Close to where i live in essex there are three nearby tidal rivers. The River Thames which is the largest and most well known, running from Gloucestershire through London and creating the Kent/Essex border until it reaches the North Sea. The River Roach which flows through Rochford, the town i live in, and and has a couple of small creeks which run into it before it joins the River Crouch. And then there is the River Crouch itself, probably one of my favourite places to walk the banks off, which runs from near Billericay, through Battlesbridge, past the Fambridges, then Burnham on Crouch before also emptying into the North Sea.
Along the banks of these rivers and their various adjoining creeks are miles upon miles of wetlands. Sea marshlands are common and great places to watch countless species of wetland birds but if you look towards the land around these same areas you will quite often see drainage ditches crisscrossing the farmers fields with large areas of freshwater marshland also. Its on the landward side that i often spot birds of prey searching for their next meal around the reed stems and scrubland that the farmers often leave around the small drainage bitches. Kestrels are probably the most common birds of prey i see, hovering not too high above the hedgerows ready to drop on their next victim. I’ve seen the odd sparrow hawk darting through the air chasing the local dove population. Buzzards are often spotted circling high on the winds thermals, effortlessly drifting across miles of open air, and i believe i,ve located 2 different nesting sites where i,ve seen and heard a pair of them patrol regularly. I’m pretty sure i saw a lone Goshawk earlier this year, it flew past me at eye level as i was walking along a sea defence path and a quick ID check on Google pointed to one. And i,ve also seen my fair share of Marsh Harriers quartering the fields close to the sea defences.
Now the reason for me going off on the tangent above is that i recently found a memory card, that i thought i had lost, from my big camera and upon looking through its contents i found the above image of a RED KITE in flight. As i mentioned above i see a lot of birds of prey on my local walks but i can never get a decent photo of them, i,m not really one to sit and wait for them so i can take their picture, but fortunately this one has come out pretty good. I know its not going to win any awards but i,m happy with it none the less.
I do have plans to get out more with the camera and take better pictures of my local wildlife but i have a few things to get sorted out first. Be sure to know that i will posting any photos that i take on here as i take them…