Wallasea Island Tidal Cycle Counts

January 2018.

I've recently helped with a couple of wader and wildfowl counts at RSPB Wallasea Island in south Essex. These counts are conducted from low to high tide or vise versa across Jubilee Marsh; the area that was breached in 2015 following the importation of Crossrail soil. This count data is subsequently forwarded to the RSPB reserves ecology team to calculate the quantity of food Jubilee Marsh is providing for feeding birds.

20 Jan 2018.
A day of heavy rain throughout, but good numbers of Avocet present. Highlights on the island were two adult Whooper Swan (plus 18 Mute Swan), a redhead Goosander and a Merlin, with 118 Avocet, 144 Dunlin, 121 Redshank, 444 Wigeon and 40 Shelduck in my survey section.

28 Jan 2018.
A very quiet survey itself, dominated by Shelduck (526 of them), with very few other birds present. The best birds of the day were outside of the survey area, but it was a sunny day and the Skylarks were singing, making it a more pleasant few hours despite the lack of birds in the recording area. Bird of the day was a superb adult male Black Brant mixed in with around 250 Dark-bellied Brents near Grapnell's Farm. The two adult Whooper Swan were still present (plus 25 Mute Swan) along with singles of Merlin, Peregrine and Marsh Harrier.

Black Brant - 28th Jan

Goosander - 20th Jan

Whooper Swans - 28th Jan

28th Jan - sunny!

20th Jan - before the heavy rain set in!

Max Hellicar.