We’ve had an increase in visitors the last few weeks, both human and avian...
Short-eared owl by Russell Sherriff
Many visitors to the reserve have come to catch some great views of the hen harriers, marsh harriers and short-eared owls that are hunting across the reserve daily. Some have taken some great images of these birds hunting across the rough grassland and wild bird cover. I wish I was as good a photographer!
We have also seen our annual increase in wader and waterfowl numbers on the lagoons and mud flats. A large flock of over 300 black-tailed godwits along with a few hundred lapwing can be seen on the lagoons, along with smaller numbers of golden plover and ringed plover.
Crossrail are continuing their work as best they can now the ground conditions have become so wet. They have imported over 90% of the material they are bringing in and once you have crossed the footbridge, you can now see the work up close to the sea wall. Channels have been created to spread the incoming sea water across the area, and you can see lagoons which will stay wet even on a low tide and islands which the birds will be able to use for roosting and nesting.
Believe it or not at this time of year it is well worth a visit!
Rachel Fancy - Wallasea Island and Foulness Warden
There is only a week now until the One Wild Day at Wallasea and we can't wait!
This event is an amazing opportunity to come along and discover the incredible work for wildlife that is happening right here in Essex. The Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project is an exceptionally ambitious project aiming to transform this island back into a magical intertidal coastal marshland of over 600 hectares. This event will give you a unique chance to explore the island and find out more about how the RSPB are working with others such as Crossrail to make it happen.
It will be a fabulous family day out with the chance to get up close and personal with the bugs and beasties that live on the island, discover what lurks in the mud and find out how you can take action to help the wildlife of the island as well as the wildlife in your own back garden.
With cracking entertainment from local band Illicit and the amazing Jakob Deist alongside local beers, yummy cake and scrumptious ice cream the day is set to be an excellent one.
We hope to see you there!
Please note the London to Southend Bike Ride will be happening on the same day. The below map shows the route they will be travelling and a suggested alternative route to get to the event.
Exciting times for our Saline lagoon as work has started on the sluice structures. Visitors will have seen a large crane has appeared to get the 20m+ piling into the ground. This will be to hold the inlet sluice which will be under enormous pressure from the incoming tide. The piling for the outlet structures will be much reduced as the pressure of water on an outgoing tide is much smaller.
Also, contractors are restarting the creation of our smaller second saline lagoon not far from the car park. This will be fed by an existing sluice, which visitors pass on the sea wall. The foot drains will be linked to the existing farm ditches and so this winter we should have some lovely wet grassland for wintering birds to feed on.
The weather is lovely at the moment and you should see lots of lovely yellow wagtails around feeding on insects and flitting around the sea walls and car park edge.
We are hoping that the weather stays sunny for our family event, One Wild Day at Wallasea on 20th July. Please come along– the event is open from 11am – 5pm and is free! A whole range of activities and stalls are in place for everyone to join in.