Cudmore Grove Fossil Beach
The Oldest fossils are in the cliffs where 300,000 year old animal bones of monkey and hippopotamus are exposed by the washing away of the cliff. Slightly younger "fossils" are the remains of two heavy gun emplacements from the Second World War and younger still are the Ploders, remains of brushwood fences that were installed on the mudflats in 1989 to protect the cliff from erosion by the sea.
Today we went to Fingringhoe Wick to see the Glossy Ibis - unsurprisingly we didn't see it, surprisingly though we've got a new excuse - the reserve shuts on a Monday! So instead we headed to Mersea and explored Cudmore Grove at the east end of the island hoping for Snow Bunting (none!) and West Mersea at the west end of the island (surprising that!) for a Black Brant among the Dark-bellied Brent Geese. There were also reports of a Red-breasted Goose and a Tundra Bean Goose among the flock, but as I'd seen those before they weren't on my "hit list". Well we found the Dark-bellied Brent Geese flock, we found the Red-breasted goose and we found the Tundra Bean Goose (a first for Mrs L, so that's a plus), but no luck with the Black Brant. I took photos of the entire flock to scour over later to hopefully pick it out though.
At home I checked on what exactly I should be looking for in a Black Brant (the American version of a Brent Goose) only to find that the illustration in our bird guide was in fact nothing like the reality and in the first photo I checked, there it was and both I and Mrs L remember seeing the bird and thinking that's a bit different!
Anyway check out RCB's blip of the Black Brant, noting the white rear-flank contrasting with very dark upperparts and belly (Dark-bellied pale flank pattering less white and contrasting) and the very dark upperparts are distinctly darker than the Dark-bellied.