I set of early, under a starless sky. Yea, it was a dull, cloudy start, which didn’t improve as the daylight pushed the darkness aside. Not to worry. I was out, and going somewhere new.
Welcome to Stour Estuary, it says. Thank you. What I didn’t know though, was just how much walking I’d have to do to get to the water. The little red blob bottom left on the edge of the woods is the car park. A walk through the woods, (up hill and down hill), for about 2 miles takes you to the bigger red box near the top, where this sign board was; and another, proudly announcing ‘2 miles to bird hides’.
More up hill, down hill, up steps, down steps…………….hmmmmmm.
I reached the first hide just a little out of breath, so was glad of the sit down. I gazed out the window, and could just make out the sea in the distance. And tiny specks out in that sea I presumed to be waders. A scope would have been ideal. The Hubble telescope better.
I sat for a while anyway, scanning the saltmarsh in front of me for signs of life. None that I could see. I walked along to the next hide, telling myself, ‘there’s no point Keith, it’ll be just the same.’
Sometimes I should listen to myself. It was just the same.
I did manage one picture out here in the wilderness though.
A Long Tailed Tit took pity on me, and stopped briefly while I took his picture, before he left to join the rest of his gang.
I left too, and made my way slowly back to the signboard. There was a viewing screen down a slope that overlooked the estuary. Maybe I’d see more there.
As I got nearer, I could hear waves. The tide was coming in. I quickened my pace, as best I could. I didn’t want to get there and find nothing but seawater.
And there before me, was sand and water. And birds!
A Curlew, probing the muddy sand. Yea, not the best shots, but I’d come so far to get these, I’m gonna post ‘em anyway.
Two Brent Geese flying away. Yea, yea; not brilliant, but……..
And a bonus. Three for the price of one. At the top, a Curlew, bottom left, a Redshank, and bottom right, an Oystercatcher.
I spent a while there, taking some not very good pictures, and breathing in the sea air, and then made my way back through the woods to the car. Would I go again?
Yea. With a telescope though.