The opening of Bowers Marsh was celebrated with the arrival of four spoonbill, giving great views on the edge of the main freshwater lagoon. A juvenile glossy ibis has also been popping in and out of Bowers Marsh and has also been seen flying over Vange Marsh. The ibis has been quite mobile, although is still being seen occasionally on Bowers Marsh, so keep your eyes peeled!
Spoonbill by Dave Gonning
Winter wader and wildfowl numbers are now on the increase, with nearly 1000 lapwing across the sites, as well as large numbers of teal and wigeon. The reservoir at West Canvey has been attracting excellent numbers of duck, with up to 170 shoveler seen in front of the roadside hide. Smaller numbers of diving duck such as tufted duck and pochard are also regular, recently joined by a female scaup.
Teal by David Lee
We’ve recently had some work done at Vange Marsh where the front edge of the lagoon has been cut and rotovated. This should help reduce the encroachment of reed and clubrush in to the lagoon, as well as provide better views for visitors. This work has meant water levels have had to be kept low and all the exposed mud has been attracting lots of waders, this week has seen peaks of 68 redshank, 66 snipe, six green sandpiper, as well as a single ruff.
Passerines are starting to flock up for the winter too, Bowers Marsh is a great place to see flocks of corn bunting and finch flocks. A large flock of around 80 linnet have regularly been seen, and recently a few twite have been reported amongst them. Also starting to make an appearance are the first thrush flocks of the winter, look out for redwings and fieldfares along hedgerows feasting on berries.
Michael Poole - Assistant Warden