Monday 4 February 2013

Beautiful Birds (and a Couple of Lighthouses!)

We have been out and about on the estuaries of the rivers Stour and Orwell. We went for a walk on Saturday in the vicinity of the (Roman-built) Saxon Shore fortification known as Walton Castle, which stood on the coast at what is now known as Felixstowe. You can read about the site here. You can only - possibly - see remains at a very low tide, which is why I was not able to take a photograph. I must wait patiently for the right time of the year ...

Then yesterday afternoon we turned our attention to the banks of the Stour. We had hoped to see waders in the form of winter migrants, but our path did not take us close enough to the water's edge for any decent pictures. However, I took a couple of record shots of Brent Geese in a scrubby field which you see below. These were a first for my 2013 bird-list, along with five Curlews that flew overhead. The Brent Geese in the photo above are small creatures. Adult birds have the distinctive white stripe on their necks. They will have been here on our coast since the autumn, and will probably leave Britain in about a month's time. You can find out more about them here - and what happened back in 1930.

We had actually been looking for the Stour Estuary RSPB Reserve, which we found later in the afternoon, but we ended up initially at the Wrabness Nature Reserve, run by the Essex Wildlife Trust.  

The Wrabness Reserve boasts a rich collection of fauna and flora, so perhaps we will head back there in butterfly and damselfly season. We heard fabulous birdsong, but only caught sight few of the songsters, such as a Blackbird and a Blue tit.

We drove on to Harwich, a town I had never visited before. By this time the light was fading, but we were able to see three lighthouses. I particularly liked the one known (appropriately) as the High Light (here). You can see Constable's painting of the Low Light (as it was in his day) here


Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely to see the brent geese. I've only ever seen them in the wild on Jersey

Mary said...

Geese and lighthouses....sounds like a great day! The geese seem to be enjoying the nice looking weather. I just love stuff like this. I hope in the future you can show the castle, too. Castles are something that Americans don't have, so I always find them fascinating!

Em Parkinson said...

Beautiful photos Caroline....all of them.