Wivenhoe Watching Wildlife Autumn Rambles 16 Oct

As trailed by Glyn earlier this week, there will be two free walks available this Sunday, 16 October.

Glyn will be leading a bird walk, starting at the shipyard  jetty at 0700. Drop him a pm or call/text 07899 805803 if you fancy joining him, but make sure you have good outdoor clothing and decent waterproof footwear as he will be out no matter what the weather does.  He would normally expect to cover 4 miles at least but will rein back on that if the company is less inclined...

You will probably see 50+ species of birds on this walk unless there is an absolute deluge.

For those who don't appreciate early rising or are gluttons for punishment, we will then have a walk around the King George field/Wivenhoe Woods/Ferry Marsh area for a couple of hours from 1400. Meet in the Public car park opposite the Greyhound. This walk will focus on insects, fungi, and whatever else we come across. 

No need to book for the afternoon session, but that will not be on if it is raining heavily!


  • So, part one was this morning, where around 10 of us started out from the barrier and along the trail via Barrier Marsh, where we flushed a Snipe and enjoyed a flypast by a Kingfisher. A couple of squalls and a steady breeze kept whatever small birds might have been in the hedges staying low and mainly invisible, although a few Blackbirds and Song Thrushes were obviously passing through. 

    On the river there were plenty of waders to sort through with up to 100 Avocet in one flock amongst 15 wader species found, including Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Dunlin, a Spotted Redshank and a Curlew Sandpiper, which sadly was rousted with its consorts before anyone else could enjoy 'scoped views.

    The wind picked up but the rain stopped. Gunfire over on Moverons farm, Brightlingsea put up a host of birds, some of which were Fieldfare and a female Ring Ouzel flew high above us toward Wivenhoe.

    We saw four different Marsh Harriers with adult and immature birds of both gender, plus a local Buzzard being mobbed by crows over Bowes Farm.

    The first few Brent Geese are now with us and were enjoyed with decent numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck with 3 Gadwall amongst some of the overhead Mallards. Skylarks occasionally trilled overhead and Meadow Pipits were constantly squeaking around.

    Only one Chiffchaff and one Goldcrest were heard, but altogether I have totted up the total number of bird species seen or heard to be 70.

    See you all for part 2 at 2pm!
  • Thanks Glyn. For a few photos of the wonderful sunrise from the Jetty, and the impending deluge, see the Sunsets thread.

    This afternoon's walk was in better weather, but the lack of significant rains over the past three months meant that the hoped-for fungi were few and far between. Apart from a few assorted whitish crust fungi and a few blotches on leaves, the only easily-recognisable species we found were the Cracking Bolete and Common Earth-ball. Tiny fruiting bodies on an acorn proved on close examination to be Hymenoscyphus fructigenus, one of the smallest gilled mushrooms in the world, rather than a slime-mould as I had originally suspected.. Otherwise, insects were few and far between, but included a few Drone Flies and a Small Copper, several Rosemary Beetles, and a number of galls and leaf miners.

    So nothing outstandingly remarkable, but a good varied set of walks for the day, and thanks to all those who came along to one or both...

    Chris, Glyn & Greg


    Hymenoscyphus fructigenus

    Cracking Bolete

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