With the weather not looking good for Dungeness we switched plans and decide on a visit to Wallasea. As we approach the entrance track a Barn Owl is seen quartering the roadside fields.
Having parked up in the car park we headed out and quickly picked up two Short-eared Owls in the half light. As the light began to increase a Male Merlin zipped past and landed on a grass mound, allowing close scope views. On the walk back towards the car a Green Sandpiper flew up from the water channels edge and several Corn Bunting and Skylark were found.
We took the main footpath below the sea wall and soon had stunning views of a male Hen Harrier searching for food across the marshland. It was joined by a Ringtail soon afterwards and we watched them for an hour before they dropped below the grass and out of view.
As we headed back along the footpath we got lucky when a Mealy Redpoll that had been keeping close company with four wintering Twite flew in and landed on the wire fence along with the Twite.
A tip from another birder, saw us head for the Marina and after a bit of searching found both the female Eider and the Shag frequenting the River Crouch. While scanning for these a Kingfisher flew from the bank and added another welcome year tick.
A couple of stops on the way home, firstly at Southend-on-Sea, where we located several Med Gulls along the foreshore and a second Kingfisher of the morning, this one was fishing from the jetty.
Last stop of the morning was to Pitsea where a flock of Waxwings had been reported earlier. We arrived to find a healthy flock perched up in treetops on the central reservation. Then flying down onto trees within the Macdonald's car park.
A fantastic mornings birding!