Monday, August 22, 2022


 Me and John were out and about around Boulmer and the Aln Estuary yesterday morning. We began early at 06.30 when it was quite peaceful. The wind was a light SW3, it was clear and sunny but there was an early autumn chill in the air.

Boulmer, before the masses.

Before I get on to what we saw, I've got to say, we were up against it. It seems that every corner of the patch is getting more like Blackpool every week. Just to run through, while watching the waders on a weed strewn muddy north end at Boulmer it began with a chap wearing a Toon top kicking a football along the shore. Thats a new one on me here. We then had dog walkers with those throwing sticks that get the ball to cover as much wader habitat as possible. This was before the standard bemused tourists arrived who walk straight down the muddy haven to the waters edge to stand, gazing, not knowing exactly why they came or what to do next.

Soon after as we sat on the north seat, the lovely, dulcet tones, of the countryside could be heard when a dozen tossers on off road motorbikes came along the track north, forcing the way through the gate. WTF? I took some snaps of reg plates but on checking back home this track is open to all traffic, despite pedestrians, dogs, kids, sheep, cyclists etc. I'll remember that next time I fancy a seawatch in the pouring rain.

Despite this, we did see a few birds. Off the north end were 300+ mixed terns that included mostly Sandwich, Arctic and Common in that order but in with them were 5 Roseates. There had been up to 4 Black Terns the night before but there weren't here this morning.

A female Merlin came low overhead, south, past the village while a Sparrowhawk hunted the starlings. A couple of Yellow Wagtails flew south overhead.

Waders, we had Bar tailed Godwit 4, Grey Plover in sum plum, Whimbrel, a Snipe in off, 53 Lapwing and several hundred Golden Plover on the rocks. On the mud, 100+ Dunlin, 50+ Ringed Plover, 50+ Redshank. A Wheatear was about the only passerine migrant. 

Lads enjoying the countryside. 

   So, to get away from the melee at Boulmer we headed down the road to view the River Aln from Foxton for waders. On arrival a cockeney had parked his camper van on the road verge as it was a tenner to use the car park. When I spoke to him he looked at me in a head twisting manner as if he had just found a lost tribe in the Amazon.

Off to view the river then. A few waders were here, but not for long, oh no. Firstly a husband and wife team in small rowing things were like the Oxford boat race moving down stream. She was clueless and kept veering off into the bank in a zig zag manner, while looking over her shoulder to see where she was going ( its a curved meander here). As they were leaving our view, they were passed by a lone canoeist coming the opposite way. Greenshanks were scattering all over. He was soon followed by a family in what looked like a boat that had crossed from Calais to Dover through the night and with them a bloke with his grandson on a paddle board using a bit of round plastic as a sail.

Before this lot appeared we had 5 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 6 Teal, a Pintail and a Goosander. 15 Black tailed Godwits flew N.

Finally were left the regatta to view the estuary from Tom's seat. The access cycle path was like Edinburgh Christmas market but as the tide dropped a few birds came out to feed. 

Black tailed Godwit 42, Curlew 172+ Knot 3, Greenshank 4, Snipe 2, Little Egret 8. A couple of Sedge Warblers were a bit late and a nice Lesser Whitethroat fed in brambles in the sunshine.

Roll on easterlies and rain I say...     


Anonymous said...

Mate i'd take down the comment on the third pic, could get you into bother with the polis, especially if someone unknown took it on themselves to do it.

Jonathan Lethbridge said...

Blimey, and there was I thinking I might retire up north to get away from the masses...

Anonymous said...

Covid, staying home tourism, terrible isn't it. I have felt a change in morning temp, my favourite time of year.

Stewart said...

Anon - Done.
Jonathan - Thats what everyone else thinks too... ;)
Anon - aye the early autumn light and cool is lovely...