Welcoming the summer birds

Cuckoo by Andy Morffew

Cuckoo by Andy Morffew - Credit: Archant

In May we welcome the summer influx of migrant birds

Our magical migrant birds will start to join us from May. Excellent places to watch swallows, house martins, sand martins and swifts include Abberton Reservoir, south of Colchester, and Hanningfield Reservoir, near Billericay, where the birds congregate to feed on insects over the water. At both reserves you will also be able to see elegant common terns flying over the water.

However, some arrivals are far less demonstrative. The turtle dove is now one of the county’s most elusive birds, after a catastrophic decline. Nevertheless, the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Wrabness nature reserve, on the south bank of the Stour Estuary, is usually a fairly reliable site to catch a glimpse of this pretty, delicate bird and to hear its delightful ‘turring’ call. You should also hear a more familiar late spring bird song from another bird in decline – the call the cuckoo. Wrabness is also a good spot to see many warblers, including the whitethroat and lesser whitethroat.