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November 2017

Last September we experienced record breaking temperatures and was still enjoying swims in the river, Al fresco eating and praying for rain. This year it was a chilly snap, the only benefit being the early autumn leaf colour. Even the M25 is a pleasure to drive on (the Kent side) the North Downs and the Weald a visual delight with the many trees a mosaic of colour.

Into October, a 5.3m tide virtually covered Pewit Island at Bradwell Quay, just a few grassy patches left visible. A Curlew stood alone on one about a foot square. A larger area was occupied by a Heron, several Egrets and numerous waders covering every inch.

A seals head bobbed up nearby then with an arch of its back, dived under the waves. A few Brent’s could be heard ‘gurgling’ from where they were laid up.

The barge, “Thistle’ motored toward Maldon, her sails furled. The previous week we had watched the smaller ‘Pudge’ and ‘Centaur’ sailing behind a fleet of cruisers, their colourful spinnakers creating a carnival vision on the Blackwater.

Mid October brought the Sahara dust and Iberian wild fire smoke, creating a eerie glow from the orange sun. The worst we suffered was dirty cars.

If you’ve been watching the gripping drama ‘Liar’ you might have spotted the Ariel shots of Tollesbury Marshes. A veritable maze of inlets.

Still not many birds back yet, they need winds from the North to bring them here, meanwhile we will enjoy the milder weather while we can.

Thanks John for your comments, (readers letters October) didn’t see the Kite, lucky you. – Maisie –