An RSPB SE Herts Group car trip to Abberton with a first stop at the Layer Breton causeway. The original planned destination was Rainham Marshes, but with week long problems on the M25, a switch was needed. Ten group members met up for a good days birding. Some of the usual suspects were there, including Egyptian Goose, Lapwing and a Kingfisher.
There was one distant Goldeneye and a couple of distant Great Egrets, but also four Black-tailed Godwits close in on the mud.
Also showing very well was the long staying Hybrid Baikal Teal.
Next stop was the Layer de la Haye causeway where, after a bit of searching we managed to pick out a Slavonian Grebe. It was distant so just a record shot here.
And also distant, a female Long-tailed Duck.
Much nearer however was a Great Egret, keeping company with some Little Egrets.
A visit to the Visitor Centre did not add much to the day list apart from Marsh Harrier, but a coffee was welcome! A quick stop past Billets farm added some waders including Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Ruff. Next was a ride round to the church in the hope of seeing a reported Great Northern Diver. A couple of people saw it, but it was at extreme distance and looking into the sun. With the day slipping away, there was just time to stop again on the LDLH causeway, adding a distant Scaup. Close in were a few Wigeon.
One of the Great Crested Grebes was also on the shore and preening. It appeared to be ok, but always a worry with so many cases of Bird Flu.
A pair of Redshank were also close in.
The Goosanders are always great to photograph, and often can be found by the sluice fishing. In total there must have been about 12 to 15 females and only 3 males. Here are some shots of the females.
And a few of the males.
All in all, a great day out!