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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Essex revisited - Part 3

The final aim of my pilgrimage to Essex was to meet up with Simon and Clive, birdwatching friends from my school days in Colchester. The plan was to revisit some of our old birding haunts to see what we could turn up.

Colchester Royal Grammar School, still the Gold Standard for excellence in teaching and learning

Me (hatted) with Clive, Pat (Simon's wife) and Simon at Clacton-on-Sea

Part of the Essex Marshes, habitat of wildfowl and wading birds. Here we found Avocets and Little Egrets that were not present in my birding days in the area

Abberton Reservoir, one of our favourite birding haunts. Countless times I cycled the 10 miles around the reservoir on that track

Wivenhoe, on the Estuary of the River Colne. The Wharfe-side buildings are still there but no longer trading commercially - now luxurious homes

Pinmill on the River Orwell - many a weekend family sailing was undertaken from this village

This Essex Skipper butterfly was a "lifetime first" of this species for me!

Clive, Pat and Simon, afternoon tea at the tower café, Walton- on- the Naze

I recorded 89 bird species during my four-day trip to Essex, of which the most interesting for me were Little Egret, Avocet, Marsh Harrier, Bar- and Black-tailed Godwits, Yellow Wagtail, Turtle Dove, Spotted Redshank, Little Tern, Little Owl and Corn Bunting.


Blogger Tina said...

The picture of the butterfly is amazing. You must have a really good camera.

I love that duck too. The only ones we ever see here are ugly ones. I don't know how to spell the name of the species I am thinking of, so I will just call them ugly. :)

I really enjoy looking at all the architecture in all these posts.

1:38 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

You are clearly having many adventures in your 'retirement'! Some godwits will be heading down our way again soonish... but not the ones you saw I imagine.

5:58 am  
Blogger simon said...

geez! another good post- How doyou feel revisiting these places? I think I would feel a touch nostalgic!

8:02 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

The Grammar School looks the same. Oh, those Grammar School boys in their purple blazers and caps. Mmmm ... makes me feel all nostalgic all over again!

The track round Aberton Resevoir has changed. I remember cycling with you and Clive many a time. And Nick Wright with his everlasting cheese sandwiches. See, I have an incredible memory for trivia!

Wivenhoe has been getting posh ever since the University of Essex was built. My fondest memories are of wicked parties in the 'sail loft'. They were such fun with Gill Briggs! We got up to so much mischief in Wivenhoe!

Pinmill brings a lump to the throat. Dad loved that boat so much. There used to be hundreds of Shelduck there, and just once, I was allowed to go into that pub!

I really must go down and look at all these places. I have a friend in Bury St Edmunds who I could stay with, and I could visit cousin Ken in Southend too!

Goodness, the word today is:
qkajggvn. Never seen such a big one.

8:58 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Meant to say Abberton Reseviour path HASN'T changed! sorry.

4:32 pm  
Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

Great stuff Maalie. I'm sure Lorenzo would agree that there's a real sense of "soul" in these essex blogs.

1:25 pm  
Blogger Merisi said...

89 bird species! I have never tried to count birds (well, maybe Rosy Flamingos in shop windows do count?), but each time I read about your high numbers, I get depressed, thinking that I must be living on some birdless island.

4:14 pm  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Yes tortoiseshell, re 'soul'. I am sure lorenzo has noticed words like 'pilgrimage' and 'Mass in Latin' (part 2) that really give a past away to someone who had the same past!

5:17 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I know Kiwi. Maalie struggles away from all the things he was taught as a little nipper.

4:26 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

I see you've joined the fray on my blogsite! I won a wordimperfect last week!

1:25 pm  
Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

The pictures are really lovely - I will be back to read more when there is time - alas, grant writing and poster presentations are waiting deadlines.

As to your comment to me on Lorenzo's blog - I answered there, but just in case you miss it:

Maalie - to some of us, the bible is still the authoritative word of god - and you might be amazed at who we are - neuroscientists, physicists, physicians, physiologists. It is still the one source of truth that I stake my life, both present and future on.

5:11 pm  

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