Best of the recent sightings has been a Bittern, occasionally seen from the hide overlooking Pitsea Scrape. Best time of the day seems to be about the 4 o’clock mark, it has been seen at around this time on several different days. As a measure of dedication, one staff member spent five and a half hours in the hide on his day off to look for the Bittern, eventually being rewarded with a good flight view! Reserve staff have recently undertaken our monthly high tide count across the reserves, highlights were nearly 800 Lapwing, over 700 Wigeon, 18 Golden Plover, 11 Green Sandpiper and 46 Curlew. Other noteworthy records include a single Jack Snipe on Pitsea Scrape and 10 Avocet on Vange Marsh. The reeds in front of the hide overlooking Pitsea Scrape have recently given visitors some great views of Bearded Tit and Cetti’s Warbler, while a Water Pipit has been seen on West Canvey Marsh.

Thanks to Martin Curtis for the bittern image.