley Bay. There was a fantastic mixed group of waders feeding on the exposed mud. The group included 32 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, along with Oystercatcher and Redshanks, and many were in stunning full summer plumage! I bumped in to Steve Bacon no not literally and we both jammed in to a female Ring Ouzel briefly, just after a Short-eared Owl had flown along the seawall! I refound the Ring Ouzel again later and managed much better views. I also saw my first Swift and Cuckoo for 2017 and heard my first Grasshopper Warbler of the year. Other species seen included a few Common Terns out on the river, Wheatear along the foreshore and a male Stonechat near the landfill. Not a bad couple of hours!!

heavily cropped image of summer plumaged Grey Plover and a Knot

We rarely get to see Knots looking like this in the UK, but you can see why their full name is Red Knot

bit of a mix 2 Bar-tailed Godwits one winter and the other in summer plumage, then a Knot followed by two Grey Plovers

two Grey Plovers and a Knot

mainly Bar-tailed in foreground with Grey Plover beyond

Wheatear

Skylark

squabbling Black-headed Gulls

Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel

Ring Ouzel