Fifteen of us met and decided to walk along the sea wall as the tide was on the way in. We saw little grebe, cormorant, black headed gulls, heron, avocet in flight, coot, moorhen, mute swan, lapwing, starling and a mediterranean gull. Pied wagtails were busy foraging among the rocks. A wasp spider was seen – they have amazing webs with a zig-zag pattern in the middle. Trevor treated us to the amazing sight of Eyed hawkmoth caterpillars (nine in all) looking convincingly leaf-like. We later encountered an Oak Eggar moth caterpillar on the path. We enjoyed several overhead views of black-tailed godwit making their way onto the pools to rest and feed. At this time of year, they are a mixture of wonderful colours.
From the sea wall hide – elevenses for some – we saw two little egret, curlew, redshank and seals basking in the distance. Herring gull, kestrel, great crested grebe, a swallow and buzzard were seen near Harty ferry It was great to see so much in flower on the salt marsh, with sea lavender, golden samphire (host to the picture wing fly we were to learn), sea wormwood and with fleabane on the freshwater edges. From the sea wall we saw a few teal, shelduck, mallard, three grey herons (two in flight). The East Hide was visited for lunch (conveniently empty), some of us enjoyed lunch al fresco. The pools were by now very busy with large numbers of black-tailed godwit, dunlin, redshank, avocet, golden plover and two juvenile little stints. Leaving the hide Trevor had found the resting place of the little owl and we all enjoyed good views. Viewing the pools from the roadway, yellow wagtail, common and sandwich terns, and a lesser black-backed gull were added to our list. Julie had a fleeting glimpse of a wheatear, but it didn’t hang around sadly.
Pauline and John
Thanks to Pauline and John for leading and the trip report. Thanks to Steve, Chris and Terry for the photographs. The Eyed Hawkmoth caterpillars were my highlight of the day. Thanks Trevor.