Monday, 1 October 2012

Two-tree Island

Saturday morning, sunshine, Two-tree Island, Essex. This was a 'first' for me. The island lies in between Canvey Island and the long, built-up stretch from Leigh-on-Sea to Southend, and is a flat, marshy little slab of land, protected as an Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve. A short walk from the car park there are two hides, the first looking out onto the Thames Estuary, the second, more promisingly, on a patch of marsh separated from the estuary by a steep bank. This is a high-tide roost for waders, although it's quite large and the waders tend to gather at the far end, well out of range for my lens.

Here's a view from the island out towards the Thames. The path is pretty busy and the place is popular with dog-walkers, so it's no surprise that the water here didn't hold anything much.

A view from hide 1. Over the many boats on the Thames came a great flock of what must be Brent Geese, though they were too far off for any detail to be discernible. But the patterns they described, of long straggly lines, looked very Brenty to me.

A few Swallows were passing through, presumably finding enough flies to make it worth their while. There were also one or two Migrant Hawkers about.

 On to hide 2. The marsh has many small islands, each marked with a large letter so you can tell your companion that the *extremely rare wader* is on island K, or B, or whatever. Many of the resting birds were too far off even for confident identification, let alone photos, but when they took to the air as they periodically did (mainly when someone walking on the raised path alongside the landward side of the marsh allowed their dog to run down the bank), better views were possible. Here are some Ringed Plovers and Dunlins.

A mixed bag of blurry waterfowl. Herein are Redshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, more Dunlins and some Teals. Maybe other things too.

There were also a few Greenshanks, which didn't venture very close. This is my best effort at a photo of a bird that is notable for its almost total absence from my blog. Others present in small numbers included Golden Plover and Turnstone.

The Oystercatchers were the most obliging in terms of close fly-bys...

... with the Lapwings not far behind. Here accompanied by a confused young Starling.

In a quiet moment (bird-wise), I took a few shots of this very pretty sailing boat making her way along the channel that separates Two-tree Island from Canvey Island to the west.

The walk back produced a few Curlews going by over the Thames, a Kestrel, a few drifts of Linnets and (photographably) a nice close Common Gull and some Little Egrets over the marsh.


Warren Baker said...

Sounds an intriguing place Marianne, like that Common Gull shot :-)

The Urban Birder said...

It's a nice spot Marianne.
I went there for the first time last month saw some nice birds.

Rohrerbot said...

This looks like a dreamy place to bird. Lovely captures....especially on the last one as it lands. Pretty area.