Inspired by friend Steve Routledge's trips to this location, his local patch, I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with the area. Many years ago (1971 - 1979), when I lived in Immingham I used to visit regularly. Before I passed my driving test in 1973 I used to catch the bus to Immingham Dock where I was able to walk over the lock gates and onto the sea wall beyond. I'm not sure this is permissible now; certainly a few years ago I tried to drive onto the docks and was refused entry. From the docks I would continue my birding walk along the sea wall past Killingholme Pits, now a Lincs Trust reserve, and onto Winter's Pond and beyond. I would later return along the sea wall, branching off before the docks to walk home over the fields. Once I passed my test and bought my first car, a minivan, I used to go fishing to Winter's making some fine catches on occasion, especially tench.
Today Heather and I parked up at Winter's where we found a large flock of grey lag geese resting up on the bank. On the pond were several dabchicks, swans and tufted duck. I had hoped for winter thrushes in the heavily fruited hawthorn hedges but no luck, although we did spot a large flock of fieldfares and possibly redwing on the fields later. When we climbed up into the bank I realised that I had made a miscalculation. I knew it was going to be high tide but at only 5.8m I hadn't realised it would be right up to the sea wall which it was, This meant that we saw nothing on the marsh/mudflats until we reached East Halton Skitter. Certainly at 5.8m in Cleetherpes it would hardly be noticed as a high tide. Ah well such is life.
I might have miscalculated to tide, but I certainly hadn't the light. Although a tad showery there were some dramatic clouds and and lovely golden end of the day light. We did find some very confiding turnstones by the sea wall but saw little on the mitigation land behind other than a large flock of curlew feeding on the fields and the large flock of winter thrushes.
At the skitter there were more birds as there were some expanses of mud revealed by the receding tide and on the salt marsh beyond. We enjoyed a welcome flask of hot chocolate here before heading back. Back at Winter's I was able to get close enough to photograph a dabchick busily trying to deal with a perch that it had caught and the light was fabulous. Just as we were preparing to leave we were treated to an excellent rainbow.
- Grey Lag
- Tufted Duck
- Herring Gull
- Black Headed Gull
- Mute Swan
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