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Beautiful Essex Countryside and Riverside Walk.

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How lucky we are….just 6 miles along the lanes from our new home is a place called Wallasea Island ,nestled between the Rivers Crouch and Roach, not far from the Thames Estuary. A lot of work has been carried out there over the past 9 years to replace the old sea wall with a new one and so allow the River Crouch through onto former farmland in order to create mudflats and saltmarsh. And, the work is ongoing, with the RSPB currently creating a nature reserve. The area had previously (hundreds of years ago) been 5 islands and the intention is to return the area to this. Thousands of tonnes of soil/clay which has been excavated for the tunnels in the London Crossrail project have been transported down the Thames to help create these islands.
There has already been great success in bringing in many species of birds but, of course, more are expected to be seen here over the coming years.it is also hoped that some time in the future, seals may come into the area to raise their young.there are already colonies of them along the coast of the estuary and at nearby Founess Island.
So, Julie , Paddy and myself went to take a look a couple of weeks ago.
Directly opposite Wallsea on the north side of the Crouch is Burnham (on Crouch) . A small ferry (well, more of a taxi service really) provides a service across the river from the nearby marina, although you need to ring him first to arrange pick up.
Burnham and its yacht club (big white building) can be seen across the river.


On the following phot, you can see one of the places where the old sea wall has been breached, allowing the river in onto the former farmland.

In the distance, wind turbines, in the Thames Estuary.

As you can see, the work is ongoing to make a nature reserve.

Although 12 years old now, Paddy still enjoys his walks.

This side of the path was more overgrown so , due to the possible presence of our friends the Adders, we didn’t go this way.I have heard of quite a few dogs bitten in the south Essex area over the past couple of summers so, as it was a very hot day, we decided not to risk the overgrown areas as adders love to bask in the warm sunshine.

This is a list of creatures spotted recently.

I’ve no idea what this fellow was and if he’s listed on the above board

But, I recognise this big bird. the lesser spotted Easy Jet…..on his way to roost at the nearby Southend airport.we are lucky that most of the bigger airplanes seem to circle and wait for their landing slots etc over this side rather than further west over our house. We very seldom see them although some of the smaller planes fly over.

And so, back to the marina.

Happy birdwatching and gardening
Paul

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Comments

 

What a lovely blog. It is always good to see these projects taking shape. It'll be great when it settles down in a few years. You were probably right to avoid a possible confrontation with an adder! I remember as a kid seeing them amongst the bracken on the common when we lived near Dorking.

16 Aug, 2015

 

Paddy is lucky to have such a lovely area to explore and aren't you lucky that he takes you along!

16 Aug, 2015

 

Yes, Eirlys, Paddy takes us for plenty of walks....at least two a day...ha ha...aren't we lucky.
Yes, Melchi, a chap on a RSPB stand at a local shopping centre told me there are hardly any adders in Essex.Well, I don't know which part of Essex he comes from but they are certainly about. A few miles along from this stretch of the river, we went for a walk with Paddy a couple weeks ago and, again avoided an overgrown stretch and we were talking to a lady who lives right by the river and she said there have been numerous sighting s this year.

16 Aug, 2015

 

Thats a lovely blog Paul. Im glad Paddy didn't need to encounter any Adders! I'm amazed how many big environmental projects are being funded during these times of 'austerity'. Apparently there is a dire shortage of housing for humankind, and yet here they are, building nature reserves and islands in the estuary for the local fauna! Don't get me wrong, its fantastic to see, but baffling.

Sorry, got a little bit political :(

16 Aug, 2015

 

What a wonderful place Paul. Is it a black headed gull?

16 Aug, 2015

 

I enjoyed my walk around with you all! Might the bird be a Tern?

16 Aug, 2015

 

Take your point, Karen but, at so a charities money so, I suppose nothing to do with the government and, on top of that, it is said to help ease flooding from the Crouch!
I haven't got a clue Limda or Shirley, about the bird.

16 Aug, 2015

 

Karen its a good thing you can't see what our local council is doing with our money, building complicated fancy islands where simple ones would do, putting in traffic lights that need modifying immediately so digging the whole trench up again, etc etc... They found asbestos in the county library and abandoned the building, messed about so long they forfeited a 3 million pound grant to put it right and put a small temporary library in the local youth club premises, decided to close the covered market and convert it to a library although there is no parking space, and finally found it wasn't suitable because it is too near the river - which anybody could have told them to start with.... Grrrrr! They moved the tourist info bureau to the top of a steep hill away from the town centre where tourists either can't find it or cant get up to it - and its only a few files in the lending library anyway....I could go on.

16 Aug, 2015

 

Ha ha Stera....is Basil Fawlty leader of your council??

16 Aug, 2015

 

Been all through a couple of bird books and couldn't match the bird - its hard to see its size from the photo. I thought tern too , but they have little crests, and it looks dainty for a juvenile black headed gull. Send your pic to Ispot and let us know!

16 Aug, 2015

 

Ispot ? I don't know that one?

16 Aug, 2015

 

I wonder how many dead birds they find at the bases of those wind generators?

16 Aug, 2015

 

No idea LS......I'm never likely to get near the bottom of them they're in the Estuary!

16 Aug, 2015

 

The scientific (according to smithsonian magazine) estimates are between 128,000 to 324,000 birds are meeting their deaths in these wind generators each year and that number is expected to go up when the newer taller generators are constructed. I wonder if migratory paths are considered when deciding a location for these things and their environmental impact. This is an interesting subject to look into. Thank You for your blog Paul.

17 Aug, 2015

 

You are so lucky living where you are now ! Its great that wild life will come back to these areas and in this day and age people still care !
I loved your blog and all the photos !

17 Aug, 2015

 

Thanks Rose. There are some lovely places within easy reach of where we now live.

17 Aug, 2015

 

Well said, Karen...

17 Aug, 2015

 

That's a smashing place for a walk Paul, you have a bit of everything there don't you, I have missed my walks with Brynner this year, he's been so patient and as though he understood has only just started bringing his ball for me to throw in the garden, I swear he knew I could not throw his toys for him.
Lovely blog and pics..

17 Aug, 2015

 

He probably did sense it.you'll soon be walking with him again.

17 Aug, 2015

 

Re Ispot Paul - just Google it. You just sign up and then you can send in your photos and someone will identify them for you.

17 Aug, 2015

 

I used to get muddled up with female birds, which were a different plumage at certain times of the year. So perhaps its a black headed female gull .

18 Aug, 2015

 

Yes, Diane, I wondered that...or a young one but, it looked more brown than black.
Thanks Stera...I might do that!

18 Aug, 2015

 

Young black headed gulls do have brown heads but I thought it looked the wrong sort of shape for a gull - more like a tern without a crest. let us know if you find out please!

18 Aug, 2015

 

I'll get on to it......no,I didn't think it looked like the pictures of Black headed gull online!

18 Aug, 2015

 

I signed up to ISpot but spent over half hour trying to add my photo for identification and it wanted longitude and latitude of the site where it was seen etc......life's too short.ha ha...and I'm too thick!!

19 Aug, 2015

 

Lol - how frustrating does it get???

19 Aug, 2015

 

I enjoyed your blog Paul, the Crossrail project, is a great engineering achievement, and well-done to the person who had the idea to use all that London clay for a great environmental project. I live few miles from the RSPB reserve at Minsmere, on the Suffolk Heritage Coast; if we provide the habitat, the wildlife will find it. At Minsmere we have all the birds listed on your information board, plus the rare Bittern, which enjoy the reed-bed habitat. A few weeks ago, we had short break in the Thames Valley near Henley, and for the first, saw the Red kites, (lots of them!) as they are moving east, it won't be long before they take a liking to your new reserve.
PS: lf Karen likes the idea of having a house on a saltmarsh/floodplain, she would have to get used to a new style of gardening!

21 Aug, 2015

 

Red Kites.....wow, I didn't realise they were anywhere near this part of the country.
I look forward to this area developing and more and more wildlife moving in(not that I would be able to identify most of it) .

21 Aug, 2015

 

We see them quite often round here these days, mainly due to the success of the feeding stations further north.

I would love to hear a bittern, but no chance as there are no marshes where we live.

21 Aug, 2015

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