Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

Fingringhoe Wick and
Abberton Reservoir 2016
Sunday COACH trip

Date: Sunday 7 February 2016 at 07:00

Details:

Our coach left Maidenhead at 7am, under blue skies, with 22 members on board. After a short comfort (and House Sparrow watching) break we arrived at Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve at 9:20 am.  An Essex Wildlife Trust warden greeted us and spoke a bit about the history of the reserve and the locations of the hides.

We arrived at the first hide (Thurstable) and there on the opposite side was a Bittern, which was showing well in the reeds.  Other birds on this lake included Little Egret, Little Grebe and Shoveler. 

We then walked down a muddy path to the waters edge. There on the Colne estuary and saltmarsh were Brent Geese, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew, Lapwing and Shelduck, plus Wigeon and Teal.

Around the other habitats and feeders, smaller birds seen included Siskin, Long-tailed Tit, Kingfisher and Bullfinch.

We left Fingringhoe Wick at 12:30 and were driven to Abberton Reservoir, only eight miles away.  When we arrived at  the Essex Wildlife Trust's new nature reserve visitor centre we were given leaflets with a map of the reservoir.  When told of a Grey Phalarope, there was an immediate rush to the hide, as this is a rare bird to see anywhere in the country.

After a quick tour of the hides we went to the Layer de la Haye Causeway, just outside the reserve.  We saw Goldeneye, Slavonian Grebe, Goosander, Red-Breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe, Wigeon, Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck.  The Raptors we saw were Buzzard, Kestrel and a Marsh Harrier.

There were not many smaller birds about because the area is rather open but we did see Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Stonechat and Greenfinch.

Following a reported sighting of Smew, a quick change of plan saw the coach leave Abberton Reservoir reserve at 3:50 pm and head to the Layer Breton Causeway, which crosses another part of the reservoir.  The Smew were found, along with a Swan Goose.  This bird was of the domestic Chinese Goose breed, so an escapee from a collection.

We left the causeway at 4:15pm and arrived back in Maidenhead around 6:25pm, having seen 78 different species.  The weather was good and it was a good day's birding.

Click Here to see our photos from the trip

Fingringhoe Wick, 7/2/2016, sunny, windy

Mute Swan

Canada Goose

Brent Goose

Shelduck

Wigeon

Gadwall

Teal

Mallard

Shoveler

Tufted Duck

Goosander

Pheasant

Cormorant

Great Bittern

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Marsh Harrier

Moorhen

Coot

Oystercatcher

Golden Plover

Grey Plover

Lapwing

Ringed Plover

Curlew

Black-tailed Godwit

Dunlin

Redshank

Black-headed Gull

Common Gull

Wood Pigeon

Kingfisher

Green Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Magpie

Jay

Jackdaw

Carrion Crow

Goldcrest

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Sky Lark

Long-tailed Tit

Wren

Starling

Blackbird

Song Thrush

Robin

Dunnock

Pied Wagtail

Chaffinch

Goldfinch

Siskin

Bullfinch (Heard)

55 Bird Species seen and 1 heard at Fingringhoe

Common Lizard

Grey Squirrel


Abberton reservoir, 7/2/2016, sunny periods, windy

Mute Swan

Swan Goose

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

Egyptian Goose

Shelduck

Wigeon

Gadwall

Teal

Mallard

Shoveler

Pochard

Tufted Duck

Goldeneye

Smew

Red-breasted Merganser

Goosander

Pheasant

Cormorant

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Great Crested Grebe

Slavonian Grebe

Marsh Harrier

Buzzard

Kestrel

Moorhen

Coot

Lapwing

Grey Phalarope

Redshank

Black-headed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Stock Dove

Wood Pigeon

Magpie

Rook

Carrion Crow

Goldcrest

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Sky Lark

Long-tailed Tit

Starling

Blackbird

Fieldfare

Redwing

Robin

Stonechat

Dunnock

House Sparrow

Pied Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

Chaffinch

Greenfinch

Goldfinch

Bullfinch

Reed Bunting

59 Bird species seen at Abberton, 78 Bird species seen on trip

22 People

 
---- Original Programme Information ----

The coach will first go to to the Essex Wildlife Trust's Fingringhoe Wick reserve. We plan to have three hours here. High tide Is at 11 am so we are here at the right time to see waders.  Then we move eight miles to the new Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, where we spend the afternoon.

Fingringhoe Wick

Panoramic views over the Colne Estuary.  Thousands of waders and wildfowl use the estuary in the winter and as many as 700 avocets can be seen, along with Brent geese, golden plover, grey plover, knot, lapwing, dunlin, peregrine, merlin, hen harrier, shoveler, teal, wigeon and red breasted merganser.  A donation of £2 is included in the coach fare.

Country lake view© Copyright Glyn Baker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

During an early February 2015 visit, a bird watcher recorded these bird species -
mute swan, brent goose (x700), shelduck, wigeon, teal, mallard, shoveler, tufted duck, red-breasted merganser, pheasant, cormorant, bittern, little egret, little grebe, great crested grebe, marsh harrier (x5), hen harrier, sparrowhawk (x3), buzzard (x9), kestrel, peregrine, moorhen, coot, avocet (x500), oystercatcher, golden plover, grey plover, lapwing, ringed plover, curlew, black-tailed godwit, bar-tailed godwit (x100), knot, dunlin, redshank, snipe, black-headed gull, common gull, lesser black-backed gull, herring gull, feral pigeon, stock dove, wood pigeon, little owl, kingfisher, green woodpecker, magpie, jay, jackdaw, rook, crow, blue tit, great tit, skylark, wren, blackbird, song thrush, robin, dunnock, greenfinch, goldfinch, bullfinch.

Additional species seen by others in late January to early February 2015 included - 
Woodcock, coal tit, siskin, yellowhammer, starling, jackdaw, greater black-backed gull, grey heron, greylag goose, chaffinch

Visiting all the hides requires a walk of about 1.5 miles. There are many ponds and viewpoints and to visit them all would be over five miles.

Habitats: Grassland, gorse heathland, reedbeds, ponds, saltmarsh and the estuary.

Facilities:

  • Gift shop
  • Visitor centre
  • Light refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Viewing tower
  • 7 hides
  • 5 viewpoints
  • Bird feeders

Click here for the Fingringhoe Wick website

Abberton Reservoir

One of Europe's top wetland sites. Vast flocks of geese, ducks, swans & waders. Eighty species in a day is possible.  A donation of £2 is included in the coach fare.

Trees viewed across a sunny lake © Copyright Matthew Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In early February 2015, the following birds were recorded over the weekend -
Mute swan, white-fronted goose, Egyptian goose, wigeon, gadwall, teal, pintail, shoveler, red-crested pochard, pochard, tufted duck, goldeneye (x120), smew (x5), goosander, pheasant, bittern, little egret, grey heron, great crested grebe, marsh harrier (x2), common buzzard, kestrel, golden plover (x1000), lapwing (x600), dunlin, ruff (x35), green sandpiper, redshank, snipe, common gull, stock dove, kingfisher, long-tailed tit, fieldfare, song thrush, stonechat, pied wagtail, meadow pipit, rock pipit, goldfinch, reed bunting.

Additional rarities recorded late January to early February 2015 included - 
scaup, merlin, Slavonian grebe, swan goose, tundra bean goose, red-breasted merganser, woodcock,  jack snipe.

There are three hides overlooking the reservoir, and one in the new woodlands.  Around one mile of good paths and by the time of our visit, these should have been extended to three miles.

Habitats: Grassland, meadow, ponds, wetland, new woodland, reedbed and the reservoir itself.

Facilities:

  • Gift shop
  • Visitor centre
  • Hot and cold drinks, Hot and cold food, snacks
  • Toilets
  • Bird feeders

Click here for the Abberton Reservoir website

This coach trip involves a journey time of over two hours each way.
(i) Full payment of £24.00 is required on booking (£20 +£2 +£2). For under 16s the full cost is only £12.00 (£10 +£1 +£1). All money will be refunded if the trip is cancelled.
Please book at least one week in advance, preferably much earlier.
(iii) The coach leaves promptly at 7.00 am from the lay-by in front of the entrance to Braywick Park (Braywick Sports Ground), Braywick Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1DX. There is a free car park inside the park. Please arrive in good time.
(iv) Consider bringing a packed lunch and any drinks or snacks that you may require.
(v) During the journey, comfort stops will be made if possible.
(vi) The coach has room for large items such as telescopes, tripods, hampers and camera bags.