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BLACKWATER BOAT TRIP – Monday 28th January 2013

The day dawned bright and sunny as we met at Bradwell Marina for our trip on the River Blackwater. With strong winds and rain forecast for later in the day, we headed along the north shore noting two RED-THROATED DIVERS flying past. In the slightly calmer waters, we spotted the first of seven SLAVONIAN GREBES and a female EIDER.

Reaching Goldhanger, we had stunning views of a PEREGRINE as it perched on a post on the beach. The north shore of Osea Island harboured around 200 PINTAIL and plenty of roosting waders including BAR-TAILED GODWIT, KNOT, DUNLIN and GREY PLOVER. A real surprise was three BLACK-NECKED GREBES together at the eastern end of Osea. With the wind whipping up, we motored towards the creeks of Tollesbury and Mersea and once in calmer waters saw the unmissable shape of a GREAT NORTHERN DIVER, seen eating small crabs.

Off Old Hall Marshes RSPB reserve, we located another wintering BLACK-NECKED GREBE and around 10 COMMON SCOTER before heading back across the river to Bradwell, where a hot drink was most welcome.