Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Two Tree Island

In a bid to observe some new species for our natural history diary assignment for college, a small group of us descended upon Two Tree Island at Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.  Two Tree Island is a small tidal island with adjoining salt-marsh and inter-tidal mudflats.  We took a walk initially round the west end of the island spotting Common Redshank (Tringa totanus); Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca); Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata); Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula); and most exciting of all Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta).  There were about 8 Avocets feeding in the water demonstrating their unique feeding behaviour of sweeping their bill from side to side under water. 

Common Ringed Plover
(Charadrius hiaticula)
Pied Avocet
(Recurvirostra avosetta)

 Further along our journey we spotted a Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus); Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea); Brent Goose (Branta bernicla) - these are quite a treat in this area; Common Skylark (Alauda arvensis) singing and fluttering above our heads; and Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) hovering above.

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
On the east side of the island we saw Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus); Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and a Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata). 

Heading into the old town of Leigh we spotted several Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) along the water's edge feeding.  We also saw a couple of them bobbing about in a boat....

Ruddy Turnstone
(Arenaria interpres)

I thought you were bringing the oars?!

Overall, it was a lovely sunny and warm day, albeit a little hazy across the estuary.  We were able to identify most of what we saw and I think we all came away with something for our diaries.


  1. Terrific birds, Nic. In general, your sunny attitude makes your blog a fun read!