New bird hides at Fingringhoe Wick

Fingringhoe Wick

Fingringhoe Wick - Credit: Archant

Charlie Oliver from the Essex Wildlife Trust provides his monthly update. This month: Fingringhoe Wick has new footpaths and bird hides

One of the new bird hides at Fingringhoe Wick

One of the new bird hides at Fingringhoe Wick - Credit: Archant

New footpaths and bird hides overlooking the Essex Wildlife Trust’s recently-created intertidal wetland at Fingringhoe Wick are opening to the public this summer.

The wetland was created last September, in partnership with the Environment Agency, by breaching a 300metre section of the seawall next to the tidal River Colne immediately north of the EWT’s original Fingringhoe Wick reserve.

Overall, the reserve has been extended by 88 acres, predominantly creating intertidal wetland but also reedbed and grassland and maintaining a small woodland. We are thrilled that little terns, a key ‘target’ species for the new habitat, have already been seen fishing in the lagoon. Further notable species seen include two more of conservation concern: the sandwich tern and wood sandpiper. Common tern has bred on the purpose-built tern islands in the wetland while waders have also used the islands as a high tide roost as well as feeding in the mud at low tide. Oysterctacher, curlew, redshank and both black-tailed and bar-tailed godwit have been present in recent weeks. Most days there are at least half-a-dozen little egret present at low and mid-tide.

In June EWT staff ran several guided walks, to thank people who donated to the 2014 appeal for funds which was crucial in helping to purchase the former farmland. Donors were delighted to see the large wetland and its wildlife and to enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the River Colne and Alresford Creek. A large thank you also goes to the WREN land acquisition fund for financial support.

There are two new bird hides, including one built on a promontory into the wetland. Now the team will wait to watch the wetland, grassland and reedbed mature further and anticipate some exciting bird sightings during the peak autumn migration months of August and September.

For more information about Fingringhoe Wick visitor centre and nature reserve, please see or call the centre on 01206 729678 to confirm that all parts of the extension to the reserve are open.