Wallasea Island RSPB Reserve - Sunday 15th September 2019 - Trip Report.
A magnificent 7 of us turned out to visit Wallasea Island on a beautiful Sunday morning. We met Rachel the warden at the RSPB offices and she explained the latest developments at the reserve, while we had a welcome morning coffee. Outside the offices we saw a Kestrel flying around and scaring a few Feral Pigeons off the roof. There were also a few Large and Small Whites fluttering around - the first of many seen on the day. We then headed off onto the reserve proper and spotted a decent flock of Linnets sitting on the fences. A Lesser Black Backed Gull drifted over as did the first of many Black Headed Gulls. A distant Little Egret was the first one seen and we then had a handful of Barn Swallows fly past. At the first lagoon we added Moorhen to the list and one of the highlights of the day a brief Clouded Yellow butterfly. Now there was tinge of disappointment at this brief view but this soon left us as overall on the day we saw around 10 / 15 Clouded Yellows - some really close. Certainly the most I have ever seen in the UK on a single day. We added Small Heath and Common Blue to the butterfly list - ones we also saw lots of during the day - and a very nice Painted Lady. Then a bit of raptor debate between Buzzard and Marsh Harrier - some thought we had seen both, others just Buzzard but we definitely saw both during the day at various stages. At the next lagoon we saw around 3 or 4 Greenshanks, the first of around 15 on the day. Here we also saw Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron, Skylark, Great Cormorant, Lapwing, Canada Goose, more Little Egrets and a single Great Black-backed Gull. Moving onto the next lagoon, a Red Admiral fluttered past and we saw a large flock of around 600 Common Teal, just settling down into their winter quarters. A bit more difficult to spot were some distant Ringed Plovers and a small flock of Dunlin but with the scopes we all managed to see them. Moving on again we saw Reed Bunting and a Carrion Crow flew overhead before we spotted a line of very nice Black Tailed Godwits. Scanning around we added Shoveler, Shelduck and Pintail to the list. We then headed to our final lagoon of the day where we saw our first Avocets. Wandering back to the car park, we saw our first dragonfly - the Migrant Hawker - and another larger species which we failed to identify. We were then startled by around 4 Pheasants exploding from the reed bed right next to us! In the car park we managed to find a Little Grebe in the borrow dyke and a quick look from the sea wall added Common Redshank, Starling and Herring Gull to the list. A really good morning with thanks to Rachel for leading us round.
Common Pheasant 4, Canada Goose 25c, Common Shelduck 6c, Northern Shoveler 6c, Northern Pintail 6c, Eurasian Teal 600c,
Rock Dove (Feral) 6c, Common Moorhen 4c, Little Grebe 1, Pied Avocet 6c, Northern Lapwing 4c, Common Ringed Plover 10c,
Black-tailed Godwit 12c, Dunlin 6c, Common Redshank 25c, Common Greenshank 15c, Black-headed Gull 12c, Great Black-backed Gull 1,
European Herring Gull 2, Lesser Black-backed Gull 40c, Great Cormorant 2, Grey Heron 6c, Little Egret 12c, Western Marsh Harrier 3,
Common Buzzard 2, Common Kestrel 3, Carrion Crow 4c, Eurasian Skylark 6c, Barn Swallow 6c, Common Starling 1, White Wagtail (Pied) 2,
Common Linnet 20c, Common Reed Bunting 3 - total 33
Large White 20+, Small White 10+, Clouded Yellow 12/15c, Small Heath 20+, Painted Lady 2, Common Blue 20+, Red Admiral 1 - total 7
Migrant Hawker 1