I ventured deeep into enemy territory today, drifting incognito amongst The Gentleman Birders of Essex.
Star birds were the two Penduline Tits. If only all birds were as confiding as these two. They moved around the north part of the reserve, but were happy to feed in the open in front of massed ranks of birders. A lifer for me, I was expecting something like a masked Bearded tit, but they were more Great Tit or finch like in general shape and demeanour to my eyes. Here's the best I could do with the hand-held lens plus converter.
Otherwise I underperformed against the list in the centre;no SEO, Peregrine or Water Pipit, and the Serin hadn't been seen when I left. Nevertheless, in the Reeds there were Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, calling Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail, and a Kingfisher. On Aveley Lagoon there was about 20 Pintail, a Golden Plover, a Snipe, and lots of Lapwing, Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler.
On the marsh were Reed Bunting, 4 pairs of Stonechat, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtail, and on the foreshore were 3 Black-Tailed Godwits, about 10 Redshank, some Dunlin, Teal, Shelduck, and some dabbling ducks from the reserve. Around the centre were Goldfinch in number and various other typical garden birds. so a good start to 2009.
There's lots of work still going on out on the reserve. Much of it to do with chldren and education, but no doubt some of it will produce more good birds.