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Winter wader sites (1 Viewer)

Paul - Herts

Paul Herts
Can anybody please recommend any good sites for watching wintering waders and wildfowl? I have a long weekend in a couple of weeks then a week in December and I would like to have a couple of trips to the coast to watch and if possible photograph\video what I can see.

Coming from St Albans and trying to find sites from the Thames and out North rather than heading to the Isle of Sheppey, not looking for rarities just somewhere where I can see Grey plover, Curlew, Dunlin, migrant geese etc.

I spend too much time land locked and need some sea air!

Thanks in advance

Thanks James, looks like a good suggestion, I think I will head up there for the November trip.

Just need to find somewhere really exposed for December then LOL
Cheers Tony, I had come across that in my googling and had thought maybe just go sit in the car park by the sea and watch. When you say on the right tide I am presuming high tide coming in and getting there well in advance?
As Steve says, Two Tree Island is probably your best bet.

There is a high tide roost on the lagoon at the west end of the island (about a 15 min walk from the car park at the south end) which is overlooked by a hide. Depending on the height of the tide and how much time you have you should probably aim to get to the hide 90 mins - 2 hours before high tide.

If you've got more time to spare before walking to the lagoon you could watch from the slipway by the car park, which is a good spot to watch the waders feeding before they are pushed off by the flowing tide.

You will already have seen plenty of Brent Geese, but the biggest concentrations on high tide tend to be off of Old Leigh seafront. You can either view by walking to the far eastern end of Two Tree Island or if driving come off of the island, turn right at the station, then right at the mini-roundabout, then first right again (over the bridge), then view from the car park underneath the bridge; there should be plenty of Wigeon here too.
Try Old hall marshes. Some excellent creeks for waders ander thousands of Brents.

I also favour Old Hall -- worth calling the office first, to find out what is around. you may also like to check out the Blackwater near Osea Island, where you usually get far more Knot, Dunlin and Turnstones, which are thin on the ground at Old Hall. Abberton is also close by and is good for waterfowl.

Don't forget to check the tide tables to plan your day and get the best from it. Best of luck.

Thanks Dave, just had a look and it looks like the easiest place to stop would be Maldon and then walk east along the sea wall. Must be nice to live close to so much coastline and be able to just explore. I lived near the Hayle estuary for a couple of years and even though I didn't particularly go birding during that period I loved walking along the coast.

Thanks everybody for the input, there's lots to go see

Thanks Dave, just had a look and it looks like the easiest place to stop would be Maldon and then walk east along the sea wall. Paul


You would probably find it better to park at either Heybridge Basin or just short of Osea Causeway rather than in Maldon.

Might be a bit north but i find walton-on-the naze a pretty good wader site (sometimes purple sandpiper), used to be snow bunting and owls around as well though haven't been for about three years just walked north from the tower
Cheers A_J, Dave and Viv, I will bear the info in mind

Went to Two Trees Island this morning. Bit odd but my satnav wouldn't work anywhere near the M25 today on both journeys so it took longer to travel than expected. Heading to Mersea Island tomorrow so will see what happens!

Had a thoroughly enjoyable day, must have spent 3 hours just gazing across the Thames; had a friendly chap stop and say hello and asked if there was anything interesting around. Told him that as I rarely get to the coast it's all interesting o:) I was still sitting and staring when he came back from the hides! I actually only walked from the car park to the lagoon hide and back but it took 5 hours. Happy days

The one disappointment was that the Brent geese were so very distant but a great day out, loads of waders about and some lovely sun this afternoon.

Cheers Paul
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