Tuesday 13 February 2018

Car Trouble Part Two... 8th February 2018

So while I was waiting for my next Harlow car appointment, the same said vehicle was also requiring of a service having somehow notched up 10,000 miles since July so I arranged my customary visit to Colchester to see Adrian Kettle and then immediately abandoned him with my car before heading off for a lengthy walk down to Rowhedge via The Hythe and the inevitably tidally-out River Colne.

It was a glorious day with a heavy frost in parts and amazing brackish water ice fingers left by the receding water suspended in last year’s vegetation.

The usual suspects were all present and correct with Mohican male Teal and bobbing, nervous Redshanks and long billed Black-tailed Godwits up to their eyeballs in the mud while wickering quietly to themselves.

Nice hair do mate....!


Teal keeping and eye on me



Little Grebes and white headed sinensis race Cormorants fed with the outgoing tidal flow but how either find anything in the murky brownness I do not know.

Little Grebe

Cormorant - look at those eyes!

Grey Heron

LIttle Egret

Over 200 mixed Canada and Greylag Geese swirled around me before alighting on the river and I can’t remember ever seeing any geese here whatsoever. One Canlag was with tem and you could even pick it out on call.  

Greylag Geese

Teal spooked by the geese - a few Wigeon and Mallard were also seen

I found two different Water Pipits along with 36 Meadow Pipit and 11 littoralis Rock Pipits. Rather oddly it was the Rockits that were feeding the flooded anthill meadow near Rowhedge with the Mipits and 33 Pied Wagtails rather than the Wapits which would have looked quite at home there.

Yellow Meadow Ant-hills

Water Pipit

Rock Pipit

Oystercatcher, three Ringed Plover, seven Grey Plover and 16 Curlew added themselves to the wader list and my cup of coffee from Jam Jar was supped while sharing a bench and Essex birding memories with Alf Mullins who I have not seen in an age but whose voluminous beard was identifiable at great range.


Grey Plover

Two Buzzards and a Kestrel were soaring over the Wivenhoe side of the river and a female Sparrowhawk made a determined sortie after a Rock Pipit sheltering amongst the small boats moored up.

A Little Egret fed just below us, wiggling those yellow toes in the shallows and was being watched by an ever opportunistic pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Little Egret

The walk back added four Reed Buntings and a hoped for Grey Wagtail and a group of Greenfinches wheezed in the sunshine while munching rosehips.  Everything was enjoying those warming rays and the Feral Pigeons on the last warehouse roof looked resplendent with shining neck patches while in the Sycamore and Brambles below was my only Hythe House Sparrow of the walk and a dapper little Goldcrest.


Feral Pigeon

Feral Pigeon

Hythe House Sparrow

The walk back up to Magdalen Street  from The Hythe (adding Peregrine) is persistantly uphill all the way and by the time I got back to the workshop my phone was accusing me of having done proper exercise – whatever next!

With the VRoomster all sorted there was time for a catch up with Adrian and there was even errant Pete Pyke lurking to add to my ‘birding friend I have not seen in years’ day list...

Time to head for home...

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