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Winter at the Naze

Posted: Thursday 8th January 2015 by The Naze

Dark-Bellied Brent Geese in the shallowsDark-Bellied Brent Geese in the shallows

Naze Education Ranger, Ben Eagle writes about what has been happening at the Naze over the winter months so far.

I was asked by a walker on a particularly bleak winter's day last week when my favourite time of the year is at the Naze? This is a very difficult question to answer as each season has its wonders and I enjoy every time of year for differemt reasons. The light is constantly changing as is the wildlife available to see. However, even on that particularly cold, damp day I had to respond that winter is one of my favourite times of year. Back in late Autumn migration brought a change as different birds could now be seen around the Naze and Hamford Water, particularly prominent being the Dark-Bellied Brent Geese which have flocked to the area from far to the north and east of the British Isles, some as far as Russia and will stay until March/April. In terms of plant life the gorse has been in flower with its vibrant yellow colour brightening the landscape.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until this month there have been several bright sunny winter days to spend at the Naze and families, birders and walkers have been making the most of this. I myself have taken several groups out for walks and volunteer sessions. On 13th December there was a volunteer open day held at the Naze when prospective volunteers, interested in being involved in Essex Wildlife Trust activities at the Naze in 2015, came together to learn more about the opportunities available. It is very exciting to be building a volunteer community in Walton, everone of whom will be much involved once the Education and Visitor Centre is open later this year. During the open day we spent the morning walking the Naze, getting to know each-other and discussing volunteering options before heading to a local pub for lunch. In the afternoon we were joined by others for a litter pick around the Naze Cafe and Naze Tower. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Boxing Day morning locals and Trust members of all ages gathered for a walk around the entire sea wall at the Naze (about 4 miles/6km). It was a cold and cloudy day but the Christmas spirit was with everyone and a good time was had by all. Particular interest was taken in some of the lichens that were spotted (pictured below - evernia) and although few birds were spotted I managed to get a shot of a lovely female reed bunting (pictured below).

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to an exciting year for the Naze in 2015 with the building of the Education and Visitor Centre as well as growing our community of volunteers and organising more events and walks at the Naze so that everyone can enjoy and appreciate this very special place as much as possible. If you have any questions about the Naze or are interested in volunteering please do not hesitate to get in touch with me by sending an email to bene@essexwt.org.uk. Happy new year.

Ben Eagle, Education Ranger - The Naze (part time)

 

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