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BLACKWATER BOAT TRIP
Sunday 13th March 2016

With perfect weather we set off from West Mersea on time and noted large numbers of BRENT GEESE along the channels. The first of many RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS showed well on the edge of Salcott Channel. BLACK-TAILED and BAR-TAILED GODWITS, REDSHANKS, CURLEW, LAPWING, GREY PLOVER, KNOT and DUNLIN fed voraciously on the water’s edge. Up to 8 MARSH HARRIERS were noted including several displaying birds taking advantage of the sunshine.

Heading out into deeper water, we soon found a party of 3 GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS feeding together and then a couple of RED-THROATED DIVERS flew out of the river.

Lots of GREAT CRESTED GREBES and RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were seen as were several large flocks of BRENT GEESE. A small number of AVOCETS were spotted close to Tollesbury on the rising tide. As we neared Osea Island we found a winter plumaged GUILLEMOT that turned out to be of the Bridled form and a real surprise.

By now the wind had increased slightly making it a little choppy and on our return journey we found no less than 6 GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS, our highest ever count!

We headed back to the shelter of West Mersea after what had been a superb boat trip with decent weather for a change.