Mucking and Cooling

The mudflats at Mucking that run north from Coalhouse Fort support a great flock of avocet as well as smaller numbers of shelduck, curlew, knot, dunlin, redshank and grey plover. The birds are safe from disturbance as the mud is separated from the coastal path by a stodgy stretch of saltmarsh. A peregrine roosts on…

October at Oare

A pale clouded yellow dances in the breeze on the sea wall and after many attempts finally settles in the couch grass, small whites are also on the move, nectaring on the last sow thistles. The clear autumn skies and gentle warmth put the wintering flocks of godwits and redshanks at ease; there is no…

Heybridge Basin

16th July 2019 A warm July evening with a light breeze is made for a pint at the Old Ship overlooking the great expanse of water and mud that is the Blackwater Estuary. The pub sits at the of a pretty terrace of small fishermen’s houses and overlooks the sea lock that, at low tide,…

Beachcombers

The beach is wind blown under a grey sky. Usually it is empty, but the season brings an assortment of wheatears, little egrets, yellow wagtails and common sandpipers; all are foraging after a day of torrential rain. Two fishermen at the water’s edge sit, hunched like herons, over long rods. The harbour wall at Agios…

Autumn Arrivals at Bough Beech

The woodland-fringed wetland north of the causeway is drained down by the end of the long dry summer and migrating waders feed in the shallows.  Green sandpipers are expected, a wayward black-tailed godwit less so.  The best is a grey phalarope, which is in winter plumage with elegant steel-grey feathers that appear at a distance…

Winter windfalls

Adrift in the North Downs, the small village of Eastling sleeps in the early morning sun. The great yews bury much of the churchyard in deep-frozen shade. A goldcrest briefly emerges from the dense needles in its hunt for tiny prey. Goldfinches sing their light, liquid trickle from high, hidden places. A chaffinch bursts into its plain, spring song but…

Winter Sun

Oare Marshes, North Kent, December 14th 2016 The sun shines low in the sky and the few high clouds pay scant attention to the stretched blue canvas. The wind warms from the south, and the drying day is a break from the blanket of brooding drizzle. The familiar view of church and brewery in distant Faversham sits…

Cold Harty and the Swale

The winding lane to Harty Ferry passes through Capel Fleet where a distant herd of great, brown bulls deter most away from the footpath that runs from the road across a flat landscape towards the distant Swale Estuary. The raised path is a stumble, being water-logged and pot-holed by heavy hooves; it arcs endlessly round a wide expanse of huge,…

Yas Island – A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Muddy Mangroves

Yas Island is one of the many great infrastructure projects in the United Arab Emirates, located close to Abu Dhabi airport and 10 miles down the highway from the city. In 2012, it already had a Formula 1 racing circuit, a huge red panini of a building called Ferrari World, hotels, marina and golf course and…